‘All I want for Christmas is you!!!! You…oo…ou babyyy!’

Blu is sure she is in hell, this the only way to describe this car journey with her friends who decided to ambush her this morning, they literally packed her bags and Dada threatened to bathe her if she didn’t do it herself. They were forcing her to the cottage. The press surrounding Lana and Brodie had become unbearable, even though they were not spotted together since the first sighing, the red tops went on and on about it. They’d had enough. She’d had enough.

In a way Blu does not regret her friends making that decision for her, she’d been umming and aahing about it a while, but in this moment she really wished she’d stood her ground and stayed home. Franny and Simi with their godawful voices were killing what is a global treasure. It is not Christmas until Mariah declares it… but good God her friends are killing her with their sing along.

‘I don’t want-’

‘SHUT UP!!’ Blu has had enough. ‘Shut up or I swear to baby Jesus I will throttle you.’

‘Ugh.’

‘Grinch.’ Simi says looking sideways at her friend.

‘Play anything else but that song. Anything else.’

‘The wheels of the bus.’

‘You will be beneath these wheels if you dare sing one note of that fucking song.’

‘Then Mariah it is!’ Franny turns up the volume and Blu throws on her sunglass, slips her headphones over her ears, not that it’ll make much of a difference.

Maya squeezes Blu’s hand, her friend is nervous, no one knows if Brodie is coming, they decided to head out early and their husbands will be coming tomorrow, they would normally head out separately but Blu is not one for driving the little country lanes, and she has terrible road rage; Brodie always drove them down.

‘No. I’m not coming with you.’ Brodie says for the fifth time to friends trying to convince him to come to the cottage with them.

‘Why not?’ Seamus asks.

‘Why?’ Brodie challenges

‘It’s tradition.’ Roland counters. ‘We’ve done this since we’ve gotten together with our wives. It’s what they do so it’s what we do.’

‘Except I am not married so there’ll be no sense in that.’

‘Don’t try to be smart.’ Roland says, sinisterly.

‘Mate, at any rate you and Blu need to talk or is this thing with you and Lana Smith for real.’

‘Please stop.’ Brodie is still irritated from all that, the press still run stories about their non-existent relationship, thankfully they hadn’t found out where he is staying; still in the Connaught, and it has become a haven from the chaos. ‘Nothing is going on there. I already told you that.’

‘So what’s the harm in coming with us?’

‘Because…because I don’t want to.’

‘You don’t want to see Blu again?’ Roland asks. His friend is trying to hide behind that cool exterior of his when he knows Blu is all he has thought about. Since the day jacked him at the altar Brodie has not stopped thinking about her.

‘It’s not about her.’

‘That’s bullshit and you know it.’ Adam said. ‘You came back for her-’

‘I didn’t. She left and I-’

‘Brodie she didn’t leave.’ Basil wanted to smack his friend upside the head so he could see reason.

‘Oh she didn’t? What would you call that then? A woman who dumps at the altar without a word.’

‘Is that what you think it is?’ Roland says, ‘that she would just run and leave you like that, like a coward? Is that what you think Blu is? You’ve known her long enough, you’ve loved her, lived with her. You think she would do that to you? The man she is crazy about? The man she loves?’

‘I don’t care what I know because I obviously did not know her at all. Take all what you said into consideration, she changes her number. What does that tell you?’

‘It can mean a lot-’

‘Bullshit.’ Brodie is frustrated with this entire situation and he simply wants everything to stop. ‘If Blu wanted to tell me anything she knows how to find me, she knows we’ve been talking.’

‘She also would have seen the pictures of you and Lana.’

‘Seriously dude?’ Seamus wanted to punch Adam, he was not helping their case.

‘Sorry.’ Adam shrugs with a little laugh, always trying to find the lighter side of things.

‘Look the bottom line is I don’t want to see her.’ That’s a lie and he knows it, ‘I don’t even know why I came back to London. This was all a mistake. Whatever happened…I’m done.’

‘Okay let’s place our bests now.’ Franny says, ‘how long will it take Blu to tell Brodie she loves him, she really luuuurves him.’

Blu rolls her eyes behind her sunglasses.

‘Oh yes! And that she’s sorry, she’s really sorry.’ Dada carries on the congenial tune.

‘She wants to marry him and have his babies.’ Maya continues.

‘And they will be happily ever after.’

‘You’re killing me Simi, find the tune.’ Maya says and Simi throws a travel pillow at her.

‘Guys stop. I’m not taking up your bet.’

‘Too late, it was declared and decreed with that song.’ Franny looks at Blu through the rear view mirror. ‘I say two hours after she sees him.’

‘I’ll give her the evening. After dinner. Ooooh and it’ll be in their room and make up sex.’

‘Pipe down you.’ Simi says to Dada.

Just then Franny’s phone beeps with a message. ‘Shit.’

‘What?’ Dada asks.

‘He’s not coming, the boys tried but he’s not coming.’

Blu’s heart sinks when she hears that Brodie is not coming, despite not wanting to go on this trip something about seeing him again made her heart flutter but he’s done. She knows. Oh well. She has to move on.