Chapter 29

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My first instinct was to dance away. Where were the toilets here? I'd forgotten to clock them when I walked in.

Even though I knew she'd tweeted that she'd forgiven (but not forgotten) Verve after Billy's interview, I suspected that she was an up and down type, if her reputation was anything to go by. Who knew which way she'd swing? Hopefully not at me. Not with that rock on her ring finger. It had been reinstated to its rightful place on her left hand following a reconciliation with her fiancé last week.

I knew that because I'd read it in Holler magazine.

The ring now glinted menacingly under the lights as she approached.

As usual, her botoxed face looked neutral, so I couldn't even guess what she wanted to say to me.

A few beats later and we were finally terrified face to unanimated face. Her plump top lip quivered slightly and for a moment I worried that she was about to cry.

'Hi,' she said. 'Do you remember me?'

'Roxy, hi!' I said brightly. 'Of course I remember you. How are you?'

She said something that I couldn't quite make out over the thumping music. Damn that botox. Her face gave nothing away.

'Sorry? I can't hear you!'

She leant in closer. My stomach somersaulted.

'I said, I really should have let you have it the other day!'

Panicked, I looked around me. I noticed that the crowd had started to clear a small circle around us. Word must have spread about who I was because some people had their phones out, filming us.

I could just see it now. Roxy Rogers and Beth George: The Showdown, coming immediately to a Facebook feed near you.

Not that their camera phones would pick up any sound - I could barely hear the woman as it was. However, if hair pulling and eye gouging entered the equation, I was in big trouble.

'Look, I apologise for that!' I tried to shout nicely, which was no mean feat. 'It really wasn't intentional.'

'Bullshit it wasn't intentional!' she screamed. I winced.

'Listen you!' bellowed Dee, sidling up next to me and gripping my arm. 'You need to not be so bloody sensitive!'

I wanted to shout back at Dee, 'Don't poke the beast!' It was the last thing I needed. But before I could react, from somewhere behind me Scott yelled, 'Yeah!' His sentiment was even echoed by unassuming, floppy-haired, polite Simon, who offered a loud, 'Here, here!'

To my astonishment, Billy swaggered forward, his arm outstretched towards Roxy.

'C'mon, the whole thing was over nothing!' he said.

Oh my god, I had Billy fighting my corner. I felt like an underdog in those '90s teen sports movies you see; it was like something out of The Mighty Ducks.

I expected Roxy to protest even more loudly but, surprisingly, she lowered her head to look at her sparkly red heels. We all stood there for what seemed like an eternity. Cameras hovered around us, Dee squeezed my arm and another lazer flash of blue light sliced the air. Slowly, Roxy looked up and I saw a distinct tear, blackened with mascara, trickle down her cheek.

Words came out of her mouth, but it was right when the chorus of the song started, so again all I saw was her mouth flapping open and shut.

'Sorry?! I can't hear you?'

'You're right!' she cried. Despite all the noise, I could hear Scott's sharp intake of breath. 'I acted like a bitch. I'm sorry!'

The nervous tension in my body seemed to explode in that moment to course through my stomach and down my legs and arms. I felt myself wobble slightly. Luckily I hadn't taken Dee's advice to wear skyscraper heels.

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