City Lounge: London (Book Two, Chapter Eleven: Dodging the Ex)

Chapter Eleven: Dodging the Ex:

We were just about to head out of the Fish and Chip shop when I happened to look across the street. Sophie turned around and saw me frozen with an expression of terror on my face.

“Paul, what’s the matter?” she asked. I tired to speak as I pointed across the street.  Sophie slowly turned her head. A woman with bright ponytail pigtails walked out of a jewelry store. Her bright pink miniskirt was long enough to cover her arse. Her big boobs looked like they would pop out of her pink boob tube. The woman looked around as if looking for a cab. I jumped behind Sophie and ducked down. She turned and looked at me

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Don’t let her see me!” I whispered. Sophie blinked.

“Why? Who is she?” she asked.

“That’s my ex, Beth,” I said.

“Huh?” Sophie asked as she looked across the street again. I peeked out from behind her. Beth was on her cell phone now. I started to have flashbacks like I was in war.

“Can we please get out of here?” I asked. “Please?”

“She doesn’t look too bad,” Sophie said.

“You have no idea!” I said. I started to push Sophie along on the sidewalk.

“What are you doing?” she asked.

“Move!” I said. Sophie swatted me on the head.

“Stop!” she said.

“Please?” I begged. “Let’s just get out of here.” Everything about Beth made me shudder. I would not wish a relationship with her on somebody I hated. Why didn’t I listen to Jay when he tried to warn me about her?

“Okay, okay,” Sophie said. “We’ll go.”

“Paul?” a high-pitched whiny voice asked. “Paul, is that you?” I froze and slowly turned my head against my better judgement. Beth’s boobs bounced as she ran across the street to us.

“Oh crap!” I yelled. “Run!” Sadly, we were too late. Beth tilted her head as she stood inches away from Sophie.

“Paul, is that you?” she asked. “What are you doing down there?” I sighed and stood up.

“Hello, Beth,” I mumbled. Her silver hoops looked bigger than her head. Just like I predicted, she was chewing gum. Her eyes trailed to Sophie.

“Oh, and who is this?” she asked. I opened my mouth, but no words came out. Two years away from each other and Beth still scares me. I am twenty-eight years old and I’m still scared like a teenage boy. I used to see her a lot in my nightmares. And just when I had gotten myself to sleep again.

But then,  Sophie grabbed me by the arm. I turned to her with big eyes.

“I’m his girlfriend,” she said. That about knocked me backwards. Beth gave her a funny look.

“Is that right?” she asked. I tried not to look at her chewed gum in her mouth.

“Yes,” Sophie said. She turned to me.

“Isn’t that right, honey?” she asked. I quickly nodded.

“Yeah!” I said. I leaned down and kissed Sophie on the cheek. Please buy it! Please buy it! Beth twirled her right ponytail with her fingers.

“Hm,” she said. My eyes stayed locked on her as my heart raced. My ex flipped back her ponytail.

“Whatever,” she said. Her cell phone started ringing.

“Excuse me,” she said. I turned to Sophie while Beth was on her phone.

“Can we go now?” I whispered.

“Yes,” Sophie said. She pulled me along with her as we hurried down the street.


“Why did you say all of that?” I asked.

“Hm?” Sophie asked.

“Why did you say we were dating?”

“I used you to get out of a crap party, so I decided to return the favor to get you away from your ex.”

“Cheers, Sophie.”

“Yeah, you did the same thing for me.”

I tried not to think about Beth and the nightmare called our relationship. In fact, I kind of waited for Sophie to ask questions. She looked around as if looking for our next destination. Don’t go there. Don’t you do it, mate! Don’t you do it!

“Aren’t you going to ask why Beth scares the shite out of me?” I asked. God damn it! Why did I do that?!

“No,” Sophie said.

“Huh?” I asked.

“You don’t want to talk about her, that’s fine,” she said. “She doesn’t strike me as a pleasant person to hang around with. Besides, I’ve had some shite exes too.”

“We just seem to pick lousy people to date,” I said.

“I wouldn’t say all of that.”

“Huh? What do you mean?”

Sophie turned to me with a smile on her face. “You weren’t bad at all.” I stopped in my tracks as my jaw dropped.

“Really?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Sophie said like it was nothing. My face turned red as I rubbed the back of my head.

“Wow,” I muttered. “You were pretty good too. I wonder what happened to us.”

“I have no idea,” she said. “I don’t think we’ll ever know.” That answer felt like getting kicked in the chest. I couldn’t explain why nor did I have an answer of what we were becoming now. The only thing I could do was jog to keep up with her.

We ended up going our separate ways for the night. I felt disappointed that we didn’t explore east London like we did last time. I did take comfort in walking with her to the bus station.

“See you again?” I asked at the bus station.

“Maybe,” Sophie said.

“Aw, don’t be like that,” I said. “I actually like being out and about with you.” Sophie turned to me with a rather shocked look on her face.

“What’s with that face?” I asked. “It’s true.”

“I don’t know what to say,” Sophie said in a flat tone with big eyes.

“Then don’t,” I said. The bus pulled up and we boarded, ending all conversation between us for the night. As we rode home, more beats to the song I was mixing came to life. I went back a fixed the bass line in my mind. Higher notes rode on it like the Underground. Would I have vocals to it? Would they even be necessary? I still didn’t have much of the song put together. My eyes trailed over to Sophie. Could she sing? That I couldn’t remember. Sophie looked up at me.

“What is it?” she asked. I smiled as I shook my head.

“Nothing,” I said. The music built on top of itself as I rode home alone. I only wished that I had my notepad with me. It was a good thing that my brain held onto the new additions as I walked into my flat and got right to work.

Beth might have killed my desire for music, but Sophie might be bringing it back.

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