Chapter 2: A slide into the inbox
The following morning, Elda woke up delicately and had called her team, claiming she needed to work from home; which she did, part of the time, whilst hunting for her James Bond on social media. Elda was wondering whilst talking to her interns why she had invited them, since they wouldn’t take a candid photo of her drinking a prosecco. These were the photos Elda loved and desired, they were photos she used for her personal social media account to make her peers from school jealous of her elite City life. But, only a few of her colleagues were into these, unfortunately for Elda, her interns were more into snapping pictures of their babylons and sending these to boys on their Facebook messenger than taking candid drinking pictures of their boss. Elda was already putting this against them for a permanent job. She had a flashback to the James Bond man not just for his well-trimmed facial hair but because the intern knew him, from past work experience placements. Elda, learnt that the intern had done a placement at his department a few months back so knew his name and few people who may or may not have him on their social medias. Elda, tracked her on Facebook and found her profile and immediately found her Bond. Bond’s real name was Simon. Simon Samuel. His profile was rather private, to Elda who at this moment in time was still a stranger. From Facebook all we knew was that he very rarely went on Facebook or when he did, it was to change a profile picture; thankfully he had changed his profile picture at the same time that he had decided that facial hair was fashionable. Elda, was grateful and thankful for the simple thing of him growing a beard because without a beard, it wasn’t a pleasant sight for the eyes. Now, however, he was bearded and mighty fine and so Elda, felt the need to send a friend request and did. The friend request she had made- sent adrenaline and excitement through her body as well as a spot of anxiety. She anxious as to whether he was just drunkenly talking to her; was he actually interested in her or was he was there for the free champagne, beer and whiskey rather than actually talking to her.
A few hours later, however, acceptance had been made. A new friend and follower on all social media channels had been made. The acceptance had enabled her to stalk and browse through his entire social media meaning that if someone asked her about him she’d probably know the answer to. Within minutes she discovered; he too had been to University and had studied media studies, he had a keen interest in football, hockey and was very sociable just like Elda. His sociable presence on social media suggested to Elda that he was popular with all genders for both friendship and relationship but was he single? Elda from a first glance stalk, saw no presence of a female side kick other than his Mother, Aunt or Sister. She hoped and prayed he was single because just from her first encounter, post too much alcohol, he had potential and ticked boxes. Boxes she had theoretically imbedded into her brain and had imbedded ticks beside the boxes.
It was now 12:30 and approaching lunch or a hot drink time; she had reached the stage after her night out that she was no longer hungover and could bare something bigger and more substantial than flat coke. So, Elda decided to go out and grab a hot chocolate from the local coffee shop on her road. Elda lived, in Chelsea and was surrounded by quirky vintage tea shops as well as bars where she always saw stars from Made in Chelsea sipping away their martinis. Elda loved Chelsea, for it’s glamours post code, it’s snazzy bars and tea shops. Elda drunk only hot chocolate or green tea and today, she needed something sweet, calorific and unhealthy…a hot chocolate it definitely would be. ‘One hot chocolate please, but make it plain and boring with nothing special. Just the drink please’ Elda asked the assistant. She was not a fan of sweets or cream in a hot drink despite it looking much more photogenic. The piping hot drink’s rich chocolatey taste was what she was craving especially after such a heavy night drinking, socialising and flirting; The warmth settled her stomach and the chocolate was the sweet fix she needed. The take away cup made her feel semi-professional amongst the people in the city who were drinking their caffeinated expressos. She now walked in sync with the rest of the City lot who were also striding along with their very un-eco-friendly coffee cups.
On her return, she decided that instead of drinking the hot drink she would spill it on her newly purchased Burberry Macintosh; walking back in shame with a coco stain larger than her career. The stain was so large there was no hiding it or covering it up with a scarf; she now smelt of the milky chocolatey drink both on her breath and her clothing. What a simpleton! Although she now had a stain on her Burberry mac, Elda was keen to not let this ruin her sassy stride through the Chelsea post code. She breezed through London with her Gucci loafers, that were the peak of her success and her now stained Burberry mac; feeling a fashionable mess. From a young age, the thought of owning a pair was what drove her to work like she did and be the person she was despite them crippling her feet at the start of owning the shoes. Despite the stains, Elda carried on walking and singing along to her music, singing along to Kate Bush Wuthering Heights through the streets; she believed that unless you were doing an interpretive dance whilst listening to the Bush, you weren’t really in the zone of Kate Bush, thus Elda looked like she was high and still on a mixture of alcohol with her dancing. Kate Bush who she asked?
Elda heard her phone ping; she looked only because she was working from home and if she declined, rejected or ignored it, her co-workers would assume she was just at home taking the day off rather than working. As she looked down, she realised she had received a message from Simon. ‘Hey, it was great to meet you on Wednesday night, shame we didn’t speak for longer, be nice to go for a drink?’ Elda, was keen to explore the Simon on a much less professional basis. So, agreed to his out of work fun. Elda knew she wanted to see him again, since she couldn’t stop thinking about him after their initial meet; something about him had got Elda thinking about being able to finally let go of her spinster title; she thought about sharing her flat with another human being that wasn’t a four-legged dog, she thought about waking up next to someone and she thought about returning home with someone else who wasn’t just a client or a friend. Elda quickly replied with, ‘Hey, really great to meet you! That sounds like a brilliant idea, would love that’. Soon after them mutually agreeing about what a pleasure it was to meet each other, Simon and Elda, conversed via their social media platform for a few hours. At one point, Simon asked Elda who she was dressed up as; ‘so who were you dressed up as then, was trying to work it out for ages’ Simon asked Elda. ‘Ah, haha, I know I was quite hard to guess, annoyingly there wasn’t a prize for person with hardest to guess costume’ she replied, thinking that it was sarcastic but wasn’t going to put him off. It clearly, hadn’t put him off because within a few minutes, Simon replied very cheekily with, ‘ah, whatever you were, I was a fan’. HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. Elda felt her heart racing everywhere in her body. Was this real? An attractive male was taking an interest in a girl dressed as a 50’s swing girl? A girl dressed in a very long, big skirt with little flesh being revealed, this was happening, was it? Elda, was shocked yet taken a back. Elda, had never received such a fan of hers personally before- then the big one came and not a marriage proposal but a number exchange. ‘I think, it’d be easier if we Whatsapp, if you don’t mind’ Simon asked. Elda without a hesitation agreed. ‘Yes agree, here is my number 07654924703’ she replied with the addition of a kissy emoji, just to continue the flirty tone. Elda began to internally, imagine a wedding, a house and just fun with this chap she felt like could be a match.
Once numbers had been exchanged, there was no stopping these two attractive human beings. Elda and Simon spoke about everything, from favourite tipples, locations, work and University. Topics that she wanted to get right and nail, Simon said during their conversation that he ‘would be looking forward to getting to know Elda’. Elda was shocked. At one point, Elda apologised to Simon for being boring after he sent ‘how’s your day going’ to her mid-morning. Theoretically, a PR directors day shouldn’t be boring but unfortunately today her day was the peak of boring. A day that saw her sitting at her desk, overseeing the edits being made to her client’s new press releases and look books being created; such releases would be distributed to awaiting fashion critics and retailers. It was a tedious and long job because she had already created and planned such work but now having to re go over it and edit it, was boring and did not give her the same buzz that directing the shoots did. Elda wrote ‘fashion is supposed to be fun, not today, all seems so fun, editing something you’ve already gone over multiple times. “I do apologise for making such dull and boring conversation”, she replied to ensure that he wouldn’t think she was self-absorbed. Although, Elda was confident with her career in front of Simon she felt embarrassed with her role since he was at a wine tasting event hosted by a client. She felt like a tit in comparison to him; her superior role that she adored saw her sat at a desk editing her clients work whilst he was sipping expensive wines and champagnes. Upon conversing with him, Elda realised that his clients were not like hers, where she’d get sent a hamper or an invite after completing work together, Simon would get an invite weekly or monthly for an event with clients. This difference in their works made Elda during conversation, re-word her text about being boring again, just to ensure he knew her boring days were rare; ‘I’m sorry if my anecdote about my boring date is boring you too like it is me’ she said with confidence that he too, was bored even reading about her day. Elda felt boring for repeating to Simon that she was boring, but deep down she was reassuring herself- it was her anxiety of being disliked by a male specie kicking in. He read the text and replied within seconds. Result. He was not going to do the whole awkward read and then abort mission that she feared he would do, instead he replied with ‘How could I ever find such a beautiful woman, like you boring’. Elda’s heart burst with a warm sensation, she had never been told by anyone as attractive as Simon that she was somewhat attractive let alone beautiful. This wasn’t the first time either, Elda had made a passing comment about having a very unexciting evening with just a bath on the agenda. Simon replying with ‘you in the bath, sounds very exciting actually’. Elda was not being simple, moronic or a blithering idiot. A male was physically attracted to her. For years up to the now, she had been picked on, called names and always subjected to negative hateful comments. Comments about her appearance, often referring to her glasses, dark hair, shortness or lack of boyfriend. She had overcome such comments, but for some reason she still had a wound deep down about the comments they’d made towards her. So, Simon’s intense interest in her made her feel ecstatic, almost euphoric. The pair had been chatting for two weeks, since their initial meeting at the gala, but these sorts of complimentary conversations were normal, and Elda felt like this could turn into something more than just a person she spoke to for a while.
With two weeks having gone by, it was time to arrange a proper first date, a date where the pair would be able to engage in adult conversation that was not in work mode or over text; it could be natural and be a proper indicator as to whether it could turn into anything other than flirty chit chat. Anyway, anyone can converse over text but in person could it be a thing?
Despite never having been in relationships, she obviously engaged in conversation with men, conversation which never went anywhere because she had such high expectations. Elda usually declined most, whilst in the texting period. This is because, for Elda, she expected someone to have decent grammar and spelling; she just couldn’t engage in conversation where a person was unable to use good English properly.
The pair were undecided what to do, Elda suggested they go get a drink at one of their local bars whilst he suggested he bring a bottle over to her house…she questioned his intentions. With her lack of experience, she worried that him coming over to her house on the first date would be a bad move and lead to an area she wasn’t comfortable to play in, just yet. Both her and her lady garden were not comfortable with playing in that area just yet. Although she was comfortable in her home when she was alone with Bertie, bringing in someone she hardly knew filled her with worry. It put doubt into her mind, was she being fooled by a somewhat Fuck-Boy? She knew, that she’d be nervous as it was, so being in her home wouldn’t make her comfortable but more nervous- anyway she wasn’t keen on the idea of sharing her bed just yet. Not even Bertie had that privilege, he slept in her living room or at the bottom of her bed on the floor.
However, after much persistence, Elda got her own way, just like in the workplace- by insisting they go and have their date in a bar. A bar would be a neutral zone and one which she could act natural and calm, not worrying about being a good hostess, something she was not. Elda’s idea of hosting was her sitting on her backside whilst her guests made themselves a drink or bought in the snacks she had to offer in her cupboards. If the date went to plan, like she had it in her head, it would, she hardly would want to ruin or put him off inviting her for a second date with her bad hosting skills. She wanted her lack of hosting ability to become evident when they were on a third or fifth date; not on a first date.