Monday, June 25, 2007

Chapter Forty Nine - A Hair Raising Point of View

I scurry out, brown paper bag clutched in my hand as I also balance a tray of 2 coffees and my handbag, and blast into reception, skidding and almost falling onto the wet tiles.
“Hey,” Ellie smiles, “mind the wet patch. The cleaner’s just been at it.”
“Ha, you don’t say! Here,” I rest down the coffees and fumble in the bag for her muffin, “I got you a soy chai and a skinny lemon.”
“Oh Soph,” she patted her non-existant tum, “I’m trying to lose a few pounds before Christmas.”
“You are? I should be! I’m off to L.A. in a couple of weeks for my Mum’s wedding.”
“That come around already? God, the year’s flown by hasn’t it?”
I clasp the hot cardboard mug and brown bag as I turn to go,
“You reckon? It’s felt like an eternity to me! What with this stupid staying single idea. And I’m not even near the end yet. Got about another 4 months to go after Christmas!”
“You’ve done really well though. Look at the newspaper and magazine and television coverage that you got. And you know what? It’s made lots of men and women question why they’re in unhappy relationships. You’ve become the Queen of the Singles!”
And I can’t help but think how strange it is that she says that, because right back at the beginning I’d coined myself with that title - and I’d meant it in a derogatory way! Which just goes to prove that everything is dependant upon point of view. Just like those excellent HSBC adverts - one person’s idea of ’information’ is another’s idea of ’invasion’, one idea of ‘perfect’ is another’s idea of ‘imperfect’.

But it's true - it is all
about point of view and I’ve decided in this split second that yes, I am the Queen of the Singles and simply because I am happy being just me! I’m going to go straight to my desk and write up this week’s Relationship Rehab with a revived verve and positive point of view!

By the time I’ve stopped off in the toilets to give my hair a quick brush through (hmmm, quite a few loose strands stuck in my comb I noticed - must Google that when AJ‘s not looking over my shoulder), and grabbed a plate for my muffin in the kitchen, I sit at my desk and turn on my computer only to look up and notice that Delaney’s office door is closed. I don’t think anything of it until I catch a glimpse of a rather broad back and a black shirt that makes me look twice. My blood runs cold as I narrow my eyes and try to focus through the half opened blinds. My god! It’s Ade! In Delaney’s office! What the fuck?
I can’t concentrate on my muffin at all now and I’ve just burned my tongue on my still steaming soy chai latte as I’m gulping and slurping, afraid to take my eyes off of him in her office. As I listen to AJ rattling away on her keyboard at her desk behind me I hear Delaney’s laugh. Flirty and loud. Shit. How do they know each other? A million thoughts rush through my mind randomly. Did she know about the set up with Trevor Malone and their bet? Was she in on it? I’m watching him - his shiny black shoes and trousers and striped shirt. My stomach is flipping. His shoulders, defined and strong, his great cute arse with the perfect curve. His strong jaw line, those toned thighs, the tummy-flipping sexy laugh.... I’m embarrassed to admit to you that I’m feeling a light stirring somewhere below my desk! All I want to do is to burst in there and kiss him! I’m desperate to know what they’re saying? Is she flirting with him? Shit, what do I do when they come out? How about if I just flirtily concentrate on my screen and play with my hair as if I’m in deep thought and haven‘t even noticed that he‘s in there. I‘m going to practise the look. If I rest my elbow on the desk - hide the muffin in my top drawer for now - and I will just do this.... I‘ll twirl my hair through my fingers lightly and then slowly pull a few strands down over my shoulder... Yes, that‘s it. And then I‘ll tease it into little light flicks that can just dangle over my right bosom. That‘ll do. So I‘m practising now and playing with my hair just ready for their appearance. And I look at my hand and, oh my god! It‘s coming out! My bloody hair is coming out in my hands! I now have wisps of long hair entwined around my fingers and stray hairs now dusted all down the front and shoulder of my black polo neck jumper! This is not a good look!
Ohmigod they’re coming!
And here I am picking the hairs from my clothes!!!


“So,” (Delaney is definitely flirting), “I’ve had a chat here with Adrian and I think it’s a great idea. A perfect idea. We can kick off the Sophie Dilemma series with you and Adrian on a perfect Christmas date. We’ll run the series for a few weeks and see what kind of response we’ll get, but Adrian,” she’s blushing as she nods towards him(!), “is right. It would be the icing on the cake for the most popular babe from Woman To Woman to be the one to make the naughtiest guy from Geezer to change his ways.”
I’m desperately trying not to curl my lip at Adrian. I look sideways at him and he’s giving me a really sexy, cheeky grin and shrugging his shoulders as if to say, “hey, sounds like a good idea to me.”
So what can I say?
Apart from..

It comes out rather as a choked burp, rather than that positivity I’d mentioned only a while ago.

I’m sure Ade’s trying not to laugh.
Delaney’s delighted.
I’m grief-striken!

Chapter Forty Eight
Chapter Fifty