I feel breathless, is all I will admit to.
“There.” He sounds satisfied. “See?”
Linus doesn’t sound breathless. He just sounds interested, like I proved a point which now he’ll tell his friends about or write up in his blog or whatever. He leaps to his feet and says, “So, I’ll see you,” and the spell is broken.
“Yeah. See you.”
“Your mum will chase me out of the house in a minute. I’d better go.”
I hunch towards the sofa corner, determined not to give away how I kind of wish he’d stay.
“Oh. Um,” I say as he reaches the door. “Maybe I could interview you for my documentary.”
“Oh yeah?” He pauses. “What’s that?”
“I have to make this documentary, and I’m supposed to interview people who come to the house, so…”
“OK. Cool. Whenever. I’ll be back after…you know. When Frank can play games again.”
He disappears and I stay motionless for a while, wondering if he’ll come back or send me any more notes, or a message via Frank or whatever.
Which of course he doesn’t.
MY SERENE AND LOVING FAMILY—FILM TRANSCRIPT
INTERIOR. 5 ROSEWOOD CLOSE. DAY.
The camera approaches the door of the study. It edges inside. Dad is sitting at his desk. His eyes are closed. On his screen is a different Alfa Romeo car.
Dad? Are you asleep?
Dad jumps and opens his eyes.
Of course I’m not asleep. Just working here. Getting some work done.
He moves his mouse and clicks off the Alfa Romeo car.
I’m supposed to interview you.
Great! Fire away.
He swivels his chair round to face the camera and gives a cheesy smile.
The life and times of Chris Turner, accountant to the stars.
No you’re not.
Dad looks defensive.
OK, accountant to several medium-sized firms, one in media. I do get tickets to concerts.
And you all met those TOWIE people, remember? At the Children in Need event?
It’s OK, Dad, I think your job is cool.
You could ask me about my rowing at college.
He casually flexes a bicep.
Still got it. Or you could ask me about my band.
Right. Yes. The…Turtles?
The Moonlit Turtles. Moonlit. I gave you the CD, remember?
Yes! It’s great, Dad.
Dad has an idea. He points at the camera, almost speechless with excitement.
I have it! You want a sound track for your film? I can give you one, free of charge. Original music, performed by the Moonlit Turtles, one of the most exciting student acts of the 1990s!
Or I could choose my own music…
No! Sweetheart, I want to HELP. This way we work together. It’ll be a family project. It’ll be fun! I’ll buy the software, we’ll edit it together, you can choose your favourite songs…
He has called up a playlist on his computer.
Let’s have a listen now. Tell me your favourite song, we’ll put it on, play around.
My favourite song of all time?
No! Your favourite song by the Moonlit Turtles. Your favourite song that your old Dad performs in. You must have one? A favourite?
Long pause. Dad looks at the camera expectantly.
You told me you listened to the CD over and over on your iPod.
I did! All the time. So. Um. Favourite song. There are so many.
I think it would have to be…the loud one.
The one with the…um. Drums. It’s really good.
The camera starts to back away as a heavy rock track powers through the room. Dad is nodding his head along.
Yes! Exactly! It’s great. So good. Dad, I have to go…
The camera retreats out of the room.
As I go to bed that night I’m thinking about Linus, I’m trying to picture myself greeting him at the front door when he comes round next. Like other people do. Normal people. I mean, I know how the script should go:
“How’s it been going?”
Maybe a high five. Maybe a hug. Definitely a pair of smiles.