Hey everyone, here is a story which I actually started a long time ago and have written quite a lot of. I'm posting it to put pressure on myself to finish it. It's a fairly light story to start off with and the main characters are over-thinkers and a bit naive, but in a way I hope that endears you to them and makes you want to wish them all the best.
Summary: Separately, he's a sap and she's insecure. But together, they're quirky sweethearts. Then life gets in the way. Heather and Brian will make you cringe, cry and chuckle. Here's to what became of a chance, modern day meet cute.
CHAPTER 1 - HEATHER
I don't know what I was doing at this party.
Some stupid whim I guess.
A whim that made me dig out of my closet the only pair of impractical heels I owned, buy a pastel yellow dress so short that I knew I would never wear it again and call a taxi on a Friday night to a house I'd never been to.
And so here I sat. At the kitchen bar, not knowing anyone at all, and hoping I didn't meet anyone I did. But for some stupid reason, I still wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I guess if I had really wanted to do this properly I would have agreed to come with the bunch of girls from the office who were all going together. Thankfully I hadn't seen them yet. When I had screwed up my face at their invitation to come here, one of them had thrust a piece of paper with the address on it and told me while chewing gum that I "should totally come."
And so I was totally here.
But somewhere inside me, I knew that if I came here by myself, I wouldn't jump up on the dance floor and start shaking it like Beyonce, I wouldn't drink myself past all sense, and therefore I wouldn't get myself in any out of control situation. 'So what's the point in you being here again?' an inner voice berated me. No one had even come up and asked me to dance; but that was probably because I had only been there 15 minutes, I was being purposefully anti-social, and I had barely even made eye contact with the guy who mixed me my drink, who I think was the self-nominated bartender. I nursed my one and only martini of the night and let out a small whimper that no one heard due to the excessively loud music being played. I minutely shook my head at myself. This wasn't a whim. This was my own inner cry for help telling me that I needed a life, but that I was too pathetic and scared to have one.
I turned around on my seat intending to leave my half-finished drink and follow through with my 'get-out-of-here-now' plan when I was abruptly confronted by a man standing casually in front of me.
"Hey darlin'," he drawled. His matted blondish hair and greasy smile made me regret having that half a martini.
"I noticed you here all by yourself and I think…" he paused, coming to lean on the bar and put his current choice of poison down.
"I think…we should get to know each other…on the dance floor." He laughed a bit after that. I mentally cringed, it was obvious he'd had too much to drink. How was I going to get rid of him? Well I wasn't going to be able to do it if I was myself about it.
"Sorry," I replied, waving my hand dismissively at him. "I've already been dancing."
The man scoffed. "See now I know that's not true, I've had my eye on you and you been here at this bar the whole time." He straightened himself up now and grinned, presenting a row of stained yellow teeth. "So come on now, let's see what you got!"
"Back off or you'll have a drink in your face," I warned, surprising myself, as I turned around in my chair, reaching for my martini. Wow who was this Heather? I liked her!
The man cursed at me and muttered under his breath as he left the bar and stalked off. I breathed a sigh of relief then downed the rest of the martini in one go. I was about to execute my exit strategy again when I heard a low whistle behind me.
"I'm guessing now is probably not a good time?" a soft but rough voice asked.
I spun around, intrigued. The man didn't sound as intoxicated as the last one.
A tanned, broad shouldered man, with dark curly hair stood almost sheepishly in front of me, which was comical considering he was stood at least a head over me. He gave me a small, considerate smile and his brown eyes waited patiently for my reply. The other half of the martini kicked in and reminded me to answer him.
"It's not a good time if you're wanting to dance," I said matter-of-factly, grabbing my clutch bag and swinging myself off the kitchen stool. He took a step back and nodded with the same quiet acceptance.
"However," I said lightly, "Right now I just feel like some fresh air and actually…" I mused, looking up at a corner of the room with a small smile, "maybe even an icecream. That's where I'm going anyway. You're welcome to come if you want."
And with that, without waiting to hear his response, I spun on my heel and walked briskly towards the door.
The cool night air outside was refreshing, but it also began to sober me up. Quite a few people were lulling around outside the house, being boisterous, obnoxious and rowdy and it began to make me nervous. I craned my neck to see above them for a taxi stand in this area, but despite my high heels, it wasn't working. I sighed in aggravation and started to fumble around in my bag for my cellphone. It was such a small bag, why was it so hard to find?
"You've really mastered running in high heels haven't you?"
My head snapped up to see the dark-haired man walk out of the house towards me, hands in his pockets, an amused expression in his eyes.
I gave a small smile back. "I didn't think any one was following me."
"At the rate you were going, I would have thought you had a roman army after you." He was quick to respond.
I let out a short laugh. He seemed harmless enough. "So you're really in the mood for icecream are you?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.
"I'm always in the mood for icecream," he replied with a slight casual shrug. Why did his voice sound so…soothing?
To hide my feelings of awkwardness I craned my neck around again for a taxi.
"Well, if I could just find a taxi…then…" I trailed off, feeling like a meerkat in a suburban plain full of hyenas.
He let out a short chuckle to himself. He then nodded his head in the direction up the street.
"Let's try this way."
As we walked, well, he kind of sauntered with his hands in his pockets, looking effortlessly at ease like he escorted random women to taxis all the time; while I held onto my clutch bag with both hands for dear life, feeling like the Leaning Tower of Pisa in my high heels.
"So you aren't a regular at Damian's parties, are you?" he asked, looking down at me with a hint of a smirk.
"Why's that?" I asked, still a little defensive at having my cover blown.
He grinned to himself, looking back down at the sidewalk.
"Well for one thing, not many girls wear a watch when they go out to parties."
I immediately looked down at my wristwatch, playing with it, feeling my cheeks flame in embarrassment.
"It's ok," a smile evident in his voice. "It just made me curious. It's one reason I went up to you."
I looked up at him now, confusion evident on my face. His eyes softened and he shrugged.
"Well, I wondered how such an attractive woman could look so lonely with so many people around."
I quickly looked back down at the sidewalk, stunned at how he gave me a compliment that sounded natural and sincere.
"Well, what about you?" I blurted out. "You don't exactly look like you belonged there."
He chuckled briefly.
"You're right. I only came tonight because a bunch of friends decided to drag me along."
My head snapped up.
"You mean, they're still there? Don't you want to go back to them? Wont they wonder where you are?"
He shook his head to himself and smiled.
"They're probably drunk enough now to have forgotten that I was even with them in the first place," he said flippantly.
"Oh." There was a pause as I didn't know how to respond. I didn't know him or his friends, I didn't know if I should laugh or commiserate with him for having such unreliable friends.
"It's ok," he grinned and leaned slightly towards me. "I got to leave with the girl so I come out best off so far."
I blushed again, but began to inwardly panic reading too much into that sentence. I had to let him know right now that I wasn't that kind of girl and he should just go back to the party.
"It's only icecream," I said with a shrug, trying to keep my voice light, but I'm pretty sure it sounded shaky.
"You're the first girl that's ever asked me out for icecream, so I'm pretty excited."
A nervous giggle escaped my lips and he suddenly stopped walking. I looked up at him silently, perplexed as to why we had stopped. He merely nodded over my left shoulder and I saw a taxi stand. I spun around and got two steps towards it before I misjudged my footing and stumbled over in my high heels and fell onto the pavement. I lay on the ground, closing my eyes, inwardly groaning at my unladylike fall from grace. I then felt two hands firmly guide me back up to standing position.
He kept his hands around my arms as he said softly, "I know you're excited about icecream, but when you run away so fast it means I have trouble catching you if you fall."
I managed a weak grin, placing a small, determined smile on my face, to try and hide my mortification of the entire evening.
"You alright?" he asked, stooping slightly, his soft eyes now concerned.
I nodded, slowly loosening myself from his grip, taking a step towards the taxi. "I think I'll just – oh!"
My right foot buckled under me as a shooting pain all but crippled me. This time he caught and steadied me.
"Twisted ankle," he muttered, almost to himself. He guided me into the taxi and he asked the address to my house, which I gave him quietly, then he repeated it to the driver as I concentrated on nursing my ankle and its intensifying ache. The whole night was beginning to overwhelm me and so for the next few minutes I just listened to everything he said. He instructed me to take my high heels off, move over and sit closer to him (to which I raised my weary head to give him a piercing, questionable gaze) so he smiled and then explained it was so I could then put my right leg out on the seat next to me due to something about keeping it elevated. By this stage I didn't really care what he thought about me, I was just grateful to have someone to take control and get me home, so I could sit quietly and inwardly kick myself for the rest of the night. But sitting closer to him made me more nervous and I couldn't concentrate on whatever else it was he was saying and so I fidgeted with the straps on my bag. Then I thought I'd get my keys out of my bag in preparation of running, I mean hopping, as fast as I could out of the taxi and getting inside my house and either having a large drink of something strong, bawling my eyes out or going to bed …or maybe all three.
Despite my severe inner ramblings, he was still talking.
"…I'm sorry for randomly inviting myself to your place. I promise I don't do things like this all the time. I just thought I'd help you walk to the door. Is that ok?"
I merely nodded and swallowed, hoping he wasn't a psychotic murderer. I could feel his gaze on me and so I looked up. He was looking so intently at me, frowning like he was trying to solve an intense puzzle.
"What?" I asked.
"You look…scared. I was just trying to think of some way to assure you that my intentions toward your ankle are completely honorable. I want nothing more than to ice it."
He succeeded in breaking my nervous tension and I laughed. But now I was exhausted, and with my ankle throbbing, instead of sitting stiffly in the backseat, I sighed and lent against him.
In my world, this night was officially out of control.