What if your future was somewhere in your past?
Rosie Jones has been dumped by every boyfriend she’s ever had – most recently by Dinosaur Dave, live on TV, during the ‘phone-a-friend’ segment of a quiz show.
After the footage goes viral Rosie receives a bunch of flowers with a message:
I love you, I should have never let you go, I want you back x
But who sent them?
At a loose end and with £50,000 prize money in her back pocket, Rosie decides to take a trip down memory lane, visiting each of her ex-boyfriends to see not just if they are the one who sent the flowers but if they are the one.
Her journey takes her back to the house she grew up in and on a transatlantic cruise to New York, but can Rosie figure out which ex-boyfriend is the love of her life, or should the past stay in the past?
‘I said, how would you like £50,000?’ Mike King, the host, asks again.
‘I’d love £50,000,’ I admit, my voice wobbling almost as much as I am on this tall chair.
If I’d known I was going to be chosen to take part today, I probably would have turned the opportunity down, even with the knowledge that I could win some serious money. I don’t think I would’ve thought I had it in me to get this far…
I’m somehow too hot and too cold. I want to say the studio lights are hot, but there’s cool air con to offset the warmth. I am sitting opposite the host in the centre of a brightly lit circle, in an otherwise dimly lit room. I can’t see the audience – I can’t even see the camera, not really. I only know they’re there now because of the little red LED lights I keep spotting. Even without them, I don’t think I’d be able to forget I was on TV. On live TV, no less.
‘This is your final question,’ Mike explains. ‘Who said blondes were dumb, huh?’
I smile politely. I have had to contend with the dumb blonde thing my entire life. First, when I was younger, when I had naturally blonde hair, and then more recently from all the highlights, because for some reason my hair gets darker as I get older.
‘Your only remaining lifeline is to make a call from your speed dial numbers,’ Mike reminds me.
When we started, I was allowed to select three numbers from my phone in the event of choosing the ‘make a call’ option. Without many friends or people who I even believed would answer, I chose my dad, Tim, Sam, and David. I don’t suppose any of them would know all that much about anything based in pop culture, but I think I have that covered myself. Anything on the life and works of Alan Titchmarsh, unscrupulous news practices, or bones, and one of them might be some use to me. I doubt my boss would appreciate me calling her on her husband’s birthday, so here’s hoping for the Chelsea Flower Show or cavemen. At least if it’s the latter, David’s lecture will be over and he’ll be able to take the call. My dad probably won’t even hear his phone ring.
‘Ready for it?’ Mike asks.
I nod unconvincingly.
‘OK, here we go… Which dinosaur had fifteen horns?’
An impossibly big grin stretches all the way across my face. This has to be a joke. I might be optimistic, but I am under no illusions – I am not a lucky person. I don’t get picked for TV shows, I don’t have many people to call for help, and I definitely don’t get questions that are going to be easy… and yet here we are.
‘You know this one?’ the host asks in disbelief.
I know I might be blonde, but that doesn’t mean I don’t know anything about dinosaurs. I mean, I don’t know anything about dinosaurs, but what gives him the right, huh?
‘I know a man who does,’ I say as my grin inches even wider. ‘I’d like to call my boyfriend please.’
‘Your boyfriend knows a lot about dinosaurs?’
I nod, only semi-smugly.
‘I’m sorry to hear that,’ the host jokes. ‘What’s your boyfriend’s name? What does he do?’
‘His name is David and he’s a lecturer.’
‘What does he teach, dinosaurs?’
‘Palaeobiology,’ I reply.
‘Is that dinosaurs?’
The audience laugh wildly. Mike is a sort of cheeky-chappy host. A thirty-something former musician who has somehow made it as a TV presenter. I suppose it’s his charm – the audience clearly love him.
‘OK, let’s get Dinosaur Dave on the phone,’ Mike says.
I wince as he says ‘Dave’ – David hates being called Dave.
‘So all you have to do is, when Dinosaur Dave answers, just tell him you have one big question to ask him. If he gets it right, you’ll be £50k richer!’
‘Sounds good,’ I say.
Thank you, Portia MacIntosh and Boldwood Books
About the author
Portia MacIntosh is a bestselling romantic comedy author of 12 novels, including It’s Not You, It’s Them and The Accidental Honeymoon. Previously a music journalist, Portia writes hilarious stories, drawing on her real life experiences.
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