(This is only the first chapter of a series I want to write. I haven't written the next part yet so give me some ideas and comments and I might write another part! But if nobody comments i wont bother :) Thanks people! MissBoePeep x)
With an apologetic smile and a peck on the cheek I turned and walked away.
"Damn it!" I cursed under my breath.
After 7 years of dating I was still a novice at chatting up guys in bars. After a mere few minutes of conversation I felt like a total idiot so I turned and left him to his pint in peace.
I wasn't the prettiest girl in the world but neither was I the downright ugliest. This reflected in my confidence, I'm hardly the life and soul of the party but then again I never think of myself as the 'sit in the corner in silence' type.
I'd started my night with my five girlfriends. After much debate at my apartment and after finishing off the entire contents of my liquor cabinet we'd decided to head down to Mac's -- the bar at the end of my street. We'd donned our high-heels and little dresses -- me of course refusing and sticking with my jeans and trainers, and started our short but somewhat challenging walk to Mac's. Which of course, as it was Friday night, was crawling with girls wearing too much make-up and no knickers and blokes looking to pull.
After ordering our usual glass of wine each and 10 shots of something strong, fruity and bright red we grabbed a free table and set about one of our usual gossip sessions. Discussing each and every guy we could lay our eyes on.
"Wow, I could eat him with a spoon!" was my mate Sharon's first reaction to the tall, dark and handsome man propped against the bar. She always was the naughtiest of our group and was never too shy to tell us 'exactly' what she was thinking.
However, Naomi --another of my girls- disagreed with her (as usual). "Nah! He's got too much stubble, he's wearing a Rolex and he looks really fed up!" Nobody was good enough for Naomi.
Sighing I turned round to look at the mysterious man they were disputing over. Suffice to say I was surprised. I'm not going to give you the whole 'my heart stopped beating and I heard wedding bells' type of thing, but I certainly caught my breath when I first saw him. From where I was I could only see him from the side but what a view! He was about a head taller than me (me being 5 foot 5), he wore dark jeans, black shoes, and a dark purple shirt, covered by a thick black jacket. Naomi was correct in saying he had stubble but that was good as far as I was concerned! He leant casually against the bar, supping a pint and watching people around him. He looked neither happy nor sad but there was a certain melancholy about him.
As I turned around, wide-eyed, I caught site of Bridget, eyeing me curiously. "What do you think then Soph? Yummy or what?!" She said, with very apparent enthusiasm.
"Oh come on Bridg! As if he would give ME even a second glance." I replied. Trying to sound as 'ok' about this simple fact of life as possible. I loved my friends but sometimes they were blind to the fact that thanks to the last boyfriend I'd had I now had a rather large dent in my self-esteem. " Soph you can't let that Daniel creep ruin the rest of your life! He's gone now and you can do whatever you want! Your 25, single and gorgeous! I say you get your cute little ass over there right now and talk to that guy. Here you can borrow my shoes." From the look on her face, Rhiannon was not somebody I should argue with right now. But that didn't stop me from trying.
"Rhi I can't do that!" I started to argue but she was having none of it.
"Get over there right now Sophie Wright. Or so help me I'll drag you!"
Under the table I slipped off my shoes and stuck on her high heels. Thank God they fit perfectly! Knowing Rhi she would have made me wear them whether they did or not. Grabbing my purse I took a deep breath and walked sheepishly over to were he was stood at the bar and casually stopped next to him. He picked up his beer and took a sip, placed it back down, turned to me and said, "Hello Sophie."
Curious as to how he knew my name I turned and got my first proper look at him. I reminded myself to tell my friends how good their judgement still was. He really was gorgeous! " Erm hi," I said, "How'd you know my name?"
"I overheard your friends," he said, glancing over at them, all of which promptly gave him a cheeky wink and a wave. He turned back to me chuckling and said, " I was curious about you, sorry."
"Curious? About me?" I asked. " Erm.. why?"
"Cause I always like the type of girl who is different from every other woman in the room. And you certainly are. In a good way of course." He explained. However this only added to my confusion.
"Different in what way..?" I ventured. Ok, so maybe I was fishing for compliments but after the recent blow to my confidence I think I'd earned the right to.
"Well," He began, "From what I can see you're not wearing any make-up which means you want people to appreciate that you are who you are. You're nervous because you're not really used to doing this sort of thing, which means you've recently been through a break-up. I'd say he messed you up good and proper because you have very little confidence in yourself. Your not wearing a skimpy little outfit like all the other girls here and yet I noticed you the minute you walked in."
At this point I was taken-aback to say the least. "Erm.. Thanks, I guess."
"I appreciate what you said about me and I'd bet money on the fact that you're an amazing person. But I can't do this."
Ok so now I'm way beyond taken-aback. I'm thinking what-the-hell?! And preparing to run. I decided to try and regain some dignity and simply said, "Erm.. Ok. Bye then." He surprised me then by bending down and kissing my cheek. And smiling as if trying to apologise.
Frowning I turned around and started to walk away, cursing under my breath. And feeling humiliated as a tear rolled slowly down my cheek. Until I felt a strong hand on my shoulder and somebody whispered, "Walk with me?" in my ear. Without another word he slid his hand down and entwined his fingers with mine. Leading me outside with him.
As we got outside I felt the breeze ruffle my hair and I closed my eyes as another tear rolled down my cheek. I smelt the smells of the city -- restaurants and car exhausts. I felt warm breath on my neck and strong arms that enveloped me. Pulling me to his soft, warm chest. I breathed him in then. Smelling his aftershave and his thick, woollen coat. I started to weep even more and felt utterly stupid as I cuddled into this man. I didn't even know his name! I tried once to push him away but he wouldn't have it and held me even closer. I felt a hand bury itself in my hair and heard him take a deep breath. I thought I even felt a tear or two of his on my neck but he wouldn't let me look up at him.
I don't know how long it was we stayed there but eventually I felt him steer me to a bench near-by, it was then he looked at me. His ocean blue eyes gazed at me for a moment. He bent down to kiss my forehead and said, " Don't move and I'll be back in one minute." He slowly turned round and walked back into Mac's as I wondered what on earth was going on.
I swivelled round on my bench to get a good look at the river. During the daytime it was hectic with hundreds of boats sailing up and down. But at nighttime I loved this river. It was a deserted pond; the only ripples caused my swans, which occasionally lined the banks at night. Lit only by the moonlight and with only the odd boat dotted here and there. This is why I loved this city.
I jumped when I once again felt his strong arms wrapping around my waist. Somehow it felt familiar and natural in a way I can't describe..
"I love this city at night." Was his next comment. I turned around in his arms and faced him. This time he didn't stop me. I gave him what I thought was a look of utter bewilderment.
"I know, I'm sorry. You must be thinking I'm crazy." He said with a warm smile.
"Erm.. kinda." I admitted.
"Why don't we go for a walk and have something to eat? And I can explain."
At this point I actually chuckled under my breath. " Did you just go and say something to my friends?" I asked.
"Yes, I told them I was taking you for a romantic supper and not to wait up." He said with a smile.
"Ohh," I gasped. "Ok then, looks like I'm all yours. But can you tell me something first? What's your name?"
He chuckled, huskily, "I'm Matt Dunne."