She glanced across at the guitar case, untouched for so long. Every few days, Rosie the cleaner came into the room and dusted. She wiped down the guitar case and polished the gold records in their frames on the wall.
Occasionally, she’d look at him, but she knew now, warned by his PA, not to talk to him about the guitar or the awards.
Rosie knew the story now, though. Her daughter told her all about it one day as they sat together.
Of course, Claire, her daughter knew all about him, the man who used to be famous. ‘I had a poster of him on my wall, don’t you remember, mum?’
Rosie shook her head. All she could remember of those days were the arguments, the slammed doors and the noise… the music, far too loud.
‘Fancy you having him as a client.’ Claire grinned. ‘I used to fancy him, so much. What does he look like now?’
Rosie shrugged. ‘Bald, wrinkled. Too heavy, probably. Like we all do as we grow older.’
Rosie remembered her daughter’s bedroom, one poster in particular. ‘He wasn’t that hairy one with a guitar, was he?’
‘Your dad called him the guitar gorilla.’ Rosie was silent, remembering Pete. He was gone now, seven years and still she kept asking him if he wanted a cup of tea when she was in the house alone. ‘He has a guitar, in a case. But he never touches it.’
‘Yes.’ Claire nodded again. ‘It was a tragedy. It was in all the papers. He swore then he’d never play another note again. Not after that night. He walked off then and there and was never seen on stage again.’ She looked at her mother. ‘And now, here you are cleaning for him.’
She looked away, shaking her head, remembering another night, a few years earlier and a hotel room with a guitar propped up in a corner. She too had times she’d never forget.
‘Anyway,’ Rosie said. ‘Fancy another cup of tea.’
Claire smiled, wiped her eyes and said yes.