Chapter 4

Chapter 4

A Chapter by Paris Kim

Returning back from San Francisco would be more hectic than I believed it would be. After reaching Bournemouth Airport I was met by Jameson, my chauffeur who I had called up earlier on my flight to bring in my Mercedes to the front of the terminal. I admired Lucas Jameson. He had been under my employment a mere six years so far, and in that time has been a competent son-of-a-b***h. He’s always punctual, hasn’t asked for a raise all throughout his services, and of course as the job had implied, a right safe driver.

So Jameson waited in front of the Mercedes as I walked through the gates into the car park. He was dressed casually in a blazer and khaki trousers, because I really had no requirements for any uniforms. I’m not that degrading.

“Afternoon, Sir,” Jameson greeted me with spirits and a casual grin. What a bloke.

“Oi Jameson,” I said indifferently, handing over my luggage to the man, and as he placed the load in the back I sat myself securely and comfortably in the driver’s seat before Jameson would resume the position.

“You sure you want to drive, Sir?” he asked. “Won’t jet lag take the better of you?”
I sighed and assured the man that I would perform perfectly well on the road. “I still have enough energy to make myself want to get home. I’m eager to test her out.” On the way out of Bournemouth I commenced talking with Jameson, about the conduct of things back at Pewesbury, such as my cars, the estate-- tourists.

“Bloody gits, the bunch they are!” I expressed to Jameson when he gave me a summary about the one Swedish family and a group of Japanese people that stopped at the front gates of my home. “I’m f**k-all compared to the Duke of Devon in Derby! At least spare me. It’s just a house, I mean.”

“But a very historic and remarkable beauty,” my passenger replied. “I couldn’t blame the whole lot for wanting a glance. If anything you ought to blame yourself.”

“Me?” I said rather dramatically.

“Yes, Sir, you bought the estate,” Jameson pointed out. “But you did make an excellent choice. Pewesbury is about right 200 years old; it needs some new young modern master of the house once in awhile. I dare say you’re just the man.”

“I have been lucky, haven’t I Jameson?” I asked him with a friendly mocking regard. “I helped the music business and did my share of charity, and in return they knighted me and helped me thence-- get a lovely house, a smashing life, a fun and gorgeous girlfriend--”

“Oh, about Miss Perry, Sir,” Jameson then interrupted in an uneasy tone. “if you please.”

“What is it that she wants now?” I threw out, knowing that with Jameson’s tone of that sort regarding anything about Clarissa Perry, one of BBC’s favorite actresses and my girlfriend of seventeen months, was never a positive thing.

Jameson sighed and said stiffly, “She’s been feeling uneasy about you. She came over to Pewesbury the other night asking after you and when you would be back. Then she started moving some things out of the place.”

“Why the f**k would she do a thing like that?” I said, not exactly the least bit concerned in my tone. “Getting bored of Pewesbury and always coming over?”

Jameson arched his brows and said to me straightforward, “She didn’t say anything else, but I’m pretty sure she could be getting bored with you.”

My mouth did drop open at this remark, but I straightened up and told Jameson, “Why would she be? I’ve offered her loads of s**t to please her and make her content with her lifestyle, so why the hell would she forfeit all that?”

“I would just hold my breath, Sir, if anything,” Jameson warned.

“Please, Jameson, if anything I shouldn’t be bothered,” I assured the elderly man. “Clarissa and I haven’t even reached the two-year marking in our relationship. She wouldn’t be leaving anytime soon. You, know, Jameson,” I said, changing my tone to a more personal and friendly one, “after all, your job requirement is to drive me about and care for my cars, and not offer advice on any uncertain omens.”
            Jameson laughed and replied good-naturedly, “Well Sir, I am offering, and thence it don’t mean you need to be taking advice.”
            “Damn right I don’t need to.”
            “And secondly, I’m not driving, am I?”

In return, I laughed and said simply in return, “True. Now, would you mind turning on the Kasabian album already in the disc player? God, meeting those blokes was something.”

But the warning actually did turn out to be true (the sod, Jameson could be!). I reached my grand estate of ninety-tow acres Pewesbury Park, only to find my personal assistant and housekeeper (pretty much I like to use modern terms of professions rather than the likes of “butler”), Tom Rowles, was out�"but he had let my girlfriend Clarissa in.

I found her in my bedroom, moving back and forth from the closet carrying her clothes out onto the bed where they would be packed off in grand amounts of Louis Vuitton luggage bags, which I ironically purchased for her purposely for our trip to Cambodia last spring. On top of things she looked pretty pissed off packing so much up.

She heard me come into the bedroom, but without looking up at me replied rather harshly, “Oh, brilliant! Look at who just came off fresh from the place! My a*****e of a boyfriend no doubt. Tell me, how was the States? Gallivanting around and not even inviting me along for the bloody ride!”

Sighing, rolling my eyes I said to her, “Look, Claire, you couldn’t come along anyways. I mean, you had a show to film instead.”
            “I could’ve gotten out of it! What? Would I embarrass you or something quite s****y of the sort for some idea of an excuse?”

“No one would really even know you, babe. I was America, for christ-sake! Do you really think they’d watch BBC over American Idol? Don’t count on it.”

Clarissa stopped in her tracks and closed her eyes. She was thinking, I could tell for sure, though I didn’t know what. You never could tell with women!

“That’s it then, innit?” she said to me. “Regardless of whether I’m seen as famous or not you won’t take me along! Are you embarrassed of me?”

It was rather amusing hearing her in this way. I mean, she was on television as Britain’s most brainless brunette on some sitcom about yuppies in Soho, so yes I was rather embarrassed. Why the hell else would I not be? I just didn’t care really if she came with me or not to California. I honestly thought she wouldn’t be able to come due to shooting an episode for her s****y sitcom. I certainly wasn’t to blame.

“Of course I’m not embarrassed, love,” I said in return. “What do you want from me then Claire? You make enough money without me�"”

“Well,” she threw her hands up in the air, “at least you’re telling me now I’m not some f*****g w***e!” Oh god, I just wanted her to stop.

“Can’t I finish?” I lost patience. “Seriously, what more can I do? For a year and a half now I’ve tried. Basically what the hell are you leaving now for?”
            She huffed at me. “Because I don’t feel important to you. I need to feel secure in your commitment as a boyfriend, but recently you’ve given f**k-all about me.”
            My jaw dropped. “Christ-sake, Clarissa,were we supposed to get married?”

Now this really sent her over the edge. “I should have liked to make that happen!” I looked straight at her and asked, “God, do you absolutely really believe every word you’re saying?”

Her eyes grew wide. For christ-sake, she was on a sitcom�"she shouldn’t have believed a word she said. Admittedly even in reality she could be quite daft. God, I really spent nearly two years with her?

“See? That’s exactly the attitude and s**t I no longer need right now!” she fumed at me, violently shoving her belongings in her luggage and started moving them out downstairs. I followed close behind, trying to tell her that I really didn’t mean all the s**t I said in the bedroom. It wasn’t that I was upset over losing her, I just felt bad about being a bit of an a*****e. Like I said, she’s in a sitcom, so she couldn’t possibly take in the reality. What was happening was reality, and she certainly wasn’t taking the situation so well.

“Just please, shut the hell up, Geoff!” she snapped at me, heading out the doorway. “You’re just so god-damn instable! God, I can’t stand it. Live up to be serious, be meaningful! You’re almost thirty-four, for christ-sake!”

Inanely, I said to her, “Well, love, thirty is the new twenty. And I kind of like it, eh?”
            Her cheeks were flushed as she took one last good look at me and said vicious, “Go f**k yourself. Good riddance, Sir!” Walking to her badly-parked BMW 530, I shrugged and said back at her, “Cheers then, Clarissa. Hope you do find a twat willing to die for you you, because if he did want you, there wouldn’t be much to live for then, innit?”

She rubbed her engine real hard and sped off out down the long road to the estate gates.

After watching her go I walked back into the house, going down the hall to my music room, where I kept my CD and record collection and all sorts of musical antiquities, from my 18th century harpsichord to the set of various African drums and a pair of Gibson guitars once used by the Beatles. In the room over was my private recording studio which I hadn’t really used in months, save for my awkward experimenting in sounds. I selected a record of one of Echo and the Bunnymen’s earliest albums and played it on my vintage 1942 record player that I restored and re-mastered to meet the requirements of modern technology. When that didn’t go so well I put the record back and began experimenting with various random chords on my grand piano.

I did this little exercise for quite some time, dreading to watch the telly should Clarissa’s sodding show appear on the screen. I soon heard footsteps a little later in the evening, but by the polite steady beat of the footsteps I knew instinctively it was my personal assistant Tom Rowles.

Tom was in his mid-fifties as with Jameson and the gardener, but he was the closest person under my service that I couldn’t continue without. He used to work with my family’s business back in the day, on the Board in fact. When it was thought that I would work for the Armstrong brewery, it was Tom who showed me how things were in conduct about the factory and such, but more than apprenticeship our relationship was more on a friendly note. But then a few years back, before I came to knighthood, Tom left his position and disappeared for awhile. When I moved to London I managed to locate him; he was alone, keeping a beautiful Georgian four-story and breeding a modest amount of Dalmatians. After a few years of the whole breeding business, which was a little after I was knighted, I requested his service as a personal adviser. However after the first year of managing expenses and business contracts, and purchasing Pewesbury, I really didn’t require anymore of Tom’s input, rather than now a helping hand to manage the estate and on occasion affairs. Thence Tom because more an assistant less than an adviser.

Tom came into the music room, finding me sitting slouched at the bench still playing at the instrument.

“Sir,” Tom greeted me in a professional tone.

“Why did you let her come into the bloody house?” I stiffly asked him.

“She was persistent,” Tom explained, removing his coat and ensconced himself on the adjacent chaise. “Besides, I was hoping that her time spent would get her out before you arrived home.”
            “That wasn’t the case, however, was it?” I continued playing chords until the F major key jammed on me; from there I went to the bar in the far corner of the room (I always thought there wasn’t a finer connection between drinks and music!) and poured two glasses of the family ale, handing the other glass over to Tom.

“Did you really think, Sir,” Tom then commenced, after taking a swift down of his ale, “that Miss Perry would be around forever?”
            I thought for a second, took a drink, and replied modestly, “No, of course not. I mean, I’m not destined for marriage�"at least for the time being. I just feel like a wanker for making poor Claire think I was. I just thought she was just as free-spirited and independent as I am. I guessed wrong then, didn’t I?”
            “If you feel in such a way,” Tom continued, “then don’t you worry even further on the matter. If Miss Perry left�"you even said it yourself, ‘so be it.’ We’ll all sort this out in the morning. Just give her a call, sort things out and make final arrangements�"then it’s all settled. But that shall all pass in the morning. What say you to going on to sleep for a bit, Sir? You just came from a long flight back, if you don’t mind my saying.”
            But come to think of it, I really didn’t want to go to sleep�"I didn’t feel so tired after all. “No, no,” I then told Tom, “I think I’ll just sit here for awhile, examine the record collection, if you understand.”

“All good then,” Tom said, standing up with his still full glass of ale. “I’ll be examining the post that came this morning then, in case those record companies have anything to say about your services.” He left me alone, to simply sit there, drink, and think about the day, and its events. God, I even fell asleep some time.

Then I got the most awkward and random idea into my head the next morning, one which I actually went through with. Upon awaking, the only thing I wanted to do was pick up the phone and dial my mate George’s number.

© 2011 Paris Kim

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Added on March 7, 2011
Last Updated on March 7, 2011


Paris Kim
Paris Kim

San Francisco, CA

an optimistic college student who takes her life growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and turns it into truthful fiction. always finding a way to smile and laugh and make the most of anything thro.. more..

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A Chapter by Paris Kim