Golden Ticket

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CC Image courtesy of Andre Benedix on Flickr

I hear a step and turn in my chair.  It’s Tristan, holding a piece of paper.  He puts it down next to my keyboard.

‘Here you are.’

‘Oh!  But…’

It only means one thing.

‘…are – are you sure?  Because I – I don’t have anyone for it – I mean, I can probably find someone, but I don’t have anyone at the minute, and… don’t you want it?’

‘N-o.’

‘Oh, OK, well, thanks.’  I look down at the ticket, frowning.  ‘Are – are you sure there’s no one else who wants it?’

‘No.’  He looks puzzled.  ‘I got it from the design guys, so I don’t think any of them need it.’

In the top right-hand corner someone has scribbled his name: TRISTAN.  He won’t be there.

‘OK, well, thank you.  I’m sure I can find someone for it.’

 

Yesterday, over lunch, Tristan had mentioned that he might not make the gig as he had to pack for the weekend.  I’d then enquired casually of the assembled company if anyone knew of a spare ticket going and Tristan immediately volunteered his.

‘Well, I don’t have anyone at the minute,’ I mumble, ‘but there might be someone…’

The night before, I’d got a message from Viable Prospect.  He’s in London, well, Oxford, but the point is, he’s in the same country as me and has suggested a repeat of herbal tea.  Not knowing this was going to be the case, I’d given my spare gig tickets to my brother.  Now I’m a bit peeved that I can’t ask VP, not least because he’s actually a fan of the band.

 

I keep glancing at the piece of paper next to my computer, at the name scrawled across the top.  I’d known from Tristan’s tone at lunch that he wouldn’t come, but still, it’s a pity.  I was looking forward to spending some time with him outside of the office, and now he’s gone and dropped into my lap the means to enable me to invite VP.  Tristan had been the one big reason against asking the guy, so there’s a neat irony to this turn of events.  Not that I expect VP to come.  By half 4 I’m certain he’ll say no, it’s too much hassle etc.  That’s the cut-off I’ve given him.

At 16:36 I notice, out of the corner of my eye, my phone blinking.  I’ve been on edge ever since I first texted him the suggestion, three hours before.  What’s new is that now, for the first time, I’m certain: I want him to be there.  I know he’d be brilliant company, that I’d laugh all night with him.  It would be wonderful.

‘You’re on’

Shit.  That’s my first thought.  SHIT!  And that’s my second.  (My third is obviously, full stop???)  I fire off an email to Colleague who is excited in the way only a person who isn’t currently facing a clothing/make-up crisis of gargantuan proportions could be.

 

Grey eye shadow – or anything darkish?’

‘I’ve got this.’

Zoe holds out what can only be described as pale pink shimmer.

‘Errr…’

Colleague comes in. ‘You OK?’

‘Er no!  I am not prepared for this!’

She laughs.  ‘Can I help with anything?’

‘Err… make-up?!’

‘What do you need?’

‘Everything!  Eye shadow?  Grey?’

Zoe reoffers pearly pink. ‘It’s kind of shimmery.’

And still pink.

‘How about this?’

I take Colleague’s grey eyeliner pencil and set to work.

 

I leave through the main entrance, which takes me past Tristan’s desk.  I remember, as a child, always reading the phrase ‘he gave her an appraising glance’ in books, and never quite knowing what it meant.  What Tristan gives me is undoubtedly appraising, but it ain’t a glance, it’s a look.  I flash a smile.

‘Thank you for the ticket, Tristan.’

‘No worries.  Have fun.’

I don’t catch the last words.  ‘Sorry?’ I say, coming to a halt.  The effect is entirely ruined.

Too late I realise what he said.

‘Oh – thanks.’

But he’s already looked away.  Or has he?

Standing on the landing, waiting for the lift to arrive, a scene plays out in my head.  It’s a cross between the moment in The Office when Dawn comes back to the party and kisses Tim, and something altogether more dramatic.  It involves Tristan rushing towards the doors, pushing them open, starting to say something, only to break off and kiss me.

The lift doors open, and close on me.  I hit the button for the ground floor.

CC Image courtesy of Paul Hagon on Flickr

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Old News

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I’m older, wiser, and back on Tinder.CC Image courtesy of damn_unique on Flickr

Scrap that.

I’m older and back on Tinder.  (For full details of the birthday itself, click here.)

And in the spirit of not wasting any time (did I mention that I’m getting older?), within a week I have a date lined up.  Yes, all it took was a week.  One week of swiping and sighing and googling ‘DTF?’.  If you don’t know, don’t ask: ignorance in this instance is most certainly bliss.  Which incidentally is the theme of my date’s tagline: imagination brings bliss at no cost.

It also, but I won’t be pointing this out in the course of the date, brings despair, disappointment, and anguish.  I should know: too much of my love life takes place in the realm of my imagination.

 

Back in the real world, I’m running late.

‘I thought you were leaving?’

‘Yes,’ I say, through gritted teeth.  ‘But I have to finish this.’

 

‘Sorry to keep you waiting!  I don’t want to start with a work rant.’

‘Go for it – get it out the way!’

‘No no, I’m not going to.’

‘Ah go for it.’

‘OK…’

He’s tall, good-looking, and I like his style.  And, more to the point, he looks nice, which might be why I ‘liked’ him in the first place.  It might also be why I’m unwilling to kick things off with a barrage of negativity.

‘What can I get you to drink?’ he says, the rant being over.

‘Oh, thank you, ermmm… is that a caipirinha?’

 

I close the front door behind me, drop my bag on a chair, and go through to the kitchen.  Ten minutes later I emerge, plate in hand.  My phone is lying on the table, next to my computer, which I power up.  Five minutes of scouring Flickr for a ‘smiley face balloon’ later – the things I do for my readers – by which time my supper is stone cold, my phone buzzes into life.

‘I had a good time this evening.  Maybe grab a bite to eat next time if you fancied it? X’

I smile.  There was something refreshingly down to earth about the guy.  I felt like I knew where I was with him, which was never EVER the case with FFS.  So I reply, sooner than I normally would, saying… I’d like that.

CC Image courtesy of Lettuce. on Flickr

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