THE PHOTOGRAPH ALBUM - FINAL PART

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Adult Romance  |  House: Booksiesilk Classic Group

The story enters its finale describing how accepting she is becoming of her present fate. BUT?

When Jill awoke she double checked the door was bolted and that the curtains were full closed, before stripping off the teeshirt she'd slept in.  She had a wee in the washbasin first and then rinsed it thoroughly, before putting put a towel on the floor and proceeding  to wash herself from head to toe, drying herself with a clean towel as she went. When she'd finished she refilled the basin and washed her hair. A look in the mirror persuaded her to dye her roots.

As she sat on the edge of the bed, head wrapped in an old towel, waiting for the dye to take, she noticed the photo album that she'd left on the floor, and lazily picked it up. She opened it at the page she'd marked with a Rizla cigarette paper and recalled her time as a TV personality.

She had rented nice flats first in Leeds and then in Manchester to be near the studios. Filming the weekly episodes was time consuming and relentless. Tony stayed with her a lot, and they spent too much time in nightclubs, drinking and eating out. The pace of life and the late night revelry took its toll.  Tony always had the answer.

"Take this, it'll calm you down",-

"Here, have a line of coke, it'll pick you up ". -

"Try one of these if you're too coked up to sleep, they'd put a rampaging elephant to sleep."

"Come on Jill it's late we have a premiere to go to".

Somehow however she was doing alright on the set of the soap. Perhaps because her character mirrored her wild child lifestyle. Jenna was nearly as popular as Kayla had been for all the opposite reasons, the Makeup department worked wonders trying to hide the ravages of her lifestyle.

Her contract rolled into its second year, The delighted producer loved her, and there was no pressure to 'earn' another year. To be honest he was so nice she sometimes wished he would proposition her again.  She would have happily done anything for him - Tony appeared to be losing interest, he stayed less often and their love making was becoming more of a duty than a pleasure. Then at the beginning of her third year, Tony picked her up from work one day.

"Have you heard of Harry Potter Jill?" enthused Tony as he whisked her into his Porche. "I've got you a part in the next film." Tony's grin was almost frightening. "Better still, Tom Cruise saw your showreel, he wants you for a part in the remake of War of the Worlds! - Put your notice in at Granada sweet cheeks, they want us there in Hollywood next month."

 

So there I was, a Hollywood film star, well if you can call a thirty second scene of me being swept away at night, in a raging torrent pursued by giant three legged metal spiders, being a Hollywood Star

"I never even saw Tom Cruise, let alone met him." They were living the Hollywood life style, she thought, and it had cost her most of the money she'd saved while doing TV work, to pay for flights and hotels for Tony and herself."No expenses this time." Tony said as he sloshed back champagne surrounded by Disney starlets.

As for Harry Potter, well she did have a small part as one of Hermione's classmates, and the cast were very friendly. She kissed the picture of Harry. Ron Weasley and Hermione taken on set. She'd carried it about proudly for too long and now it looked crumpled and faded.

Jill rinsed away her dye and towelled her hair to let it dry in naturally. She'd had it cut short to make it easier to wear wigs and change her appearance when she danced in 'those pole dancing clubs'. The thought of the learing men shoving fivers into her bikini bottoms brought her mood crashing." 

Just checking if the collar and cuffs match was the usual excuse as they pulled the front forward and gazed popeyed at her shaved mound.  Such sad creatures,  yet so was she, flashing her bits to put food on the table and buy a little weed to numb the depression."A bit like Me" Jill repeated out loud.

She had drawn the line at accepting BIG money for providing extras, perhaps there was alittle bit of self esteem left in her. 

She put the kettle on and spooned some instant coffee into her mug. That will sort me out she thought. Her phone chimed. It was a text from Margo of all people.

*VERY IMPORTANT JILLY - PHONE ME - URGENT*

She hadn't seen Margo since she left the soap seventeen years ago. She took her coffee and sat down staring at the message as if it was going to talk to her. Her eyes fell once more on the pictures in the Album.

Margo had told Jill not to let Tony Manage her, She said she knew her better and could keep her feet on the ground. If not her she could recommend other reliable agents who would put Jilly first.

"I'm going to get ready and Phone Margo" she thought as she imagined a new TV role, or even some catalogue modelling.  She began to make an effort to look more like Kayla and less like Jenna. She moved the Photograph Album and the page flopped over.

PAGE 14-15

Jill Sinclair stared at the photographs on the album and a tear ran down her cheek

Jill Sinclair stared at the photographs on the album and a tear ran down her cheek. "Sublime to the ridiculous" she thought as the first and last shoots that she had dome for Rimmel stared her in the face.

Well, let's see what is so important she thought and pressed the callback button
on her phone,

"How had Margo got her number?" She wondered, it rang for three rings and then the familiar voice of Margo, recognisable even after so long, asked uncertainly "Hello. Is that Jill Sinclair?

A shiver ran down Jill's spine, Margo had never called her Jill. It was always Jilly. Something must be wrong!

After the films fiasco, Jill moved to London "to be in the best place for her big break" Tony said

He found her a flat that had everything, and cost the earth. She got by on parts in TV commercials, Chat show appearances and royalties from old shows,

She had resorted to doing 'Extras' work in an attempt to keep up with the Bills. Her drug habit became a problem. The lucrative Rimmel lipstick adverts were no longer her bread and butter. She looked at the Portly housewife in the picture for the constipation advertisement. That was when the bulimia had started.

"Yes Margo its me", Jill said nervously, "how lovely to hear your voice again,- I've missed you, how long has it been?

"About fifteen years sweetheart." Said Margo in a very tense voice "Look can we meet - this is something that I can't tell you over the phone."

"Give me your address and I'll come over this morning! It really is urgent."

Jill was now very concerned. Margo had always been so 'together' she sounded panicky, but Jill thought "No way she can come to this shit hole, what would she think"

"Sorry Margo, I'm out on a job just now, I can meet you in the town centre at dinner time, lets say half twelve in Weatherspoons?"

"Ok" said Margo "I look forward to seeing you, please be sober." And hung up

What was she to tell her former mentor, what did Margo mean by "Please be Sober" Had Margo heard of her fall from grace?  Of course she had!

She hurried to find the sort of clothes that a successful actress would wear, but mostly she saw Primark cheap dresses, leggings and blouses. Eventually she dug out a jacket, blouse and pleated skirt and a 'designer' Primani handbag. She found a pair of tights and some half decent shoes.

Jill pondered on how Tony had left her when the bulimia had become too bad, he also left her with debts totalling thousands and a bankruptcy hearing. She had no money, no home, very few real friends and a suicidal depression.

Tony now had a new protege who was going to be the next big star, a nineteen year old from Essex who had made a big impression in a TV reality programme. He still had a Porche and designer clothes and a big house in Cheshire that he had before he even met Jill.

Jill went into Weatherspoons a little late, she had no money to buy a drink, She was relieved to see Margo standing chatting to one of the staff. She was instantly recognisable, but carried the hallmarks of being in her mid sixties.

She walked straight to Jill gave her a warm hug and led her to a table in a corner. The barmaid she had been chatting with brought two orange juices over to their table,

Before Jill could put on her I'm fine act Margo held her hand up and said Just listen. She took Jills hand and began to speak very quietly.

"Ive had the devil of a job tracking you down dear" she began "and I know all about your troubles, The eating disorder, the attempted. suicide, the work in sleazy strip bars."

"I never expected to find you so close to home. Your Mother asked me to find you, she is seriously ill and is not expected to recover." Margo continued in a very deliberate explanation.  Jill stayed silent, fighting back a tear.

"Your Dad disappeared two years ago to avoid a serious fraud investigation. He is believed to have been 'silenced' by criminal parties he owed money to. Sorry Jill but I needed to say it all at once,"

Finally she squeezed Jil's shaking hand and explained "Your mother has a thriving business, she isn't rich but she is comfortable and content. All she wants is her Jilly back before she....... "

Margo left the sentence hanging.

Jill Said "Where is she now, please can I see her?"

"Of course" said Margo, "How about now?" pulling a single photo from her hand bag. "She sent you this".

PAGE 16

Jill Sinclair stared at the photograph inside a poly pocket, noticing the the painted toenails even at that age and read the hand written words in the corner at the bottom. (Jill aged 2).

Tears again began to drip from her chin as she recalled the words to an old Al Stewart song.

"That faintly coy expression has now gone without a trace,  oh theres little of it buried in the ruins of her face"

Thats me she thought as she gave Margo a faintly coy smile and wiped the tears from her cheeks. "Time to get real."

"Ok Dame Margo" Jill said bravely, "what now?"

Margo said "Give me a few moments to make a call, I'll be right back." and she went off in the direction of the toilets. Jill made a brave effort to repair her makeup and sipped at her orange juice. A man in his late thirties came across and said in a concerned tone "Are you OK? Would you like me to call someone for you?"

It seemed different to the usual pick up lines she got.  She was expecting the 'Are you that Kayla off the telly' line.  She smiled and said Quietly. "Oh I've just had a bit of a shock, my friend will be back soon, but thank you for your concern."

A lady came across and linked his arm, "Everything Alright love?" she asked both of them, my boyfriend thought you might have been upset, so I asked him to check on you. I Hope you didnt mind.?"

Suddenly Jill felt comfortable, smiled and said "Thats so kind of you, I feel a bit stupid now, bit of a Drama Queen!" The Lady said "No worries, I'm Karen" and gave Jill a hug "It's a hard life you know, but it is the only one we've got." At that point Margo reappeared and came over. "Friends of yours Jilly?" she smiled

"Sadly, no Margo, but I would be happy to have friends like them" replied a smiling Jill. "Thank you Karen and er....." "Ray" said the man, "lovely to meet you, - you know I thought I'd recognised you from somewhere, - I don't normally come over the way I did, hope you don't mind too much?"

Jill waited for the probing questions. They didn't come, the couple smiled and said goodbye to Margo then left arm in arm. "The world is filled with Nice people Jill" lectured Margo "You must learn how to recognise them."

"I've made a couple of calls and we can visit your Mum at four o'clock." Margo told her "She is really looking forward to seeing you. -BUT- I should warn you, she is hoping for you to make some difficult decisions."

Jill was in a bit of a tailspin, too much happening in too many places involving too many people She took out the photo her Mum had sent and thought "The only person who ever gave me reliable advice is Margo, she took a deep breath straightened her back and spoke in a purposeful voice. "Margo, please will you help me. If you never do another thing for me, tell me what is the right thing to do. I will do it!" Margo raised an eyebrow "Help Me Please Margo"

"OK" said Margo, "here's my suggestions. Your Mother is in a care home, she needs someone to look after her, she would like you to move into her house and support the carers who will come. Margo paused and looked at Jill. Jill nodded

"She would like you to keep an eye on her business interests but most of all to be her daughter. She promises not to ask any questions of you, and asks that you do the same."

"Do you think I can do it Margo?" asked Jill, looking for reassurance

"I'll tell you what I think" said Margo "We should go and get your stuff and take it to your new home, then go and tell Mum you would love to help her - Can you do that?" - "Lets go" said Jill

She threw her stuff into black bin bags, she didn't have much, she put her photo albums in a box and loaded them into the back of Margo's car. She took the little bag of skunk and the baggie of coke from the plant pot.

"Give me a minute," she said, and ran upstairs to Eric's room. "I'm off mate, thanks for everything - here". She pushed the the gear into his hand and said "I've left the door open, do me a favour and put the gas meter right." He just stood stoned and stared, so she kissed him on the cheek and ran downstairs.

One last thing Margo, can you stop down the road at the Garage. She dropped the bedsit keys back to Richie, an old school friend from way back who had been the only one willing to rent her a property. "Good luck Jillian" he said shaking her hand. "Bloody hell Rich nobodies called me Jillian since school!"  She pulled him over and hugged him. "Thanks for everything." - "Good luck" he said - and he meant it.

 She stuck her head into the corner shop, Adnan smiled what now 'Miss Trouble' he asked smiling. Jill said "I'm moving home Adnan, here's a present to thank you for all your kindness." She handed him an envelope. "To remember me by" she winked

"Jill walked into the room at the care home. Her mother was ready, her hair was brushed, her make up giving her some colour. Her eyes sparkled when she saw her. "JILL" was all she said, her delight was obvious, no more words were needed.

"Come on Mum we're going home to get you better. Replied Jill "I've got a picture for your handbag. A newer one." She handed her the photograph. And hugged her. Then they both went home - "back to the future" said Jill.

EPILOGUE

The story is up to date, We may look again at some time but one year after their reunion things are looking ok.

MUM IS RECOVERING WELL FROM HER KIDNEY TRANSPLANT


JILLIAN SINCLAIR IS STUDYING PHARMACEUTICALS TO HELP HER WITH THE BUSINESS.

JILLIAN SINCLAIR IS STUDYING PHARMACEUTICALS TO HELP HER WITH THE BUSINESS

MARGO IS HER BEST FRIEND NOW

MARGO IS HER BEST FRIEND NOW

ADNAN OPENS HIS 'PRESENT

HAVE WE SEEN THE LAST OF JILL?
- THAT REMAINS AN OPEN DOOR

 In my story, many of my characters are based on real events and people who I know or knew, including Jill.

I enjoy feedback so feel free to comment, and if you would like to read more of my writing, look out for 'Its a girls world'  and 'Teenage Kicks' coming soon

Thank You......... Graham


Submitted: January 13, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Graham Makem. All rights reserved.

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