It’s a warm summer day and quite a few of the West Enders have headed to the beach to relax…
Or catch up on gossip…
… or both!
“Steven, mate,” says Ken in surprise. “I haven’t seen you for ages. Where have you been? What’s up with your hair – growing it out I see.”
“Yeah, I’ve got a music video to do coming up in Jamaica and I have to have a kind of ‘island’ look. I think they’re giving me a weave and I need some hair to get it going. Who knows, if I like it, maybe I’ll keep it.”
“You mean if the ladies like it,” laughs Ken. “I know what you’re like. Who’s your agent these days? You seem to be getting a lot of work.”
“Tommy Lu. He’s doing a good job for me.”
Barbie and Audrey’s conversation isn’t quite as cheerful.
“What’s wrong, pet?” asks Barbie. “You okay?”
“Not really,” Audrey sighs. “It’s Marcelo.”
“Oh, no, he’s not cheating on you, is he?” asks Barbie anxiously. Marcelo has quite the reputation.
“Not that I know of. He just seems bored with me. And I don’t know why I put up with it. He’s a nobody, a has been model, who manages a nobody rock band. I mean, c’mon, I’m a star! He should grateful I even look at him.” Audrey looks angry now.
“Well, dump him,” says Barbie. “You deserve the best.”
As they talk, they pass Jake, who is working as a lifeguard, his normal summer holiday job. Jake is shocked to look up and see Jenny has approached him. He hasn’t seen her since the May Bank Holiday. “Jenny!” he exclaims in surprise. “I didn’t expect to see you here.”
“Hi, Jake,” says Jenny shyly. “I haven’t seen you in ages, so I thought I’d come and see how you’re doing.”
“I’m doing great, thanks, and you?” Jake asks but his tone is puzzled and polite rather than the warmth Jenny is hoping to hear.
“I thought maybe we should talk,” she continues, “Before school starts again, I mean. So it isn’t awkward…”
Jake looks away. “I’m not going back to school, Jenny.”
“What! What do you mean?”
“Sixth form is for university prep and I’m not going to university. My family isn’t wealthy and I don’t want to borrow the £9000 I’d need for tuition, plus have to find a way to eat and support myself. And what would I do with a degree? Sandra says I’ve got enough talent to make it as a musician and she’s going to help me learn music theory and work on my song writing…”
“Sandra?” asks Jenny, puzzled.
“Sandra, the pianist from the Ladies in Black. We met when we played at the music festival together, back in May – the day you broke up with me.”
Suddenly Jenny hears a voice say, “Hi, you must be Jenny.” A beautiful woman, an ADULT woman, is sitting at their feet and speaking to her.
The woman stands up and puts her hand on Jake’s shoulder in a gesture of possession. “Jake’s told me all about you,” she adds. “I don’t think you realise just how talented he is and how important it is that he develop his passion… for music.”
Jenny is dumbstruck. Next to this beautiful woman, she feels like a little girl. Without speaking, she turns around and walks away.
“I won’t let them see me cry, I won’t let them see me cry…” she thinks as she walks.
Don’t miss the next episode as we catch up with the rest of the summer adventures of the West Enders.