Chapter Two: Enter Roxy
“Get out and stay out!”
With a mighty shove, the beefy doorman gave the girl a hefty shove,
the door firmly in her face. Rage building inside of her, she beat on
door with her fists but it was no good. She was out and she was staying
“Creep.” She muttered to herself. “Who needs this place, anyway? I can
some place else, no problem.”
Roxanne Pelligrini was twenty-two years old, and completely alone in
world. That was the way she had wanted it to be, ever since the day
years earlier that she had packed her immediate belongings and climbed
of the window of her house, never to return. She had grown up in a bad
with her aunt and uncle as her guardians, and two people more lacking
love she had yet to find. Her uncle had a temper, her aunt could be
and if Roxanne had been honest with herself she had spent much of her
fearing both. Finally, after another dismal school report had mounted
a terrifying row she had taken the initiative and left. However hard
were for her outside the walls of the house, she had no doubt that it
to be better than what had gone on inside.
It had not been difficult to find a place to stay in her native
Philadelphia. She knew a bunch of other kids, a year or two older than
her but pushed back
grades who had also dropped out around the same time, and they were
and ready to face anything. One of them had broken the chain on the
of a disused ground floor flat and set up a squat within. It wasn’t
but it was a roof over her head, so Roxanne had taken up the offer
No more school, no more family…she was on her own.
And eight years on, things were still the same.
The only thing that had changed was the location.
She had arrived in California the day before yesterday, and had yet to
somewhere from which to grab a proper meal. It had been an idly placed
that had first spurred her to leave her hometown, a careless boast that
could make it if only she were in Hollywood, that she could achieve the
and fortune that she so wanted. She had left in an indignant huff,
to prove everyone wrong. And so here she was.
Roxanne was no stranger to breaking the law. She had stolen petty cash
food from places before and had been quick to take advantage of
situations when they arose. But she was a stranger in this place,
having never been out
of Philadelphia before, and she did not like feeling so helpless. Part
her make-up required her to be in control – permanently and absolutely.
it didn’t bear thinking about – she had too many past nightmares to
them to fly loose around her mind.
She clenched her fists, giving the door of the nightclub one last
violent battering, and then turned on her heel, heading slowly down the
steps and onto the main street. It was getting dark, and a cold wind
was whipping in.
Roxanne had never imagined California could be cold, but somehow the
situation she had found herself in made it worse. She sat down on a
with a sigh. So now what?
“Come on, Rox, think.” She ordered herself, idly glancing around her
any unsuspecting passer – by from whom she could solicit spare change.
got yourself here! Now you just gotta find someone who’ll give you your
break and that’s it. You’re a star.”
She had held this naïve, fondly nurtured hope since she had left
That once she’d reached the west coast her luck would change…so far
she had had little success.
There was a crackle of thunder from above, and lightning split the sky.
herself, Roxanne shivered. She wasn’t a huge fan of storms, if she was
about it. Getting to her feet, she sauntered slowly down the street,
for somewhere to shelter from the torrential rain she felt sure would
As she reached the end of the road, activity from across the other side
the street caught her eye. It was too dark to see clearly, but a guy
loading a case into his car, and then, a girl ran out of the house,
him tightly and handing him his car keys. After exchanging words, the
got into the car and started up the engine. As Roxanne watched from
she had ducked behind a bush, the car pulled away with the girl still
even after it had disappeared into the distance. Then she turned,
her way back into the house.
The girl was young – not more than twenty, was Roxanne’s guess, and
not someone from the same background as Roxanne herself. She had been
and the car her guest had driven had been an expensive hire car.
“Some people have all the luck.” Roxanne muttered to herself.
she’s all alone in there, she shouldn’t put up too much of a fight.
to me like she’s never raised her fists in her life. Maybe I can get in
the back – must be some food somewhere in a place like that.”
To think was to act, and she glanced around her to check for witnesses,
sauntering casually across the road. As she did so, thunder split the
once more and with it came the rain, in driving torrents, soaking
Roxanne’s worn clothing to her skin. She shivered. Great. Just what she
to make things better. She paused, considering. Maybe she should wait
the rain eased off. No sense in getting wetter than she need be.
Then a flash of lightning shot out of the sky, scorching the ground not
from where she stood, and with a yelp she darted forward across the
narrowly missing a car that was coming down towards her. There was a
of brakes and angry shouting, but Roxanne was oblivious. She had always
storms, ever since she had been locked out in one as a small child.
her best to keep a grip on her rising fear, for Roxanne never showed
feelings to anyone, she slipped around the back of the houses down a
passageway, scaling the rear fence of the garden and pulling herself
In the driving wet she found it was hard to keep her grip and with a
she slipped over into the grounds, scraping her arms and legs on thorns
she went and landing in a heap in the mud.
Another crash from overhead brought her to her feet and she hurried
towards the house, all of her plan of attack gone from her mind in her
She struggled with the door handle. Why wouldn’t it let her in? In her
she had put herself back in Philadelphia and the squat she had called
for so long.
At that moment the door opened and from somewhere behind the rain she
a horrified squeal. But then, with another crash of thunder Roxanne’s
left her once more and she shoved past the girl and into the house.
The house-owner stared at her bedraggled guest who was gripping hold of
end of the stair rail, breathing hard. From the look in her eyes she
clearly afraid, though she was trying her best to hide it, and she was
stained, scratched and drenched from head to foot. Initial fear and
was replaced by concern.
“Are you all right?” she asked.
“I’m just fine.” Now she was safely inside the house Roxanne’s senses
returning to her and she was beginning to feel a little bit silly.
are you staring at?”
“I…I was just wondering what you were doing in my house.” It sounded
she knew it, but it was all she could think of to say.
There was a long pause. Then a shrug.
“Who cares?” the intruder demanded. “I’m here.”
“Don’t you have anywhere to stay?” The girl asked hesitantly. Another
then a grudging shake of the head.
“Then…then you can stay here till the storm passes.” She did not know
she had made the offer, but her heart was too kind to put someone so
dishevilled back outside, into a storm they were clearly afraid of.
“Who wants to know?” Roxanne demanded.
A third pause, as Roxanne tried her best to regain any dignity and
her hostess up and down. Then,
“Roxanne.” She said curtly. “Roxanne Pelligrini.”
“I’m Mary…Mary Phillips.” The house owner said. “You…well, you’d better
upstairs and clean up. There are towels in the cupboard over the sink.
would you like me to…”
“I can manage!” Roxanne snapped. She stalked up the stairs, leaving
staring after her.
“What on earth is going on?” she murmured to herself. “Oh, I wish Craig
still here. He’d know what to do!”
After a couple of wrong turns Roxanne finally found herself in the
of the house, pushing the door shut and locking it as an afterthought.
shivered involuntarily. The rain had been cold, and as she eyed her
in the mirror she grimaced.
“Ugh.” She muttered. “Rox, you’re a mess!” She grabbed hold of one of
towels roughly, rubbing her face clean and then setting to work at
the mud from her skin. All the time she kept glancing over her
as if afraid to be disturbed. She wasn’t used to such kindness, it made
uneasy. In her whole life very few people had ever shown Roxanne any
of affection, even fewer without an ulterior motive. She had been
by her parents when just a baby, and as a result had been raised by her
aunt and uncle. She had always known she was not wanted…and it had
her more than anything. Her entire drive to live and to ‘show everyone’
the only thing that had kept her so strong through the years – to find
who asked no favours of her, and yet who was willing to be so
had thrown her off guard.
There was a knock at the door.
“Roxanne? I…I was wondering, do you want a drink or anything? I was
to do some coffee…”
“Sure.” Roxanne found herself answering in far more pleasant tones than
knew she possessed. Then she got a hold of herself. “I mean, don’t
yourself on my account, I’m okay. I can manage.”
“Well, if you’re sure.” Mary paused. “I’ll do you a cup anyway, just in
Do…do you have any clothes to change into? Your other ones were very
Roxanne flicked the lock back, pushing the door open with a hefty
“What’s with all the questions, little miss nosey?” she demanded, and
“Nothing! I’m sorry…I just…I was just trying to help.”
“I don’t need your help. I don’t need anybody’s help.” She snapped.
From outside a fresh peal of thunder echoed around the bathroom and
herself Roxanne gave out a little cry, shrinking back against the bath
almost overbalancing into it.
“Please, let me get you some dry clothes, and…and put yours through the
– they’re all muddy and you’ll catch cold!” Mary’s natural will to help
fast overcoming her shyness. Roxanne stared at her hostess for a
as if trying to figure out the other girl’s motives. Then she shrugged.
“If it means so much to you.” She responded curtly. “Now leave me
ya? How can I clean myself up if you’re fussing over me the whole
“Oh, I’m sorry…of course.” Mary nodded her head. “Let me just…” She
into her own bedroom, rooting through her wardrobe. Most of her clothes
fairly demure and sensible, for she had never had much confidence to go
in any of the wilder fashions, but somehow she didn’t think that those
appeal to the rough and ready stranger she had suddenly made a
Then, at the back of the wardrobe she found an outfit that her brother
bought her as a joke one hallowe’en, when he had dared her to dress
for once. It consisted of a purple, one-sleeved jumper, a neon yellow
and brightly spattered trousers. Mary had never dared to wear it.
“Perfect.” She murmured with a smile, taking it from the wardrobe and
back to the bathroom, where a bored looking Roxanne was waiting. There
no word of thanks, the interloper merely took the outfit, shutting the
and locking it once more. With a helpless shrug of her shoulders Mary
to go down the stairs, sinking down onto the sofa with a sigh.
“What have I done?” she asked herself. “I don’t know anything about
girl – she could be anything…she could be a murderer, for all I know!”
“But she was wet and afraid and she needed your help.” Her
conscience scolded her. “What else could you do?”
“Craig wouldn’t like it if he knew.” Mary frowned. “I’m not sure I like
either. But…well, it’s only till the storm clears.”
“Where do you think she’s going to go, if you boot her out?” Her
conscience demanded. “You only have to look at her to know she’s been
“I can’t deal with this kind of situation.” Mary retorted. “She…she’s
like me and I don’t know how to deal with her – She…she scares me. I
let her stay here, not when I’m all on my own like this.”
“Well, do what you think is best.” Her conscience seemed resigned. Mary
“I will.” She murmured, leaning over and picking up a book.
It seemed forever before her visitor re-joined her, rubbing her hair
a towel and tossing herself down into a chair. Mary set down her book,
the other girl in interest. Now she was less bedraggled, the synth
realised that the other girl was not much older than she herself, with
wavy, platinum blond hair. She was actually fairly pretty, though her
was wary and warned against too many friendly overtures.
“Where are your clothes? I’ll go wash them through for you.” Was all
said, and Roxanne tossed the ragged bundle in her companion’s
Mary stood to take them out to the kitchen, the visitor spoke.
“These threads aren’t bad.” She said in an almost grudging tone.
“My brother bought them for me but I never wear them.” Mary turned,
a hesitant smile. “You…you can keep them if you like.”
“You sure?” Roxanne looked taken aback, then suspicious. “Why?”
“Well, they suit you.” Mary shrugged, taking her guest’s original
put it through the wash. Roxanne settled herself back on her chair,
her clothes more carefully. What was with this girl? Why did she keep
to do nice things? It wasn’t like she had no choice. And yet…Roxanne
her head. It was beyond her.
Outside the wind howled and the lightning flickered. With a frown she
to her feet, pulling the curtains shut. There was no way she wanted to
out there again that night. Even if the storm passed, the streets would
wet and cold and she had nowhere to go. She turned from the window,
across the room to examine the furnishings.
“Nice place.” She admitted to herself. “The girl must have some money,
least.” She reached up to pick up a photograph from the fireplace – a
of a man and a little girl. “Ugh. Sensitive mush.”
“That’s my Dad.” Mary returned at that moment, sitting down once more
the sofa. “And me…he died when I was seven.”
“So?” Roxanne demanded. Mary looked taken aback.
“I thought maybe you were interested.” She said, a slight look of hurt
her eyes, for her family were very important to her. “Where are your
Roxanne? I mean, where are you from?”
“I don’t have family.” Roxanne spat out. “Not that it’s your business,
I take care of my own. And I’m from Philly, if it means so much to you
“You don’t have family?” Mary was horrified. “Noone at all? Oh, you
Roxanne opened her mouth to retort, but paused, confused. Noone had
shown her sympathy before, and she wasn’t sure if she liked it. She
“Who needs ‘em?” She responded shortly. “I’m better off without ‘em.”
Mary moved over to the window.
“I don’t think the storm is going to clear for a while.” She said, and
was a note of reluctance in her voice. “I suppose you…you should stop
for the night, if…if it suits you. There’s a spare room at the back of
house – the bed’s made up since my brother was home till this
“I can?” Once more Roxanne was taken aback by the kindness. She smiled
“All right. But…don’t you have any food in this house? I’m starving!”
“Oh!” Mary’s hand flew to her mouth. “I’m sorry – I didn’t think! And I
all about that coffee…follow me. I don’t have much at the moment but
sure there’s something.”
“Girl, I’ll eat anything you give me.” Roxanne assured her. Somewhat
that her guest seemed more disposed to be friendly Mary offered another
smile and led the way into the kitchen, pulling open the door of the
refrigerator. For a moment, Roxanne just stared at the choice. Then she
a grip on herself.
“Help yourself.” Mary told her. “I don’t like to have the oven on in a
“I can cope with that.” Roxanne shrugged. She paused. “You’ve been
nice to me, you know. What gives?”
“I don’t understand.” Mary settled on a kitchen stool, watching her
select her meal with a puzzled frown. “How do you mean, what gives?”
“Why are you doing so much for me?”
“Well, I couldn’t just let you stay out there and catch pneumonia.”
“Wouldn’t be the first time.” Roxanne remarked dryly. Mary smiled.
“Well, not this time.” She said. “When you’re done eating I…I’ll show
the spare room. You should be okay there for the night.”
Roxanne nodded. Then, with a small smile of her own she turned to face
“Thanks.” She said abruptly. That was all, but it was enough…enough to
the last of Mary’s apprehension over letting the girl stay. She met the
with a warm one of her own.
“It’s okay.” She said softly. “Just glad I could help.”
Chapter One: Mary Phillips
(The Misfits and Holograms and other animated Jem
characters are copyrighted to Hasbro Inc. All characters who do not
appear in Jem episodes
are my own creation. This story is copyrighted to E.A Woolley (2001)
Chapter Three: Developments
Chapter Four: Birth Of A Star
Chapter Five: Eric Raymond
Chapter Six: Outta My Way!
Chapter Seven: London
Chapter Eight: Shawn Harrison
Chapter Nine: The Tinkerbillys
Chapter Ten: Jerrica
Chapter Eleven: Only The Beginning