‘I won’t lie, this place sounds kind of amazing.’ I said, sat next to Kate on our bus.
‘I can’t believe you’ve never even heard of Abacus.’
‘Is it that big of a deal?’
‘I guess not. There’s usually loads of bankers and Essex girls.’
‘Hot.’ I said, sarcastically.
‘It’s near Moorgate.’
‘Hmm.’ I said, as if that meant anything to me. ‘So a lot of bankers then?’
‘Mmhmm.’ Kate said.
‘You’ll feel right at home!’ I said, patting her shoulder. ‘I can’t believe you’re in banking.’
‘It’s not so bad.’ She shrugged.
‘Way to sell it.’
‘I’m just glad that I get to leave at five every day.’
‘You’re easily pleased.’
‘I know. Now I just need to find a tall German and then I’ll be really happy.’
I laughed. ‘Maybe in Calculator!’
Kate laughed. ‘You’re ridiculous.’
‘I know.’ I sighed, looking out the window of the bus.
‘This is us.’ She said, getting up.
We got off the bus and walked to Abacus. As soon as we got in all I could see was men. ‘THIS is ridiculous!’ I shouted over the music to Kate.
She nodded and smiled. She walked up to the desk and paid our entry and that was the last pound we spent that evening.
Once downstairs it was quite odd. It was that kind of feeling when you walk into a room and everything goes silent. It was as if we were immediately on everyone’s radar. Being two females in a room dominated predominantly by men, this was not difficult to achieve. A man stood amongst three other men smiled at me. He was rather attractive and in close proximity so I smiled back and eventually got chatting with him. It turned out that he and his friends were Danish. ‘Kate.’ I called out loudly after a minute of speaking to this one guy. ‘They’re Danish.’
‘Really?’ Kate asked. ‘Amazing. I was just there last month.’
As her and the Dane spoke I began speaking to one of his friends. The guy ended up being the most charming person I’d met in awhile. He was funny and charismatic and we laughed for what seemed like an hour before he stopped suddenly and said, ‘Can I get you a drink?’
‘Sure.’ I smiled.
‘You look like a gin and tonic kind of girl, yes?’ He said in a Danish accent.
‘That will do just fine, thank you.’
‘You will come with me to the bar?’ He asked in his slightly broken English.
Once at the bar he ordered then looked at me and sighed heavily. ‘I have to tell you something.’
‘What’s that?’ I asked, tilting my head.
‘I have a girlfriend.’
I laughed. ‘I’ll call the Times.’
He smiled. ‘No, I mean, I really like you, you’re so funny and you laugh at everything.’
I smiled. ‘I am rather easy to impress, I agree.’
‘I really enjoy talking to you, but I don’t want to lead you on.’
I leaned into him and squinted my eyes slightly. ‘Just because I’m talking to you doesn’t mean I like you, you know.’ I said. ‘How do you know I’m not just using you for a drink?’
‘You can use me for whatever you like.’
‘Ugh!’ I said and we both started laughing. ‘That might actually be the worst line I’ve ever heard.’
‘I know.’ He said, laughing. Our drinks came and he handed me my gin and tonic. ‘Well,’ he began, ‘it has been a pleasure speaking with you.’ He clinked my glass.
‘Have a fantastic evening.’
‘You as well.’ I said, and we touched glasses again and took a sip before kissing goodbye on the cheek.
I turned around to see Kate still talking to the other Dane. She saw me and excused herself to come over to me. ‘What are you drinking?’ She asked, looking at my glass.
‘Gin and tonic. You?’ I asked, looking at hers.
‘Twins.’ I said, and we sipped our drinks. ‘There are so many guys in here.’ I said, baffled.
‘I know.’ Kate said, excited.
I laughed. ‘Calm yourself down.’
At the same moment we spotted a rather tall gentleman. Kate’s only serious criteria for men is height and I saw her eyes light up when she saw him. He was rather handsome and I nudged Kate to go speak to him. I watched her walk away and the space where she had been standing was immediately filled by a guy in a suit.
‘Hello.’ I said, matter-of-factly.
He started up some banal conversation about something unmemorable and I replied in my banterous way to everything until he eventually said, ‘Right. So this is what’s going to happen. You’re going to give me your number and I’m going to call you in the morning and then I’m going to take you out on a date.’
‘Is that so?’
‘Yes.’ He said, pulling out his phone.
I laughed. Based on his presumption alone I decided to give him a chance. ‘Nice to meet you.’ I said as I walked away to find Kate. She was chatting up the tall guy, so I looked to focus my attention elsewhere. As I turned my head I immediately locked eyes with someone. It was almost a cinematic moment as a man in a suit with deep blue eyes and a handsome face smiled and walked towards me. Without a moment’s hesitation he came straight up to me and said, ‘Hello.’
I immediately recognised an accent. I wasn’t sure why I was attracting so many foreigners that evening, but it was no matter. ‘Hello.’ I responded. ‘And where are you from?’
‘Over there.’ He said, pointing behind him.
I laughed. ‘I can see that. I meant, where is your accent from?’
He smiled cheekily. ‘France.’
Internally I scowled. I don’t particularly like French accents. I find them to be quite audibly offensive. But I love German accents. Go figure. ‘Nice.’ I said in feigned awe.
I had never had someone stare me in the eyes for such an intense period of time. After some chit chat he said, ‘You are so cute.’
‘You make it sound as if I’m a puppy.’ I said.
‘Beautiful. You’re beautiful.’ He yelled over the music
‘I know.’ I yelled back over the loudness of the atmosphere.
He laughed. ‘And so … how you say … modest?’
‘That I am not, I’m afraid.’ I said, smiling. ‘So what do you do?’ I asked.
‘I’m an investment banker.’
Again, internally I frowned, but outside my face was saying, “Oh, really?” as I smiled and nodded.
‘And you?’ He asked.
‘Oh, you know. This and that.’ I knew he wasn’t really listening as he’d been focusing his stare on my lips and chest. I could have told him that I was in panda reproduction research and he probably would have just gone on staring at my mouth, nodding and occasionally moving his glance southward.
‘That is so cute.’
My work is a lot of things. Cute isn’t one of them. ‘Is it really?’
He laughed. ‘No. I don’t know why I said that. You’re so cute.’
‘Thanks?’ I asked.
He smiled and before I knew what was happening he had pressed his lips to mine.
Oh, so this is happening now. I thought. It was decent, but my days of snogging people in the middle of clubs were behind me. Or so I thought. Our snog-fest lasted for the better part of an hour, only interrupted to get more drinks and more lashed.
Eventually he had to leave, but not before ensuring that not only did he have my phone number, but that he had put in his diary to call me the next morning. I walked away with a missed call in my mobile call history and went to find Kate. She had the same idea, but had come to find me, carrying a bottle of Moet Champagne with her. ‘Look what I got!’
I laughed. ‘How?!’
‘That tall guy bought it for us.’
‘I know!’ She poured me a glass and I got halfway through the glass before I looked down at my watch. ‘Shit.’ I said. ‘It’s two.’ I shouted over the music. Kate shrugged, her eyes half closed. ‘We have to work tomorrow.’ I tried to reason.
‘Fuck it.’ She slurred.
‘I’m going home.’ I said, putting the half-full glass down. ‘Are you going to be okay?’
She nodded, and smiled at the tall guy who came to join us, putting his arm around Kate.
‘Fantastic.’ I said. ‘I’ll call you tomorrow.’ Kate pursed her lips towards me and I pressed my cheek to them. ‘Bye!’