In the end, I called Tilda, not really sure what else I could do. I nearly cried down the phone to her, frustrated at my own stupidity. We agreed to meet up in a nearby bar, grabbing my jacket from my chair and leaving the bank as fast as I could.
"So what are you going to do?" she asked, picking up our drinks from the bar and joining me in a little booth.
"I just took the job. I mean, what is wrong with me?" I took a sip of my orange juice, scratching my head.
"Nothing. What's the problem with it anyhow? You're making more money and you still get to work with me. What's up with that?" She took her glass of white wine and drank half of it in one big gulp.
"It's not what I want to do, Tilda. I love working with you, you know that." I smiled at her, hoping she would understand.
"Then what do you want to do when you grow up?" She laughed.
"No idea. I was always one of those kids." I joined in with the laughter, smiling across the little table at her. With another gulp, she finished her wine, nodding to the barman for another.
"So where do we stand?" She caught my eyes and I couldn't break away.
"I'll take it. I'm not going to turn down more money." We both smiled even though I wasn't happy and she could see it on my face. "But I'm going to look for something else."
I wasn't strictly sure that I would, but I thought that saying it would get her off my back. As she received her next drink, she leaned over the table to get closer to me.
"I don't believe you." She whispered in my ear.
"So, your brother." I said, changing the subject. "Just the one night yeah?"
She nodded, suspicious. "What do you want in return?"
"Nothing. I'm just doing something nice for you. Is that a problem?" I took another sip of my drink, taking it slow.
"So we tell him that my landlord is just one of them guys that doesn't like guests. I'm paying for a one bedroom apartment and he won't like me having anyone else saying there." She smiled, knowing that I wouldn't be expecting her to be so prepared.
"What about if you said that he was your boyfriend?" I offered, licking my lips in excitement.
"He knows about me and Beth. He wouldn't believe me."
"Yes, but your brother doesn't. What's to stop him suggesting something like that?"
She looked at me, perplexed.
"I can't imagine that he'll see any reason why he can't stay with you. You could easily lie to your landlord and get around the problem." I continued, loving the worried look on her face. "Unless, I tell him that you just moved in and don't have any extra furniture that he can sleep on. That your new landlord keeps popping in to help out, bringing you tea and helping with heavy boxes in a sweet and not at all creepy way and you think he's quite cute and you don't want your little brother getting in the way of that."
She just sat there, mouth wide open in shock. I winked at her, taking another sip. I heard a beep and saw her darting under the table for her bag, checking her fancy phone.
"Great. Beth can't come tomorrow." She didn't look at me as she spoke, instead watching her fingers fly over the touch screen keyboard as she formulated a reply.
"Come to what?" I had to admit that I was curious.
"This auction. We like going to them and we could do with updating our place." She finished her text, dropping the phone into her bag and practically downing her wine.
"I could come. It's my day off too."
"It's a date!" she said with a smile, "So to speak. Now, got to rush. Beth just got home."
"One question first." I watched Tilda getting up, finishing the last of her wine. "How do you update a flat with antiques? Surely that's the complete opposite."
She laughed at my pathetic joke, tapping me on the shoulder as she left in a rush.
I stayed behind to finish off my drink, leaving an hour or so later.