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Retrouvailles

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Tom’s constant joyous attitude has become suspicious to his housemates and is confronted by Carl who tries to see what, or who, is causing his new found love for life and the reason behind his never disappearing smile

Sat cross-legged on the sofa, phone in hand, Tom typed away at a pace that could probably qualify him for the texting olympics. The smile on his face hadn’t left since she replied to his text earlier this morning, and yesterday morning, and the morning before that, and this sudden change in attitude since coming back from filming was obvious to his housemates.

“So who is Emilia-”

“Fucking hell mate.” Tom jumped as Carl’s voice suddenly appeared right next to his ear.

“-with two sparkling heart emojis, and why is she telling you that ‘you’re like yellow in her life’?” he read over his friend’s shoulder.

Tom dropped his phone, locking it quickly before it tossing it face down on the cushion next to him. A mumbling noise left his mouth as he brushed off Carl’s comment, aiming the remote at the tv and bringing up that one of their favourite films was on, as a change of conversation.

“Ay no, I’m not having this avoiding the question malarky. Who is she?” Tom looked dead in his eyes as if to say he didn’t want to talk about it anymore. “How long have you known me, mate? You can tell me anything.”

Tom readjusted himself on the sofa to now be sat upright in his seat, feet on the floor, and Carl slipping down from the arm of the sofa to the cushion next to him.

“She’s, ummm. She’s a girl-” Tom spoke quietly but was interrupted mid-sentence.

“No! No way! She’s a girl?! Please tell me more.” He received a slap to the chest for his remark.

“Alright you sarky bastard, let me finish. She’s a girl I met at work actually. She was on work experience with the art department, shadowing the art director and stuff and I bumped into her one day in the catering tent and we ended up speaking for an hour. We exchanged numbers and met up a couple more times on set and that’s the story really.”

Tom remembered every detail as he retold the short version of what happened that day on set. He remembered the first thing he noticed about her was her voice. It was so quiet and almost scared, like she felt like she was doing wrong by speaking to him. She was carrying her laptop, a takeaway coffee cup and her phone as she bumped into him. Now he thinks about it, it was just as much his fault as hers. Neither of them were looking where they were going but she was insistent that she was to blame, apologising like there’s no tomorrow as she bent down to pick up the cup she had dropped. Luckily, there was only a drop left, so no major spillage. The first thing he said to her- “Hey I’ve got it,” but not that she heard over her repeated apologies.

Tom joined her, squatting to pick it up at the same time. He noticed she had red painted nails. But not a bold red, more of a dark maroon-like colour. His hand reached for the cup first, going to hand it back to her as they both stood back up, making eye contact for the first time.

“I’m so sorry about that. I wasn’t looking where I was going. It’s all my fault. I’m sorry,” her words quickly stumbled out.

“No, no. It’s fine, I wasn’t looking either.” This was when he first took in the person in front of him. Light skin with a slight tan, long brown hair resting over one shoulder, and eyes that appeared at first glance to be blue, but as he looked deeper into her eyes while listening to her apologise again, they could have been more of a green. At this point he realised that they had been stood in silence, looking at each other for a few moments, not long enough for it to be uncomfortable and creepy, but after realising and dropping the continued eye contact, the same thought must have registered with her and they then made it awkward.

“I’m Tom by the way.” He held out his hand for her to shake before realising she had no spare hand to offer him, resulting in them both letting out an awkward laugh.

“Emilia,” she replied nodding at him shyly.

“Do you maybe want to sit with me? I can get you another coffee if you want.” Tom asked and pointed to the empty cup in her hand.

“Oh I don’t want to be a bother.” She looked down and shook her head.

“No bother. Really. I insist.” He reached out to take the empty cup out of Emilia’s hand. “You pick a table and I’ll be back in a minute.”

“Thank you, Tom. And it was a hot chocolate. I just feel more grown up if it’s in a coffee cup.” Both there faces now adorned a smile at her comment.

“Hot chocolate, right. I’ll be back in a minute.”

He walked towards the vending machine, selecting hot chocolate, again laughing to himself. He’d known this girl barely 2 minutes and already knew that he wanted to keep talking to her, know more of her little quirks, and ask her if she thinks her eyes are blue or green.

Carl snaps Tom out of his little reminiscence with a question. “So, ‘yellow in her life’?”

Tom smiled, “It’s an inside thing. Something we’ve talked about, because she’s an artist and has all these different opinions on colours. Relates them to different things and has different feelings based on them.”

“Hmm, I’d say you’re like red in my life. Obnoxious, angry and loud.” This caused the same reaction as before, a slap to the chest and a few choice words from Tom accompanied by them both cracking up next to each other.