Guide Can You Keep a Secret?

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Rating: 2. Overview On a plane that in experiencing difficulties, Emma decides to bear her soul and deepest secrets to a young stranger. After spilling her secrets, the plane is safe and she lives with the fact that someone else knows everything about her.

Emma goes to work and discovers a surprising secret of her own about the young stranger, he is actually the company's CEO. Emma must deal with the guy who knows everything about her as she tries to navigate an already chaotic work environment. Similar DVD Releases The Art of Self-Defense imdb: 7. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Ready or Not 2. Joker Downton Abbey 3. The Lion King Dora and the Lost City of Gold 4. It Chapter Two Crawl 5. Angel Has Fallen The Angry Birds Movie 2 6.

Red Joan 7. Toy Story 4 Good Boys 8. Rambo: Last Blood At least they'll remember who I am. As I stride towards the gate, clutching my briefcase, I almost start to feel like a confident businesswoman again. A couple of people smile at me as they pass, and I smile broadly back, feeling a warm glow of friendliness. You see. The world's not so bad after all. It's all just a question of being positive. Anything can happen in life, can't it? You never know what's round the next corner.

I reach the entrance to the plane, and there at the door, taking boarding passes, is the air hostess with the French plait who was sitting at the bar earlier. It's just … did you know that …' She gestures awkwardly to my front. I look down, and freeze, aghast. Somehow my silky shirt has been unbuttoning itself while I've been walking along. Three buttons have come undone and it's gaping at the front. My bra shows. My pink lacy bra. The one that went a bit blobby in the wash. That's why those people were smiling at me. You deserve a break.

But … can you just upgrade people like that? We use our discretion. And this flight is so short. I've never been upgraded before in my life! I can't quite believe she's really letting me do this. A man in a smart suit is tapping at a laptop to my right, and two elderly women in the corner are plugging themselves into headsets. There's no first class on this flight. Thanks very much.

This really is lovely. Big wide seats, and footrests, and everything. This is going to be a completely pleasurable experience from start to finish, I tell myself firmly. I reach for my seatbelt and buckle it up nonchalantly, trying to ignore the flutters of apprehension in my stomach. Some champagne? He's wearing jeans and an old sweatshirt and is staring out of the window. As he turns to answer I catch a glimpse of dark eyes, stubble; a deep frown etched on his forehead. Just a brandy. I'm about to ask him politely where he's from, but he immediately turns back and stares out of the window again.

Which is fine, because to be honest, I'm not much in the mood for talking either. TWO OK. The truth is, I don't like this. I know it's business class, I know it's all lovely luxury. But my stomach is still a tight knot of fear. While we were taking off I counted very slowly with my eyes closed, and that kind of worked. But I ran out of steam at about I'm trying very hard to look like a relaxed business-class top marketing executive.

But oh God. Every tiny sound makes me start; every judder makes me catch my breath. Safety exits. Brace position. If life jackets are required, please assist the elderly and children first. Oh God— Why am I even looking at this? How will it help me to gaze at pictures of little stick people jumping into the ocean while their plane explodes behind them? I stuff the safety instructions quickly back in their pocket and take a gulp of champagne. We provide full conference call facilities, and meeting rooms, should you require them. Would you be interested? I am a top businesswoman. I am a top highflying business executive.

I have a large team, and obviously they need a lot of briefing. On business matters. I gave them all the day off. That sound. That kind of whining, coming from the wing? I just … was wondering. Just out of interest. Some information about our executive facilities at Gatwick. Why is the plane bumping? A sudden rush of fear hits me with no warning. This is madness. Sitting in this big heavy box, with no way of escape, thousands and thousands of feet above the ground … I can't do this on my own. I have an overpowering need to talk to someone. Someone reassuring. Someone safe.

Instinctively I fish out my mobile phone, but immediately the air hostess swoops down on me. Er … sorry. They've only said it about fifty-five zillion times. I am such a durr-brain. Anyway, never mind. It doesn't matter. I'm fine. I put the phone away in my bag, and try to concentrate on an old episode of Fawlty Towers which is showing on the screen. Maybe I'll start counting again. Three hundred and forty-nine. Three hundred and fifty.

Three hundred and— Fuck.

My head jerks up. What was that bump? Did we just get hit? OK, don't panic. It was just a bump.

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I'm sure everything's fine. We probably just flew into a pigeon or something. Where was I? Three hundred and fifty-one. Three hundred and fifty-two. Three hundred and fifty— And that's it. That's the moment. Everything seems to fragment. I hear the screams like a wave over my head, almost before I realize what's happening. We're falling. Oh God, we're falling. We're plummeting downwards. The plane's dropping through the air like a stone. A man over there has just shot up through the air and banged his head on the ceiling.

He's bleeding. I'm gasping, clutching onto my seat, trying not to do the same thing, but I can feel myself being wrenched upwards, it's like someone's tugging me, like gravity's suddenly switched the other way. There's no time to think. My mind can't … Bags are flying around, drinks are spilling, one of the cabin crew has fallen over, she's clutching at a seat … Oh God. OK, it's slowing down now. It's … it's better. I just … I just can't … I … I look at the American man, and he's grasping his seat as tightly as I am.

I feel sick. I think I might be sick. It's … it's kind of … back to normal. I can't listen. I can't think. I have switched on the seatbelt signs and would ask that you all return to your seats as quickly as—' There's another huge lurch, and his voice is drowned by screams and cries all round the plane. It's like a bad dream.

A bad rollercoaster dream. The cabin crew are all strapping themselves into their seats. One of the hostesses is mopping blood on her face.

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A minute ago they were happily doling out honey-roast peanuts. This is what happens to other people in other planes. People on safety videos. Not me. I can't breathe, let alone keep calm. What are we going to do? Are we all supposed to just sit here while the plane bucks like an out-of-control horse? I can hear someone behind me reciting 'Hail Mary, full of grace …' and a fresh, choking panic sweeps through me.

People are praying. This is real. We're going to die. Did I just say that aloud? This could be the last person I ever see alive. I take in the lines etched around his dark eyes; his strong jaw, shaded with stubble. The plane suddenly drops down again, and I give an involuntary shriek.

But he's gripping his seat-arms, too. I know we're not. This is it. I'm twenty-five years old, for God's sake. I'm not ready. I haven't achieved anything. I'm not a top businesswoman at all. I'm just a crappy assistant and I just had my first ever big meeting and it was a complete disaster. Half the time I haven't got a clue what people are talking about, I don't know what logistical means, I'm never going to get promoted, and I owe my dad four thousand quid, and I've never really been in love …' I draw myself up short with a jolt. I'm completely losing it. And anyway, what I just said wasn't true.

Because I am in love with Connor. It must be the altitude or something, confusing my mind. Flustered, I push the hair off my face and try to get a hold of myself. OK, let's try counting again. Three hundred and fifty … six. Three hundred and— Oh God. The plane's lurching again. We're plummeting. Maybe they used to be proud of me.

But then my cousin Kerry came to live with us and all at once it was like my parents couldn't see me any more. All they could see was her. She was fourteen when she arrived, and I was ten, and I thought it was going to be great, you know. Like having an older sister.

But it didn't work out like that …' I can't stop talking. I just can't stop. Every time the plane bumps or jolts, another torrent of words pours randomly out of my mouth, like water gushing over a waterfall. It's either talk or scream. But I was planning to go on a diet …' 'I applied for every single job in the world. I was so desperate, I even applied to …' '… awful girl called Artemis. This new desk arrived the other day, and she just took it, even though I've got this really grotty little desk …' '… sometimes I water her stupid spider plant with orange juice, just to serve her right …' '… sweet girl Katie, who works in Personnel.

We have this secret code where she comes in and says, "Can I go through some numbers with you, Emma? I know it was dishonest. Normally there's a kind of filter which stops me blurting out everything I'm thinking; which keeps me in check. But the filter's stopped working. Everything's piling out in a big, random stream, and I can't stop it. But then I think, yes but what about war and stuff …' '… wear G-strings because they don't give you VPL. But they're so uncomfortable …' '… size eight, and I didn't know what to do, so I just said "Wow those are absolutely fantastic …"' '… roasted peppers, my complete favourite food …' '… joined a book group, but I just couldn't get through Great Expectations.

So I just skimmed the back and pretended I'd read it …' '… I gave him all his goldfish food, I honestly don't know what happened …' '… just have to hear that Carpenters song "Close to You" and I start crying …' '… really wish I had bigger boobs. I mean, not Page 3 size, not completely enormous and stupid, but you know, bigger. The world has narrowed to me and this stranger, and my mouth, spewing out all my innermost thoughts and secrets. I barely know what I'm saying any more. All I know is, it feels good. Is this what therapy is like?

I remember thinking the very first time I saw him, wow, he's good-looking, He's very tall and blond, because he's half-Swedish, and he has these amazing blue eyes. So he asked me out …' '… always have a glass of sweet sherry before a date, just to calm my nerves …' 'He's wonderful. Connor's completely wonderful. I'm just so lucky.

Everyone's always telling me how great he is. He's sweet, and he's good, and he's successful and everyone calls us the perfect couple …' '… I'd never tell anyone this in a million years. But sometimes I think he's almost too good-looking. A bit like one of those dolls? Like Ken. Like a blond Ken.

Things I never even realized were in my head.

Can You Keep a Secret?

So in the end I just made some stuff up, I said it was absolutely amazing, and it felt as though my whole body was opening up like a flower, and he said, what sort of flower, so I said a begonia …' '… can't expect the initial passion to last. But how do you tell if the passion's faded in a good, long-term-commitment way or in a crap, we-don't-fancy-each-other-any-more way …' '… knight in shining armour is not a realistic option. But there's a part of me that wants a huge, amazing romance. I want passion. I want to be swept off my feet. I want an earthquake, or a … I don't know, a huge whirlwind … something exciting.

Sometimes I feel as if there's this whole new, thrilling life waiting for me out there, and if I can just—' 'Excuse me, miss? How can we have landed? I look around — and sure enough, the plane's still. We're on the ground. I feel like Dorothy. A second ago I was swirling around in Oz, clicking my heels together, and now I've woken up all flat and quiet and normal again. I look at him as though for the first time — and it hits me. I've been blabbering non-stop for an hour to this complete stranger.

God alone knows what I've been saying. I think I want to get off this plane right now. I mean, I told him about my knickers. I told him about my G spot. We were all stressed out. That was some flight. I'll be fine. Enjoy your visit! Slowly I gather my things together and make my way off the plane. I feel sweaty, my hair's all over the place, and my head is starting to throb.

The airport seems so bright and still and calm after the intense atmosphere of the plane. The ground seems so firm. I sit quietly on a plastic chair for a while, trying to get myself together, but as I stand up at last, I still feel dazed. I walk along in a slight blur, hardly able to believe I'm here. I'm alive. There are loads of Emmas in this world. Over here! Is that … No. It can't be, it can't— It's Connor.

He looks heart-breakingly handsome. His skin has that Scandinavian tan, and his eyes are bluer than ever, and he's running towards me. This makes no sense. What's he doing here? As we reach each other he grabs me and pulls me tight to his chest. Are you OK? I just had to come to the airport. They sent an ambulance straight out to it. Then you didn't appear. I thought …' He swallows hard.

I was just … trying to get myself together. Oh God, Connor, it was terrifying. My heart's thumping. I think I might fall over at any moment. My heart jumps in fear. Oh my God. He's going to ask me to marry him, right here in the airport. What am I going to say? I'm not ready to get married. But if I say no he'll stalk off in a huff. What I'll say is, Gosh, Connor, I need a little time to … '… move in together,' he finishes. Obviously he wasn't going to ask me to marry him. Move in with Connor. It kind of makes sense. Is there a reason why not? I feel all confused. Something's tugging at my brain; trying to send me a message … And into my head slide some of the things I said on the plane.

Something about never having been properly in love. Something about Connor not really understanding me. But then … that was just drivel, wasn't it? I mean, I thought I was about to die, for God's sake. I wasn't exactly at my most lucid. My legs are barely holding me up.

I don't know if it's the aftermath of the plane journey or love. Oh God, just look at him. He's tall and he's handsome, and he cancelled a big meeting, and he came to rescue me. It's love. It has to be love. THREE I wake up the next morning with sunlight dazzling my eyelids and a delicious smell of coffee in the air. Which normally I would find very easy. But today, something's niggling at me. Have I forgotten something? As I half listen to Connor clattering around in the kitchen, and the tinny background sound of the telly, my mind gropes blearily around for clues.

It's Saturday morning. I'm in Connor's bed. We went out for supper — oh God, that awful plane ride … he came to the airport, and he said … We're moving in together! He's dressed in a white waffle robe and looks completely gorgeous. I feel a prickle of pride, and reach over to give him a kiss. We're … going to live together! Of course I am! And it's true. I feel as though overnight, I've turned into a grownup. I'm moving in with my boyfriend. Finally my life is going the way it should! And you'll have to promise to keep it tidy.

There's a pause, as though we've both run out of steam, and we take a sip of coffee. And he really is. I mean, as if he wasn't already the perfect boyfriend, he actually enjoys visiting my parents. It's their last concert of the year. Remember we heard them at Ronnie Scott's? I do remember. On and on and on, for about two hours, without even taking a breath. In fact, I'm positive I will. I watch fondly as he gets dressed, flosses his teeth and picks up his briefcase.

Gosh, his eyes are so blue. You may not like it.

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I mean … it's completely up to you. His face is growing pink, and he looks really embarrassed. Is he going to start getting kinky? Does he want me to dress up in outfits and stuff? I wouldn't mind being a nurse, actually. Or Catwoman from Batman. That would be cool. I could get some shiny boots … 'I was thinking that … perhaps … we could …' He stops awkwardly. I almost can't breathe. What does he want us to do? It's quite a commitment. And I noticed recently, we never seem to use any … terms of endearment. Now I think about it, he's right.

We don't. Why don't we? Only if you want to. Of course we should. This doesn't feel right. I don't feel like a darling. Darling is a married person with pearls and a four-wheel-drive. But … you know. It may grow on me. Well, we can use something else. What about "dear"? Is he serious? Look, can we just leave it? Come on. I can call my boyfriend 'darling', for God's sake.

This is what growing up's all about. I'm just going to have to get used to it. Maybe I'm still a bit tense after that flight. I expect all couples have this kind of awkward-ish moment. It's probably perfectly normal. It takes me about half an hour to get from Connor's place in Maida Vale to Islington, which is where I live, and as I open the door I find Lissy on the sofa. She's surrounded by papers and has a frown of concentration on her face. She works so hard, Lissy. She really overdoes it sometimes. You do all these measurements …' 'Oh right!

That's crap. I knew it. You know, all my life I've kind of secretly known , but—' 'No! You can't measure beauty with some stupid index. Just look at you! The mirror or a stupid mindless magazine article? I know she's half joking. But ever since her boyfriend Simon chucked her, Lissy's had really low self-esteem. I'm actually a bit worried about her. She's wearing pale pink jeans and a tight white top and as usual, she looks perfectly tanned and groomed. In theory, Jemima has a job, working in a sculpture gallery.

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But all she ever seems to do is have bits of her waxed and plucked and massaged, and go on dates with city bankers, whose salary she always checks out before she says yes. I do get on with Jemima. Kind of. It's just that she tends to begin all her sentences ' Ifyou want a rock on your finger,' and ' Ifyou want an SW3 address,' and ' Ifyou want to be known as a seriously good dinner-party hostess. You know. It's just not exactly highest on my list of priorities right now.

Plus, Jemima's idea of being a seriously good dinner-party hostess is inviting lots of rich friends over, decorating the whole flat with twiggy things, getting caterers to cook loads of yummy food and telling everyone she made it herself, then sending her flatmates me and Lissy out to the cinema for the night and looking affronted when they dare creep back in at midnight and make themselves a hot chocolate. Her dad bought it for her as a present when she broke up with a guy after three dates.

Like she was heartbroken.

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Mind you, he had a yacht, so she probably was heart-broken. Andrew called Rupes this morning about cricket, and he told him. Isn't it great? Jemima, they're having a relationship, not playing chess! You have to plan strategically. If you make the wrong move, you've had it. It's about soulmates finding each other.

Jemima raises her perfectly arched eyebrows as though to say, 'you poor, ignorant fool', and picks up her bag. I can't look at Lissy. I'm sure I saw her wearing it the other night. Jemima's blue eyes are running over me and Lissy like some kind of radar scanners. And don't think I won't notice, because I will. Oh well, I'll pick it up on Monday. So the truth is, we do both occasionally borrow Jemima's clothes. Without asking. But in our defence, she has so many, she hardly ever notices. Plus according to Lissy, it's a basic human right that flatmates should be able to borrow each others' clothes. She says it's practically part of the unwritten British constitution.

You know, she never even said thank you. D'you want to see a film? I hope it's OK. And even she doesn't know it all. I was watching a Cindy Blaine show the other day, all about reuniting long-lost daughters with their mothers, and it was so moving I soon had tears running down my face. At the end, Cindy gave this little homily about how it's far too easy to take our families for granted and that they gave us life and we should cherish them. And suddenly I felt really chastened. So these are my resolutions for today: I will not: Let my family stress me out. Feel jealous of Kerry, or let Nev wind me up.

Look at my watch, wondering how soon I can leave. I will: Stay serene and loving and remember that we are all sacred links in the eternal circle of life. I got that from Cindy Blaine, too. Mum and Dad used to live in Twickenham, which is where I grew up. But now they've moved out of London to a village in Hampshire. I arrive at their house just after twelve, to find Mum in the kitchen with my cousin Kerry. She and her husband Nev have moved out too, to a village about five minutes' drive from Mum and Dad, so they see each other all the time.

I feel a familiar pang as I see them, standing side by side by the stove. They look more like mother and daughter than aunt and niece. They've both got the same feather-cut hair — although Kerry's is highlighted more strongly than Mum's — they're both wearing brightly coloured tops which show a lot of tanned cleavage, and they're both laughing.

On the counter, I notice a bottle of white wine already half gone. As I glimpse a wrapped parcel on the kitchen table, I feel a little thrill of anticipation. I have got Mum the best birthday present. I can't wait to give it to her! Her blue eyes are heavily made-up, and round her neck she's wearing a diamond cross which I haven't seen before. Every time I see Kerry she has a new piece of jewellery.

We don't see enough of you. Do we, Aunty Rachel? As though I'm a visitor. But never mind. I'm not going to stress about it. Sacred links in the eternal circle of life. It makes much more sense now. So I said to Elaine,' she adds to Mum, '"Where did you get those shoes? I couldn't believe it! Mum never used to play golf. But when she moved to Hampshire, she and Kerry took it up together. And now all I hear about is golf matches, golf club dinners, and endless parties with chums from the golf club. I did once go along, to see what it was all about.

But first of all they have all these stupid rules about what you can wear, which I didn't know, and some old guy nearly had a heart attack because I was in jeans. So they had to find me a skirt, and a spare pair of those clumpy shoes with spikes. And then when we got on to the course I couldn't hit the ball. Not I couldn't hit the ball well : I literally could not make contact with the ball. So in the end they all exchanged glances and said I'd better wait in the clubhouse.

She frowns anxiously. Does he look right to you? I never thought she would notice. I tried as hard as I could to get a fish that looked just like Sammy. I mean he's orange, he's got two fins, he swims around … What's the difference? I didn't even check if I got the right sex. Do goldfishes even have sexes? Dad's greying beard is as neatly trimmed as ever, and he's drinking beer from a silver tankard. The room has recently been redecorated, but on the wall there's still a display of all Kerry's swimming cups.

Mum polishes them regularly, every week. Plus my couple of riding rosettes. I think she kind of flicks those with a duster. No detours! No visits to historic cities! He's in chinos and a white roll-neck, and has a heavy gold bracelet round his wrist, plus a wedding ring with a diamond set in it. Apparently they struck up conversation admiring each other's Rolex watches.

Very smart. Tax deductible,' he adds. Er … Dad, that reminds me. I've got a cheque for you. It's called learning to stand on your own two feet! He takes a slug of beer and grins at Dad. Two and a half years ago.

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And he makes this same joke every time I see him. Every single bloody— OK, calm down. Happy thoughts. Cherish your family. Cherish Nev. Good, good! Suddenly Dad and Nev simultaneously groan as something or other happens on the cricket pitch. A moment later they groan again. I go out to the hall and pick up the cardboard box which I brought down with me. Then I go through the side gate, knock on the annexe door and push it cautiously. At the old house in Twickenham he just had a bedroom, but this house is bigger, so he has his own annexe of two rooms, and a tiny little kitchen, tacked onto the side of the house.

He's sitting in his favourite leather armchair, with the radio playing classical music, and on the floor in front of him are about six cardboard packing cases full of stuff. Come here! His skin is dry and cool, and his hair is even whiter than it was last time I saw him. Grandpa is completely addicted to Panther energy bars, and so are all his friends at the bowling club, so I use my allowance to buy him a boxful for every time I come home. I pick my way across the room, dump the box on the floor, then retrace my steps, trying not to tread on anything.

Drunken louts, breaking bottles, gouging one another's eyes out …' 'It's not that bad—' 'Emma, it's not worth the risk! For the sake of a taxi fare or two. About once a year. What's all this stuff? I'm just sorting out what to throw away and what to keep. I'm keeping all that. Grandpa avoids my gaze. You have to throw some of this away! And what's this?

I've never even heard of a Jim before. Spent the afternoon together. I was nine. However small. I reach for the nearest card, open it and my expression changes. This is from Smith's Electrical Maintenance, And nor do you need one from …' I open the next card. And you don't need twenty old copies of Punch.

I'm looking at a photograph of me and Dad and Mum, sitting on a bench in a park. Mum's wearing a flowery dress, and Dad's wearing a stupid sunhat, and I'm on his knee, aged about nine, eating an ice-cream. We all look so happy together. Wordlessly, I turn to another photo. I've got Dad's hat on and we're all laughing helplessly at something.

Just us three. Just us. Before Kerry came into our lives. I still remember the day she arrived. A red suitcase in the hall, and a new voice in the kitchen, and an unfamiliar smell of perfume in the air. I walked in and there she was, a stranger, drinking a cup of tea. She was wearing school uniform, but she still looked like a grown-up to me. She already had an enormous bust, and gold studs in her ears, and streaks in her hair.

And at suppertime, Mum and Dad let her have a glass of wine. Mum kept telling me I had to be very kind to her, because her mother had died. We all had to be very kind to Kerry. That was why she got my room. I leaf through the rest of the pictures, trying to swallow the lump in my throat. I remember this place now. The park we used to go to, with swings and slides. But it was too boring for Kerry, and I desperately wanted to be like her, so I said it was boring too, and we never went again.

You can't just throw them out. I cannot do it. I want to throw my treacle tart at her. We've been sitting round the table now for forty minutes and the only voice we've heard is Kerry's. When I walk along the street, the message I give the world is "I am a successful woman". Her chin is raised, her boobs are sticking out, her eyes are fixed on the middle distance, and her bottom is jerking from side to side.

She looks like a cross between an ostrich and one of the androids in Attack of the Clones. I want to giggle. I mustn't. You are good to Emma, Kerry. And I take a swig of wine. Yeah, right. Kerry really wants to help me. That's why when I was completely desperate for a job and asked her for work experience at her company, she said no. I wrote her this long, careful letter, saying I realized it put her in an awkward situation, but I'd really appreciate any chance, even a couple of days running errands.

And she sent back a standard rejection letter. I was so totally mortified, I never told anyone.