Chapter two: Ralph.
Victoria lounged about the house the day after her ignorant and self absorbed boss had unfairly fired her; her loose track suit bottoms were starting to fray and her un matching thick hoodie had her morning's breakfast spilled down it. Ironically she was starting to look like her harmless housemate, Bethan Mills.
"What is it with you and stains down your top?" Bethan sauntered in, switching on the tv before collapsing onto the chair that was positioned directly in front; she pointed the remote at the screen and erratically flicked through the channels before settling on her favourite programme: Jeremy Kyle.
"It's brown sauce. I had a bacon sandwich." Victoria stated, glaring at the oblivious woman who was engrossed in the television.
"None of these people look as though they've brushed their hair or had a wash for weeks!" Bethan commented, amused at their unsightly appearances; Victoria looked in shock towards her, waiting for her to acknowledge her comment that was filled with irony.
Victoria realised within that short space of time what her life would consist of if she didn't get a job: dross daytime television in the unwanted company of Bethan.
"Can't you put the news on or something a little more high brow?" Victoria tutted, irritated at the daunting thought of her stuck in a miserable rut; Bethan remained glued to the television screen and nodded.
"She's lying! He's not the real father." she sneered. Suddenly she let out a gasp as her prediction was incorrect; Victoria stretched before standing up; the comfortable position she was in had left an imprint into the sofa.
"I'm heading out." She mumbled before entering her bedroom to get changed. Bethan failed to detach herself from the screen and just responded with a grunt and a nod.
As Victoria sluggishly changed her track suit bottoms for her jeans and her hoodie for a long sleeved jumper, she noticed her calendar had something scribbled onto it. She peered at the writing to see it was her best friend, Elena's, birthday.
Usually Victoria would be frantic in a circumstance where she'd forgotten something so important; instead she rolled her eyes and continued to fit her arms through her top. She had so readily given up on everything since Keith had dismissed her, leaving her with no job or income.
"I urgently need to go to the job centre." She muttered, wondering how she would be able to afford her expenditures; fortunately she had saved enough to pay off five months worth of rent before she would have to consider any drastic measure such as robbing a bank or receiving job seekers allowance.
Victoria had eventually gotten ready, plastering on her deodorant under her jumper as a substitute to having a wash, and left the apartment.
Victoria had no deliberate intentions to go anywhere; she just wanted to leave her apartment to clear her mind and escape Bethan. The idea of setting foot inside the job centre was humiliating for Victoria and so she decided to leave it for another day and walked past the building with a group of scrawny youths lurking outside, holding cigarettes, in uniformed shell suits.
She decided to make her way through the town centre to inspect the clothes that she knew she wouldn't be able to afford; the red dress she had been saving up for was in the window as she walked past; she halted to gaze at the beautiful item before frowning at the thought of spending her savings on upcoming necessities such as her rent and food.
She began to feel empty with self-pity; her eyes glazed over with tears as she walked away from the shop. Suddenly a young man wearing a big green dinosaur costume made a beeline for Victoria; she looked in horror as he approached her with a donation bucket, shaking it to provoke the sound of jangling money.
"Help the -" he started with a wide grin; Victoria immediately scowled at the over zealous charity worker as she didn't feel the time to ask for money was appropriate.
"Piss off!" She seethed, "you don't give all of that money to charity anyway."
As she stormed away from the man, who was baffled by her hostile behaviour, she unzipped her bag and fished for her mobile to phone.
"I'm sure Daddy will lend me another twenty quid." She thought inconsiderately. She forced her hand into her bag and began to manoeuvre the contents before she could feel her phone. Still nothing. At that precise moment, Victoria gasped as the sudden realisation had smacked her around the face; she had left her phone on the windowsill in the bathroom. She scanned the town and saw that the shops were starting to shut; Victoria decided to head back home and so she passed the shop with the red dress in the window one last time.
Eventually she arrived home and was greeted by Bethan, who was sitting casually on the sofa with a tall, emaciated bloke with bottle green hair.
"Victoria!" Bethan sang, unscrewing the lid off the wine before taking a sturdy swig from the bottle. "This is Adam, my boyfriend."
Victoria grimaced at the greasy man and watched him lift up his hand to perform an awkward wave. He looked quite pathetic with his multiple silver piercings that looked as though someone had attacked his face with a nail gun, and his straggly hair which reached his jaw line. Victoria raised her eyebrows.
"I thought you were a lesbian!" She let out a hearty laugh before turning to Adam, who was now sitting upright and twitching like a nervous squirrel.
"Would you like some wine?" Bethan offered after taking another swig; she extended her arm to present the bottle to her. Victorias top lip curled in disgust; she didn't even contemplate making a remark to her kind gesture, even though the cheap wine looked positively revolting, and so she retreated to her bedroom without dignifying Bethan with an answer.
Victoria had forgotten about her misplaced mobile and fell backwards onto her bed. She closed her eyes for a moment before hearing heavy knocking; Victoria made her way to the front door and opened it.
"Hi." A voice sounded; Victoria looked stunned at the visitor; she looked down by his side to see a golden cocker spaniel whom she was very familiar with.
"Neil." She gasped; perplexed as to why he was standing in the doorway with their dog. Neil was Victoria's former boyfriend who had split up with her after learning about her seedy and adulterous ways.
"I tried phoning you but you didn't respond so I figured I'd drop by. I'm going to be living with my dad for a while and he's scared of him so here's your dog." He passed the lead to Victoria who was positively dumbstruck; she couldn't afford to look after herself, let alone a dog too, but before she could respond Neil had walked away.