Chapter Three, Part Four
After work and in The Sun Brasserie with Becky, Louise was looking forward to a girly chat. She was looking forward to eating some nice food and drinking some nicer wine. She was looking forward to getting to know one of her colleagues better and to getting a new friend. Becky was also looking forward to getting to know one of her colleagues better.
“Can I just say, you have amazing hair,” Becky was topping Louise’s glass up with Merlot.
“Thanks,” Louise giggled, “oh that’s enough wine. It goes straight to my head.”
“Yeah me too.” Becky smiled. Louise knew she was going to have a good night.
“So be honest, how are you finding work?” Becky put her elbows onto the table and leaned forward into her hands, “it must be hard being the new girl. And being new to London too.”
“Yeah, I am finding it hard,” Louise had had enough of pretending for one week, she was glad to have someone to talk to, “it’s more difficult than I thought.”
Louise talked about her week, about being unsure and in an unusual place. Becky listened.
“When I first started I didn’t know anyone either. It gets easier.” Louise was happy she’d agreed to meet Becky. She could already tell she was going to be a good friend, and right now she needed one.
“It’ll be easier now I have a friend,” Louise was feeling tipsy after drinking half the bottle of wine, but she felt happy for the first time that week.
“Definitely,” Becky reached across the table and put her hand on top of Louise’s, “and we need to do this again. Soon.”
Louise felt shivers down her spine, she couldn’t tell if it was the wine or Becky or both. “I think I need to call Mark.”
As soon as she was out of the tube station she dialled the familiar digits. The phone barely rang.
“Honey,” he sounded excited, “how are you?”
“I good baby, a bit drunk.”
“You sound it. What have you been doing?”
Mark was back to his normal self, he was listening when Louise was talking. He was asking the right questions. Mark was back.
“I miss you,” Louise said shutting her flat door behind her.
“Oh, what do you miss?” Mark was smiling down the phone.
Louise giggled, she knew where this was going. “you know. You’re smile.”
“My smile? That’s not very sexy.”
“Oh, it is. The smile you’re doing right now, I miss that.” Louise was sat on her bed.
“I am smiling. What are you doing?” Straight to the point as ever, Louise thought.
“I’m on my bed,” Louise said with a smile, “I am just sitting on my bed, thinking of you. Thinking it has been a long time, since . . .”
“ You know, since,” Louise paused a little in her speech, “since I saw your smile.” And added slightly more brusquely, “How was your day?”
“Yeah, it was good, the boss was out, so Jake and I made the most of it”
“Not like down here”, she cut in, “My boss is impossible to please, I have to learn so much new stuff, and my suit is killing me. You know the grey one, with the pencil skirt; you bought it with me. It looks great but my god it is so tight. And it is really tight across my bottom, I told you I should have got the other one, the looser one”
“Nah, babe, you look great in that one.”
“Yeah, and you’re not the only one to think so.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well I get loads of looks, I mean everyone down here is checking out my arse. There’s one guy, in the office, I had to walk past his desk about 6 times today and every time I could feel his eyes on my bum. I then walked past him twice more just for fun, you know, giving it a bit, like a catwalk walk; then I looked back and both times I caught him”
“Caught him what”
“Lucky guy” said Mark, a bit conflicted by the tale.
“What, getting caught?”
“No, eyeing your bum”
She paused; and waited.
“I love your bottom, it is beautiful”
“How’s your Mum?” This was a definite change of subject
Mark was half way through telling her when she interrupted. “Its funny” she said, and as if needing prompting Mark added “What is?”
“You know how when I snuggle up to you, you run your fingers through my hair, you know, like you comb it with your fingers and when you get to the ends of the strands you slow down and hold the tips of my hair in your finger tips and just pull it gently and slowly and kinda nice, kinda sexually?
“Do I do that?”
“Yeah all the time, I like it, it is cute, makes me feel safe and loved. Well, when you are not here and I am thinking about you, well, I do the same thing myself, I comb my fingers through my hair just like you. I never did that back home. Must mean I miss you. So what did your Mum say to Marjory to get her so hacked off?”
Mark continued his tale, and his words fell lazily into her ears, and just as casually fell out again. His tale not yet complete, she interjected, “Can you hold on a minute?”
“Yeah, sure, why?”
“I have got to get my skirt off. I have just been looking at it in the mirror. You are right, it was a good choice. It makes my tummy look really flat,”
“Well it is really flat,” added Mark
“Yes but it makes it look it,” she confirmed, “It hangs really nice at the front and when I turn around I have to admit it does make my bottom look kinda hot. And it moves nicely as I walk. But I have to take it off – I need to breathe again.”
She spoke in a quieter, slower more sensual but deliberate way “I can’t do it with one hand. I wish you were here .” He could hear her gently exhale as the zip was lowered, “aaah, yesss, that’s lovely, oooh freedom. Hang on, I have to hang it up. I miss you Cowboy. I wish you were right here right now”
“Me too” said Mark, with only lightly disguised intent.
“But I’m happy now I’m making friends,” Louise said absent mindedly, “One girl from work I think will be a great friend. Becky. We went out for a drink tonight – she’s the reason I am a bit tipsy. You would love her. She is really hot! She was sitting with her face real close to me and her skin is perfect, and you would love her eyes, their kind of dusky, you know sort of naughty, oh yes and a figure to die for. Yes I was thinking about you as I was looking at her, thinking you would like her, and all that thinking about you made me kinda hot. I started thinking about you and I started to get a bit horny, and then she touched my hand and I thought about you touching my hand and I felt a real, you know, twingle”
“Twingle?” asked Mark, almost mockingly
“Yeah, you know when you are feeling horny and a little wave of horny gets you down there, you know, like a twinge and a tingle and everything all at a once, just for a second. Anyway, she touched my hand, I was thinking of you and your hands and it sent a real twingle.”
“So were you wet?” Mark asked eagerly.
“Don’t be stupid, How would I know? Anyway you haven’t told me about you and what you have been doing.”
“Yes I did, I told you about me and Jake. And it was really funny cos…”
Again Louise cut across him, “Do you miss me?”
“Yes, babe. Big time, I really miss you.”
“What do you miss?”
“Everything, I miss everything.”
Mark knew he had not got the last answer quite right, but did not really know where to go next.
“I miss you,” said Louise, “I miss your smile, your hands, your laugh, your chest, your body, your silly faces, your stories, your rubbish driving, your dreadful brown shirt that you know I hate. I miss being with you at home, down the pub, watching telling and in my bed. I miss you in my bed and in my heart. Where are you now?”
“In my room” replied Mark
“Well then, you can tell me what you miss about me then. You have to do the talking. I am stood here in my suit jacket, buttoned up blouse, high heeled shoes and no skirt. I must look a right idiot. You talk while I undress.”
“Well I miss everything about you, like you said, all those things and more”
“Your lips, I love kissing your lips”
“My lips were kissed about an hour ago. Becky kissed me. Everyone down here is kissy, and she just gave me a little kiss goodbye; but on the lips. I was a bit surprised, but it was nice. She has nice lips. So what else do you miss?”
“Well your hands and your skin and your body, I miss your body and you know I miss everything,” Mark paused, “Are you undressed now?”
“No. I am wearing your shirt, your blue baggy shirt, I stole it before I left. I can smell you on it and I feel real snuggley in it, and I am back on the bed now. It is soft and nice against my body.”
“So you took off all your other clothes?”
“So you are naked apart from my shirt?”
“No, sweet I still have my knickers on; naked but for knickers and shirt, lying in the bed, with you in my ear.”
“Are you OK?” continued Louise, “what are you doing”
“No, nothing just lying here listening to you, nothing.”
“I have just done it again” she revealed gently.
“That thing with the hair. When I slip my hand through my hair like you do, feeling it so soft in my hands and like you do. I am doing that now, I really miss you caressing the ends of my hair and sliding your hand across my shoulders and over my breasts; I’m doing that now, it doesn’t feel the same when I do it. I wish you were here. My body misses you. I wish you were here.”
Silence. No, not silence, just no talking; there was warm loving communication even without words.
“Mark, I want you to…” She broke off, lazily not finishing her sentence.
“You want me to what honey? I’d do anything you asked.”
Louise told him what she wanted him to do. She imagined that it was his hands running across her stomach. She imagained that it was his fingers creeping under the elastic waistband of her knickers. She imagined that he was in bed, next to each other, that what they were sharing down the phone they were sharing in real life. Louise felt so close to Mark, but imagined that he was closer. She wanted them to be together, but on the phone would have to be enough for now.
She kissed Mark down the phone, wished him sweet dreams and clicked off her phone.
She pulled up the duvet, snuggled herself down and said, “Goodnight Mark. Good night Becky.” And in a moment she was asleep.
At last happy, out of the cab and immersed in his home made dark room, he looked at the negatives of his early day shots – not even worth printing, but he had 12 of the paint man. The Nikon F5 will take 5 shots a second if you just hold your finger on the trigger. Billy had taken a few single shots and then let rapid fire take over. He printed each, seeking the best.
One, no good, Two OK, three to five, excellent. Seven to twelve, wasted: would have been great, if not for that long haired blond man in the frame. Shit. 7 shots for the bin.