*illustration by Mark Adlington
Becca couldn’t help but like him instantly. She couldn’t sleep because she analysed his every move, his every word, his every glance. She knew he was a good one. She also knew that good ones were hard to come by. She could feel that she was getting herself into trouble, but nonetheless there was something in her that couldn’t resist playing with fire. She picked up the phone.
It only rang once before he answered. It was two a.m. on a freezing starless night in London. He sounded irritated that someone would dare to call him that late. He also sounded intrigued that someone would dare to call him that late. Becca was on the brink of telling him she liked him. A lot. She was on the brink of telling a relative stranger, who she only met the week before, that she fantasised about being with him. A lot. She thought that wasn’t like her. She never had these feelings. Awkward.
But instead she started a meaningless conversation about today’s football results. She knew that now wasn’t the time for too much intensity, for too much truth. She had learned her lesson.
Blaine didn’t watch football. He wondered what the hell Becca was talking about, but he enjoyed the sound of her voice too much to stop her. He could listen to her voice for hours even if it stammered endlessly about Manchester United or some other club he didn’t care about. He did care about Becca though. He realised that on the first night he met her.
She was unlike any other girl he’d ever met before. She was strange. In a good way. She was loud, but not obscenely so, just in a confident way. He felt instantly attracted to her. Becca was drawing him in with her flirtatious glances that seemed to shy away at the last second. She was contradictory and that amazed him.
When he finally approached her after deliberating how to open the conversation for about three hours, he simply said: “Hi, I’m Blaine. I’d love to chat to you.” She looked slightly bemused that a stranger would come and talk to her. Like it had never happened before.
It had never happened before.
Becca and Blaine talked for hours. About their dislike of grated cheese, about their love of literature, about being the oldest children in large families and about pretty much everything else.
She was too scared to tell him she liked him. He waited for her to tell him she liked him. No one said anything. Both didn’t want to let their guard down. Both didn’t want to stand on this battlefield unprotected.
Becca put down the phone. She felt empty. They never saw each other again. They never stopped thinking about each other.