... thought about balance?
Never judge a book by it's cover- that also includes restaurants as well. Jack and I have walked into a restaurant that, from the outset looks like they got their toddler to design- but the food is simply divine and I'm eating like a pig, forget about manners, the food is too good to eat like a lady. I'm not sure I'm coming across exactly right either but I'm past caring.
"How's your grandmother?" I ask because it's been a while.
"She's great, hilarious as always. She's down in Devon at the moment with friends," Jack says in between mouthfuls, "How's Lottie?"
He means Charlotte my flatmate, I haven't really seen a lot of her lately because she's been at various exhibitions, showcasing her work and I haven't really caught up with her, I tell him this and he nods as if understanding. We talk in between mouthfuls and share a few tidbits in between, about her lives, her childhoods, friends, that sort of thing but we don't dare go into discussion about our love life's because let's be clear that is non existent at the moment. Kinda sad really, I have a great career, I love what I do but it's hard to maintain a balance, because balance is everything, isn't it?
"What's wrong? Don't you like what you're eating?" Jack asks.
"Oh no, I love the food, I just... was thinking that was all," I say.
"What about?" he asks without reservation.
"Oh y'know stuff," I say vaguely.
"If you don't wanna talk about it, that's perfectly fine- you were frowning, I was beginning to think you weren't enjoying my company, that was all," Jack said, taking a swig of his root beer.
"Can I ask you a really random question?" he nods, "Do you find it hard to meet people... like, never mind... silly question."
There's a silence between us.
"Yeah, of course. I'm cooped up in my studio at all hours of the night and day, I really don't have a chance for much right now, you?"
"Do you wish it were different?" Jack asks.
"I guess, you always want something you don't have... I guess so."
"I don't think I would be a particularly great boyfriend though... my job is pretty stressful and unless she likes watching me work, that would be date night."
I nod in acknowledgement - so he's not seeing anyone at the moment, that's cool. Why am I pleased?
After a while, he pays for dinner where I battle him out to pay for my share but he insists it was his idea and pays for everything. We walk out into the humidity and he offers to walk me home, where I insist he doesn't need to. Chelsea's a safe neighbourhood- but he insists and I don't really have a choice. He's bigger and burlier then I am, so I don't really have a choice.
Home isn't that far away and we walk and talk as if like old friends and then we reach my front door, it definitely feels like a first a date, especially one that is without the pressures.
"Wow, it's been a long day... I was meant to go to Paris today but with the ash cloud and all..."
"Has anyone ever told you that when you're nervous, you babble."
"I'm not a babbler, I simply like to fill awkward silences with my reputable babble... yeah, maybe I am a tad nervous, I'm only nervous now because we're out here and we didn't exactly leave on great circumstances and well, I'm sorry for that and I just really..." I was on the edge of losing breathe there and all of a sudden Jack closes the gap between us and kisses me, smack-bang-thank-you-mam right on the lips. His arms are curling around my waist and he's kissing me like he's been without kissing for centuries and perhaps that is a slight exaggeration but I can't describe it any other way. He draws away and looks intently at me.
"You're blushing," he speaks.
And somehow I don't have anything to say, stunned and speechless.
"I think I might have kissed you to silence," he jokes, grinning.
"I gotta go, early start tomorrow... I'll try swinging by sometime tomorrow to help you out with whatever needs doing, thanks for tonight and everything," he leans forward and plants a simple sensual kiss on me, smiles and waits whilst I let myself in, I smile as I close the door on him and lean against the door.
"What are you smiling about?" Ronan quips as he catches me in my reverie.
"Nothing, can't I just smile?"
"No, there's always someone or something that brings a smile to you Fred and I suspect it's a man," Ronan remarks, spot on.
I walk towards the steps, "I'm beat, I'm off to bed..."
"Don't worry, sooner or later, I'll get it out of you," he smiles and I run up the stairs to bed.
The following day, I'm a lot more casual then I was previously- I decide to wear skinny jeans, red ballet pumps and a stripey jumper on the exception that I wear my hair up in a tight pony tail, only as I'll be baking and designing. I open shop, allowing Keira a lie in before she comes in and starts serving at eleven o'clock. Thankfully, it's quiet and I've served a few early risers with red velvet and banana and chocolate iced muffins. I've put the radio on and ice cupcakes at the till.
I get a call ten minutes later, there's a burst pipe in Keira's flat and there's water everywhere, her and her boyfriend have to clear up the mess and organise a plumber to come in and fix it. It's fine, these things happen, I tell her to take the rest of the day off and get it sorted. It's quiet still and it's midday, the bell above the door jingles and I look up and I can't believe my eyes- what the fuck is she doing here?
"Hi sis," my sister... my snotty, back stabbing sister says, she's lost weight and she has her suitcase with her. I can only fathom one thing.
"What do you want Freida?" I say, leaning back in my chair, folding my arms.
"I need your help," she simply says, and she exhales, biting back tears. I have no sympathy for her.
"Please Fred, I had no where else to go and we are sisters after all, aren't we meant to help each other?" she says, trying to turn the tables on me.
"No, I stopped helping you the moment you broke the unwritten rules between sisters Frieda," I say flippantly, carrying on icing.
"I'm sorry, I was a bitch back then... but I need your help," she pleads, out of all the time I've known my sister, she has never once pleaded with me.
"Well you've come to the wrong person haven't you?"
"I'm pregnant Fred," she simply states.
I look down at the icing bag in my hand, I'm cruel but I'm not that cruel. I exhale, "I'm listening."
She moves her suitcase out of the way and starts crying, "I don't know what to do, I'm not ready for children. I don't have friends I can rely on over there." She's a blubbering mess.
"Can't you go over to mum and dad's?"
"No, they'll only ask questions I have no intention of answering."
"Like who the father is? Who is the father by the way?" I ask, the last I had heard she was still together with my ex.
There's a pause, a very pregnant pause... no pun intended.
"It's not his... it's Hartley Armstrong," my jaw hits the floor.
Hartley Armstrong is a bachelor by the highest degree, he has slept with almost every actress, model, singer, thespian etc. He's been known in the past to break it off with women who start hinting at marriage and babies - he doesn't do either, but he is gorgeous, he's your rough and rogue kind of guy. So, my sister has been bedded by a superstar.
"So what is it you exactly need? Help to figure out who's it is or what to do with it?" I ask her.
"Both-" she says, "I don't know what to do,"
"For starters, you need to tell the father," I say.
"But I'm carrying the baby," she says, in all her naivety.
"Yes, but you had sex and when the egg meets the sperm that equates that," I throw back at her, "What did you think would happen, the stalk would deliver a baby to you?"
"Still as sarcastic as ever, I see," she replies back.
"What did you expect, arms wide open, after the shit you left behind, the pieces I had to piece back together ON MY OWN!"
"Calm down Fred- this isn't helping," Frieda says, touching her temple.
"I'm sorry, if my welcome isn't satisfactory to your showbiz standards- but here on earth, if you make your bed, you certainly have to lie in it. I can't help you, I wouldn't know where to begin and I'm sure with your money you can certainly pay someone to think up things for you."
"You're a heartless bitch, y'know that Fred!" she screams, grabbing hold of her suitcase and slamming the door open but pausing.
"Takes one to know one," I reply back.
I watch her storm off down the street and carry on icing, it bears no impact on me. I'm used to my twin sister, dropping by when it suits her and expecting everyone in her path to take care of things. It's about time, she took responsibility for her actions.
I decide to close the shop, because I hate it when my sister disrupts a perfectly good day- I'm going to do something exciting, I'm going to go shopping.
Only, when it comes to shopping- my sister has the same idea. I bump into her on the Kings Road and am caught in a paparazzi scrum. Who the heck alerted them? I head in the opposite direction only to pause- it's my sister, if anything happened to her, it'd be on my head... she's pregnant after all with my niece, nephew. Despite all the shit that has happened to her, she's still my sister, I grab her arm and drag her into the nearest black cab and head off.