Dreaming Of Simon
Simon Cowell sits with his feet on my kitchen table, his hands wrapped around a mug of expensive smelling coffee. He smirks as his eyes travel from my head to my feet and back up again. He takes a deep breath.
‘Louise, Louise, Louise, where shall I begin?’ He shakes his head in despair. I wrap my dressing gown more tightly around myself in an attempt to hide the old t-shirt I have slept in. He puts his feet down, leans forward with this elbows on the table, knits his fingers together and rests his chin on them.
‘Your choice of nightwear is disastrous,’ he says. As for my hair, which I haven’t even bothered to check in the mirror, it apparently looks as though a small creature has taken up residence there. Self-consciously, I put my hand to my head.
‘You’re wasting everyone’s time, including your own,’ he concludes. He leans back and folds his arms. He shows no signs of leaving.
Turning my back on him, I switch on the kettle and open the fridge, which is crammed with cream cakes. I swing round, preparing to blame him. He has been joined at the table by my mother. She leans to whisper conspiratorially into his ear. I have never had any self-control, she tells him. Look how I exist on a diet of sugar, carbs and fat. And I am incapable to taking responsibility for my own actions.
‘These cakes are nothing to do with me, ‘I protest.
‘See what I mean?’ my mother says to Simon. He nods sympathetically.
I make a mug of black coffee and sip it as I stand looking out of the window, ignoring the pair of them like a sulky teenager.
Eventually, the sound of rustling paper forces me to look at them. My boss is pulling up a chair. She has spread out the paperwork from my latest Performance Management interview. The three of them peruse it sadly.
‘The thing is, Louise, I don’t feel that you tick any of the boxes,’ says my boss. Simon and my mother agree. My mother gets up, finds a plate, and takes three cream cakes out of the fridge. They fall upon them with relish. My mother gets a blob of cream on her nose. Simon gently wipes it off, then licks his fingers suggestively. My mother giggles girlishly. My boss clears her throat, and they reluctantly give her their attention.
‘Let’s not forget why we’re all here,’ she says. They have gathered to discuss my shortcomings as a human being. This they do, with obvious enjoyment. They each have a second cream cake. My mother wonders aloud where she went wrong. The others rush to reassure her. I am the author of my own failure.
‘At the end of the day,’ says Simon, ‘she just isn’t what any of us are looking for.’
Silently, I place my empty coffee mug in the sink and creep back upstairs to bed.