James has had a difficult few months, from relationship troubles to work issues, and on top of that he has been given two month unpaid holiday. After taking a several week trip relationship-mending trip with his girlfriend, his best friend, whom he had also been in love with, of seven years professed her love for him. How will this change the dynamic of the three?
I felt a warm ray of light bounce off my face like a radiator spreading its warmth too close to me.
“Ow!” I exclaimed as I soon felt the warmth slowly turning into searing heat. I opened my eyes and backed away from the lamp my colleague had turned on that was too close to my face, nearly falling off the chair I was sitting on in the process.
Am I still at work? Ugh.
“Hey James, wake up, it’s nine p.m.,” exclaimed Darren.
“Huh? Had I fallen asleep again?” I asked as I yawned and wiped drool off the side of my mouth.
“Yeah, mate, time to go home, the accounts can wait to be crunched, your phone rang so many times but it didn’t wake you up, I’m worried about you mate,” he explained.
Ugh, not again.
I hurriedly took out my phone from my pocket, unlocked it, sighed, dialled the number to my voicemail and prepared myself to listen to a barrage of voicemails from Vanessa.
“Hey honey, do you want to meet up tonight?” sounded out one of the voicemails.
“Hey dear, call me when you’re finished work,” said my girlfriend in another voicemail.
God damn it woman, I’m not 18.
I had enough of listening to her annoying voice and hung up. I took my briefcase and stuffed it with my notepads and my laptop. As I prepared to leave this forsaken place the phone rang. I checked the caller I.D., it was her again. Instead of answering it like a good boyfriend would do, I just turned it off. I could at least go through a night without hearing her intolerable whines, just this once.
“Have a good night Darren, don’t stay too long,” I said with a yawn. He waved me goodbye with a smile as I prepared to go through the ordeal of the public transport.
How could he still be working this late with a smile on his face?
“Good night, James,” said Harold, the 60 year old night security officer. I walked past with an obvious fake smile on my tired face. I was in no mood to talk to anyone tonight. As I walked towards the tube, I bumped into several people, having nearly fallen asleep walking. I apologised each time.
God damn it, I need sleep. This night could not go any worse.
How wrong I was. I was about three hundred metres from the tube station when the heavens opened and unleashed with all its fury thunderous torrents of rain. I had no coat on, for it was supposed to be a dry day in September. I decided to make a mad dash to the tube while covering my head with the briefcase, not caring if my laptop would be soaked in the process or not. I made it to the entrance after dodging one too many cars, lamp-posts and people as surprised as I was about this most recent opening of the heavenly floodgates. I looked inside the briefcase secretly hoping that the laptop was soaked to its core, for it would be an excuse to not have to do work. It was untouched, which left me bitterly disappointed.
The trip back to my abode was not particularly uneventful either; I had fallen asleep in the tube and missed my stop which meant I had to then take the tube back the other way. It wasn’t rush hour, but for some reason, it was still full of people, going wherever they were headed on this particular night. Even though there wasn’t even enough room to stand, a rough fisticuff was still able to break out, they were obviously drunk.
“Hey, are you leering at me girlfriend?” pouted one of them.
“Yeah, I am, *hic* what are you going to do about it?” responded the other. The other passengers around them backed away. This meant there was even less space than before.
Fuck this, I can’t breathe, I have to get out.
I let out a loud sigh as I left the drunkards to their fight and squeezed through to the exit of the tube. I decided that walking home in the torrential rain would’ve been a better option than dealing with these idiots in the tube and inevitable arrests that would result from their fisticuff.
Fuck London, I need to move out of here.
When I got home to my sloppy one bedroom apartment, soaked to the bone, I noticed a red flash on my voice mail machine. I pressed the big red button that starts the voice mails and tossed my entire dishevelled suit steeped in water to one corner of the room. I felt like I was in a freezer as I did not leave the heater on.
The voice mail started, “You have two new voice messages. *BEEP* Hey, it's Saara, just wanted to check to see if you're okay. I know you can't speak to me for a while, but it would be nice to hear your voice again. Call me back when you can.”
After listening to Saara's message, I couldn't stop smiling. I've not had a chance to think about her during the entire week.
Should I call her? I promised Vanessa I'd stop seeing her for a while.
The second voice message then played, “*BEEP* Hi honey, I don’t know if your battery died or something, but I wanted to see you tonight, I hope you get this message, call me back.”
My smile turned instantly turned into a raging frown.
God damn it, leave me alone.
I gritted my teeth, made a really firm fist to punch the wall but after several seconds decided against it and instead grabbed the phone line and tugged at it until it disconnected itself from the socket.
At last, some peace.
I took the only clean towel I had from my closet and took a nice long, hot shower. It was there I finally had the time to think, to contemplate my life, to reflect on my goals, my dreams, my happiness or otherwise.
I’ve been in this damn company for so long, and not one day has passed that I’ve not thought about quitting.
I was so tired that I could’ve slept right there under the hot stream of water, but I decided against that. I made the drudge of walking the several metres to my bed and fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.
The next day.
“Hello, John? *cough* Yeah, I can't come to work today, was walking home last night when the *cough* sky opened, and I must have caught a severe head cold.” I announced hoping that he would take the bait. I’ve not taken many unwarranted sick days off. As lazy and as unmotivated as I am, I didn’t feel right skipping work for no reason other than laziness or being hungover, but if I went to work today, I would have to kill someone.
“Alright James, stay in bed, get better and see you on Monday,” he replied.
I grinned behind my mobile, cleared my throat and responded, “Alright, have a good weekend.”
Lovely, time for golf.
Golf was my stress reliever. Other people have running or boxing or masturbating but golf was mine. I’ve never taken it seriously and I don’t think I ever made much progress, I just wanted to hit something hard with a stick.
On the way to the driving range, I smiled and couldn’t help but think about Saara’s message. I decided I would call her after golf. I started to remember the last time we hung out; it was in Hyde park about four months ago, and we were having one of our annual summer picnics. She’s certainly quite open with her flirting. She likes to casually touch, hug and being close in general and I probably shouldn’t have consented to it at that time as I had a girlfriend. Things got heated when Vanessa and one of her friends spotted Saara softly stroking my face which in turn led her to turn red, stamp her feet and pout. In the end, the picnic had to be cut short as I brought her home to comfort her and reassure that nothing was going on.
My thoughts were cut short as I nearly drove head first into a lamppost.
Oh fuck! That was so close. Okay, I should concentrate now.
After much heart pounding and heavy breathing caused by a near-traumatic event, I continued the journey in complete concentration. When I arrived at the driving range, I parked in the first open spot I could find and changed into tracksuit bottoms and a golfer’s shirt, like that could make me look more like a professional.
I went to the reception area, checked-in, grabbed a club and raced to my designated spot in the range. I was really looking forward to this. Passersby must have thought I was a raving lunatic. I did look like one, in fairness. I was unwashed and had a bad case of the bedhead. If I was stinking of alcohol, that would’ve made my look all the more authentic.
I arrived at my spot in between a short, fat tanned man with a Hawaiian shirt and a tall, skinny man wearing Denim jeans and a Louis Vuitton shirt looking smug. I don’t know why he was looking smug, but maybe he was loaded. Their swings and positioning seemed to suggest they were amateurs, perhaps even first timers. I put my first golf ball in its position and pulled the club behind me to swing at it. I was seriously frustrated with everything that has happened, so I put all the strength I had and swung. It was at that very moment my phone buzzed and rang which left me in a panic. This caused me to lose grip of the club and flew outwards into the green. I turned red as a tomato when people gave me head shaking dis-approvals and tuts.
God, I wish no one was here to see that.
I quickly checked the caller id on my phone. It was Saara. I declined the call and decided that I would call her back when I retrieved the club from the green.
“Hey, idiot, are you going to get that?” said the small, pudgy man.
“No, I’m going to leave it there just to piss you off, sorry if this is a convenience to your fat ass!” I responded.
More tutting and sighing ensued.
“Hey, fuck you guys, I wanted to have a nice afternoon hitting balls as well, shit happens!” I continued.
I went down to the lawn as I noticed one of the staff had stopped everyone from playing so he could retrieve the club. He handed it to me with a smile. This was probably the highlight of his day.
“Eh, thanks, I think I’ll sign out now, I’ve had enough,” I said, noticing my face was still red as a tomato.
I signed off hastily and scrambled to the car so as to avoid any more commotion. When I got to the car, I took out the phone and dialled Saara’s number.
“Hey you, sorry I haven’t been answering your calls. Been busy with stuff and Vanessa,” I started.
“HEY! It’s no problem. Like I said in my voice message to you, I just wanted to know if you were doing okay,” she said. She sounded very excited.
“Yeah, well I’ve been having problems with Vanessa, she’s gotten very possessive,” I said.
“Huh, do you want to talk about it?” she said.
“No. Oh, hey! How about we meet up for squash next week? We’ve not done that in ages, then I can talk to you about it,” I proposed.
“Sure why not. How’s your knee? Would Vanessa be okay with it?” she said.
“Yeah, it’s been fine for a while now. And I don’t really care what Vanessa might think, how does Monday sound to you?” I asked.
“Sounds fine, same time as last?” she responded.
“Remind me. What time was that?” I asked.
“Six p.m., silly!” she said with a giggle.
I spaced out of the conversation as I noticed my boss walking across the car park. I was so dumbstruck that I didn’t know what to do, so I did nothing. When his eyes met mine, I felt a chill down my spine like no other. I didn’t have a God, but if I did, I would’ve been praying.
That’s it, I’m done for, I’ll lose my job for this.
“Hello? Are you still there?” asked Saara.
“Uh, yeah, six p.m. sounds fine, I’ll call you on Monday,” I said as I hung up.
When my boss started to approach my car, I had to get out. I put my feet through the pedal and took off.
I have no explanation for this, but I’m pretty sure that driving off was the worst thing I could’ve done.
I drove off like a lunatic, hoping that he might’ve thought he was seeing things. I spent the rest of the weekend hiding in bed in my apartment with my phone turned off.
Three days later at nine a.m.
I spent the entire weekend re-enacting this moment. This moment where I would be told that my services would no longer be needed. This moment of feeling like I’ve completely fucked up. I never thought I would reach this point. I always thought it would be my decision to leave. They need me here. I’m one of their best accountants. I tried to numb myself with alcohol, but that didn’t work, it never does.
As I walked into the office and sat down while trying to avoid eye contact with those around, I found myself twitching. I’ve never felt so nervous before, and I didn’t even like this job! I felt like a six year old would’ve felt after doing something he shouldn’t have done, full of shame. This was definitely one of the worst mornings I’ve experienced.
I strayed off into other thoughts for a while; would Vanessa accept a booty call tonight after me avoiding her for a few days? What companies I could apply to? When was I supposed to meet Saara tonight?
My heart skipped a beat. I felt someone’s hand on my shoulder. It was Darren’s.
“Oh sweet jesus, you scared the living shit out of me,” I blurted out.
“Eh, sorry mate, what’s up? How was your weekend?” he asked.
“Uh, you know the same old, same old, drinks here and there, messing about,” I said.
“Ah great, I had a non-weekend, couldn’t go out, Martha was sick,” he said.
“What’s wrong...” I couldn’t finish my question before my office phone began to ring, startling me once more. I panicked.
“Uh, uh, excuse me for a moment Darren,” I announced as I politely shooed him away.
I stared at the handset, not knowing who it was or what to do. The phone seemed to get louder the more it rang. I covered my ears. That didn’t help. Tears started to form in my eyes. I was about to break down and cry and hoped the ringing would stop. It didn’t. Sweat was dripping off me like as they were rivers of rain from a storm, I didn’t even know I could sweat this much. After what seemed like minutes, I decided to face my demons and pick up the handset.
“Hello?” I started.
“James? can you come to my office for a moment?” asked my boss.
I gulped hard before answering, “Sure, I’ll be there in a minute.”
This must all be a bad dream, I’m going to wake up now, I’m going to wake up now.
I pinched myself -- hard.
Ow! Okay, this isn’t a dream.
As I drudged to my boss’ office, head hung in shame, I heard the clattering of keys on the keyboard begin to stop and sensed people were staring.
His office was a mere 20 metres away, but that felt like walking to the edge of the world. When I reached his office, I gulped once more and pulled down the handle of the door.
“Good morning James,” greeted my boss.
“Hello, Mark, you wanted to see me?” I asked, stupidly.
“Yes, take a seat,” he responded.
I stared at the seat opposite him and sat down after a moment’s thought.
“Okay James, I’ll make this brief. Faking sickness and then going off to play golf is not what I expect from my employees,” he said.
“I can explain...” I said, again stupidly. I knew I couldn’t explain myself.
“I can’t see any possible explanation you could give to make this situation seem better,” he said. He was completely right. “Let me make myself clear James, the quality of your work hasn’t been what I expected from you over the past four months. You seem to be troubled. I could give you your P45 this instant and my higher ups have been trying to tighten our budget, but I’m a fair manager and you had been one of our brightest employees, so let’s agree that you’ll take a two month unpaid holiday starting now to clear up whatever’s troubling you , shall we?” he added.
Deep inside I let out a huge sigh of relief.
Why was I so worried?
I nodded slightly and said, “Okay, seems fair.”
“As a final warning, whatever is ailing you better be solved when you come back and the level of your work better be back to the way it was at the start of this year,” he said.
“Yes, of course,” I said.
“Okay, I’ll have to ask you to leave now, I’ve a meeting in several minutes,” he said.
I nodded and silently left his office. It hadn’t sunk in yet, but I had two months to waste. Two months without pay to waste. I didn’t know if this was a good or bad thing, but all I knew was that I wasn’t fired. I hadn’t any notion of what I should do with these two months, but all I knew was that I wanted to sleep so bad.
“Hey Darren, looks like I’ll be off for two months,” I said.
He looked up at me with an eyebrow raised, obviously confused.
“I’ll explain it to you later, have to go now,” I said.
I shot off like lightning and nodded off as soon as I got home.
Later that evening.
I was dreaming of wonderful things, of flying, of sitting on a beach, of fucking on said beach. That dream was short lived when I shot up from the bed as the ringing from my phone frightened me. I looked at the caller I.D. It was Saara. I was so excited that I dropped my phone on the ground causing the battery to fall out.
When I picked up the pieces and assembled them together as quickly as I could, I returned the call.
“Hey, did you call me?” I asked coolly.
“Hey yeah, I just wanted to ask if you were still up for squash today,” she said.
“Uh, what time is it? And what time did we agree on?” I said.
“Have you forgotten again? Six p.m! And it’s five p.m. now,” she said.
“Oh, right, yeah, I’ll be there of course,” I said.
“Are you sure? You sound hesitant, are you okay?” she asked.
“I’ll explain to you later when I see you, okay?” I said.
“Yeah, sure, see you then,” she said.
I hung up as my stomach started to growl, I needed to feast on something, badly. After a hasty junk food meal at Burger King, I went to the gym Saara and I to used to play squash in and prepared to play the first match in many months. Saara was a Finnish woman whom I had met in my university days about five years ago. We were not in the same course, but we had some of the same classes together. I studied Commerce, and she was studying Accountancy. It wasn’t a surprise that we shared some of the same classes. It was several months into the course that we started noticing each other, as we had inadvertently sat beside or near each quite often. We then started talking to each other afterwards. We had pretty much hit it off from the beginning. We had very similar personalities; we enjoyed the same sort of toilet humour; we had quite similar taste in music; we shared similar life philosophies: “to take life as it comes, one day at a time. To never give up on our own dreams” I think were her exact words;the fact that she was a football fanatic also suited me down to the ground, we went to several matches together as we both supported Arsenal. In the beginning we threw and deflected playful and flirtatiously sarcastic comments as we got to know each other. I had a little crush on her, but later I found out that she was seeing someone. Disappointing that was.
I did my usual warm up exercises in the locker room; jumps, twists and some of which I don’t even know the names. I had learned my lesson the last time; I didn’t stretch properly and twisted my knee while reaching for one of her fiery shots which led to this recent hiatus in our squash games. The hiatus was disappointing. We had at least one match a week before this, and it was one of my favourite activities with her. To go several months without being able to do any form of exercise was excruciating, even more than the injury itself. The injury also led to having to take a few days off work. I was fine with that, but having Vanessa incessantly nag at me about it was more than I could bear. I finished my stretches and left the locker room to join Saara on the squash court.
“Hey Itchy, I heard you had a bad week last week?” said Saara as she hugged me. “Itchy” was a pet name she gave me because I was so comfortable in her presence that I would scratch my balls. Not the most endearing pet name, but you take what you can get.
“Eh, never mind about last week, today my boss said I should take a two month unpaid holiday starting today,” I said with a frown on my face.
“Oh dear, what happened?” she said as she lowered my face softly so that I could see her beautiful, pale Nordic face.
“Nothing much, just something stupid I did last week. I took a sick day off and went to play golf instead, and my boss caught me,” I said.
“Oh? Why did you do that? And what will you do with that time?” she asked.
“Eh, because Vanessa had been driving me up the wall these few months and incident, I guess, was boiling point for me. No idea what I should do with all this spare time,” I said.
“Sorry to hear that, I thought you guys were doing okay?” she asked.
“No, we hadn’t been okay for a month. She’s constantly nagging and I was so fed up that I didn’t bother replying to her messages or voice mails a few nights ago. I don’t think she trusts that I kept my promise,” I replied.
“Eh, well, sweety, look who you’re with. I know it must be difficult, I’ve missed you,” she consoled with a smile while fixing my messy hair.
“Ah, I know, I broke my promise. I’ve missed you too, it’s been too long… Anyway, are you ready to have your ass kicked?” I asked.
“Ha! Not likely, remember the last time?” she replied with a giggle.
“Well, I’m more prepared than last time, so get ready!” I declared.
After much huffing and puffing about on the court, she did beat me, by a large margin too. We played two sets. She beat me quite convincingly in both sets. In the first, set she won 21-10. The second ended with the score at 21-14 to her. After the second set, I collapsed on the floor, holding my sides in pain.
“Okay, I give up for today; clearly your practice sessions with Rosa were useful!” I said with a huff.
“Ha! Yeah, she’s pretty good, and quite competitive too,” she said, standing over me.
“I’ll beat you some day, missy,” I declared, pointing a finger at her whilst still trying to catch my breath.
“In your dreams, Itchy!” she replied whilst grinning.
“Okay! Although I ate not long ago, I’m hungry again. I’m going to go change and cook at home. Let’s have coffee over the weekend. I’ve not seen you in months,” I said.
“Sure thing, as long as Vanessa is okay with it. Give me a call, okay?” she responded.
“Yeah, sure,” I replied as I painfully got up on my feet to give her a goodbye hug. She smelled nice, even as sweaty as she was.
I waved her goodbye and took a power shower in the changing rooms. As I wrapped a towel around my waist I heard a ringing from my mobile in my sports bag, it was Vanessa. I knew that if I didn’t reply, she would be mad beyond reprehension. I had avoided her calls for the past couple of days; I needed to be alone from the nagging.
“Hey dear, sorry I missed your call earlier,” I said.
“Why have you been avoiding me the last few days? I’ve been so worried about you!” asked Vanessa.
“Hey, I’m so sorry sweetie, I just needed to be alone for a couple of days, I’ve been overworked and I needed some time to myself, sorry that I’ve not seen you in a couple of days,” I replied in the most sincere way possible.
“You’ve been quite distant lately. Tell me truthfully, have you been seeing Saara again?” she demandingly asked. This question made me tick. I took a deep breath to clear my mind so as to not answer angrily.
“Truthfully? Yes, I played squash with her today, and the last time I saw her was three months ago, but she’s my best friend. And honestly, I’ve more important issues to be talking about, like how I nearly got fired today!” I responded as calmly as I could.
There was a long silence.
“Are you trying to change the subject?” she asked.
There was an even longer silence.
Jesus, what is with this woman? I just told her that I nearly got fired today and all she could think about was Saara.
I suddenly realized I was still half naked in the changing room. I sighed and quickly put on a clean t-shirt as it was getting cold and continued the conversation.
“No, I’m not trying anything. Look, let’s meet for dinner and we can discuss this, whatever this is,” I proposed.
“Sure, meet me at Don Giovanni in an hour,” she said.
“Sure, see you then,” I answered with a sigh.
Ugh, I am not in the mood for this.
This was the last straw. I know I’ve not been the best boyfriend, but I couldn’t handle her borderline psychotic personality for much longer. I was intent on ending this. For good.
As I waited outside “Don Giovanni”, our favourite Italian restaurant, I spaced out, not knowing what sort of conversation I might have with her, or if she even understood the gravity of what I had announced instead of just being fixated on Saara. I’ve known her only for seven months, but it was enough to know that she doesn’t give up when she has her mind on one thing. When we first started dating, she was fun, energetic and not at all whiny. We used to make fun and giggle at everything. We would bring each other to our favourite places in London. One such place was a small park near my apartment where we would picnic and talk about everything and nothing. After a couple of months, when I was meeting up with Saara quite often, because she was having relationship problems and needed support, she turned into the exact type of girl I despise: possessive, spiteful and completely jealous. It was three months ago that she forbade me to see Saara. She gave me an ultimatum, albeit an un-kept one. It was her or Saara. I of course, chose Saara, but three days later, she was at my doorstep begging me back. I loved her, I wanted her old fun-self back and after a long chat, we settled our problems and she promised that she would try and control her jealousy. I knew that it might’ve been an impossible, up-hill struggle but nonetheless I was willing to give her a chance and we continued to date. I stopped meeting with Saara so as to help her control her jealousy and possessiveness. After a while, she was able to control it better.
I turned around as I felt a tap of my shoulder. My jaw could’ve literally dropped. She wore the stunning chiffon, knee-high dress she wore on our first date. She was wearing more make-up than I usually cared for, but she was probably trying to hide evidence of crying under her eyes.
“I thought you might like it, heehee,” she greeted with a hug. Her eyes still had signs that cried. As we hugged, it took several seconds but I made a frown when I realised what was happening.
What is she trying to pull? This is so typical of her.
“Hi there, are you ready?” I greeted as I held open the door of the restaurant for her. I wanted to be nice so that this to end peacefully, and without our typical arguments. We were, after-all, in a public place.
She stepped in and ordered a table for two beside one of the front windows. Those were my favourite tables. They were the best tables to people-watch. Usually I would be as giddy as a child in a toy store if one of those tables were available, but not today. The waiter stood next to the table, gave us our menus and a glass of water each and walked away to tend to other clients.
“So, what have you been up to?” she asked as we were seated.
“I’ve already told you on the phone,” I answered.
This drew blank stares. I raised an eyebrow.
“Sorry to hear that, what happened?” She asked after a moment of silence.
“I feigned sickness and Mark found out about it, I was really worried he would fire me, but he just told me to take unpaid leave for two months,” I said, noticing that she seemed to listen attentively, nodding her head a little with a concerned look. This was a nice, refreshing change from her recent behaviour from previous weeks.
She leaned over the table, gave me a kiss, to which I tried to resist without luck, stroked my cheeks and gave me a smile which left me feel a little nostalgic.
“I’m sorry, honey, but if you want to take your mind off it, I could take a few weeks off and we could go somewhere,” She said with a smile.
I gave her a blank stare. Although I still loved her, but given the current situation with her, that’s the last thing I would’ve wanted.
“I’ll think about it, okay?” I said whilst trying to fake a smile.
She nodded slowly and held out a hand to hold mine. I reluctantly reciprocated.
“Would you like the usual, sir?” asked the waiter.
I gasped as I realised I hadn’t taken a look at the menu yet. I quickly skimmed it and randomly chose something under the pressure, “Uh, no, not today, I’ll have the Tuna pizza.”
“And you, miss?” asked the waiter.
“I’ll have Bolognese,” she asnwered after also skimming the menu. She raised an eyebrow at me.
“Good choice,” said the waiter as he took our menus and left to hand our orders to the kitchen.
“You don’t like tuna,” she said.
“Uh yeah, deja vu,” I replied with a sigh.
“Do you want to swap again?” she asked with a playful giggle.
I burst out laughing. I just couldn’t help it. This also caused Vanessa to join in. The last time this maphaps happened, we instantly swapped when the waiter handed us our hastily ordered dishes which confused him somewhat. After about ten seconds I managed to control my laughter which died to a giggle. I looked around, hoping that my uncontrollable laughter wasn’t met with bemused stares from nearby patrons. I caught the stares and giggles from a couple to my right. I quickly reverted my vision to Vanessa, turning slightly tomato red in the process from embarrassment.
“It’s nice to see you in a better mood, honey,” she said.
I responded with a smile. Five minutes ago, I didn’t even want to be here, but somehow to managed to captivate me again. This was the happiest I’ve felt about Vanessa and I in many weeks. The way she could turn my mood upside-down so quickly, the way she could make me burst out with laughter, the way she looked, the warm, fuzzy feelings I’ve not felt about her in a while. It was as I remembered her when we first met. I felt an irresistable urge. I lunged over the table, pulled her towards me and gently kissed her. It was a short kiss, but I felt like a teenager again. I smiled at her and held hands as I returned to my seating position.
We spent the entire dinner conversing over light matters and gossping about her work colleagues, although I had no interest at all in her workmates.