Winging It

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‘Come on!’CC Image courtesy of Jamilson Junior on Flickr

Sally steers me in the direction of a guy who looks vaguely like the hot one from One Direction.  His head is a mass of curls – what is it with me and big hair?! – and I like his style on the dance floor.  I resist her pull.

‘Errr… I’m not sure.’

She wants to play wing woman.  I can only see this ending badly.  Sally is blonde, bubbly, incredibly sweet – all the things I’m not, and all the things I imagine the One Direction lookalike, and any straight-thinking male for that matter, would go for.

‘It’ll be fine!’ she says.  ‘I’m good at this!’

*

An hour later, I’m walking to the bus stop flanked by Freddie and Sam.

‘Olly was nice,’ Freddie says.

‘Yes.  I think he liked Sally.’

‘Oh.’

Silence.

‘Yeah,’ I go on, ‘she’s a very charming wing woman – rather too charming I think!’  I laugh, but I don’t feel very happy.  ‘It’s hardly surprising.  She’s very attractive.  If I was a guy, I’d probably fancy her.’

Again, silence.

‘I think,’ Freddie says, looking over at Sam, ‘what she wants us to say is that she’s more attractive than Sally.’

I laugh.  ‘No.’

Well, yes, but only if it’s true.  What I actually want right now is for it to be true, or for the last hour to not have happened.  I’m mature like that.

Sam mumbles for a bit in a Hugh Grant-esque kind of a way, before concluding, ‘What I’m trying to say, is that, where Sally’s concerned, I don’t think you have anything to worry about.’

I frown.  ‘Hmm I think you’re biased.’

Clearly he can’t win.

‘He probably thinks you’re too good for him!’ Freddie says.

Sam looks impressed.  ‘That’s very good.  I wish I’d thought of that!’

We laugh.

‘You’re funny,’ I say, ‘but I don’t think people think like that.  I mean, I don’t believe that would stop a guy from trying it on.  It might stop him from succeeding, but not trying.’

We walk on in silence.  At the fork in the path, we say goodnight.  Sam strides off to the right, whilst Freddie and I cross the park.  In the distance I fancy I can hear Sally’s tinkling laugh.

CC Image courtesy of jikido on Flickr



Anywhere But Here: Part II

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(Continued from Anywhere But Here: Part I)CC Image courtesy of Xeusy on Flickr

Lucy and I chat over cheese.  Benedict sits in silence nearby, occasionally eating from the plate of brownies at his elbow.

Just as Lucy turns to say something to Freddie, Benedict slides the plate across the floor until it’s right in front of me.

‘Thanks, I’m still on the cheese.’

He slides it away from us, then back towards himself.

‘It’s like a Ouija board!’ I say, laughing.  ‘A more exciting version.’

His face creases into a devastating smile.  He picks a bunch of grapes off the cheeseboard, puts it on my plate, then does the same with a piece of brownie.

I laugh again.  ‘I feel like a dog!’

He too laughs and takes a grape.  I wish I knew what was going on behind those eyes.

Our conversation becomes more flirty.  As the level in my wine glass drops, so does my guard.  I have no point of reference.  That is, people have told me things about him, about how he’s hopelessly in love with someone back in London who doesn’t return his affections (aren’t we all?), but nothing concrete.

He’s asking if I’ve been to an exhibition of etchings which he’s heard is good.  I haven’t, but it’s near where I live so I should check it out.

‘We should do an organised outing!’

The suggestion comes from a girl who’s overheard the end of our conversation.  She gives me a significant look. Yesterday she talked about being my wing woman.  Today she feels like a rival.

Benedict looks struck by the idea, as if it hadn’t occurred to him.  I’m not entirely convinced, but give a non-committal smile.

*

People are piling into the car, everyone except Benedict who has a train to catch.  We hug.

‘I hope to see you in London,’ I say.

Or Camelot, or Narnia…

CC Image courtesy of Velvet Android on Flickr

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Anywhere But Here: Part I

Sweet Like Chocolate

Solitary Woman