Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Chapter Sixty - Ice Ice Baby

OK, so the day has come. I’m ridiculously nervous about this first date. Even though I KNOW the guy and I know where we’re going I am a wreck. I actually feel SICK. I’ve rushed to the toilet 5 times already! I’ve spent the morning at work and Delaney has given me the afternoon off to calm myself down. She said I was no good ‘to man or beast’ - which I think she meant as a light hearted joke, but I actually took very seriously! She’s right! I’m not! I’m sitting on my bed and looking at the dress I bought from Monsoon for Mum’s wedding and am slightly repulsed by the small orangey flecks in it. If I’d only known I was going to be in keeping with the ‘theme’ then I’d never have bought it. But I’ve also realised that everybody at the wedding will be brown and tanned and I’ll be there with my pasty white arms and milk bottle legs. I need to book an intense St Tropez session and while I’m at it I might as well go the whole hog and have my hair cut and my legs and armpits waxed too. Yes, if I have to endure these next 2 weeks with 4 horrendous ‘live’ dates then I deserve a little pampering...
Now where are my matching gloves and scarf and woolly hat?
So NOT a good look for a date!


Ade felt slightly nervous about the impending ‘date’ but was quietly confident too. He’d decided to wear his jeans and his light blue Ben Sherman jumper - he knew it looked dead sexy, the way it stretched across his chest and shoulders. His Mum had joked that it looked like the coat hanger was still in it and he loved that notion. He looked good and knew it. He’d tried on a couple of beanie hats but had dragged them off almost immediately - there was something about them that made him feel like a Peter Andre wannabe. He knew from skating in the past that the exercise heats you up and he didn’t want to have the red-cheeked look after only half a hour. Patting his jeans pocket he checked that he had all the information that he needed and grabbed his car keys, slamming the front door behind him.


I always feel like somebody from a film when I’m in a black cab. There’s something cinematic about it, as I imagine myself being filmed, zipping through the London streets, the blue fibre optic Christmas lights shining down onto the black paintwork. I feel really sick. I’ve been listening to the saxophone version of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ for the last 3 minutes and it’s making me feel a little poignant and sad. It’s like one of those romantic moments from a film as I’m on my way to a date with Ade - the guy that really messed me up earlier in the year. But strangely, now the empty pit in my stomach is for Rob. I’m finding it difficult to eat or to think straight simply because of the misdemeanour that he thinks I’m a cheating bitch. And I can’t even defend myself. It’s not fair.
“Kew Gardens, babe!”
The taxi driver breaks my downward spiral of self-doubt and hatred, jerking me into an aware state that we’re actually here.
“OK,” I reply, my voice shaky.
As I pull a tenner out of my purse I can’t help but be overwhelmed at how fabulous the rink looks. Lots of people, many of them in red - how predictable, rhythmically moving in an anti-clockwise direction. It looks like fun! If only I wasn’t also looking at Ross and Darren standing with the 2 cameras and the few crew members. Reality check that this is work and NOT play. As soon as I’m out of the taxi Ross is over,
“Hey, Sophie. You look great! Any word from Adrian? He hasn’t arrived yet.
“No,” I reply, but can’t figure why they think I’d hear from him.
“OK,” he gently holds my arms and leads me across to the camera, “we gotta get you mic’d up and talk through the workings. Wanna wait til Ade arrives?”
“No, let’s do it now. I can listen again when he gets here. I’m so nervous I probably won’t remember it anyway.”
“Right, we’re gonna just film a short amount of footage of you 2 guys skating around. You any good?”
I shake my head. He laughs.
“OK, so we’re gonna grab some scenes of you both skating, or trying to, and gonna ask you to come over here and talk a little in front of the cameras too. But the main part of the dilemma has to be when you’re having your hot chocolate drinks afterwards. What we want is for the audience to watch how you both interact together and whether they think you should see him again. So just be yourself. Viewers know when they’re being hoodwinked, so just be completely natural and let them see the REAL Sophie and how she acts when she’s on a date.”
“Right.” I feel weak. Bloody Delaney. This was all her idea!

I’m watching the families and couples, work mates and children spinning on the ice beneath the stars and beside the glow of a huge Christmas tree and I hate to admit that it does warm my heart. That heart of mine that sits in shards in my chest every time I think of Rob and how I’ve messed it all up. I wish I was here with him. The atmosphere is exciting and edgy and I’m loving watching my breath escape from my mouth in icy clouds. I’m slightly impressed when Ade pulls up in a rather slick black car - I don’t have a clue what make it is, but it’s swish-looking. He looks gorgeous when he gets out of the car and in that split second all of the lusty feelings I once had for him rush in. It’s as if all of the bad stuff between us hasn’t happened, and as if all the good bits between Rob and I hadn’t too.


He’s bloody fantastic at skating - the bastard! I bet he was delighted when Delaney agreed to the open air rink being the first of my 4 dates. He certainly knew what he was doing. The very nature of ice skating means that conversation doesn’t flow particularly easy, which is actually more of a bonus than a pain. I throw my head back and laugh when Ade gets me a zimmer frame type of thing to lean on so that I can learn and ‘find my feet’. There’s no way I’m pushing that contraption around the ice. It’s only minutes later than I’ve completely forgotten about the cameras and when he grabs my hand and drags me alongside him at top speed, I feel my hair flying behind me and I’m aware that I’m screaming! I bet the film crew are loving this! He grabs my hips and spins me a little, not too fast, and I’m mortified to realise that I probably look at lot like Bambi - only less attractive and with chunkier legs. But it’s all great fun and I’m alarmingly aware that my skin tingles everytime he touches me. It’s a scary realisation, but a very true one.
I’ve still got the hots for Ade.
Big time.
He’s so wrong for me, a liar and a cheat and completely lacks integrity.
But I fancy the fucking pants off him....

Chapter Fifty Nine
Chapter Sixty One

1 comment:

Katie Haegele said...

Look who's still Staying Single after all these weeks! Good work ... and good luck getting the hottie, Sophie!