Sugar Rush - Series Three- Kim's point of view
Why is everyone so fucked up?
I mean, seriously. Take a look at my life so far.
By the time I got to fifteen years old, I was not only a virgin, not only a complete loser, but queer and in love with my best straight friend Sugar - the most beautiful girl in Brighton. My brother Matt, (he was eight at the time but now he's nearly twelve) spent most of his time painting himself, you heard right, accidentally took an overdose which was completely my fault, and in general is just a very strange child. My mum- otherwise known as Stella - fucked the decorator I was planning to shag to take my mind off Sugar, and my dad - Nathan - only found out when he caught crabs (which weren't even from Stella in the first place), and then my brother turned into a transvestite and my parents are swingers. Oh, and I forgot to mention, six months ago Stella had a baby.
That's right. A baby.
The one thing I can say about baby Dylan is that he is in fact my father's child. Looking at him now, in his little blue moses basket, as I shake a rattle above his head and his huge blue eyes - Stella's eyes - follow it - I wonder what's going to happen to the poor little shit when he realises what he's let himself in for by being the fastest swimmer of the bunch.
"Kim, darling?" It's Stella - from the kitchen - calling me. She emerges at the sliding glass doors in between the kitchen and living room, cigarette in one hand and glass of red wine in the other - she never learns. "What?" I snap - if I'm honest, it's my usual response.
"Can you keep an eye on the kids tonight -" she looks briefly at baby Dylan, who at the sight of her is clapping his hands crazily on his legs and has an enormous grin on his face (he's a really weird baby at times, he thinks Stella is great) - "me and your dad are going out for dinner."
"I was meant to be going to Saints -"
"Well, you can go tomorrow. I'll give you forty quid." she winks at me, turns away, makes her way back into the kitchen and shuts the doors behind her - I don't have a choice, in other words.
Before I can text Saint, my dad appears at the living room door, giving me a wide eyed stare. I look up at him and shake my head - as if to say - what now? But he shakes his head urgently. And from behind him, appears my brother, dressed to impress in Stella's best t-shirt and mini skirt. His hair has always grown ridiculously quickly, and in the past six months its just about touching his shoulders - his nails are painted red and he's sporting lipstick. He gives me a girlish wave and plonks down in the arm chair next to the TV. "I've got to talk to you all," he says.
Nathan sits down beside me, and Stella comes back from the kitchen to listen at the door. Matt beckons her in. "Mum - come here. Sit down. There's something you've got to know."
Stella barely bats an eyelid - she never does - but Nathan's on edge. He's rubbing his trouser legs ferociously, and he's looking at Stella.
"Go on," I say, picking up Dylan, who has started squawking, and rocking him. God knows I might as well be his mother sometimes.
"Well." Matt gets to his feet, folds his arms, begins to pace. "I've been feeling this way for a while now - and I've decided. I want -" he gulps - "I need to be a girl."
"Well you're already dressing like one, darling -" Stella starts, but I hush her.
"No. Not on a part time basis. I need to do this for real." He looks at us all as we stare at him blankly. No one says anything. We can't.
"From now on," Matt closes his eyes and sighs - "I would like to be referred to as Martine."
There's a deafening silence before Stella finally speaks up. "That's fine with me, sweetheart. But there's one thing I have to ask -" I wave a hand in her direction to shut her up. "Are you absolutely sure about this?" I ask Matthew, or Martine, concerned. "I mean- have you thought it through properly?"
"Kim-" he turns to me and stares seriously into my eyes - Matthew is the only one of the three of us to inherit dad's sorrowful chocolate brown eyes and dark hair, and in that moment he looks more pained - more beautiful - than I had ever seen him look. "I've thought about it. I can't go on like this. I need this life."
I stand up, not quite sure what to do - I pass Dylan to Stella - Nathan's got his head in his hands - and I walk up to Matt. "Come here." I step forward and gently touch his shoulder, but he shrugs away. "I'm sorry, Kim. I can't."
I nod, hurt, but I understand completely. Matt and I have a turbulent - and very much - love/hate relationship. But now I think I loved him more than I ever had in my life. I was finally starting to understand him. Or her, as I would have to begin referring to him as Martine. It was going to be difficult. But maybe not as difficult as it was now later down the line.
Stella, for once, is lost for words. But finally, she says, "if you have thought it through, then we will support you. Nathan?"
My dad raises his head, shakes it. "Sorry. It's going to take some getting used to."
I can understand my father's point of view as much as I can understand my siblings - for twelve years he has had a son, and that is, by the looks of it, about to change. "I'll take you to the doctors next week Matt - erm - love. We'll book an appointment for you."
Matt's eyes fill with tears. "Thank you, guys." He looks at us all before heading quietly out of the living room door, just before he gets there, turns around. "Sorry," he adds before he leaves.
I sink back down on the settee, trying to clear my cluttered thoughts. I'm starting to get a headache.
I forget to text Saint, and she shows up an hour after my parents have gone out for dinner - with their new "friends" Andy and Amy from next door but one. (They're already fucking two couples on this street - it could get more humiliating.) I get the door when it rings, open it, and forget about everything for a breathtaking moment as I see my girlfriend stood there. She looks absolutely gorgeous - as usual. Her eyes question mine. "Kim? Is everything okay? You forgot to get in touch."
"Sorry." I'm always breathless, always feel like I've been hit with the silly stick in front of her. I stand back. "Come in."
She does so, touching my hand gently as she does. The minute she gets to the living room, she begins cooing over Dylan - he loves Saint. He lifts his arms up and she picks him up and nuzzles him. "Hello, sweetheart."
I watch her from the hallway door for a minute, smiling, imagining what I already know - that Saint would make a fantastic mother to our children. She sees me looking and blushes. I smile and sink back into my favourite spot. She sits beside me and bounces Dylan on her knee. She's wearing her black winter coat, the new one that reaches all the way down to her knees - and its open. Underneath it, she's got on one of her favourite black and white stripy vest tops - and she's wearing the unique moonstone necklace I gave her for her twenty fifth birthday last week. I watch her, knees going weak. I love her, oh I do love her. So much.
She kisses Dylan on the nose - he grabs a chunk of her black hair and screeches with delight. She turns to me. "Whats going on, Kim?" she passes me Dylan and I put him gently back into his Moses basket. "I -" I cant speak, and then the tears are flowing. Before I can stop them. There's nothing to do but rest my head on her knees and cry. She strokes my hair, rocks me. "Shh, baby," she mumbles, showering my forehead with soft kisses. "Shh."
I don't know what to tell her - I'm so confused. About Matt, about everything.
Everything but her. I trace her tattoos - I love each and every one of them. "Saint." Just saying her name calms me, but I'm still shaking.
"Tell me what's happened," she whispered. I do. I sit up and tell her how I'm worried - about Matt, or Martine - about my parents. About Sugar.
Sugar. In all of this mess I've been caught up in, I neglected to tell you about whats happened to Sugar.
She's back in prison.