City Lounge: London (Book Two, Chapter Six: Neighbourhood Party)

Chapter Six: Neighbourhood Party:

“Why are you whispering?” Sophie asked. I dropped my arm by my side.

“I’m not alone right now,” I said.

“So?” she asked. “Do you have a girlfriend over?”

I frowned. “No. It’s just Jazz.”

“So why are you whispering? You’re not dating her or me. Are you ashamed of us or something?” The way she said it started to make sense.

“Oh,” I said in a normal voice. I turned to see Jazz staring at my ceiling with a disapproving look on her face. Okay, I get it. My ceiling looks a mess. Can you move onto something, woman?

“What did you want, if you don’t mind me asking?” I asked at last.

“Oh,” Sophie said. “There’s a party that one of my coworkers is having this evening. She’s been determined to find me a boyfriend. If you would mind, could you…?” She didn’t need to finish that sentence.

“Am I going to pose as your boyfriend for this party?” I asked.

“Please?” Sophie pleaded. I pressed my hand to my forehead.

“You know how I feel about parities,” I said.

“It won’t be long. I don’t want to go either, but they begged me to come along. Ten minutes. And then you can go.”

“Ten minutes, huh?”

“Please?”

I leaned back against the wall. “Fine. Only ten minutes.” I had to hold my mobile away from my ear as she squealed.

“Thanks, Paul! You are a wonderful man!”

“Yeah, yeah.”

“I’ll pick you up at six.”

“Right…”

“Thanks again. Goodbye!” She hung up and I lowered my phone. This felt just like old times. When Sophie ended up being dragged to a party she didn’t want to go, she would turn to me to make the suffering more bearable. Ten minutes and it would be over, huh? Time to come up with another escape plan. When was the last time I had done that?

I walked back into the living room to find Jazz standing up and stretching her arms in the air.

“You’re leaving?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said. “I just got a text from my cousin. I have to go pick up her daughter from school.”

“Busy day at the salon again?” I asked.

“When is it not?” Jazz asked.

“True,” I said. Jazz walked up over to my door. She turned when she put her hand on the knob.

“I’ll see you later,” she said.

“See ya,” I said. Jazz opened the door and walked out. Why is that I feel a little empty when she leaves? Only Jazz and Sophie leaving me feeling like that when they are gone. It’s so weird, I have been used to being alone for so long, but when those girls are not around, it just hits me. I turned and walked back into my kitchen when my stomach growled.

I wanted to call up somebody and have a late lunch with them, but I felt too lazy to pick up my phone and dial up a random mate.

——–

I didn’t do much around my flat that afternoon. The creative energy must have gone to sleep at the moment. Do I really want to go to that party and be a prop for my ex? I could call her up and cancel. But then again, Sophie would plead with me to suffer with her. Why did I let her talk me into going out to a party that she didn’t want to go? We don’t like going out too often. (I know that sounds weird because I work as a DJ. But going out to clubs is work for me. I can never relax and enjoy myself.)

You know, those stains on my ceiling aren’t the only ones in my living room. When I was eating lunch, I happened to look up and spot them on my kitchen ceiling too. Damn, maybe I do need to talk to my neighbours upstairs. What are they doing that is causing my ceiling to stain like that? What about the rest of my flat? I ended up looking at the rest of the ceiling throughout my flat.

By six, my door buzzed. Time for the execution into boredom.

“Coming!” I shouted. I rubbed my neck as I walked to the door. Just as I predicted, Sophie stood outside looking just as cute as she last night.

“Is something wrong with your neck?” she asked. I paused with rubbing my nape.

“Oh, I was looking for stains on my ceilings around the flat,” I said. My ex looked at me as if I had lost my mind.

“Why?” she asked.

“Oh, Jazz said something about it earlier,” I said. “Now, I keep noticing it as I look at my ceiling.”

“Right…” Sophie said. “Ready to go?” Like I have a choice in the matter.

“Sure,” I said. “Let me go grab my keys.” I turned and walked down the hall. I returned with a much better attitude.

“Ten minutes, remember?” I said.

“Yes,” she said.

“I will hold you to it.”

Sophie threw back her head and rolled her eyes. “I get it! I know! Can we just get this over with?”

“Why couldn’t you say no?” I asked as we started walking.

“Sally won’t take no for an answer,” she said.

“Who’s Sally?” I asked. Sophie waved me off.

“Never mind,” she said. “She’s just a lady what works with me.”

“Now you have me intrigued.”

“You’ll get to meet her soon enough.” The way she said it made gave me the impression that she was heading to have cavity filled. I gave her a sympathetic smile as I put my arm around her shoulders.

“Would you like to hear my escape plan for the party?” she asked. Sophie looked at me with wide eyes.

“You have an escape plan?” she asked.

“Of course I do,” I said. “It’s just like when we were dating. You always had to drag me along for public outings that you didn’t want to go to.”

“Did I?”

I threw back my head and groaned. “You’re telling me you forgot already?” Sophie broke into giggling.

“I didn’t,” she said. “Just make sure it’s a good plan.”

“When have I ever come up with a bad plan?” I asked. We joked around and talked all the way to the party.

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