Scrape: Chapter One, Part One
It was a “meh” day. One of those days that is best described by a shrug of the shoulders or a roll of the eyes. It was grey and it was hot. The city was full of the sounds of cars and buses and the streets were full of men in suits striding down the road and women in stilettos strutting along the pavement. Louise was neither strutting nor striding, Louise was running because Louise was late.
At home she’d always been one of those girls; she was pretty and slim and had blonde hair and blue eyes. She had a lovely boyfriend, a great mum and a perfect dad, a younger brother and sister and loads of friends who she loved spending time with. She had graduated university with a 1st in English, and had been accepted onto every graduate programme she had applied for. When she told her friends and family she was moving to London they were upset and jealous. Well her mum was upset and her friends were jealous. All mums would be upset, but Louise’s mum was particularly upset; she had a special need for Louise to be close, even though they rowed. ‘How’ she thought ‘could Louise be so selfish?’ Louise felt it, but pretended, even to herself, that she didn’t.
Louise knew this was a great opportunity; the beginning of the rest of her life. She was excited because she knew she was going to be a great success. Her family would be proud and her friends would be envious; and her mum would come to understand it was for the best. Sometimes you just have to follow your heart.
Arriving flushed and out of breath at the large glass doors, Louise couldn’t help but smile. Pushing them open, she slid into the white reception. Looking at her, you’d never have known she’d just run the five minute walk from the tube station to the building. Glancing at the list of companies on the sign on the wall, Louise quickly picked the 6th floor and drifted into the artificially bright lift. She checked her watch, right on time.
That morning was an exciting blur of new faces and new names. Everyone was smiling and chatting, she knew she was going to love her new job. It was exactly what she had wanted since she was a little girl.
When Louise was six, she had visited London with her mum and Nanna. They had gone into all of the big shops; Selfridges, Hamleys, Harrods. They had eaten a yummy lunch at the hotel, and even had afternoon tea at the Ritz. London was a mixture of fear and excitement. It pinched the uneasy nerve of a little girl’s fear; so many streets, so many roads, so many dark alleys – she held her mum’s hand as tight as a six year old can. It was an amazing maze of streets she had thought. It would be so easy to get lost in London.
But the excitement she felt was seeing the glamorous ladies and men in suits and ties, carrying briefcases and umbrellas rushing about and going to work. “When I grow up Mummy, I want to go to work in a big office like that one. And don’t the ladies look so pretty in their suits?” Since that day, Louise knew she was destined to work in the city in a shiny bright open plan office. And there she was, sat at her own desk with her own computer, surrounded by lovely bubbly office boys and girls. It was like a dream come true.