Ibiza Summer, страница 1
Anna-Louise Weatherley was born in Southampton and grew up in London where she still lives. An award-winning writer for over ten years, she is the former editor and acting editor of J-17 and Smash Hits respectively and has written for magazines including New Woman, Company, Arena, Grazia and More. This is her first novel. When she is not writing, Anna-Louise collects vintage bikinis – at last count she owned over a hundred.
Also available by Anna-Louise Weatherley:
The Wrong Boy
For Joe and Pat – a love story that stood the test of time.
Huge thanks to Brenda Gardner, Melissa Patey, Yasemin Uçar and everyone at Piccadilly, everyone at CosmoGIRL! and to Alan and Louie, my two favourite boys in the entire world.
First published in Great Britain in 2006
by Piccadilly Press Ltd,
5 Castle Road, London NW1 8PR
This edition published 2010
Text copyright © Anna-Louise Weatherley, 2006
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or any means electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner
The right of Anna-Louise Weatherley to be identified as Author of this work has been asserted by her in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988
A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library
ISBN: 978 1 84812 129 4 (paperback)
eISBN: 978 1 84812 281 9
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
Printed in the UK by CPI Bookmarque Ltd, Croydon, CR0 4TD
Cover design oby Simon Davis
Cover illustrations by Sue Hellard
he red, oh yeah, definitely the red. What do you reckon, Ellie?’ Narinda was holding one of Ellie’s favourite dresses up against me for size, her head cocked to one side thoughtfully. For a nanosecond I dared entertain the idea that she might let me borrow it, but I wasn’t holding out much hope. Ellie referred to this particular dress as her ‘IT’ dress and would almost certainly want to wear it herself, what with tonight being special and all. Besides, I’d been coveting it for months back home and she’d never even let me so much as look at it, let alone try it on. The fact that she wasn’t already throwing a fit suggested she was only playing ball so as not to look like a right mean cow in front of her mates.
‘OK, OK,’ Ellie sighed as she began to towel dry her hair. ‘You can wear it on one condition: don’t go within ten feet of anyone holding a cigarette and don’t even think about jumping in the pool in it – no matter what anyone else might be seen doing – got it?’
‘That’s two conditions,’ Narinda pointed out helpfully.
‘Hey, whose flippin’ side are you on?’ Ellie snapped back, unable to stifle a grin.
I squealed with delight and ran over to hug my sister, who was still a bit damp from the shower she’d just taken.
‘You’re the best!’ I said and meant it because I knew that in the grand scheme of things, as far as fulfilling the ‘cooler older sister’ role goes, Ellie had surpassed herself already by bringing me on her annual girls’ holiday with her equally cool girlfriends – and now it looked like she might lend me her favourite dress to boot. It was all sounding a bit too good to be true.
‘Try it on then!’ ordered Narinda impatiently. ‘Let’s see what it looks like before you agree to all the terms and conditions!’
I liked Narinda. She was Ellie’s best friend and they had, along with Charlotte and Louisa, met while they were at secondary school together, forming a formidable ‘girl gang’ that had stood the test of time. Like everyone associated with my sister, Narinda was incredibly beautiful, with long, impossibly glossy black hair and almond-shaped brown eyes that set off her coffee-coloured skin perfectly. She looked like an exotic Indian princess and was nice too; funny, if a bit bonkers at times. I could tell she was making an effort with me and I was genuinely grateful, because she didn’t have to or anything, especially since this was supposed to be a holiday for her and her mates and the last thing she probably wanted was to chaperone her mate’s little sister who didn’t have any decent clothes to wear.
‘Give it here,’ Ellie said, tugging at the dress as I struggled to do up the zip. ‘There you go.’
I stood, slightly awkwardly, in front of the mirror and my heart sank. It was official: Ellie’s ‘IT’ dress, which made her look like a supermodel, hugging all the right places and giving her a cleavage to die for, made me look like a bag lady. The feather-soft chiffon fabric pulled and puckered at my hips, making it appear as if I had a big pair of granny knickers on underneath, and somehow it managed to make my curvy belly stick out even more than usual. In short, it was a disaster.
‘See, it looks fantastic!’ said Narinda, a little too brightly to be convincing.
‘Yeah, you look pretty,’ said Charlotte, adding, ‘honestly,’ even though I’d not said anything to suggest I didn’t believe her.
Ellie was the only one who was sort of truthful.
‘Hmm. Not sure if it’s you, Iz.’ She said it as light-heartedly as possible so as not to send me sobbing into the bathroom, which is exactly what I felt like doing.
With the show over, Louisa went back to straightening Charlotte’s hair and turned the stereo up. Ironically, it was playing ‘Dress You Up’ by Leanne, which was proving to be the club hit of the summer.
I bet Leanne doesn’t have this kind of problem, I thought to myself as Narinda began frantically pulling at the fabric around my hips in some vain attempt to make the dress fit better.
‘I look like I’m pregnant,’ I said, my voice cracking slightly as I rushed to take it off.
Louisa laughed and Ellie shot her a look as if to say shut up.
‘Well, thanks anyway,’ I said, handing the dress back to Ellie and feeling utterly crushed. ‘You wear it; it looks much better on you.’
‘Look, there’s some other stuff in my case,’ Ellie said softly. ‘Have a rummage; there’ll be something else.’
I knew that no matter what I tried on of Ellie’s I’d never look as good in it as she would. When it came to claiming killer figures, my elder sister must’ve caught the early bus and got the pick of the rack, while somehow I must’ve missed three in a row and got there just in time to pick up the dregs no one else wanted from the bargain bin. According to Mum, I’d inherited her side of the family’s shape while Ellie had lucked out and got our dad’s side. Mum called it the ‘Francis’s Roundness’ – all hips and no bust. And then there was the whole hair business too. When I’d demanded to know who was responsible for my unruly mass of long, dark-brown curls, Mum had replied that she had no idea because everyone had straight hair on both sides of our family, aside from my Auntie Maureen, whose hair was slightly wavy (although Mum wasn’t sure if this was due to having had a bad perm back in the Sixties). ‘It must be a throwback from somewhere down the line, a latent gene,’ she’d decided, which as you can imagine didn’t exactly make me feel a whole lot better.
I emptied my case out on the floor in frustration and looked at all the clothes I’d spent so much time and effort carefully choosing to bring with me, which now looked really tacky and crap and inappropriate for a glamorous and cool pool party.
‘So, d’you reckon Drogo will be there tonight?’ Charlotte asked no one in particular as Louisa continued to straighten her hair. ‘I think he’s cute.’
‘Charlie, Charlie, Charlie,’ said Ellie wearily with a warning tone in her voice that I was familiar with. ‘The man’s a player. You saw what he was like last year – after anything in a skirt . . .’
‘And trousers or shorts . . .’ added Narinda, giggling.
‘Still, Drogo or no Drogo,’ said Louisa, ‘it’s bound to be another night to remember, full of the most gorgeous Ibizan totty all waiting to be knocked sideways by our scintillating conversation and wowed by our ample charms!’ She grabbed her boobs and squished them together to accentuate her cleavage, and everyone laughed.
‘Yeah, it’s about bloody time we spent an evening talking to some exciting blokes for a change, eh, Ellie?’ said Charlotte, putting her tongue firmly in her cheek and winking at the others. Ellie was wise to Charlotte’s teasing though.
‘I’m just window-shopping tonight, ladies – looking but not buying.’
I knew that Ellie would never cheat on her boyfriend, Tom. They were far too much in love, although I couldn’t help but wonder how he felt about his beautiful girlfriend being on holiday with her almost-as-equally beautiful and very single mates. I wanted to say something to Charlotte, like how I knew that Tom and my sister were made for each other because I could see it in their eyes whenever they were together, but I thought it best to keep schtum as I wasn’t quite sure if I was allowed to join in or not.
From what I could gather from the conversation, Alfredo was somewhat of a face on Ibiza’s infamous party circuit and in the four years that Ellie and her gang had been coming here they’d never missed one of his show-stopping parties.
Great, I thought. I was about to go to what was fast sounding like the event of the century and I had nothing to wear. I knew that if Willow were here with me she’d have it sorted in seconds and make me feel better about the whole red dress episode earlier. I sighed. It had only been forty-eight hours and I missed her so much already.
I was last in the bathroom as I figured that was my place, and I would’ve only felt pressurised to get ready really quickly if one of the others had been waiting to go in after me so I didn’t really mind. I decided to do my make-up first and then tackle the whole hair-straightening business last, even though I knew that however much I attempted to iron out my curls, a few hours later it would revert back to looking like I’d stuck my finger in a plug socket and flicked the switch. I put on some mascara and applied an extra coat of my new watermelon-flavoured lip-gloss, my skin tingling from the warm shower and from the day’s sun. I spritzed my hair with serum, although I didn’t know why I was bothering. What I needed was a product specially made for me – ‘Anti Iz-Frizz’ or something. I sighed again and rubbed a little pink glitter over my eyelids and a sprinkling on my shoulders – not too much because I didn’t want to resemble ‘a tart lit up like a Christmas tree’, as Greg, Mum’s boyfriend, had so delightfully suggested one night as I was on my way out to meet Willow.
I was annoyed with myself for not feeling more excited about the pool party. Instead of feeling like the luckiest girl on the planet, which according to everyone else I was, I felt nervous and anxious. Would I stick out like a sore thumb? Who would I talk to and what would I say? Would I look stupid dancing and would everyone be watching me?
I wasn’t sure why I was so worried. I mean, it wasn’t like I’d never been to a party before.
‘Get a grip, Isabelle,’ I said aloud. ‘Isn’t this the kind of thing you’ve been waiting for? Hanging out with a cooler, older crowd?’
My thoughts were broken by a sudden knock at the door.
‘Only me, Iz,’ said Ellie in a sing-song voice. ‘Wow, your make-up looks fab,’ she said, sounding surprised, as I let her in. She was holding what looked like a dress in one hand and belt in the other.
‘It does?’ I said, trying not to sound too chuffed and failing.
‘Look, I reckon I’ve found you something to wear.’ She placed the dress and belt into my hands. I could tell she felt bad about what had happened earlier and I suddenly realised how sensitive my sister could be.
‘Oh, you don’t have to . . .’
‘Shut up, Izzy, and try it on,’ she said, rolling her eyes.
‘OK, but I’d rather do it alone this time, if you don’t mind.’
Ellie turned to walk out of the bathroom.
‘Els . . .’ I suddenly found myself saying.
‘Can I ask you something?’
‘No, you can’t borrow my new sandals as well.’
‘No, not that,’ I said, lowering my eyes uncomfortably. ‘I was just wondering about tonight . . .’
‘What about it?’
‘Well – will I, you know . . . Do you think I will . . . ?’
I really didn’t want Ellie to know I felt awkward and worried about tonight. I wanted to come across as confident and outgoing, someone she could hang out with and have a laugh with – a friend – but my nerves really had started to get the better of me.
‘Don’t be daft,’ she said, totally pre-empting what I was going to ask. ‘You’re going to look fab and we’ll all be there to —’
I knew she was about to say ‘look after you’, but she stopped short of actually saying it. ‘Anyway, it’ll be fun and I promise not to cramp your style,’ she mocked. ‘Now hurry up and get dressed,’ she said, her usual bossy tone reinstated. ‘You’re holding us up.’
She closed the door behind her and I began to inspect the little black dress. It had tiny puffed sleeves and a low neckline that I hoped was just low enough for it not to be too embarrassing. I’d admired it on Ellie on many occasions and would’ve settled for looking just half as fabulous in it as she had. I slipped it on over my head and let it slide down my body. The dress hugged my waist perfectly and then flared out from the hips a little. It was quite short, shorter than anything I usually wore, but it felt good. Really good. I took the belt, which was leather with a big brass round buckle, and wrapped it round my waist as I stood back from the mirror and examined myself. I looked different, but I wasn’t sure how exactly. Glamorous? Sexy, even? Looking back at myself in the mirror I felt a sudden burst of confidence. The dress gave me an older, more glamorous vibe, like I might actually belong in Ellie’s effortlessly cool girl gang. I checked my bra straps weren’t on show and cheekily spritzed myself all over with Louisa’s big bottle of Angel perfume, which she’d left on top of the basin. I took a final deep breath. Perhaps tonight wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
lfredo’s villa was set back among a sea of lush olive groves, high up on the cliffs, causing the clapped-out old banger of a taxi we were all squashed in to pop and groan and heave up the steep hill.
‘Are we almost there yet?’ I asked hopefully, my bum all but gone to sleep.
‘Not long now,’ said Charlotte, pointing to the imposing white house in the near distance. ‘Beautiful, isn’t it? Just wait until you get inside.’
My heart was beating so fast in my chest I swore if the car hadn’t been making such a racket, Ellie, whose lap I was sitting on, would’ve heard it. It was all beginning to sink in fast. I was really here, in Ibiza, in the back of a cab with my sister and her cool friends, just about to go to a private pool party. It was all a bit surreal, especially since this time last week Willow and I had been chilling out at
How things change in a week, I thought. But then I knew that already, what with my dad and the whole ‘Toby scenario’. Even though I’d promised myself I wasn’t going to think about Toby Parker, I found my thoughts sub-consciously, and somewhat annoyingly, drifting in his direction.
* * *
Toby and I had got together on the fifteenth of March, the night of Sarah Ferris’s birthday. We’d been together for less than two and a half months which, by my standards, was nothing short of a marriage, when he unceremoniously and suddenly broke it off. His dumping text message had read: IZ. AM SO SOZ BUT ITS NOT WRKING OUT BTWEEN US. STILL WANT 2 B M8S BUT FINK WE SHLD CALL IT A DAY.
‘What an absolute tosser,’ Willow had said furiously when I had shown her the text and although I tried not to let her see how bothered I was, she knew that secretly I was gutted. What was even more galling was that Toby had been the one to do all the chasing at first.
Toby played football for a local team and had huge hazelnut eyes and long eyelashes, but when all was said and done I wasn’t that bothered about him. It wasn’t until we started talking properly that he began to grow on me – ‘like fungus’ as Willow had later put it.
Willow, on the other hand, had fancied Toby’s mate, Joe Jenkins, for what seemed like a lifetime. Joe had a bit of a reputation for being a bad boy. He drank too much beer and got into fights for no reason. Not only that, Willow was different when she was around him, although I couldn’t put my finger on how exactly. Their relationship was more off and on than a light switch, and I’d never met a couple who checked up on each other as much as they did. At that time, they were indefinitely off, due to the fact that Willow had discovered Joe had been secretly texting another girl. Wils never knew where she stood with Joe – a situation which would’ve driven me nuts – and as a result she was always stressed out about him. For me, relationships were all about trust. Going out with someone meant finding a soulmate; having a laugh and chilling out together, being friends and sharing things, not worrying yourself sick that they might go off with someone else as soon as your back is turned.