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At the club:
Elsewhere in the club:
Although Christmas is almost over here in the green and pleasant land, it will take me the rest of the week to catch up with all the West Enders Christmas activities – and then New Year’s Eve is upon us! For now, let’s go back a week or so and join some of the West Enders at the university Christmas party. And maybe we’ll finally find out what happened between Erika and Sutton – are they a couple still or not?
Don’t miss the next episode when we’ll catch up with the West Enders’ Christmas celebrations.
It’s the August bank holiday weekend, and the Panenka-Puppe family are enjoying the sunshine and a barbecue. Amid the fun and chatter, Steffi stops for a minute to think about how happy she is. She can’t remember when she felt so contented.
She’s surrounded by her sisters…
Another tiny Panenka has entered the world…
Even Kevin seems happy and content. He’s even accepted Olly as one of the family at last.
She knows he worries about Alistair, who keeps to himself almost all of the time. She hopes that he’ll find some new friends when school starts again in September.
And best of all, her children are happy and thriving in the new beach cottage. Just look at them… Wait a minute!
“Gretchen! Stop feeding your hot dog to Honey!”
Down the road, their neighbours, the Ekpo-Holmes family are also having a barbecue. Marvin is grilling up a storm. Everyone loves his barbecued ribs. Unfortunately, a little drama is about to unfold in the kitchen.
Emma is speaking to Corbin.
“Corbin, I thought I told you that today was family only. We’ve had so much partying over the summer, I thought it would be nice if we just spent some time together today.”
“Well, it is just family,” says Corbin, trying to wield his normal charm. “You must be referring to Jazz. She IS family now.”
“What do you mean, she’s family? Have you two gone and got married without telling us!” Emma is incredulous.
“No, of course not. It’s just that she’s living here now.”
Emma is almost speechless. “What?”
“Her student accommodation was getting really expensive and since I’m living at home now to save money, I told her to move in too. She’s been here for about a month. Haven’t you noticed?”
Emma has had enough. This is the last straw. She completely loses it.
“How dare you move your girlfriend into our house, Marvin’s house, my house, without our permission or even telling us! I’m fed up with your complete disrespect for me, Corbin Holmes. I am not running a B&B or a hotel service!”
“I’m sorry, Emma,” Corbin stammers. “I hope you’re not going to make her leave. She doesn’t have anywhere to go.”
“No, I won’t make her leave! Now get out of my sight before I explode!”
Corbin has never seen Emma so angry.
Emma rushes upstairs and says a prayer. “Please, Lord, grant me patience. Grant me a peaceful heart. I can’t take any more!”
Suddenly Marvin appears.
“Emma, darling, I’m so sorry. I didn’t know. I thought I was seeing more of Jazmin lately. She and Corbin always seem to be eating their breakfast together when I get home from work but I didn’t realise that she was living here.”
Marvin has a morning talk show at the local television station and is up and out the door before anybody in the house. He gets home in the early afternoon, around the time Corbin and Jazmin are getting out of bed.
“It’s okay, Marvin. I’m calm now. It’s just that we bought this house thinking we’d have a little more time together and we’re bursting at the seams with our relatives. I can’t turn them away.”
“I know, darling,” says Marvin. “Maybe we need to go out on a date!”
“There is one thing you could do, Marvin, that would mean the world to me.”
“Anything, sweetheart. What is it?”
“Kick Aunt Lavinia out of our bedroom!”
“Anything for you, love,” says Marvin. “Although I expect to hear a lot of whinging!”
Out in the garden, Roberta, Erika, Aunt Lavinia, and Jazmin are enjoying the barbecue. Although they heard the row in the kitchen, Jazmin seems completely unfazed and sips her margarita as if she hasn’t got a care in the world. Suddenly Erika, who is looking at her phone, lets out a loud gasp.
“Why are you staring at that phone, Erika?” asks Lavinia grumpily. “This is a family meal, you shouldn’t be looking at that thing.”
“What’s wrong?” asks Roberta, seeing the look of shock on Erika’s face.
“Someone’s tagged some pictures of Sutton on Facebook!” says Erika angrily.
“Let’s see,” says Roberta calmly.
“Oh, come on, Erika, it’s just a selfie with a couple of women in the pub. Sutton practically lives in that place. Don’t get your knickers in a twist over nothing.”
“Not that picture,” Erika barks. “The one before it. And it isn’t just two women in the pub, it’s that tart Merida MacDonald he used to crawl all over, according to Blessing.”
Roberta gasps. “Oh, THAT picture,” is all she can say.
That’s it for Season 1 of the West Enders. We’ll be back in September for Season 2. Don’t miss the drama, the fun, and the dolls!
The party is over; the eligible bachelors have all departed, each thinking what a charming family of beautiful women they’ve just visited. Corbin is busy talking up Deangelo to Dasia.
“Oh, he’s a great guy, Dasia, and really smart. He’s about to start his PhD with Jamal Jones in the autumn. Besides being smart, he’s just a really nice guy – and he seemed to really like you!”
“He seems very nice,” agrees Dasia.
“I’ve never seen him at the pub,” adds Blessing. “That’s always a good recommendation. Come to think of it, I’ve never seen Jamal there either.”
“Oh my God, Jamal!” laughs Corbin. “Did you see Monique’s face? Who knew Robbi was going to try and steal her date!”
“I don’t think it’s very funny,” says Blessing. “And I doubt Monique did either.”
Blessing is right, and as she speaks, fireworks are erupting downstairs.
“Roberta, I cannot believe or forgive what you did to me tonight,” shouts Monique. “I would never ever in a million years flirt with a date you brought home. I would never treat you that way. You two have always hated me and would do any spiteful horrible thing to hurt me.”
“Whoa” says Erika. “Leave me out of this!”
“Who’s a nasty jealous cow?” sneers Roberta. “As if I would try to steal a man who studies bugs for a living! He’s all yours. Little does he know what a praying mantis you are!”
“I can’t believe you even know what one is!”
“You’ve always thought you were better than us, Miss Smarty Pants, but I happen to be as well educated as you are. Always Daddy’s little princess, with her straight As…”
Ouch. This doesn’t look as if it’s going to end well or soon…
In the meantime, Emma and Marvin are giving Lavinia and Grace a tour of the house.
“We shared the house with several families at first,” Emma explains. “It’s owned by Barbie Roberts, like everything else in town, but as our population has grown, we’ve all become overcrowded. One family has moved out already and everyone is in the market for houses. We’ve made an offer on this one, and essentially, we’re now the only ones living in it.”
“Hmmm,” says Lavinia. “Whose room is this?”
“This was Barbie and Ken’s, and often a guest room…” Emma starts to say, but Lavinia interrupts.
“Great, it will be perfect for me, then. I’ll tell Corbin to bring up my suitcases.”
Emma frowns but remembers her manners. She and Marvin had planned on moving into this room but Lavinia is a guest. “Of course, Lavinia, while you’re here you’re welcome to stay in this room.”
“Emma, darling! Didn’t Marvin tell you? I’m not leaving – this is my new home. I’ve come to live with you two. London is impossible – it’s so expensive and now that dear Mr. Devine has left this world, I just can’t bear to stay there.” Lavinia suppresses a tiny sob, but not inaudibly. “And here Grace can go to school with Viviane. She’s already made herself at home upstairs.”
Emma and Marvin are speechless. Emma is trying to keep her face composed while Marvin wonders what Emma is going to say to him when they are alone.
Emma isn’t the only one to get a shock this weekend. The Panenka-Puppe family have moved into their new house, a cosy beach cottage. Kevin returns from work at the pub and finds Steffi outside with her sisters enjoying the nice weather. Recently sister number six, Claire, has turned up with her son, just a tiny infant.
“Ah, ladies,” says Kevin, “Don’t you love the new house? So much less crowded now, Steffi, don’t you think? But I have a bit of news. We’re going to be joined by a new family member. My brother Alistair has run into a bit of trouble at school and is going to join us to do his last year of Sixth Form here. He can give me a hand at the pub as well – he’s eighteen.”
“Oh, sweetheart, that’s nice,” Steffi responds. “It will be a bit crowded, though, with Claire and her baby moving in with us as well. And of course, Bonnie, Ivana, Katie, and Olly will be coming and going too.”
Kevin too has a moment of speechlessness. “Doesn’t Claire wish to return to the father of her child?” he finally asks, trying to think of the right way to phrase it.
“God, no,” Claire interjects. “He’s a monster.”
“I’m so happy to have Claire here! Look at little Paul, he’s just six weeks old! It will be so nice to have someone home with me and the children. I won’t be so lonely anymore.”
“And her dog?”
“And her dog.”
Kevin doesn’t know what to say. All he can do is raise his hands in despair and go into the new house, now spoiled forever by the addition of more Panenkas!!!
Stay tuned for the next episode. Nick’s job interview is coming up and the wedding of the year will soon be here!
The long awaited second May bank holiday has arrived and with it, the Ekpo-Holmes family’s barbecue party. Marvin has been grilling up a storm and is really proud of his burgers, hot dogs, steak, and pork ribs. He’s happy as can be. Family members he hasn’t seen in ages have turned up; his aunt Lavinia, recently widowed, her daughter Grace, and Emma’s sister Dasia are all on hand. He’s just a little bit nervous that he hasn’t actually told Emma that Aunt Lavinia and Grace are here to stay…
Erika is also happy and carefree. Sutton has turned up early enough for them to grab a semi-private seat away from the picnic table – and the embarrassment of having to chat with Monique.
Corbin’s friend Deangelo is quite smitten with Emma’s sister Dasia. He’s doing his best not to stare down her dress but she is extremely curvaceous, wearing a very revealing outfit, and he is struggling manfully to keep his eyes on her face, as lovely as it is.
Marvin’s aunt Lavinia is also quite curvaceous and is also wearing a very revealing outfit. Steven, however, doesn’t even try to keep his eyes from straying and Lavinia doesn’t seem to mind.
Monique is not happy. She is not just unhappy, she’s steaming and fuming and close to exploding. She’s been waiting for this moment for weeks, inviting Jamal to the party in hopes to kindle a romance. She’s so impressed with his knowledge, manners, and his sexy good looks, she’s been dreaming about this moment and hoping that by the end of the party, he will have invited her to to be his date to Midge and Sam’s wedding. She’s dressed carefully, wearing a clingy dress in a colour she knows flatters her complexion and hair. But what has happened? She and Jamal have grabbed some food, sat down, and then suddenly, out of nowhere, Roberta has plopped down next to him. She’s had several drinks and is tipsy, giggly and flirtatious and she immediately begins to talk to Jamal as if he is her date. In the meantime, the blue haired bimbo and Corbin have sat down next to Monique and she is beginning to feel herself trapped in a nightmare instead of a romantic dream.
“Oh, c’mon, Jamal, you don’t really study BUGS do you,” giggles Roberta. “What do you call it, ent, ant, ento…”
“Entomology,” says Jamal calmly. “It’s fascinating, Roberta. Do you realise that insects have the world’s largest biomass? Nobody even knows how many species there are. And I get to go to some really amazing places for fieldwork – South America, the South Pacific…”
“Oh, Jamal, I think you’re the only man in the world who can make bugs sounds exciting!” coos Roberta.
Monique thinks, “I can’t listen to this any longer. I’m going to explode. Worse yet, I’m going to burst into tears. I have to pull myself together. Deep breaths. Deep deep breaths. Think of yoga. Yes.”
“Hey, sweetie, what are you doing standing here so pensively on your own?” Emma asks Blessing, who has strolled to the edge of the deck and is gazing over the garden.
“You look pretty pensive yourself, Emma,” Blessing responds, “Everything okay?”
“I asked first!”
“I’m fine,” says Blessing. “Nothing is wrong. You know, working in the pub makes it hard to socialise with people sometimes. It’s as if I can’t ever let go and feel as if I’m not at work. What’s up with you?”
“Nothing really,” says Emma. “I just feel unneeded. Everyone has found someone on their own. You know how I love matchmaking. I wish I could find someone nice for you, Blessing. I had so hoped you and Steven… but look at Lavinia, all over him!”
“Oh my goodness, Emma Ekpo!” says Blessing in disbelief. “You have no idea how thrilled I am to see Lavinia swooping down on Steven, like a golden eagle on a bunny. I love it! I could never be in a relationship with Steven Obi! The man spends every spare hour drinking at the George. Do you really that’s what I want in a man? No way!”
Suddenly Marvin joins them.
“Darling, you are the most fabulous hostess in the world! What a great party! Everyone is having so much fun and it’s all due to you. I would never have thought of this on my own. I just want to give you a hug because you make me so proud to be your man!”
With that, we’ll leave the party and close for now. Don’t miss the next episode when the fallout from all the new arrivals really hits the fan!
INTERLUDE: I know I said that I was going to post an episode about Nick’s job interview next, but a number of things have come up in my big universe that mean I have to move things around. I haven’t forgotten him, however! And the wedding will be coming up soon!
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