Finding Audrey(78)

By: Sophie Kinsella

But Dad can’t hear. He’s put on one of the headsets and is logged into another LOC game with Ollie.

‘Dad, can you play?’ I say in surprise.

‘Oh, I’ve picked up a bit,’ he says, and clicks furiously. ‘Here and there.’

‘But who are you playing with?’

‘A couple of friends from school,’ says Ollie, who is equally engrossed. ‘They were online, so . . . Go on him!’

‘I’m on it,’ says Dad breathlessly. ‘Oh, shit. Sorry.’

Mum is staring at Dad, flabbergasted. ‘Chris, what are you doing?’ She pokes his shoulder. ‘Chris! I’m talking to you! Did you hear what I said about Frank?’

‘Right.’ Dad pulls off the headset for a moment. ‘Yes. I heard. Ground him.’

I can’t help giggling, and even Mum gives a little smile.

‘Get back to the game, you big kid,’ she says. ‘But we’re going out in half an hour, OK? Half an hour. And I don’t care if you have to interrupt the game.’

‘OK,’ says Dad, sounding just like Frank. ‘Great. Yeah. Can’t wait.’ He clicks madly, then punches the air as the screen explodes in colour. ‘Die, you bastard! Die!’



The camera wobbles as someone stabilizes it on a high surface. As this person backs away we see that it is AUDREY, in her bedroom. She hesitates, then peers into the camera.


So, this is me. Audrey. You haven’t met me yet. I’m probably not what you expected. Like, my hair’s probably darker or lighter or whatever . . . Anyway. Hello. Nice to meet you.

She pulls up a chair and looks into the camera for a while, as though sorting out her own thoughts.


I’ve been thinking a lot about everything. And I guess Mum was right about the jagged-graphs thing. We’re all on one. Even Frank. Even Mum. Even Felix. I think what I’ve realized is, life is all about climbing up, slipping down, and picking yourself up again. And it doesn’t matter if you slip down. As long as you’re kind of heading more or less upwards. That’s all you can hope for. More or less upwards.

There’s another silence. Then she looks up with a sunny smile.


Anyway. I can’t stay. I have an important engagement with . . .

She reaches down and produces a large flat case made of chrome.


This! Mum bought it for me. It’s eye make-up. Look.

She opens the palette and starts displaying it proudly.


This is mascara, and this is . . . primer or whatever . . .

She makes a face as she surveys the tube.


I have no idea what to do with that. But Mum’s going to show me. I mean, it’s only lunch at Pizza Express, but Linus is coming so it’s kind of a date, right?

Another pause.


I think Mum’s really pleased I’ve got my eyes back. She said they were the first thing she looked at when I was born. My eyes. They’re me. They’re who I am.

Audrey plays around with the lid of the palette for a few seconds, then closes it and addresses the camera.


Anyway. This has been fun, making this film. I mean, not always fun, but mostly. You know. So. Thanks for watching, whoever you are.

A pause – then she gives the most dazzling, radiant smile.


So I guess that’s it. I’ll turn off now.

As she comes close to turn off the camera, Audrey’s blue eyes loom large, filling the screen. She blinks a couple of times, then winks at the camera.


See you.

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