Leither in London – Issue 67


Posted by in August's Magazine

I have something of a penchant for stripes. Everyone who knows me is very aware of this fact. Approximately 40% of my wardrobe is made up of striped items and they seem to have a mysterious magpie effect on me – I see them, I want them. Last Friday was no exception. I can remember, I’ve been so desperate for everyone else’s approval that I’ve never really thought about how I feel about myself. But somehow, in the last few weeks, I’ve become a lot more comfortable in my ons.

Arriving at Laura’s birthday drinks in Soho after work, my eye was immediately drawn to a man in a fetching striped t-shirt standing by the bar. It wasn’t just the stripes that were appealing either – he was very tall and very cute. Oh my.

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Of course, despite consuming about a gallon of pink wine, I never quite managed to work up the courage to speak to him and when it finally reached closing time, I was about to admit defeat when he popped up beside me with his friend.

“Where you two ladies off to now then?” asked the friend. “Can we tempt you out for another? We know a great club in Kilburn.”

“Kilburn!” I baulked. “That’s miles away. How about the Russian bar?” (The Russian Bar’s not as salubrious as I might have gone on to make out – but it is 5 minutes from my house so it worked for me!).

“I’m up for that,” Mr Stripe piped up gallantly. “Let’s get a cab.” And that’s where things all got a little muddled. After hailing a taxi and doing the required haggle over the fare, I jumped in – just as Laura had a change of heart. “I think I really just need to go home. It’s nowhere near my house, I don’t feel too good, and I’ve got to get up early tomorrow.”

No amount of pleading would change her mind and after a few minutes of fruitless negotiations, the friendly friend jumped in the cab beside me, told Mr Stripe to make sure Laura got home okay, and shut the door. As the taxi drove off, I was still trying to fathom what exactly had just happened. I had somehow ended up in a cab on the way to a very dubious late night bar on my own with a man I’d known for approximately 30 seconds, while Laura was apparently being escorted home by my Mr Stripe. This was not how things were meant to go.

It took the fifteen-minute drive, many reassurances from Friendly Friend that he was a good guy, and a very large gin and tonic to finally get my brain on side with the circumstances I’d found myself in. Truth is, Matt (as it turned out his name was) did seem to be a nice bloke, he was also pretty handsome…oh what the hell!

Dodgy phone business
Waking up in bed beside him the next morning, it took a few moments to piece back together the chain of events and once I had, I’m not sure my sober brain agreed with the over-eager drunken one from last night. Matt, on the other hand, seemed gleefully happy… “So when am I getting to see you again?” he asked, reaching over for my phone to type in his digits.
“Ummm, I’m pretty busy this week to be honest…”
“Next week it is then,” he declared, while calling his own mobile from mine, in an apparent effort to locate it. “Ah, here it is,” he beamed. Yep, and now you have my number without me even giving it to you. Smart cookie. “I’m just going to give Tom a ring,” he said, walking out to the terrace, as I buried my head back under the pillow berating myself for being an idiot. Reappearing five minutes later, Matt had an announcement: “Ha, you’ll never guess where Tom is…Laura’s house! Think he did more than get her home okay!”

No, No, No, No, No! That was not supposed to happen. Mr Stripe had spent the night with Laura?! Didn’t she know I liked him? This was a disaster.

Finally managing to coax Matt out of the door, I immediately texted Laura. She called five minutes later: “I’m so sorry. It totally wasn’t planned but we just found ourselves at mine, alone, and you know, it just kind of happened.”

And what could I say? I did know. I’d done exactly the same thing with Matt. Deciding to chalk it all down to drunken nonsense, Laura and I laughed it off and said our goodbyes. Now, I just had to let Matt know a date wasn’t on the cards and it could all be forgotten – but I wasn’t ready for that yet. Delaying the inevitable, I logged onto facebook. And my heart literally leapt in my chest. I had a message. From Tom:
“Hey, Matt’s going to kill me for this. If you fancy a drink sometime, get in touch…”

Oh holy crap, what do I do now?!

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