Jane Knight Rogue Officer

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All I think about is Miles

It is July two thousand and fifteen.

The start of the week was a killer for me as I was sat at my desk checking for an email from Miles every hour or so, not leaving it for more than two hours. I had my own office and so if I wanted to keep to myself, I could. Monday to Wednesday dragged on for me as I had nowhere to travel that week or any meetings with clients. Just filing and paperwork to finish up. It felt like I was waiting for the results of a medical test. I have never had someone show an interest in me and so it was like tasting cocaine for the first time and then wanting to feel that rush again by waiting for the dealer to come round again.

It was now Thursday and I heard nothing from Miles. I kept checking my junk box in my email and still no contact. My mind started to do overdrive thinking that he found my personal account instead and so started checking that email account. It was after four o’clock in the afternoon and I started to recap what Miles had verbally said to me. Now did he say call him today or tomorrow? He said call me if you do not hear from me by the end of the week. But Miles wanted to see me in the week, not the weekend or arrange for the following week. Now my mind started wondering if it would be best to call after working hours in case I get him in trouble with work as it does not relate to his work. He did give me his business card with both his mobile and work number. Wouldn’t he have made it clear not to call his work landline? All he would need to do is quickly rush me off the phone if I called at a bad time. All these ‘what ifs’ swirl in my head over and over in my head. I had never been in this kind of position. It felt like being at school again and going through the same thought process of a ten year old. I so wish I was not a virgin and I’d had twenty sexual experiences. I would then not be behaving like this, taking it really casually.

It was coming up to half past five o’clock now. I am sat at my desk with the desktop switched off ready to leave on time for the first time in weeks. Of all the weeks I get a potential boyfriend, the week went quiet and no heavy work schedule to distract my thoughts on Miles and what he would be like going on a first date and eventually making it to first base. I was happy just getting to first base. If that was all I got to, I would have been happy. I stare at Miles’ business card, having my eyes go blurry while contemplating calling him now. I go to pick up the landline phone and put it down straightaway. After a few seconds later, I go to do the same thing again and put it down straightaway. I then looked at my mobile and go to dial the landline number from the business card then close the phone app to go to the home screen. Repeat this a few times. I then saw myself in the reflection of my mobile screen after the screen goes black. I looked at my face in the reflection, analysing my cheeks, mouth, nose and hair wondering if I was good enough for him. Wondering what he saw in me. I study my face for a long time ignoring my work colleagues leaving the floor to go home, leaving only me on the floor in my closed-off office. I keep looking at my face studying it. As my eye had started going blurry, my mobile phone rings and find it annoying, interrupting me looking at my face. I ignore the description on the phone at first, not wanting to answer a number I did not recognise.

I just looked at the business card thinking of Miles. My mobile naturally rings off. My mobile rings again and it is the same number which again I do not recognise. I study Miles’ mobile number on the business card and waited for my mobile to ring out so I can put in Miles’ mobile in my phone to save. As I do this, the mobile rings a third time and I suddenly realise the number is the same on the business card. Flipping heck, it is Miles’ mobile number calling me. I quickly dial back and it goes straight to voice mail. He is either calling me back or leaving a voice mail. I keep trying until the third time I get through on a dial tone. Please pick up, please answer my call. I start to wonder if I should call the same amount of time as he did if he does not pick up. Before I finish my thought, the mobile answers. I go quiet to wait for Miles to talk first.

Miles sounds distant on the mobile, ‘Hello?’

Once I heard Miles talk, I quickly jump in, ‘Hi. It’s me… Jane? We spoke at Anthea and Stephen’s engagement party.’ Not thinking that Miles actually tried to call me and I was returning his phone call.

I could sense that Miles was treating this phone call as a follow-on to Saturday rather than starting from scratch, ‘When can we meet up? I have had a hectic few days and so only now had a chance to call.’

I felt so excited, how keen Miles’ voice sounded on the mobile, ‘That is okay. You don’t have to explain.’

Miles’ voice made me sense he was smiling on the other end of the phone, ‘Good. I was wondering when would be a good time to meet up. I feel I have waited a few days, so would like to meet up as soon as you are available.’

I felt I was coming across desperate to meet up but I was not in a mood to second guess myself, ‘What are you thinking? Possibly over the weekend or would you prefer a week day? I am not fussed either way. I am assuming that work is a nightmare for what you do.’

I did not hear Miles during my spiel and waiting for Miles’ response felt like eternity, ‘That sounds great. This weekend would be better. My weeks seem to be getting busier. All it will be a case of doing is dropping off the company accounts that I am interested in and then giving you a quick idea of what I am looking for.’

I felt relaxed now that something was being organised and that it was going to happen this weekend, ‘That sounds cool. Saturday or Sunday is fine. Which day would be good for you and when?’

Miles sounded like he was keen to meet up as well, ‘How about Saturday at about four o’clock? We can meet for coffee. My shout, as you are doing me a favour.’

I reflected on my weekend wondering if I had planned anything, to think how quickly I could cancel it. My mind was rushing away while I was still trying to have a conversation with Miles, ‘Yes. That sounds great. Where are you thinking?’

Miles is quick to respond, ‘Where do you live?’

I felt that this was more and more of a date, ‘I live in Hackney. Literally on top of Homerton Overground.’ Miles quickly responds, ‘I can meet you in Hackney. How about Stratford? There are a few coffee shops. Pick one.’

My mind went blank for a few seconds not remembering any of the chained coffee shops, ‘Ah,’ for a second I couldn’t think of one. ‘How about Star Bucks? It is not far from the train station.’

Miles closes off the conversation, ‘Great. I have to go, look forward to seeing you then.’

I came off over eager, ‘I am looking forward to it. It was great meeting you last Saturday.’ Damn, have I caused awkwardness to him?

Miles went quiet on the phone. I have blown it, ‘I am looking to forward to seeing you also. And yes, it was great meeting you on Saturday. I will see you then.’

Phew, I did not over do it, ‘Cool. See you then. Bye.’

‘Bye.’ I waited for Miles to hang up first. Once I heard the mobile phone cut off, I stood up and jumped around knowing that no one else was in the office.

I was over the moon to be seeing Miles on Saturday, wondering what to wear. He did not have a wedding ring on his finger, did he? He would not ask me out if he was in a long-term relationship. My thoughts at that moment started racing about how tomorrow would go. We would talk about work then spend the rest of the afternoon talking about last weekend, what both of us got up to in the week, especially as we had not seen each other for a whole week. Then over the next couple of weeks, talk on the phone and finally the kiss. Will it be next week or the following week? I had a sense that this arrangement will be for quite a while. I remembered that he said there will be a couple of accounts to look over. I was in control in how long it will take to review the companies and so I could prolong the work as long as I want.

When I arrived home, I ordered a take-away and sat in front of the television watching a film on DVD with a bottle of white pinot grigio wine. I am in my dressing gown which one of my siblings bought me last Christmas. It was a bit hideous-looking in light blue with peacock patterns. The material was thick and fluffy which was great as the weather had changed with the temperature falling to fifteen Celsius, and so chilly with dark clouds and looked like it was going to rain overnight. I could hear people outside in the street talking and laughing but the voices were indistinct but could make out they were girls’ voices. I had put conditioner in my hair and so had a towel wrapped on my hair. This was no party girl. I have my floor lamp on to give a ambient feel with a low yellow, orange light. My legs are folded on the two-seater sofa with my takeaway in the foil pack still on a plate with only a fork. I am lonely and the only thing that is staving me away from suicidal thoughts in my head is the chance of having a relationship to save me. God, I sound sad, needing a relationship to stay on this planet. I need a distraction. I reminded myself that I need to catch up with my parents tomorrow and let them know how I have been getting on.

My parents do not make initiations and so if I don’t call them, then they assume their children are fine. I like to get hold of my parents a couple of times a month just to hear their voice. It had been a couple of weeks since I last called them. It was gone eight o’clock so I decided to call them after finishing my take-away and made myself ready for bed.

I called my parents from the sofa, using my mobile. The phone rang for a bit before they picked up, ‘Hello?’

I am quick to say, ‘It’s Jane.’

It is my mum, ‘Oh, I wondered when you would call. It has been ages.’

I think when I last called my parents, ‘It has only been a couple of weeks.’

My mum still sees it as ages, ‘Exactly, ages.’

I want to know where my dad is, ‘Where’s Dad?’

My mum moans theatrically, ‘He is in the bedroom, playing on his computer. Before I forget, we have planned a holiday in the next couple of months.’

I sigh on the phone, ‘Ah, okay. Where are you going to?’

Mum says as a matter of fact, ‘To Russia. Your dad has always wanted to go there.’

I know that there are two famous places, Moscow and St Petersburg, ‘What part?’

I sense my mum’s cog wheels turning, ‘St Petersburg… yep, St Petersburg.’ He has seen it so many times in films, he wants to go for himself.’

I am intrigued when they are going, ‘When are you going?’

My mum has to think before saying, ‘Looking at beginning of September. Just for a week. Trying to get a cheaper flight outside the school holidays. Now enough about that, how have you been?’

I think about Miles and cannot think about any other thing exciting in my life. But I am too scared to mention him now, ‘Okay. Work is work. Went to Anthea’s engagement party.’

My mum did catch what I said, ‘Who?’

I explain that it is my friend, ‘My friend from uni. You met her once when I did a barbecue a couple of years ago.’

Mum is starting to remember, ‘Ah, the one who was sick in the bath.’

I am always reminded about that, ‘Yes, that’s the one.’

Mum does not waste time, ‘So how was it, did you meet anyone?’

I did not want to mention Miles as she would always ask how it is going and I had only just met him with no idea myself, ‘Noooo. I will let you know if I meet anyone.’

Mum sounds disappointed, ‘You’re not getting any younger. I want grandchildren. Soon that part of the body will cease to function. At least have a one-night stand to check it is working properly.’

I am mortified, ‘Mum! I can’t believe you said that. You already have eleven of them.’

Mum is oblivious, ‘Yes. But none of yours. You are so pretty. I wouldn’t say this to your other brother and sisters, your father come to think about it. You are the prettiest. If they can meet someone and get married with kids, you can. My friends always say, “why didn’t you daughter become a model, like that Erin woman.” But in saying that, they do say that pretty girls never find happiness.’

I roll my eyes even though my mum cannot see me, ‘So are you going to set me up? It is not like I am not trying. No one sees me like how you do. All the girls on dating websites look more sexier than me and have more interesting things to talk about themselves. All I have is work and work. I haven’t travelled anywhere or done anything exciting with my life.’

Mum is not reliable for reassurance, ‘May be you shouldn’t have become an accountant.’

I roll my eyes again, ‘Not that again. I don’t go round telling all the men what I do for a living.’

Mum gives me more feedback, ‘Well, it is your persona you give off. Changing the subject, have you spoken to your siblings recently?’

I ignore my mum’s last comment about my siblings, ‘Can you put Dad on?’

Mum mutters a sigh, ‘So you’ve had enough of me already?’

I am honest with her, ‘Well, you haven’t had anything nice to say.’

I feel my mum is smiling, ‘Go on then, hang on.’ My mum moves herself from the handset and I can hear her shouting at Dad in the distance.

After a short quietness on the phone, Dad speaks, ‘Hi darling. What have you been up to?’

I say the same thing, ‘Same old thing.’

Dad sighs like Mum, ‘So haven’t met anyone then?’

Again I have to repeat myself, ‘Nooo. Still on the market. So you are going on holiday then?’

Dad has to think about it, ‘Um, Yes. Yes. Only just been talking about it this week. Was mulling over it thinking about the cost and what there is to do there.’

I ask if he has actually booked it, ‘So you haven’t booked anything yet.’

He misunderstands my question, ‘No. Definitely going away, Russia seems to be the one. Will double check with your mum. I really want you to settle down now. We are not going to be around forever. At least two kids.’

I role my eyes again, ‘Well pray for me, the next time you go to church.’

Dad sighs, ‘I pray every day. You have a good job, intelligent and you are not that ugly. God was good to you.’

I get my father’s humour, ‘Very funny. I don’t have two heads. I am trying, really am. Have at least two dates a month.’

Dad is encouraging, ‘That’s all you can do. As I keep saying, life is about living. Not about how fast you can make money. Work to live, not live to work. The times I have seen friends pass away and miserable at work, a happy home makes a happy life.’

I listen to every word my dad says, ‘Thanks Dad, it means a lot.’

He asks the same question as my mother, ‘Have you spoken to your other siblings or seen them?’

I start to think back, ‘I spoke to them on WhatsApp the other day. Everyone’s fine. They are organising a get-together for Felicity’s birthday. Suddenly realised, I have to find out what weekend it was.’

Dad wants to get going, ’Well I have to get going. Will let you know the dates of our holiday. Love you… what?

Your mum sends her love as well. Bye freckles.’

My dad’s nickname for me, ‘Bye Dad.’

I feel good about myself, now I phoned to find out how they were. The rest of the evening was lying in bed thinking about tomorrow afternoon and what I remember what he looked like. I am not naked this time as the temperature had dropped considerably compared to last weekend. I was wearing an old T-shirt that I didn’t not wear anymore with granny knickers. You can guess how much action I get. I wonder in movies how single women are wearing sexy underwear and sexy designer nightwear with no man to ogle or tear off. Blow that for a game of laugh.

As I am trying to go to sleep, my thoughts about Miles and meeting up kept my mind racing. I think back when I ever felt like this before. I didn’t think I ever felt like this. Miles seemed to have a hold of my thoughts. I thought about what I am going to do in the morning and early afternoon to make the time go by quickly. I find myself again feeling my left boob and rubbing my nipple. I always found this a comfort, ever since before puberty when I had not developed properly.

I looked at my phone to check the time. It was only eleven o’clock. I was thinking it was gone one o’clock in the morning. I am now frustrated that I cannot go to sleep again. I started to think about other things to get myself to sleep. I could not believe how much of an effect this date, stroke, work meeting was having on me. I was totally fine up to when I got off the phone to my parents. I thought it was to do with the feeling that the meeting was only a few hours away now. I had been dreaming again of Miles caressing my labia with the palm of his hand kneading it and then using the tip of his tongue reaching inside the crevices of the entrance to my vagina. The thought caused me to feel hot and bothered like last weekend.

I want a relationship now as I am the only person left, out of my friends and siblings. I feel a failure and so small in this world. I would give up my career if it meant I could be in a relationship. I find my work a doddle compared to trying to establish a relationship.

It was early Saturday morning, around seven o’clock. I was hoping I would wake up later due to tiredness. I did not end up going to sleep until gone three o’clock in the morning. I grab my phone to check for text messages. None.

I spent the morning washing all my clothes I had worn that week, including my underwear. I spent forty minutes tidying my flat while my clothes were washing. By ten o’clock, I had time on my hands. So I spent the best part of three hours lying on my bed, after a shower and changing into baggy tracksuits and pullover, listening to music on my mobile with headphones to while the hours away.

After about one o’clock, my music cuts off as my phone rings. It was Anthea’s name coming up on my phone. It brought a smile to my face because if it was not for her engagement party, I would not have met Miles.

I press the answer symbol on my screen, with a smile while still lying on my back with my left arm behind my head with my legs straight out slightly apart, ‘Hi stranger. Thanks for a great party last Saturday.’

Anthea sounded excited as well, ‘I was to call you in the week but it has been busy at work. How has your week been?’

I feel it’s premature to talk about Miles and I don’t know if she knows about us arranging to meet up, ‘It has been okay. Quiet compared to yours.’ I chose not to mention Miles.

Anthea sounds amused, ‘I heard someone was chatted up.’ Anthea left it as that, leaving me hanging.

I still acted ignorant and so ignored her comment, ‘I chatted to a few people.’

Anthea continues to pry, ’I thought I saw Miles chatting you up. Stephen told me that he is single. They work in the office together and all he could talk about was you.’

My eyes light up when I hear that and I start to quietly shake my body with my hair going everywhere, then calmly speak on the phone, ’Really. I thought he was just making conversation.’

Anthea was quizzical, ‘Didn’t you arrange to meet up to discuss doing some work for you?’

I feel caught out and own up, ’Yeah, I didn’t know how much you knew. So I did not want to mention it as it was about work not an actual date. I don’t want to jump to any conclusion.’

Anthea is sweet giving me reassurance, ‘Trust me, he likes you a lot. He thought you were pretty and cute. He liked your smile and your laugh.’

I feel on cloud nine for a few seconds. Then the doubt sinks in. This is what my childhood has scared me with, ‘I can’t believe that he said all that. I did not hear from him till Thursday and I have not stopped thinking about him since.’

We spoke on the phone for a couple of hours about her engagement party, the wedding day as well as Miles and me. The conversation lasts for over an hour. I felt good about myself with Anthea reassuring me. I was left with a good feeling. I checked the time on my phone after the phone call to see what time it was. I had only a couple of hours to get ready and meet up at Starbucks by the train station. I felt butterflies forming in my stomach. The weather was okay with light clouds but no sun. I was only one stop away from Stratford and the exit to the shopping centre from the train station was direct. So that gave me confidence that I would get there on time. I was wondering whether to wear a dress or a pair of jeans. I thought a dress would be overkill for a coffee shop.

I was getting excited and worried I would not recognise him as the picture in my head of Miles was becoming distorted. I fret over having doubts remembering his face. At least I have his mobile number so I can call him to see where he is.

The things that Anthea had told me about how much he was talking about me, made me feel good about myself that someone at least likes me. The more I had Anthea’s comments swirl in my head gave me less doubts in myself attracting Miles to myself.

I was the first to get to the coffee shop which was heaving at the time, which worried me as I would not know if Miles could not spot me in the shop. I kept checking my phone for text or phone call. Kept checking the entrance of the coffee shop to see if I could recognise him coming in. The time was now gone four-thirty. I had arrived at four-fifteen so I did not think I missed him myself. It was getting closer to four-forty. I was hesitant to decide when a time would be good to call or text where he was. As I was deciding this, I see Miles calling me. My immediate thought is he cannot make it as it was coming to quarter to four o’clock. I let it ring for a few seconds before answering. I expect the rejection.

I appear bubbly, even though I have that sinking feeling, ‘Hi. Where are you? Been here a couple of minutes.’

I was shocked it was not a rejection, ‘Hi. Got here at quarter past four. Where are you?’

My eyes start darting round the coffee shop, ‘I am by the counter, trying to look for you.’

Miles is casual on the phone, ‘I struggled looking for a table and so I’m standing near the back. It will be easier to come to you. Wait there.’

As I get closer to the counter where you queue to order your drink, squeezing through the other people, I try to look for Miles focusing on people’s heads with black hair.

I see him and he looks how I remember him from last Saturday. We decide to stay standing and go to the window with a long table and high stools. I see Miles getting out the five bits of annual financial reports on the five companies he mentioned last week on Saturday.

Miles appeared flustered, ‘I have an interest in a few companies. One of them is a Russian company with sites in England. I have a total of five. Can you look into them?’

I can make out that they are annual financial reports that you can get ordered from The Financial Times or direct from the company. You can also download company accounts from their websites. I can see he must have ordered these rather than print them out. I notice he had put sticky marker notes in between some of the pages, which I gather was for me. Miles hands over the five annual reports clumped together. As he hands them over, he mentions the names of the companies as I fan them out in my hands.

Miles explains, ‘I am interested in five companies. As you can see, they are Geegore Industries, High Tech Plc, Rogue Industries, Fitality Limited and Edwards Plc. They are chemical companies and a technology company.’

I can see for myself the names on the front of each cover of annual financial reports. Each brochure was enriched in high-end gloss. The pages felt shiny as well.

Miles explains about the five companies in turn, ‘Geegore Industries specialise in fertilising, High Tech Plc specialise in electrical components, Rogue Industries specialise in manufacturing bespoke mechanics, Fitality Limited specialise in metal casings and Edwards Plc specialise in finance.’

I can see that he is looking to diverse his interests, to spread his risks and increase the chance of a high return in investment. I spend about two minutes perusing the mission statements of each company to get more flavour of what they each do in turn.

We then start to talk shop about what he specifically wanted from me. From the conversation we had over dinner last Saturday, he wanted me to check if they were solvent. In accountancy terms, a going concern. After about an hour of talking shop, Miles asks about what I do in my spare time. I felt that he was in no hurry to go home.

I was caught off guard and go quiet thinking about his question, ‘No one has ever asked me that before. You have caught me off guard. I tend to stay in and read a book, watch crap television.’

Miles comes across naturally interested in me. It kind of brings a proverbial tear to my eyes. Miles pries into what I read, ‘What kind of books do you read?’

I was taken aback. The dates I have been on from the dating website have never asked me these questions, ‘Wow, uh, I am quite sad, I like reading romantic novels. The idea that I will like to meet someone in that way. Not in films, but in a realistic way, like at a house party or a wedding.’

Miles smiles at me while I am describing what books I like. I never had this happen on my previous dates. I feel I can be myself with my shyness dissipating. Miles follows on with, ‘If you don’t mind me asking, when is the last relationship you had. You seem to have no baggage.’

I felt I was put on the spot. I had never been with a man, let alone a relationship, ‘I have never had a relationship. It is not out of choice. I am not fussy.’

Miles laughs and takes a sip of his chai tea, ‘So you would go out with the hunchback of Notre Dame.’

My sarcasm comes out, ‘He would give me the hump before I stood a chance.’

Miles laughs again showing his perfect teeth, ‘You are funny. I thought blondes were not intelligent.’

I have a quick remark, ‘I was getting a suntan when the blonde brains were handed out.’

We are talking for another half an hour when he had to eventually go. I did not want to leave and he walked me to my train line and waited with me in Stratford. When my train arrives, I do not hold back getting on. But I just wanted to keep standing next to him. The door closes quite quickly, not giving me a chance to say goodbye again. As the train was taking its time to leave, I want to tear the doors open to kiss him passionately, even though I would not have the guts to do that. Then the train starts to leave slowly, I keep watching him and he does the same. I keep my eye on him until a few seconds later when he is out of view.

Three months have gone by and it is now towards the end of August. I have completed three of the five companies he has asked me to write reports on. This includes Geegore Industries. During my time evaluating the five companies, we have been on numerous dates seeing each other twice a week on Thursdays and Saturdays. I have been to his flat a few times for dinner as well as going to the cinema, theatre and walks. After three months, I finally pluck the courage to ask him to come over to my apartment and that I would cook for him.

We have not kissed at all and Miles has not made a pass at me, not even in his flat when I have come over. Over the past three months, I have frequently fantasised what it would be like to kiss him and make love. I even bought a couple of books on the subject, to get an idea what it will feel like when it happens. I plucked up the courage to buy a book on how to give oral and what it feels like to be given oral by a man. I am eager to try to give him oral to see what it is like and also to receive it. I assume he can give oral.

Miles came over for seven-thirty one Saturday and I chose to wear casual jeans and a dark navy blue polo shirt. Miles was on time as per usual. After dinner and a few glasses of pinot grigio wine, we sat on my sofa with our knees pointing towards each other leaning in together talking. I did not know about Miles, but I was very tipsy which banished my shyness and timidness. My haunted school days were drowned by myself falling for Miles as the weeks went by.

Miles laughs some more and I want to ask him some questions myself, ‘So what do you normally want to see in a girl?’

I see Miles starting to ponder and I could see him thinking about his type of girls, ‘I prefer brunettes. I like them to be my height.’

I understand his response, ‘I get that. You are very tall and I can see you with a brunette. But I would be more fun. I would be a great person to take to bed. I talk about tax, you will sleep right away.’

Miles burst into laughter again almost spilling his wine from out of his mouth.

Miles sees my hair fall in my face and he, without hesitation, brushes my fringe away from my face, ‘I didn’t like your hair affecting your face. You have a cute nose and freckled face. Don’t let any man tell you different. I can’t believe you never had a boyfriend.’

I find it easy to tell him, ‘My childhood caused me to be introvert and deeply shy. I kept on being told by the girls who bullied me, no man will want an ugly duckling. I suffered quite a few black eyes which would have put boys off.’

Miles stops laughing and looks at me with a poignant look, ‘You’re gorgeous with or without a black eye. I am tempted to punch you so I can decide if you are pretty now or even more beautiful with a black eye, maybe a nosebleed.’

I am feeling drunk but knew what I was saying, ‘So why don’t you. I would have rather had ten punches from you than the people who bullied me.’

Miles seemed to sober up and take stock of my statement, ‘God, you are… so… beautiful. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.’

‘The bad things are easier to believe. Do you find that?’

Miles leans against me, pushing me back against the sofa with my head resting on the arm of the sofa, ‘God you look like the girl from Victoria Secrets. Not that I pervert myself on them.’

He makes me smile even though I have heard that numerous times, as if he is the only man to tell me that.

Miles has a serious face now, ‘You are more prettier because you have a sexy personality to go with it. I had always wanted to kiss you the moment we met. I can imagine you tasting of… pineapple. Juicy and sweet.’

I look at Miles with a dead pan face, ‘Would that make you pine for me?’

Miles laughs softly, ‘Why don’t you kiss me then?’ Miles is about to kiss me but he pulls away and sits back to the other side o the sofa. My confidence is deflated and I feel there is something wrong with me. I felt myself going back into my shell. Closing the door shut. Raising my armour.

Miles could not look at me and started to feel uncomfortable. In turn it made me feel uncomfortable as if we had done something dirty. I am frozen, not knowing what to say or do.

‘I must go.’

‘You can stay. I can stay on the sofa.’

Miles says, ‘It is not you. I have had too much to drink. This is unprofessional, hitting on a girl that is doing work for me.’

‘A girl, wow you know how to make someone feel special.’

Miles realised that he was patronising, ‘No, I mean woman. Trust me you are a real woman. I meant every word I said.’

Miles gets up from the sofa and brushes his back with his both his hands as though he had made a mistake and hurriedly walks out of my apartment. He did not give me time to walk him out or even give me a kiss goodbye. When I hear the door shut, I ball into tears and lift my knees up to my chin and sob uncontrollably as another man cannot bear the thought of being near me.

I finish the other half of the bottle of wine while tears fall down my cheeks along my neck. I feel utterly stupid, thinking that a man like Miles would ever interested in someone like me. I started to think back with the previous dates I had been on, thinking that this is what they thought as well. The reason why my first dates would not lead on to a second or third date.

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