My Life In Darkness, part four
Episode Four: Lunch With A Friend
I dreamed of Astrid all night. It was as if she was there with me in my bed while I slept. I woke up to the alarm feeling more tired than when I went to bed, and my neck really hurt. I didn’t want to get out of bed or open my eyes. When I finally opened them, my eyes were so unusually sensitive to the sunlight peeping through the windows I had to close them for a while. Whenever I moved my head I instantly felt a sharp pain in my neck. I wondered if I had been sleeping in the wrong position and put my neck out. I leisurely got out of bed and sat up for a while slowly opening my eyes again. The pain in my neck was on my right side. It definitely stung. Rubbing it didn’t seem to help and made it more painful. I stood up but felt a bit unsteady on my legs. I sat down again. This is great, I thought, I’ve just met someone new and I might be coming down with something. The fuzziness in my head didn’t seem to want to go away. It was weird. I got plenty of sleep last night, yet I was feeling more tired than usual.
I eventually stumbled to the shower. As the warm water cascaded over me I thought about the previous day and wondered what would happen. It would be nice to see her again, even though I wasn’t feeling my best today. It was my usual rotten luck… While showering I investigated the sore part of my neck with my fingers. There seemed to be two ridges or marks where it hurt. After I dried myself off and put on some clothes, I had a quick breakfast, and combed my hair. Usually I tied my hair back into a ponytail, but today I didn’t bother, even though the late summer humidity was going to make my hair all frizzy. I looked so pale in the mirror. I collected my bag, made sure I had my phone (which no one ever rang anyway), and left the apartment.
I decided I would get a coffee on the way to work as it might help wake me up. It was a sunny morning and it was going to be another warm day. I had half-expected to see Astrid’s car waiting for me outside, but there was no sign of it. I headed off to work and stopped off at the café that Astrid and I went to the previous day and ordered a coffee to go. I liked to go there as the woman behind the counter was quite cute. She had long straight brown hair and piercing blue eyes. I liked chatting her up, even though I knew she had a boyfriend. Today I just ordered coffee and didn’t really talk to her. Part of me didn’t want to be disrespectful to Astrid, since it seemed we were beginning to date.
“Not talking to me today hun?” she asked. Today she was wearing some chunky gold earrings that made her look a bit like a pirate.
“Sorry I’m not feeling very talkative this morning” I replied.
“Well here’s your coffee” she said as she handed me it. “I hope it helps put some colour in your cheeks.”
“Ok thanks.” I took the cup.
“Ok. See ya hun!” she said with a warm smile. I left the café and walked the remaining block to work.
When I got to the store Helen gave me a surprised look and took me aside.
“You look so pale. Are you ill?” she asked in her concerned tone.
“I don’t know. I’m just feeling a bit off today, that’s all. I didn’t sleep that well. I’ll be fine. At least I have the next two days off.” I replied. I didn’t tell her about the pain in my neck and thankfully my long hair helped hide the inflamed skin. My explanation seemed good enough for her, though she did keep an eye on me for the rest of the day. For some reason I was causing more disturbance to the radio than usual. I had to keep well away from it or it would be hit by static.
I hoped Astrid would come in to see me, but by lunch time there was still no sign of her. I started to feel anxious and thought about everything that happened last night. Did I do something wrong? I replayed all the events in my mind to make sure I didn’t somehow offend her or piss her off. Nothing sprang to mind.
I was just about to go on my break for lunch when Fuzz came into the store. Fuzz was in my class at school. His actual name is Tony but everyone calls him Fuzz as he always seems to have at least two days of stubble on his face. I don’t think anyone has ever seen him clean shaven in his adult life. He was one of the few people I stayed friends with when I left Lawrence. When I returned we began to hang out occasionally. I think he’s always had feelings for me, but as I’m only interested in other girls he’s learned to accept that. Sometimes we like to hang out in a bar and check out women together. His family is loaded. The Williams family were one of the founding families of our town and still have a lot of influence in it’s affairs. As Fuzz is openly bisexual, he’s the black sheep and lives in his own apartment rather than on the family estate. Despite that I think Helen secretly hopes one day I’ll come to my senses and start dating him. As if…
“Hi lovely. When’s your lunch break?” he asked me.
“Now” I said.
“Can I take you out for lunch then?”
“Sure!” I said with a smile.
“Gosh aren’t you Miss Popular at the moment with everyone taking you out!” Helen chimed in. Fuzz raised his eyebrows.
“Ooh have I missed something?” he asked excitedly.
“I went out for coffee with someone last night. I’ll explain later. Helen’s over-exaggerating as usual.” I said frowning at her. Helen ignored me.
We went to the café as it was close. We sat down at a table inside. Fuzz was looking at me with concern.
“You look like crap.” He said.
“Everyone’s been saying that to me today. I didn’t sleep well is all.” I took a bite of my sandwich. I was so hungry. Again I didn’t mention my sore neck.
“So… who did you go out with?” he asked interestedly as he stroked his stubble.
“Her name is Astrid. She has been coming to the store a lot recently. Yesterday she asked me out and we went for a coffee here.”
“Did it go well?”
“I think so. She drove me home. The weird thing is about a couple of hours later she turned up at my apartment with some food and then gave me a massage.” He looked at me oddly with raised eyebrows.
“Nice, but in a weird kind of way.” I nodded. “So what do you know about her?”
“Not a lot. She says she’s a photographer. She drives a black Porsche with tinted windows. She seems to be well off. She looks to be our age, but she says she’s older than she looks. Oh, and she’s originally from Norway.” I continued eating my sandwich.
“You could finally marry into some money.” He said which made me giggle while I was eating so I had spit some of the food out. “Nice one Mel. Don’t eat like that in front of her or she’ll be running for the hills!”
“She just sat and watched me eat a whole lot of Chinese last night.”
“Well I wouldn’t want to spend an evening watching you eat, given your table manners, so she must really like you. Is she hot?”
“Long smooth straight blonde hair, pale skin, green eyes, about my weight. Nice long arms and legs. Very smooth skin. She’s got very cold hands though. She’s a really good kisser. I almost had an orgasm when she kissed me goodbye in her car. She just grabbed me and kissed me and the next thing I know her tongue was down my throat.” Tony shook his head when I said this. He was either trying to imagine it or trying to force the image out of his head.
“She seems a bit full on. Thanks for the image by the way. Just be a bit careful and don’t fall for her too quickly.” He advised. I nodded. “Maybe you should ask her more about her past?”
“That’s if I ever see her again.” I said dejectedly.
“Why do you say that?” he asked.
“I was hoping I would have seen her again by now.” As soon as I said that Fuzz laughed.
“It’s only been the morning so far. Maybe she’s busy taking photographs or something. Don’t worry I’m sure she’ll come to see her little princess soon.” He said.
“Maybe.” I offered. He just laughed and shook his head. “What?”
“You’re in love!”
“Am not!” I said
“Am too!” he replied. I just sighed and shook my head, and he continued laughing.
Next episode: Journey Into Darkness
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