Rhonda loved Dan Lemond. Absolutely, irretrievably. Her bedroom was a shrine to him. If he ever came calling the dolls on her bed would have to go in the cupboard and she didn’t know if they’d ever come back out because after that she’d be a woman and she’d probably go on tour with him and do backing vocals or whatever.

She really, really loved him.

Until the evening her dad said, ‘Ever heard of a pop star called Dan Lemond?’

‘Pay attention, Lester,’ said her mother. ‘He’s all over her walls.’

‘Oh. Is it him? I try not to look.’

‘He’s not a pop-star, Dad. He’s a musician.’

‘Yeah. Well I’m meeting him at the airport on Friday. We’re using him in ——’

‘What! Dan Lemond. Dad. I have to come. Honestly. I’ll die.’

‘You’ve got school.’

‘Good heavens, Lester. One day won’t hurt her.’

So he organised it.

Security ushered Dan into the limo. He looked right into her eyes. ‘You must be Roda.’

‘Rhonda.’

‘Got a photo, Charlie?’

A black-suited man handed him a print.

‘Pen.’

Charlie handed him a marker.

Dan scrawled Stay cool Roda then signed. Then he took a game console from his pocket. No one spoke. The limo filled with the sound of aliens being shot down. Rhonda knew how they felt.

 

2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)

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