Tracey Stacey and Naughty Nigel…My Invisible Friend! I.P.
Hello my name is Tracey Stacey and please don’t worry…it’s Nigel who does all the naughty things. And yes, I know my name is a bit odd but I was given this moniker as a bit of a family joke. Well, my parents thought it was funny. A bit like Johnny Cash with his song ‘My Name is Sue.’ Only, with my parents, I don’t think it would have occurred to them that giving me such a silly name would have the effect of toughening me up. As a matter of fact, I don’t think they ever really thought much about me at all as they didn’t seem to think I was interesting enough. They were too wrapped up in each other and their Bohemian friends. Of course they’re gone now but I’ve learned to cope. Well, one has to no matter how difficult. Although I don’t have to cope on my own because that’s where I’m lucky…I’ve got Nigel, my invisible friend.
He came for the first time about a year ago and he’s made a real difference to me because he’s my very special friend although I’ve never actually seen him. But I don’t mind that because no one else has either. He’s a really good friend to me and we have a right laugh when he tells me all what he gets up to because you can be sure he’s always up to some mischief or other and he gets away with it because no one can see him.
When I tell my other friends about Nigel they don’t believe he exists at all but that is only because they’re jealous that Nigel is my friend and not theirs. He would never be friends with them because he knows it would upset me and it would put a stop to our special relationship. He wouldn’t want that and I would be devastated.
Anyway, one day I was out shopping and I saw this absolutely beautiful dress. I really wanted it because I was going to my firm’s Christmas Summer Ball. Yes, that is what I said. It really is called that. I know it sounds odd but no one who works at the factory thinks it sounds in the least way strange. That’s because all the people who work there are crackers! Now I’m having a little joke with you because that is where I work…in a Cracker factory. We make Christmas Crackers. I’ve worked there since I left school so it’s the only thing I know. It’s my job to put a joke and a different coloured hat in each cracker. It’s a responsible job because I have to make sure that no two crackers in the same box have the same jokes or coloured hats. I’ve only been doing this job for a couple of months because I got an unexpected promotion. Well, that’s what my boss told me…that it was a promotion! But it wasn’t, not really, because I didn’t get a pay rise and I’m sure I would have done if it was a real promotion. That’s what Nigel said anyhow. He’s such a good friend and he always looks out for me though he can be a bit naughty at times. He always tells me when he’s been naughty though.
He was naughty this time because when I told Nigel what my boss, Mr Delaware, had said about my new job being a promotion, that night when my boss left the factory Nigel followed him. Then when there was no one about he went right up to him and pushed him really hard and my boss fell down on the pavement and Nigel said he just left him lying there because he needed to get away before someone saw him. So, he just walked off large as life without saying a word. I am right? That is naughty, isn’t it? Yes, I thought it was but it did make me laugh.
Then another time I was going on a blind date with a boy my friends at the factory had set up for me. I was really looking forward to seeing this boy because they had said he was really good looking and that he had seen me one morning as I was getting off the bus near the factory and he had asked one of my friends what my name was. Then, next thing, he sent a note to my workbench. I don’t know how he managed that but I was really glad he did because in the note he asked me to meet him outside the local cinema at seven o’clock one Friday night. I had never been out on a date with a boy before and I wanted to see what it was like so I got really dressed up and thought I looked very nice.
Well, I got there early, about quarter to seven and I was still there at quarter to eight but he didn’t show so I waited until half past and then went home. The next day at work all the girls were in a bunch giggling at something. Wayne, one of the boys who worked in our department was showing them what looked like a photo. I walked over and they all stopped laughing and Wayne hid whatever it was he had been showing them. I asked what they were all laughing at but they wouldn’t tell me. Then when I went on my tea-break, there pinned on the notice board in the Staff Canteen for everyone to see was a photo of me stood outside the cinema with the words Tracey Stacey Looking Racey Waiting for her Invisible Friend!
I was really upset by what my so called friends had done and how horrible they were being but Wayne was the person I was really annoyed with because, apparently, it was him that had set me up in the first place. I told Nigel all about it and he must have been upset by how I had been treated too because the next thing I know is that he’s been naughty again. Nigel said he didn’t mean it to happen…that he only gave Wayne a little push but Wayne fell into the canal that runs along the back of the factory. I know what Nigel did was naughty but maybe now they would believe I had an invisible friend.
Anyway, I was telling you about this lovely dress I was going to buy for the Christmas Summer Ball but as it was so expensive I was going to buy it with my credit card but naughty Nigel got there first because he pinched it. At least, it must have been Nigel because I found it hanging in my wardrobe and there could be no other explanation. Well I wasn’t going to take it back now, was I? But then I noticed a lovely suit hanging behind my lovely new dress. I’m sure that wasn’t there before either. Where did it come from, I thought to myself? Well, time was marching on so I forgot about my lovely dress and the suit as I didn’t want to be late for the Christmas Summer Ball so I quickly went to run a bath. But after that I took my time getting ready as I wanted to look my very best. While I was in the bath though, I had made up my mind that they would all see me differently this evening. I would not be the quiet, shy, awkward girl they all thought they could walk all over. No, not tonight! Tonight was going to be different! Tonight they would look up and see who I really am.
I got dressed, combed my hair and looked in the mirror. Yes, I looked immaculate! The suit fitted perfectly and I felt ready to show myself to the world. I arrived at the Christmas Summer Ball just as everyone else was gathered on the front lawn of the hotel when suddenly a police car with sirens screaming and blue lights flashing skidded to a stop right in front of me.
“Nigel Stacey,” said the Police Sergeant as he got out of the car, “I’m arresting you for the murder of your parents, John and Martha Stacey, Walter Delaware and Wayne Golightly!”
Well, of course, I knew about my parents and I knew Wayne couldn’t swim but I didn’t know about Walter Delaware, my boss, because when I stuck him with the knife and pushed him to the pavement I needed to walk away quickly so I couldn’t be absolutely sure he was really dead.
As I told you at the beginning of my story, the first time Nigel came out was just over a year ago when I allowed him to murder my parents and from then on he was my invisible friend only he wasn’t…invisible that is. It was Tracey Stacey who was the invisible one… the person who didn’t really exist. I was, and had always been, despite my parents’ ideas to the contrary, Nigel Stacey. As the police led me away I couldn’t help but think how different my life could have been if my parents hadn’t thought it was such a huge joke to call me Tracey and bring me up as a girl.