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Chapter 2

BLAKE’S POV

When I open my eyes, the sun is beaming into my bedroom; the skies are blue; the sun is shining. It is a day for the beer garden. Grabbing my phone, I text my best friend Charlie.

“Do you fancy the pub today?”

I jump in the shower looking for the hot water to help wake me up after my restless night, wrapping the towel around me, I go back to my room, pulling together an outfit for the day, I am thinking summer dress and those cute little wedge sandals. As I do my hair, I opt for a wavy look and keep my make up natural. I check my phone and I have a missed call from Charlie. I call her back.

“Hi chick, so you up for a little day drinking?” She is giddy down the phone. “That’s why I called, when you want to meet?” Glancing at the clock on the wall. “How does one sound, grab some lunch too,” Charlie immediately replies, “it’s a date”. I walk to my favourite pub and find Charlie already waiting for me at the bar, “you’re late”. I smile at her “when am I ever on time Charlie?”

The cute bartender makes his way over to us, “Hello ladies, what can I get you both today?” Without even looking at the menu, we both say at the same “Pitcher of beer, please”.

Finding a table, we sit and chat for a while before ordering some food. My phone lights up Mark_Hart84 sent you a message. I can’t help but smile, Charlie doesn’t miss a beat, “Oh, I know that smile, so who is he?” I hesitate before I tell her everything about what happened last night. Charlie takes a sip of her drink and looks at me like I have four heads.

“So he slid into your DM’s by mistake and you haven’t blocked him?”

I know where this is going. “There hasn’t been any need for it, not yet anyway he hasn’t done anything wrong no unwanted dick pics,” Charlie takes a sip of her pint, “fair enough just be careful, he could be catfishing you or some shit like that,” I know she is worried but I know what I am doing, Charlie gets up to go to the bathroom and I open the message.

“Hi Blake, hope you don’ mind me messaging, just wanted to thank you for understanding last night, I haven’t been in a good place lately. It was nice to talk to you and forget about everything.”

I start to type back a message. “Hi, Mark, it’s perfectly fine I am always here if you need to talk. Do you want to talk about it?”

A few minutes later, “I hate the thought of unloading my shit on you”

Trying to make the conversation a little light “Well it’s lucky for you I am currently enjoying a few beers”

“Fucking hell, it’s half nine in the morning bit early”.

Smiling at my phone, I type out. “You will eventually remember I am in London and not where you are from”

I read his response. “I keep forgetting that crucial part.”

I decide we need a bit of an icebreaker and I offer a solution. “Ok, how about this, how about a game of 20 questions?”

I glance over and find Charlie chatting up the cute bartender so I have at least twenty minutes before she decides to grace me with her presence. Not that I mind something about Mark has my attention. “Sure, why not, sounds fun?”

I decide for some of the easy ones “ok, question one, what age are you?” he replies quickly

“I am 36 this year” hmm that’s quite an age gap, not that it bothers me I have always been used to dating older men.

“I am 26 this year,” Mark asks the next question.

“Favourite food?”

“Oh, that’s easy Sushi” his answer pops up next “Kentucky Fried Chicken.” We ask a few more generic questions, I learn that he lives in New York, his favourite colour is purple, he runs his own construction company then when the last question comes I ask, “biggest regret?”

I wait for a reply, and nothing comes after a few minutes; I panic message. “You don’t have to answer that one.”

Then I see his answer, “getting engaged to a girl who broke my heart”

Knowing that she cheated on him, I can’t help but feel upset for him. The next words flabbergast me. “today should have been my wedding day”

Well, fuck a doodle do, I don’t want him to think he has spooked me with the direction the conversation has taken so I try to make him laugh.

“Well, look at it this way if, she didn’t break your heart, and you didn’t try to message her the night before what should have been your wedding day, then you would never have had the privilege of chatting with me and this game of 20 questions.” Hoping he gets my humour, it’s a relief when I see how he responds.

“Well, when you put it like that, it’s hard to argue with those amazing valid points.” Mark sends another message trying to change the subject.

“So what’s this about beers?” Deciding not to push the subject any further, I tell him about my day. “I am enjoying the sunshine in a beer garden with myself, well I say myself, I’m here with my friend but she is currently occupied with the bartender.”

I laugh at Mark’s response. “She doesn’t waste any time it’s only 3 pm there.”

Agreeing with Mark. “You haven’t met Charlie, her dating mantra is, are we doing this or not, I haven’t time to waste." Instead of a message I get a gif of eyes popping out, Yeah I know the feeling, she is a straight shooter and takes most by surprise she gives zero fucks and enjoys life, sometimes I wish I could have her carefree attitude.

“Good for her, why should she mess about lol,” I hear shuffling beside me and Charlie is back looking pleased with herself.

“Guess who just scored a date for tonight?” Oh, here we go.

“Hmm, I don’t know, I give up, who?” She looks at me dead in the eyes.

“You’re not fucking funny,” I am on a roll today.

“I know for a fact I’m fucking hysterical, so what time are you ditching me?”

I finish up the last of my beer and head back to my place, deciding for yet another cosy night in for one. I decide to cook a nice meal, open a bottle of wine and chill with a good book. Losing track of time looking at the clock it’s nearly 11 pm, I wonder what Mark is up to right now, granted it would be 6 pm in New York, My phone vibrates scaring the shit out of me. What the fuck, it’s like he knew I was thinking about him.

“Thanks for today, sorry I went M.I.A. My friends decided that I had to get out of the house and not wallow in self-pity they didn’t believe me when I said I was feeling good.” Placing my book down, I reply.

“Those are good friends right there.”

A message pops up.

“They are the best they stood by me even when I was a dick to them.”

We end up messaging until it’s 2 am here. I want to keep messaging, but I am struggling to keep my eyes open. “Sorry Mark, I want to stay up and chat but my eyes are refusing to cooperate.” Closing my eyes for just a minute. When I open them, there’s a message waiting for me “Night Blake, sweet dreams xo” and that’s exactly what I have, nothing but sweet dreams about the guy in my phone.

MARK’S POV

I wake up and granted that this day should have me drinking myself into a coma; I wake up almost like the old me; Waking up a little brighter, a little happier, I wake up thinking of her. Yes, weirdly she shares the same name as my ex, but there is something about this girl, I can’t put my finger on it. I wake up wanting to talk to her again, get to know her more. Sending her a message and just like last night, the conversation flows. I didn’t know what to say when she asks me “biggest regret” but I opt for brutal honesty. I am not hiding behind a keyboard pretending to be someone I am not.

In true Blake fashion, she makes me laugh, turning it into a positive when I tell her I regret proposing to my ex. In the last 24 hours, this girl has helped flip a switch that has taken me weeks to get over myself. I am about to reply again when there is a knock at my door.

I open it to find my three best friends standing with big cheesy grins. “Right, get your shit together, we are going out for the day,” pushing me back into my apartment.

“I have to say for someone who was supposed to be getting married today, you aren’t a huge fucking mess as expected.” I grin at them.

“I am doing a lot better,” Marcus shouts out from my Kitchen.

“Get your shit, we leave in ten minutes.” I look at Scott. “What shit do I need?” Scott laughs.

“Swimming gear, towel, sunscreen, sunglasses and your single self.”

I walk downstairs, and Marcus has a limo waiting for us. We are heading towards 12th Avenue. When we pull up, we are at a heliport. “HOLY SHIT Marcus, what have you done?” Marcus beams from ear to ear, shouting and clapping me on the back.

“We are going to the Hamptons for the day, baby!”

We get in the helicopter and the next thing we are landing in the Hamptons, Marcus’ driver is waiting for us to take us to his place on the beach. We spend the day drinking, enjoying the sun, and the boys spend the day checking out the women.

“So, Mark, we have given you space, it’s been a few weeks now, so when are you getting back out there?” I look at Marcus. Justin has been quiet this trip. “I accidentally put myself out there last night.”

All their jaws drop to the floor. Scott gives me a cheeky grin. “What have you been up to, no wonder your not cut up about today?” I tell the boys about the girl from London. Scott is the first to ask her name.

“Well, that’s where it’s awkward. Her name is Blake,” Marcus chokes on his beer. Justin finally joins the conversation he has been on his phone the entire time. “Long story short, I thought I messaged my Blake, but I was a little out of it and clicked the wrong profile. We have been chatting ever since,” Justin looks at me, stunned by my confession. “Why would you message her after all she has done to you?” I can’t lie “I missed her and just wanted to know why she did it?” Scott hands me another beer.

“We never found out who the bastard was?” I look at all three of them. “They are fucking welcome to her and good look to the stupid bastard.” We finally make our way back to Manhatten. The boys drop me off first as soon as I get into my apartment I pull out my phone and message Blake for today and explaining me going M.I.A. My entire mood lifts when she messages back. We spend ages talking until Blake admits she’s struggling to stay awake. I send her one last message “Night Blake, sweet dreams xo”. It goes unseen, I figure she has fallen asleep and for the first time in weeks I fall into a deep sleep.

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