It appears that Country Strong won't be in UK cinemas until March. All I have to say to that is, 'I'MA KILL YOU FOR LEAVING ME IN THE GARRETT-RELATED LURCH, BITCHES'...also known as 'now I'm really mad'. I felt I needed some Beau/Chiles to cheer me up, so I tried to write angst for these two, but it was kind of like trying to ladle wasabi onto a cream bun. So here, for your perusal, is some angff, also known as flungst. The title is courtesy of the indomitable Patsy Cline.

He Called Me Baby

She never had a choice in the matter.


When you're born pretty, pretty is how you survive. You thrive on that beauty; you push it to its limits to feed you and clothe you and make you somebody worth knowing. You drain your beauty dry and squeeze every last royalty from it so that when it's gone, money is there to solve everything. You'll still have that one, pageant-worthy 'talent'. You'll still have the tiaras. You'll still have the sashes hanging on your wall, more yearned after and cared for than any lover, any sister or any friend.

You'll have nothing and everything.

"You look intense."

She raises her head, smiles. "Just thinking."


She pleats her skirt between her fingers, eyes a bitten quick and a stubby nail. She has to be perfect, always has been, but this is her one – obvious – vice. One nail, one finger, nibbled on by nerves and tucked into the palm of the hand not holding the microphone. "Nothing important."

"Are you nervous?"

"I don't get nervous, Beau."

He takes the seat beside her, long legs out before him in quaintly dusted boots with his hat tipped down over one eye. "Everyone gets nervous."

"Not about the same things."

"Missing a note? Breaking a string? Falling?"

"Failing," she replies. "I've always come in first. Always. If you don't win, then you don't finish. If you don't finish, then where are you? Start of the track, back of the line: that's where." She risks a glance at him, and his blue eyes look back without the same hardness she sees in her own. "I don't want to be forgotten. I don't want to be some one hit wonder who sang a cute song and then faded into the background and is now raising some trucker's babies in a backwater somewhere."

"You couldn't marry a trucker," he replies.


"Truckers don't play guitar."

She laughs. "And because you do, that makes it a deal breaker?"

"Who said we were talking about me?"

"No one."


"I'm on." She smoothes her blouse, stands up, doesn't look at him. "I'm on. I'll see you later."

'Tell me what you want.'

But there are no words for the unspoken, no right lines to walk.