I watched Grease with my little boy the other day and it actually dawned on me that it probably fucked up my whole life. When I was a little girl I watched Grease relentlessly with my sister. We would watch it approximately 12 times in a row every single day. As soon as it finished we’d rewind the video (which took about 15 minutes) and we’d watch it over again. To the point where we could recite the script word for word. I think me and my sister have got something wrong with us. I had a massive crush on Danny Zucco, I still do, even though he’s not my usual type. Anyway, I realised when I watched it last week that the whole premise of the film is that you should give a Fuckboy chance after chance, and also be a bit more of a slag, and eventually your Fuckboy will change and drive off into the sky with you. It’s never happened, but I’m sure that this idea must have got into my brain.
I think that when you are trying to change the type of man that you attract and if you want to stop repeating the same patterns, it’s important to reflect on all of the different things that have contributed to making you the woman that you are now and what has shaped your attitudes to men and love, and that includes films, books, and songs that had an impact on your life. I’ve spoken a little bit about my Daddy issues in my blogs, and I’ve also told you about Johnny James in the blog Karma but I haven’t yet mentioned Ashley, my first true love. He had a significant impact on me.
I met Ashley when I was 19, I had only just grown out of my roadman phase and I was now in my raving and ‘hustling’ phase. That basically involved signing on, smoking shit loads of weed, raving every night of the week except for Monday, and generally just being off my tits on E’s for the majority of the time. I worked in the Garage music scene, mainly so that I could rave for free while earning a bit of change. In the early days I’d do guest lists on doors, hand out flyers, or answer the phone taking shout out’s at pirate radio stations. I’d literally sit there with a pen and paper writing down stuff like ‘shout out to man like Grenade wishing his Lady T a very happy birthday’, little messages for the MC’s to read out. What a dickhead I was. But I could get into to any rave for free and I knew everyone there was to know on the scene and in those days that was all that mattered to me.
Being North London’s biggest raver required money, mainly for drugs and clothes (because we raved for free and we never paid for cabs, we literally always got them to drive us to an estate near home and we’d leg it through alley ways until the cabbie was a distant memory – I feel bad about that now). To be honest the clothes weren’t that expensive either. Primark hadn’t been invented back then so our equivalent was these cheap shops in Wood Green or Fonthill road. We’d buy these dresses made out of the cheapest nylon and when we raved we all wore cheap heels which were painful as fuck, so we wouldn’t leave the house without our raving slippers, these little bejewelled Indian slipper things that were absolutely hideous. To earn more money I used to sell a few ten draws of weed to friends. I wasn’t really Camden’s top shotter to be honest, mainly because I failed to heed Biggie’s 10 Crack Commandments (weed in my case), Biggie wisely said that you should never get high off your own supply but I did, frequently.
In the year 2000, as well as being a drug dealer, a pirate radio secretary, and a guest list girl I had also decided to become a club promoter. I really don’t know who I thought I was, some kind of chavvy Richard Branson. I’d arranged my first club night in some pokey little bar in Mill Hill, I had some ‘sick’ DJ’s and MC’s though and I made about £87 so I felt like I was an absolute baller, I could get as many Indian slippers and ecstasy tablets as my heart desired.
I was outside the bar with my friend Sabrina, languishing in the success of my first rave and imagining further club nights in Vegas and Ibiza, when she got chirpsed (that was the only word I knew for chatted up back then) by a decent looking guy who had been at the rave. I say decent but he had a gold tooth and an Avirex Biker jacket, and so I think if he came anywhere near us now we would run. But he looked good at the time. The two of them got on well, exchanged numbers and arranged to meet the next day, but because we were childish ratbags a date back then always seemed to involve the other person bringing a friend. On this occasion it involved Sabrina’s dude meeting us at a train station and telling us that we had to go to a flat with him quickly to meet his friend before we could all go off together to Pizza Hut.
I didn’t like the idea of going off to some random man’s house, I just wanted pizza, but he had weed and so I thought fuck it and just mindlessly followed along. When we got there I was unhappy to see that there were 6 guys hanging out in this flat, smoking and playing play station. I felt uncomfortable but we sat down anyway. We were well out-numbered and I instantly wondered if they had brought us round thinking we would get involved in some kind of gang bang. There was a girl in my class at school who used to do ‘line ups’ she would be taken to a house and she would have to give blow jobs to a queue of waiting guys. It happened to her a few times and everyone in school thought she was a disgusting slag, do you know how much that hurts my heart now? That girl needing saving, she needed support not bullying. That girl was being exploited and abused.
The guys in the house were older and they could tell we were feeling paranoid and uncomfortable and they played on that. They were making sexual innuendos and saying things to each other in code. They were older guys, 24/25, but they looked old to me, they were all ugly hard looking men with gold teeth. I didn’t want to piss them off. Sabrina was feeling the same way as me. The guy who had bought us round was no help, he was obviously just an insignificant twat to the other guys, they were taking the piss out of him too. I just needed to get us the fuck out of there safely, the vibe was very off. I knew that I did not want to piss these men off so I was racking my brain for ideas of how to get out of there politely. That was when Ashley walked in.
He was like a rose among thorns in that room and he took my breath away. Ashley looked like a male model, he was 6ft 1, mixed race, beautifully built, with a sharp jaw line and cheek bones that could cut glass. He had really short hair and he looked fresh and well kept. He had dark beautiful brown eyes with long curly lashes but he looked masculine, he was pretty but he didn’t look like a pretty boy. He was everything, I believe that I fell in love at first sight.
Back in those days I didn’t really have a type, I just fancied anyone who I found attractive regardless of height, race, hair, colour etc. After Ashley I never fancied a non-mixed race man again. It’s kind of a problem. I pretty much only date people who look like Ashley in some way. My friends are always telling me to branch out, but I literally fancy who I fancy, I can’t seem to help it or control it. And what I fancy is a very specific type (I wouldn’t rule out Tom Hardy though).The creepy guys in the flat changed when Ashley walked in. He turned to me and Sabrina and asked if we were ok. He could see that we were uncomfortable. He motioned for one of the creeps to come into the hallway and I could hear him saying:
‘Why are you letting that little dickhead bring girls here? In fact, why is that little dickhead here? And the rest of them? Why are you baiting up my flat? What the fuck has got into the lot of you?’
Ashley sounded pissed off, the other guy was quiet. They both came back in the room and Ashley told all the guys to leave. Sabrina and I went to go with them but Ashley told us to stay so that he could put us in a cab home. This day had quite literally gone from being my worst nightmare to being an absolute dream come true. The relief I felt when the predators left was immense. Even though nothing happened, it was the prolonged threat of it, the feeling of being completely on edge for a sustained period. Ashley was my knight in shining Airmax.
He rolled a joint and offered us a drink, we told him that Sabrina’s guy had promised to take us to pizza hut and so Ashley ordered us a pizza to make up for it. He didn’t say it in so many words but I worked out that those guys were his workers. It was Ashley’s flat and he told us that he’d had to go and sort something out earlier in the day. He’d left 2 of them looking after his place and he was fucked off when he came home to find 6. He said that those guys were his friends but that he knows how they behave around women and he could see what was happening and so he wanted to rescue us. He was obviously the boss within this little network and at the time, being the teenage middle-class, hood-rat Pablo Escobar that I was, this was highly impressive to me.
We chilled with Ashley for about an hour before he had to go out. As he saw us out the door he gave me a peck on the cheek but he didn’t ask for my number. I was gutted. Absolutely gutted. Sabrina did not hear the end of it. I was obsessed. The following day I decided to go raving to take my mind of it and I ended up fracturing my foot falling down some stairs. I had a cast and crutches and I was really pissed off because I had been planning to casually walk past Ashley’s flat several times a day with Sabrina until I ‘accidentally’ bumped into him. I was laying in bed feeling sorry for myself when I got a call from a private number, and of course – it was Ashley. He’d asked the little rat to get my number from Sabrina and I was absolutely ecstatic that he had. Ashley and I were on the phone for 2 hours, we clicked on a level that I had not experienced before. He really got me and I really got him.
We were the same as each other in so many ways, both Sagittarians, we had a really deep and instant connection and I fancied him too. I couldn’t believe that he was real. After 2 hours on the phone Ashley said he was coming to pick me up and that I should bring my pyjamas. I didn’t hesitate. I was on crutches and so when we got to his flat he carried me up the stairs. He was a gentleman to me. He did anything that I needed whenever I needed it. Ashley and I fell in love from that night, although neither of us said it for a long while. He told me that he wanted to kidnap me, and he basically did, I pretty much semi-moved in to Ashley’s flat on that first night. It was a beautiful whirlwind.
Ashley was 24, he had grown up in South London and he was an only child, his Mum was an ex-crack addict and his Dad was a violent drug dealer. Ashley had been in and out of care and he was given a flat in North London when he left his last care home at 18. Ashley could have built himself a little empire, he was selling cocaine but not on the streets, he was selling coke to dealers, who would sell it on to other dealers who would then sell it on the streets. He was a little way up the chain. He had very decent money coming in but he was not wise with it. When I think of what we could have done with that money now. Instead it was spent on Champagne, cars, jewellery, holidays, and designer clothes. Ashley had a bit of a thing for coke too, it wasn’t a problem but he was partial to a few lines here and there. It was hard not to get involved. His coke was completely uncut, it didn’t take much to not feel your face.
I knew what Ashley was up to but I didn’t want to know the ins and outs, I didn’t want to get involved and he wouldn’t have wanted to involve me. He always thought of me and what he could do to make my life easier or better and he respected me enough to not put me in any danger. He treated me so well. He was so attentive to my needs and he complimented me on everything, but not just my body, my mind, my wit, my character, and he maintained that for the whole time I knew him. We just had a great time together, we spent all our time just having fun, raving, eating out, weekends away. We were also having the best sex I’ve ever had in my life. He opened up a whole new world to me, before him I’d only slept with Johnny and Anthony Fox and they were just the shittest examples of sex that you could ever give a girl. No foreplay, no passion, just little boys getting their willy’s wet, briefly. But with Ashley it was different, he made love to me and he made me love myself, he appreciated every inch of me, the sexual chemistry between us was insane. He’s still one of the few men that have found my G spot, he had no trouble. His skills were fucking mental.
Everything was blissful between Ashley and I for about 8 months before our world got turned upside down. Ashley was acting as the middle man in a big deal between his best friend Flex and another guy. Ashley had put the two in touch and stood to profit a small amount from it. Flex went to meet the guy at the arranged place and as they were doing the deal three gunmen in balaclavas jumped out and held them up with sawn off shot guns. Flex lost Fifty grand and the other guy lost Fifty grand’s worth of drugs. Both of them were obviously pretty fucked off. Ashley was well known as a bit of a character, he was loud and confident, everybody liked him. Both Flex and the other guy knew that Ashley hadn’t directly set them up, he wasn’t like that, but they both felt that this had probably happened because Ashley had been talking too loudly about it while people were about or something along those lines. Ashley got a bit reckless when he’d had a sniff.
So the result of this was that Ashley now owed a hundred thousand pounds to two people who you definitely would not want to fuck with. The cars, the jewellery, the drugs, the cash, it all went. We went from riches to rags overnight. Ashley was pretty much left with the clothes on his back and he still owed over twenty grand. Life changed dramatically for us. Ashley started drinking more and sniffing even more, he was stressed beyond belief. He started selling crack and heroin on the streets which drew him into a really filthy underworld. I would drive around with him sometimes when he was selling to junkies, they would always have something on them that they’d just robbed, gold, phones or meat and they’d try to persuade me to buy it. The whole thing made me feel sick.
Ashley moved back to his Mum’s and illegally sublet his flat to some random African man who had just arrived in the UK, he needed money in whatever way he could get it. Ashley couldn’t afford new clothes and he hardly got his haircut. Ashley was turning into a tramp. I had started working and I was studying at college 1 day a week. I wanted Ashley to sort himself out, to start working properly and to get back to how he used to be. I didn’t want to leave him, I wanted to stay around and fix him. He was still a lovely, funny, attentive man, he was just in a complete mess. I was certain that we could sort it all out and live happily ever after one day.
After about 6 months Ashley got a call from the council asking why someone called Olutunji Obasanjo had set up council tax payments, a BT landline, and had applied for a parking permit for the flat. They said that they would be coming over at 6pm that night, it was 3pm. Ashley and I had the most fraught afternoon getting Olutunji out of the way, we also had to go to South London to get a load of Ashley’s belongings to make it look like he’d been living there. It was a nightmare, but not as much of a nightmare as the flat. The place was a complete wreck. The toilet seat was completely hanging off and the toilet had not been cleaned in months. Nothing had been cleaned in months. I felt so ashamed when the council officer came round and I had to pretend that this was my boyfriend’s house and I stayed there all the time. We’d put framed pictures of ourselves on the shelves to make it more realistic. She must have thought I was a gangrenous slut.
She inspected the whole house fully. At one point she stood by the fridge with her hand on the door and asked Ashley to tell her what was in the fridge. That was a scary moment. Ashley said ‘chicken and doughnuts’. I wanted to punch him in the face. Obviously when she opened it there weren’t any doughnuts, or chicken. There was one can of beer. I told her that we ate out a lot. She clearly knew that Ashley had been subletting but she also seemed quite charmed by him so she gave him a warning and told him that she would be making random unannounced visits for the next few months so Ashley had to move back a couple of days later.
We hadn’t been spending as much time together when he was back at his Mum’s, I had progressed my career and I was working for a well-known producer so I was busy. Once Ashley returned to North London I was back at his most nights but I was really beginning to feel uncomfortable there, I’d cleaned the whole place after Olutunji left but Ashley was quickly taking it back to those levels, and he hadn’t repaired the toilet seat. Things were becoming grimey and it was out of character for Ashley. In fact, Ashley’s behaviour was just weird in general. He’d get up in the middle of the night and frantically fill black bags with rubbish and say he had to go down to the bins to put them out. I’d tell him it was 3 am and that this was mental but he’d insist. One night he stayed at my mum’s with me and at about 1am he said he had to go and get a book out of his car, I was convinced that he was seeing someone else and that he was having secret late night phone calls with her. I watched him in his car out of my bedroom window and I could just see him burning a lighter. I didn’t have a clue what he was up to.
One night Flex called me and said he needed me to come to Ashley’s as he had gone over to see him and found a bunch of random people in his flat. He was trying to convince Ashley to get them to leave but Ashley was fucked. Flex thought that Ashley might listen to me. When I got round there I was shocked as fuck. Ashley was blasting out old reggae tunes and speaking in a Jamaican accent, standing in the middle of the room giving a speech about the illuminati. His audience were three absolutely cracked out old Rastas and a white girl who looked about 17. They were definitely crackheads, and she was definitely a prostitute, I think she probably worked for them. She had her hair gelled back tightly, thick black eyeliner, short bitten nails, and she was chain smoking cigarettes. I could not believe what I was witnessing and I did not hide my rage. I kicked off like I’d been possessed. This mad scene had hit me hard. What the actual fuck was Ashley up to?
The Crimewatch crew didn’t resist my demands for them to ‘GETTTTTT THHHEEEEEE FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKKKKK OUT OF MY FUCKING FAAAAACCCCCEEEE NOOOOOOWWWWWW’ and they left in a hurry, stealing Ashley’s ten box of Mayfair as they went. Flex and I sat with Ashley asking him who they were and why the fuck they had been at his flat. Ashley was giving us a speech about not being judgemental and telling us that they were ‘good peoples’. Ashley was still selling crack and heroin and it was obvious to me and Flex that these vagabonds were his customers. He wasn’t drinking everyday but when he was he was becoming out of control and I blamed that on his stupid willingness to allow these dodgy characters into his home.
The following weekend I got another call from Flex, this time he told me I had to get to Ashley’s immediately. Flex had gone round there while Ashley was sleeping but the front door was ajar. He’d let himself in and had gone to the toilet before waking Ashley up. In the bathroom Flex noticed that the bath panel had been pulled back, he went to fix it and he noticed a can, tin foil, a lighter and a small rock of crack hidden under Ashley’s bath. He woke Ashley up by slapping him round his face.
I was fucking devastated but it all fitted into place, I should have known before, it was actually obvious. I just couldn’t cope with the thought of my beautiful, fresh, clean, amazing, lovely, Ashley using crack. It’s such a scummy, dirty, disgusting drug and I wouldn’t touch it if you paid me. Despite the evidence being extremely clear, Ashley denied it and said that it must belong to one of his customers who had used the toilet. In the history of the world I don’t think there has been a case of a crackhead absent-mindedly forgetting their crack, but this was the story that Ashley was sticking to. I was sobbing uncontrollably. I was so incredibly upset. I was so upset that I ran to the toilet to throw up. Ashley and I spent the next couple of weeks in turmoil, I was desperate for him to get help but he remained completely in denial. I stayed with him as much as I could to stop him from being able to do it but he’d always find some way of escaping. It was a nightmare. But it got worse.
My period was late and I was feeling sick all the time, I thought that it must have been to do with the stress but I took a pregnancy test in the toilets at work just to be sure and of course I was pregnant. I couldn’t fucking believe it. If this had happened a year before I’d have been jumping with joy but now I was feeling absolutely devastated. I couldn’t bring a baby into this world with a crackhead dad. I worried whether the baby would even be able to develop properly, surely Ashley’s sperm would be a bit deformed. Plus I was smoking loads of weed and I’d been raving a couple of times in the previous few weeks and had taken Es. I did not know what to do. That evening I met up with Ashley to tell him. He was happy but sad, like me. We met in my car because Ashley said he had something important to do and he could only see me quickly. He was acting weird and was clearly in a hurry to go. He promised to call me later but he didn’t, I didn’t hear from him for 2 days. His phone was completely dead, so was Flex’s. Neither of them were anywhere to be seen. Ashley wasn’t at home or at his Mum’s. I didn’t know what was going on but I was stressed and upset. On the third day Ashley turned up at my Mum’s house at 7am absolutely off his face. Mum was up making a cup of tea when I went downstairs to let him in. I tried to usher Ashley upstairs quickly but he insisted on having a chat with my Mum. He was swaying and slurring, he looked filthy and my Mum was horrified. I was apologising and trying to get him to go upstairs, he had a bottle of wine in his bag and he offered my Mum a glass. It was horrendous. I was telling him that he was embarrassing himself and to just stop and he turned to my Mum and said:
‘She’s really making me out to be the bad guy Samantha but I can assure you that she is not a good girl at all, she fucks me like an absolute whore’.
Jesus Christ, Ashley really out did himself with that one. My Mum freaked out and demanded that he left. I couldn’t look her in the eye. I could not believe that I was carrying this man’s child. It was unbearable. How could I bring a baby up with this chaos? I gave Ashley a fiver and told him to get to the cab station and go the fuck home. The fiver was enough for him not to make a fuss. I was seething with anger. I didn’t hear from him for 24 hours but I was glad, I needed a break from his madness, but I was also gutted. I wanted to talk about the baby, I wanted to hear that he was going to make changes, I wanted reassurance that this was all going to be OK.
The next time I heard from him he phoned me and told me that he was at a Police station and that he had been arrested. It really didn’t surprise me, he was definitely heading for some kind of public order offence with the way that he was behaving. I offered to come and pick him up but he said he wasn’t sure that he would be coming home. I couldn’t understand why, I told him I wanted to speak to the Police, this was an injustice. That was when Ashley told me that he had been arrested for Attempted Murder.
To be continued…….