The vote was unanimous. Everyone wanted to see Luke go and talk to the woman of his dreams, Helena. So, without any further ado, let’s find out how that course of action played out…
(If you haven’t read the first part then click here)
I give Joe a confident look, blow a sigh, and then go and stand next to Helena. She looks at me and smiles again. Oh, God! So beautiful!
“Can I get you a drink?” I ask.
“It’s alright. You don’t have to.”
“I insist. Besides, I’m empty, so I’m going to get myself one anyway.”
“If you’re sure?”
“I wouldn’t have offered if I wasn’t. What can I get for you?”
“A glass of dry white please.”
A slightly awkward silence follows as I wrack my brains to think of something, anything to talk about. I eventually land on the subject of Christmas and what she might have planned. It’s as good a topic as any. She responds enthusiastically. I’m glad of that. I was worried I’d get some kind of short answer to shrug me off, but she’s going into quite some depth. We take a seat at a table and she asks what I have planned. She genuinely wants to have a conversation with me. This is a great start!
Joe offers a supportive smile as he looks over to where we’re sitting. It helps spur me on to driving the conversation forwards and we’re soon sharing ourselves in a way like we haven’t come even remotely close to before this. We talk about family, hobbies, music, movies, and a whole host of other things in between.
Our conversation is occasionally split by other people joining us, visits to the bar, and, at a couple of points, going for a dance when a song comes on that either of us particularly likes. Despite that, we naturally gravitate back to one another and our conversation resumes. She’s just as into it as I am.
Coming towards the end of the party, Joe comes and sits with me when she goes to ‘powder her nose’. He gives me an excited look.
“What?” I ask; playing dumb.
“You’ve nailed it, bud. You two haven’t left one another alone all night. Time to seal the deal.”
“I’m gonna invite her to the other bar after the party finishes and I’ll tell her how I feel then. I’d rather do it without all our mates and colleagues around.”
“Good idea. Looking at the way she’s been responding to you, I’d say you’re a shoe in. She definitely likes you.”
“Let’s not tempt fate.”
“She’s on her way back. Go get her, Luke!”
Joe walks away; letting onto Helena as she goes past him. She takes her usual seat next to me and the conversation resumes.
As we approach the end of the party I ask her if she fancies joining me in the hotel bar for a couple more drinks. She acts as though she maybe shouldn’t, though it doesn’t take her long to decide she will.
The DJ plays the last song—‘New York, New York’ by Frank Sinatra: what a cliché!—and then everybody begins to filter out of the room. We say a plethora of goodbyes in the foyer as people start to leave. I’m surprised at how few of my colleagues are actually staying at the hotel. I thought a lot more would have booked a room than they have. I won’t complain. It’ll mean fewer interruptions in the bar.
After what feels like an age, Helena and I move into the bar where she grabs us a seat—a cosy looking couch no less—and I get the drinks in. The chatter gets a little more intimate and I can feel myself becoming comfortable enough to admit my feelings to her. There are lasting looks and flirtatious touches. It all feels so natural. I’m going to tell her.
Then, from out of nowhere, comes a group of three blokes. They’re loud, drunk, and boisterous. For some reason they think it quite appropriate to sit where we are and initiate conversation; completely cutting into the one Helena and I were having. I’m really annoyed by the intrusion. Helena, though, is all smiles and gets straight into the flow with these interlopers! They’re crass and boorish; each of them going straight for the jugular that is suggestive and sexual prattle. She thinks it’s hilarious.
I’m going to the bar—if not to get another drink then to get a minute of silence! I buy another round for us, pay my money, and then turn around to head back to the table.
My heart sinks. It sinks lower than my feet and the foundations of this very building. To a chorus of cheers from the other two idiots, their friend is kissing Helena. I mean he’s really kissing her with every ounce of sexual yearning in his body. She’s returning it with just as much gusto. I can’t work out if it’s the room spinning or my head. The two friends look over at me and say something about me looking devastated, still laughing.
Enough! I’m out of here! I take both drinks with me out of the bar and make a beeline for the lift. I think I hear Helena calling my name as the doors slide shut. I’m not interested. I want to go to my room and be alone. The lift takes so long. It’s two floors, damnit! What could possibly take it so long? Finally, the bloody doors open! Down the corridor, fumble with the key, into the room. I slam the door; caring little that there are people asleep in other rooms. Screw them!
First things first: get out of these clothes. The room’s warm so I’ll be perfectly comfy in just my boxers. Next up, I switch on the TV just for some background noise. Lastly, I sit on the bed with my lager. Drink that first and then I’ll neck Helena’s drink too. After that, I’ll likely slip into alcohol-induced unconsciousness.
I’m trying not to think about everything that happened. Trying doesn’t get me very far. I’m just so gutted. Everything was going absolutely perfectly until those troglodytes showed up and ruined it all. How could Helena not see where our conversation was heading? Surely she knew that the vibe between us was more than friendly? None of this makes sense. I consider texting Joe to let him know what’s happened, but I decide not to. He doesn’t need to be disturbed by me whining and feeling sorry for myself down the phone.
I try my best to nurse the lager. Once it’s gone I start on her wine. It’s a bit warm now, not that I could care less. No idea what’s on the TV. I think it’s some kind of documentary. I’m drunk. It might be best I try and get to sleep soon.
Was that a knock on the door or am I hallucinating? No, there it is again. Somebody is definitely knocking. Is it Helena? How has she found out what room I’m in? I’ve a good mind not to answer to her. On second thoughts, I suppose I best had.
I stand and stagger to the door. On opening it I expect to see that red dress. There isn’t a red dress. The person standing there isn’t Helena. It’s… it’s the girl from the lift earlier.
“Hello,” I say in a questioning tone.
“I’m glad to see you’re dressed for the occasion,” she says with a libidinous grin.
“Dressed for what occasion?”
She puts her hands on my chest and pushes me back inside the room. What happens from this point is far too explicit to say here…
Well, that was a turn-up, to say the least! I woke earlier with a woman next to me who was in no way the woman I’d intended to wake up next to. Not that I was disappointed. Nicole is a stunning girl. We had a great night together and have exchanged numbers. She said she definitely wants to see me again soon. Result! She’s had to go back to her room so she can get her stuff together to leave.
I didn’t bring any clothes with me to change into, which would probably be disgusting if I wasn’t going immediately home from here. I leave the room to go and hand my key in at reception. As I go down in the lift, it stops on level one and in steps a sheepish looking Helena. I smile at her disarmingly.
“Oh, Luke. I’m so sorry about last night. I tried to find you and—”
“It doesn’t matter, Helena. I was upset to see you kissing that guy, sure, but…” I smile reminiscently. “I can’t complain about what was a great night overall.”
“You aren’t mad at me?”
“No, I’m not.”
The lift pings and the doors open. We step out into the foyer and, much to my surprise, Nicole is there. She sees me and wastes little time in bounding up to me, throwing her arms around my neck, and kissing me hard on the lips. I glance at Helena; an awkward but nonetheless satisfied grin on my face. I see her heart sink just like mine had last night. How poetic!
“I see,” she says. “Have a nice Christmas. I’ll see you in the New Year.”
She quickly walks away towards the exit of the hotel. Nicole gives me a knowing look and I give her one straight back before calling after Helena.
I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year! Thank you for reading!