The theme for my Writers Group this month was ‘Humour’. I’ve had a stab, but I’m not sure it’s my genre!!! Let me know what you think….!
Inelegantly heaving her 5 foot nothing self onto a highly fashionable, yet torturous bar stool, Chloe precariously perched her bottom in the cold, hard metal seat. She beckoned the waiter and ordered a double vodka tonic. It was much needed, she thought to herself as she silently cursed her friends. They had forced her to pour her curvy figure into a dress so tight it was clear the designer considered breathing a privilege. Closing her smokily made up eyes momentarily, she inhaled deeply and exhaled slowly and nervously through highly glossed, pursed lips.
This date had to go well. This was her last chance to have a date to take to her own 35th birthday party. Her mother, God love her (because often he was the only one), was well meaning, but her fervent desire for a grandchild was become less sweet and more of a demented obsession with each passing year. Chloe cringed inwardly as her mind betrayed her and replayed the memory of her mother’s champagne induced rant at Christmas. Completely bladdered and apparently unaware of being in the presence of well, anyone, she had regaled the last of the partygoers with a drunken monologue detailing just what her daughter was doing wrong in her (non) love-life. How she had put her career first, chased off every man who’d come near her and to round it all off she’d launched into her grand finale; discussing the health, or otherwise of her only daughter’s aging reproductive system. She had stood listening in frozen horror from the hallway absolutely and totally mortified. Thankfully the job lot had been just as pissed as her mother and so by morning, memory recall had been hazy at best. A repeat performance needed to be avoided at all costs. Her options were clear; either ban alcohol (dull), cancel the party (no fun) or take a date.
Option three had seemed the lesser of three evils at the time but Chloe actually liked her single life. She had a great job at a publishing firm in Central London where she was actually paid to read. She dealt with authors and attended swanky launch events and award dinners. Her flat, all hers, was a dream. Wonderful views of the Thames, close to the West End and within walking distance of the office which offered the enviable opportunity to avoid being pressed intimately into a stranger’s armpit during rush hour.
Her life was actually amazing.
Dating and Chloe did not go hand in hand. Her vivid imagination worked overtime as she fervently assessed the character of each date as they spoke (to her count she’d dated at least three sociopaths, an aspiring bigamist, two serial killers and a solicitor). Her last date, now over a year ago, had been the crème de la crème of dating crap. She’d met a man online, they’d chatted and he’d seemed somewhat normal and so they had arranged to meet. She’d been a teeny bit excited, and so she’d treated herself to the most gorgeous pair of heels. They were the most beautiful shoes she had ever owned. Black with shiny gold detail, insanely high and even more insanely expensive. Teamed with her favourite black dress, she’d looked stunning. She’d tottered as fast as her heels could carry her to the bar, sat herself down, ordered a drink and waited.
And waited some more.
30 minutes and two drinks later he finally made an appearance. He was probably handsome under the crinkled suit and red sweaty face, but it was hard to call. He ordered himself a drink (hello, where was her offer of a drink!?), failed to apologise and then started talking at her. He clearly loved himself and was apparently the ‘shizzle’ at everything. Finally, he looked at her and drew breath. He tipped his head to the side as if seeing her for the first time, and one side of his mouth drew up into a smile he clearly thought was seductive as he asked, quite disturbingly seriously, “So, what’s your favourite sexual position?”.
Chloe had been rendered speechless. Mortified, she had claimed a female emergency and had hastily made a strategic dash to the ladies. Standing up, she had collected her bag with all the poise she could muster, left her coat (the sacrifice was worth it to avoid raising suspicion of a date and dash) and had marched off to the toilets. Entering, she had counted to fifteen Mississippi’s before exiting swiftly, dashing around the edges of the room, using patrons as human shields, and crawling where necessary to avoid being spotted. He was clearly one for the sociopath list and confrontation must be avoided at all costs. Reaching the door, and with victory in sight, she had ran. Ran as fast as she could. Freedom was in sight.
Sadly however, four and a half inch heels, however fabulous and expensive, are of little assistance during a speedy escape attempt. She had only got as far as the end of the street when her heel had got lodged in a drain, sending her flying forwards. The guilty shoe remained left in the drain whilst its sister was flung into the road, very soon to be spectacularly squished by on oncoming double decker. Propelled by the speed of her escape and severely destabilised by the two double vodkas, she had stumbled and tripped forward, finally coming to a rest in an ungraceful and painful heap, skirts flowing above her head and knickers on show (thankfully, her best pair). Swarmed by onlookers who in fairness at least attempted to hide their amusement, she had been blue lighted to the nearest hospital where she’d experienced the worst pain of her life to date. Her right arm was declared broken and placed in plaster for 8 weeks. Her left arm, meanwhile was free to negotiate the required swipe to delete her dating profile for good.
She was perfectly content with her life and quite happy not to have a significant other. But no. Her mother, and it seemed her friends too, seemed to think that she needed a man in her life. And so here she was, dragging herself to the latest ‘cool’ bar in Soho; once again subjected to fashionable yet torturous seating awaiting the arrival of a blind date, whom her friend Milly had promised her was ‘absolutely perfect’.
She sighed and checked her watch. Late. What a great first impression.
What was the big deal about being in a relationship anyway? Suddenly you become part of a pair, joined at the hip and finding your sense of identity being smushed up and muddled with someone else. Her one foray into the whole boyfriend/girlfriend scene had left her with a messy flat and a bad case of thrush.
Then, suddenly the crowd parted and there, walking towards her was the most gorgeous man she had ever seen. Suave in an immaculately tailored suit which could only have come from Savile Row, he wore his hair short on the sides, but with the longer length on top oh so carefully combed and set to the side. He locked his eyes on hers and practically glided to her table, some sort of angelic apparition. Up close she could see his smooth, slightly tanned skin and his deep brown eyes boring down into her own.
‘Chloe?’ he asked smoothly, with a slight smile appearing on his perfect face.
She hesitated, just for a second before quickly knocking the rest of her drink back and standing to her full height.
‘No, sorry’. She said flashing her widest smile, before turning with all the sass she could muster. ‘My life, my way,’ she thought to herself, mentally pushing away the expectations of others once and for all as she sashayed out the door, headed home, alone.