Unexpected encounter, Part 1: Kindred spirits
Firstly I'd like to thank 'IamRay23' who has been a massive help to me and my writing. Although the style may still not suit everyone's taste, he has helped me make great improvements to my writing style. I'd be so appreciative of comments on all my stories to help guide my writing in future. Thank you.
I truly felt like a fish out of water when it came to traveling. Maybe it wasn't so much to being in a different place, it was just the moving around, not being able to do anything which I would consider constructive. I hadn't really wanted to go on this stupid training course but my boss had nagged at me to go on this thing. I'm convinced he felt that sending me on one of these things was to do me good and not just for the good of the business.
The rooms we were given were really plush, having king size bed all to myself felt pretty sweet. But what I loved more than anything was the warmth of a carpet beneath my feet. It felt so good, my toes almost tingled as I dragged them over it. Being honest though, I'd still rather be home. My Xbox on hand, all the Blu-ray's I'd collected and my sound system. I missed having anything I wanted to eat at any time, day or night. Here it felt like such a chore to do anything.
It was late in the evening and I wasn't in much of a party mood after traveling so far, especially being here by myself. Normally when people went on these staff training things they went in pairs, or maybe three at the most. But of all the people who had to go on their own, it had to be me. Milton Keynes might be a couple hours drive for some of the others Iíd met... but to me it might as well have been to the moon and back again. I might feel a bit more adventurous tomorrow, maybe get my bearings with daylight and take a look around.
I was about to gulp the last of my coke and ice, having tried to at least pretend there was something like Morgan's in it. In the corner of my eye I kept noticing a flash of colour that was very bright, when I turned my head a little it was a very obvious pink.
A woman in a brightly coloured coat turned away from the reception desk and
looked towards where I was sitting to find an empty chair. Her eyes fixed on the
one next to mine. Come to think it, if I left then she could get mine. At the
very least it would be warm for her.
She was carrying two huge holdalls, they looked so strange with everyone else was dragging around proper suitcases. It was also clear that she was struggling with their size, and that they sagged almost all the way to the floor. As she placed down her bags, she shot a glance at me. We made a firm eye contact, she smiled and made a little nod. My mouth twitched a smile and I gave a nod back.
Her body then just collapsed deep into the chair with her arms flopping out to the side, she was seemingly exhausted or very fed up. Having expected her to sit down delicately, the way she actually did it made me smirk a little. Her sandy blonde, shoulder length hair bounced off the collar of her jacket that had bunched up around her neck. Her blue eyes glanced around the room, it was as if looking for someone she knew, but from the look on her face she didn't find them. Once again she looked at me; strangely I hadnít really stopped looking at her. Having had to hide my smirk from what sheíd done before I then had to adjust the smirk and turn it into a smile. Although I am normally a happy person anyway, sometimes I smiled just to hide my nervousness.
'Long trip?' I suddenly said stupidly.
'Feels long,' she replied. Her Scottish accent was very thick, but her voice was soft.
'Going far?' I nodded down to her bags.
'Coming back, actually. Kind of killing two birds with one stone, I was at a
wedding.' She took a deep breath before continuing, 'I was supposed to be here
yesterday for a product show, but I missed one of my connections.' She loosened
the chunky buttons on her jacket and wriggled in the chair to make herself more
'Are you here with family?' she asked back, taking another look around the room.
I made a stupid gesture with my face, curling my lips into my mouth and
biting down gently.
'Scarily enough I'm here by myself. I'm here for a product show too, my boss kind of pushed me into coming. It seemed like there were half a dozen of them going yesterday.'
'There always is,' she spoke from experience.
With my hand I checked by my side to my laptop bag. I had the strap looped around one of my feet, maybe I was just being paranoid about someone trying to steal it. When I'd moved I must have shown the stupid name badge that I was wearing and she somehow managed to read it.
Her eyes lit up. 'Busy little place.'
'Itís good though,' I couldn't think of anything else to say, Ďto be busy I
mean.í I looked back at her and tried to think of something smarter to say.
The air between us fell silent as we both seemed to run out of words. It almost felt like were encased in a soundproof bubble as everything else fell into a dead silence.
'Louisa! Isn't it?' I chanced, my head jutted forward an inch like a pecking bird. The more she spoke the more I felt I recognized her voice.
Her eyes lit up again and her cheeks flushed with colour as she smiled with
her plush, pink lips. 'Jack?' She hesitantly took her own chance.
I smiled back.
'It's nice to put a face to the voice on the other end of the phone,' she
'Same here,' I replied in kind. For some reason, I reached out and offered a handshake. I felt silly after I'd done it, it like I was living in the sixties. She gently took it and gave it a single shake. Her smile was becoming more infectious by the second. My own smile was turning from being a little guarded and uncomfortable to one that was now more genuine.
Something suddenly popped into her head. She even put her hand over her mouth
to hide her expression.
'Oh My God! I'm just rememberingÖ I must have seemed like such a bitch the last time we spoke on the phone. God, I'm so sorry,' she put her hand out and touched mine ever so gently. I looked down at it. Her bright nail polish glistened in the light.
My face reacted as much in puzzlement as anything else.
'I was having such a bad day that day,' she began to explain.
'It happens,' she seemed to be making more of it than what it actually was from what I could recall.
'I'm so sorry,' she apologized again.
'Iím not normally like that.'
'It's okay, everybody has an off day now and again. Iíve spoken to you often enough to know how you normally are. When I have to phone you guys I always hope itís you that gets my call. Youíre better to deal with than Christina.'
She was slightly flattered by his comment.
I then continued, trying to keep the smile on her face a little longer.
'Donít tell him I said this but Alex is an annoying prick. He sounds like one of
those call centre people who call you up and try and con you into something.'
Her cheeks were now flushed with colour against the rest of her skin that, although was pale, shone with a healthy glow in the light. She gave me a reassuring nod as she tried to hide her giggling. Louisa tried to get over the moment of embarrassment as she became momentarily distracted by a rowdy group of people heading out the door.
She had to swallow a couple of times to be able to speak again. 'Are you heading out on the town?' Louisa asked, nodding toward the noisy people whoíd just left. It was impossible to hide the gleeful sound in her voice as she tried to stop herself from smiling, still thinking about my comment about Alex.
'I've had a heck of day traveling; I think I'm really just looking forward to
getting off my feet,' I replied softly
'I know how you feel.'
I looked at the key swinging in her hand, she had her finger through the
ringlet and wore it almost like another ring. Amongst about a half dozen rings
on the fingers of either hand I could see she wasn't married.
'506,' I said
She looked at her own key.
'I'm in 503. We can't be far away.'
She fell silent for a moment.
'Are you waiting for someone?' I asked.
She appeared to be confused by the question.
'You seemed to be looking around when you first came in,' I pointed out to her.
'Oh, no' her brain kicked into gear. 'I've been to a few of these things, I was just looking to see if I could see a familiar face, nobody in particular though.'
Dad and daughter get together...
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