City Lounge: London (Book One, Chapter Fourteen: Sophie’s Flat)

Chapter Fourteen: Sophie’s Flat:

We made it back to Sophie’s place around ten at night. I had no idea what she was planning now as she unlocked her front door.

“So… we’re here,” I said. She didn’t look up as she opened the door. Was she still pissed off about asking if she wanted to get back together again? I had to tell myself to stop asking her that. The last thing I wanted to do was make things worse for today. I rubbed my forehead as I followed Sophie into her flat. I was going to try and act mature about this I can do this. I am about to be thirty soon. This isn’t university anymore.

Sophie turned on the living room lights. Not much has changed since I was last here. Okay, there was a new coat of paint on the walls. But not much else has changed.

“Would you like anything to drink?” she asked.

“Uh… lager?” I suggested. I didn’t really feel like drinking, but I decided to humor Sophie to put her in a better mood.

“Alright,” she said. She headed for the kitchen. I took a seat on her couch. This place brought back so many memories. I remembered the day Sophie moved from Manchester to London. I couldn’t wait to see her again. In fact, I helped her move in. We talked about me moving in with her, but that never happened. It just didn’t work out shortly after she got used to London life. Sometimes, I wonder what could’ve been if I had moved in at the time.

I looked up when Sophie returned with two bottles of lager. She didn’t speak as she handed me my bottle.

“Cheers,” I said. She sat down next to me with her bottle.

“Do you want to turn on the telly?” I asked.

“No,” she said.

“Is something wrong?”

“No.” She didn’t show too convincing to me. I didn’t dare voice this, however.

“Okay,” I said. I opened my bottle and took a drink. “This is pretty good.”

“Yeah.”

It’s so quiet in here. No telly and she’s still upset. I’m running out of things to smooth the situation over. We were having such a great time today. How could I have blown it? Now, I am sitting in my ex’s flat, drinking lager. I don’t know why I am here. Sophie took another drink of her lager.

“Do you have work tomorrow night?” she asked.

“Excuse me?” I asked.

“Do you have work tomorrow night?”

“I don’t think so, why?”

“Just asking.”

“You?”

“Nope.”

“I see.” My eyes shifted around the room. Somebody needs to speak up again. I took another drink of my lager and spotted the picture of Sophie and Jimmy on the side table next to me. I remembered that mutt. He was one cool dog. I met him when Sophie took me to meet her family back in Manchester about four years ago. That little white dog came charging towards me and jumped on me. He sniffled on me before Sophie had to call him off of me.

“How’s Jimmy doing?” I asked.

“Good,” Sophie said.

“I miss that big softy,” I said. Sophie turned to me with big eyes.

“You do?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I said. “He was a little hyper, but a good dog.”

“He’s getting old, you know?”

“How old is he now?”

“Fifteen.”

“Damn! He’s an old man!”

Sophie finally began to smile. “Yes, but he still has a lot of energy for his age.” I chuckled to myself.

“You know, I can actually see that,” I said. I had an image of Jimmy running around in the yard chasing down another poor, defenseless squirrel.

“Does he still squirrels?” I asked.

“But of course,” Sophie said. “I’m amazed that we’ve kept him alive and healthy all of this time.” She and I started laughing.

“You sure you don’t want to tell on the telly?” I asked.

“Why?” Sophie asked. I shrugged and shook my head.

“I just figured that it could give us something to do.”

“Why do we have to do anything? Isn’t sitting here talking and drinking enough?”

I thought about that as I wrinkled my nose. Sophie tilted her head as she looked at me with big eyes. I finally lowered my head.

“I’ve got nothing,” I said.

“Exactly,” Sophie said with her hands on her hips. I dropped my head back on the sofa. She’s always managed to beat me at these types of logic. She’ll drop a question and then stare at me intent as I struggled to come up with a response. I don’t remember a time when our arguments didn’t end that way.

“Care for another lager?” she asked. I moved my head back into place.

“Nah, I’m good,” I said. I set down my empty bottle on the coffee table.

“No, no!” she said. “Put it on the coaster.”

“But it’s empty,” I said.

“It doesn’t matter,” Sophie said. “Put that bottle on a coaster. Nan gave me this coffee table when I left for university and I want to keep this perfect-looking.” I rolled my eyes and groaned.

“Fine,” I said. I picked up my bottle and placed it on a pig-faced coaster.

“Thank you,” Sophie said.

“Whatever,” I mumbled. She’s still anal about that damn dark cherry coffee table, I see. I looked down at my bottle on that pig-faced coaster.

“You still have those coasters Carrie gave you for your birthday that year?” I asked.

“Yes,” she said.

“Why? I thought you hated them so much.”

“They kind of grew on me, you know?”

I looked down at the cracked plastic ears. “Heh, I still say that Carrie has weird tastes.” Sophie chuckled.

“Can’t argue with you there,” she said. I didn’t bother to ask how long she was going to keep me. To be honest with you, I didn’t care. I was just happy to see her mood turn around. I didn’t expect much after today, but part of me wanted to spend the day with her like this again. It was possible that we could get back together. Maybe…

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