Sunday 6th November
The other day, Clare asked me if she could pass my e-mail address to Nick, in the States. Apparently she'd recently had a chat with him and must have mentioned that we were friendly these days. That made me feel good, but probably doesn't mean anything – after all, she knows that Nick and I were good mates at school. Actually I felt a little guilty that I hadn't thought to ask her what his e-mail address was before now, but to be honest, I'm more interested in his sister than I am in him. Oh dear, not much of a friend, am I?
Anyway, I got an e-mail from him this afternoon. Clare must have been chatting about what I'm doing now, because in the e-mail, he asked me if I fancied applying for a job out there. Apparently, his company is recruiting, and looking for people with experience in what I'm doing here. The job is in a place called Alamogordo, New Mexico.
I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I'm feeling a little sad because, presumably, he will have mentioned all this to Clare, but she didn't say anything to me about it herself. Lately, I'd been wondering if she ''likes'' me as more than a friend, but if she's not bothered about the idea of me going to live thousands of miles away, then I've obviously been deluding myself...
On the other hand, though, if she does feel like that, I might be better distancing myself from her, both emotionally and physically... and I couldn't get a lot further away from her than the USA. It's hardly ''down the road''!
The job itself is pretty tempting, though – a much better salary than I'm getting now, and bonuses too. I'll have to have a look at this Alamogordo place on the 'net. Nick said that the company is coming over to do some interviews in London later this month. I suppose there's no harm in sending them my C.V.
Thursday 17th November
Not much to say today, except that I'm getting ready for my interview in London tomorrow. The place, and the job itself, looks really quite tempting. Not only is there a fantastic looking Space Museum and Planetarium in Alamogordo, but it seems that if they employ me, the company will find me accommodation in a nearby village with the delightful name of Cloudcroft. I had a look at that on the internet too, and it appears that it's an absolutely wonderful place for skywatching! Maybe this is meant to be.
Speaking of which, it's rather foggy here, as it has been all week, so I didn't even bother looking for tonight's Leonids shower.
Friday 18th November
Interview went very well indeed, and I think they're interested. They said they'll let me know next week. It's all quite exciting. I was on the verge of telling Clare and the others tonight, but in the end I decided not to, in case i don't get the job.
It was an eventful evening, to say the least. We all went to that new wine bar in the town centre and tonight was Karaoke night. Well, I'm not into that really – not the performing side anyway, but it can be fun to watch. A couple of people in our group had a go, and about halfway through the evening, Clare was looking through the songbook herself. Sophie started encouraging her to go up and sing something, saying she had a lovely voice, but Steve was just pouring cold water on the idea. I hadn't heard Clare sing – she'd never mentioned it before, so what came next was a real surprise.
It seems she plucked up the courage after all, despite Steve trying to put her off (or maybe even because of it...) She went up onto the stage, and I watched her face fall as Steve got up and walked out of the bar. Heartless swine!
The song she sang happens to be one of my favourites in any case - that Katie Melua song, ''The Closest Thing to Crazy''. I was mesmerised. Her voice is really beautiful – and her interpretation was breathtaking. It wasn't just me – a hush fell over the whole place while she was singing. I have to admit that I had tears in my eyes by the end. Needless to say, I couldn't take my eyes off her. There is a line at the end of the first verse which goes: ''Why did I fall in love with you?'', where her voice seemed to crack a little and, while I'm sure she was looking for Steve really... and that it was purely wishful thinking and my imagination, just for a moment I could have sworn it was me she was looking at as she sang that line. I saw tears in her eyes, and I looked away quickly, so she wouldn't see mine. When she finished singing, there was complete silence for a few seconds, followed by rapturous applause.
I got up then, and went to the Gents', partly because I didn't want anyone to see how much it had affected me, though I did notice Sophie looking at me... rather sympathetically? On the way there, I spotted Steve standing at the back of the bar, a furious expression on his face. When I came back, he was sitting down next to her again, looking sulky, while Clare was still beaming, but looking a bit embarrassed too, because loads of people were coming over and saying how great her singing had been. I felt strangely proud of her, then. Silly...
Anyway, the next thing that happened was that Sophie said she had a really good idea . Clare should sing it – the same song - at their wedding in a couple of weeks time, either during the ceremony or at the reception. Clare blushed and shook her head, saying she couldn't possibly – she'd be far too nervous, but at the same time looking really pleased to be asked, and perhaps a little bit tempted. Then someone – I think it was Jen – said , ''Yeah, go on Clare, you must. There won't be a dry eye in the house!''
At which Steve said, ''Won't be a dry seat, you mean. They'll all be wetting themselves laughing if she sings.'' I don't condone violence, but I've never in my life wanted, so much, to punch someone.
After that, everything went a bit quiet. Clare looked upset, obviously, and people were all trying to cheer her up or having a go at Steve, who looked very pleased with himself. I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her that she should sing at the wedding, and ignore that idiot, because her voice was stunningly good. The trouble is, I think the damage was done, by then. I'm pretty sure there is no chance she'll go anywhere near a microphone in the foreseeable future.
Most of all, though, I wanted to tell her that I love her. It probably wouldn't have helped, though.
Thursday 24th November
I got the job! I'll be starting just after Christmas. It's a one-year contract, to start with. So many people to tell. I told Mum straight away, of course. Naturally, she sounded a little sad that I'm going so far, but long-distance communication is easy these days. I told her I'll get her a computer for Christmas and teach her how to use the internet!
I think I'll wait to tell everyone else at the wedding, a week on Saturday. It'll be easier that way.