Olivia was sure she had been staring at the man for too long without saying a word. He was trying to talk to her, she knew that, but he looked rather familiar and she wondered where had she seen him before.
Not wanting to be impolite, she cleared her throat. "I’m sorry, what was that?" She leaned a bit closer so she would hear his response. The song that was playing now was getting a bit too loud. They were at a party. It wasn’t a trashy club they were at though. No, this was quite a fancy party, she had never been to any place like this before. She was invited by her friend Nancy, who works for a magazine that organizes these kind of events. Olivia wasn’t sure whether she wanted to attend this party on Christmas day, but after all, she had nothing better to do so she gave it a go. She was wearing a black dress – it was Nancy’s, because, according to her, all of Olivia’s dresses were too unattractive. This one was rather short, what she wasn’t that used to, but hey, it’s Christmas. Her light brown-ish hair was up in a fancy haistyle and even though she spent a lot of money on the hairdresser, it kept falling into her face.
"I said, do you want to dance?" he repeated, looking a bit annoyed. His brown eyes were scanning the room, as if he was looking for someone. He quickly looked back at Olivia and smiled slightly. "I like this song." He gave her an encouraging look.
She stood still for a moment, but then nodded. They moved from the corner of the room right into the middle and he grabbed her waist softly. She laid her head on his chest and they danced to the tune, both keeping quiet for a while.
"You don’t go to parties often, do you?" he asked. It sounded very casual, as if he was sure he was right, but he was still trying to make a conversation.
This hurt Olivia a little bit, she was hoping he couldn’t tell. "Is it that obvious?" She laughed nervously. It’s not that she was unsocial or anything, she had just been so busy lately that she didn’t get to do this. To be honest, she was quite nervious coming to this party in the first place.
"No, no," he said quickly. "I mean, yes. But just a bit." He laughed. "This magazine is shit and these parties are worth nothing so don’t worry, it’s not like you’re missing out." They both stopped moving as the song changed to a different one. They pulled away.
"Thanks for... consolation, I guess." She frowned and laughed politely. She looked at her hands, not sure what to say. "So... if you think this party sucks then why are you here?" She looked up at him.
He smiled at her, his eyes softened.
"You’re looking for someone."
"Yes," he confirmed. "And I was actually hoping you could help me."
She should have known this. He was being really nice to her. Too nice. He didn’t really want to spend time with her, ofcourse he just wanted something from her. She was a bit disappointed. But to be fair, she also didn’t enjoy his company that much. "Okay," she said simply, shrugging.
"Do you know Nancy, the girl from-"
"Oh, another one?" She rolled her eyes, not even trying to hide her frustration. “Seriously, if you want to talk to her, just come up to her, not me, or anyone else. This is getting annoying.” She turned around to leave, but he grabbed her hand to stop her.
“Olivia, no, listen-“
She turned around. “I’m not listening.“
He raised his eyebrows. "Yes you are, you’re paying attention to what I’m saying."
"You look like a nice girl, but don’t act like this is all my fault. You didn’t come her to hook up with anyone, I bet that sexy dress isn’t even yours. You weren’t paying attention to me half of the time we were talking and I would be surprised if you remembered my name."
She stood still in shock. "Ofcourse I remember your name!" She raised her voice, defending herself. A second later, she realized her mistake. She did not remember his name, nor she remembered him mentioning it. „It’s...“ She went silent. She could feel him looking at her, while her eyes were locked on her own feet. "Fine, I don’t remember. Sorry. But what is it with men these days, if I’m not up for a hook up then I’m not worth talking to?" She turned the situation around.
"I didn’t say that. I’m just saying... As I told you earlier, these parties are shit. If you’re looking for a serious conversation, you shouldn’t have come here." He was right. She knew he was right. "By the way, my name is Ren. I have told you before, but you weren’t listening. Which means you subconsciously knew this wasn’t going to be any interesting conversation."
"Just give yourself a break. Don’t go to parties like these if you really don’t want to go, it’s not worth it. And you know what? To be at least a little satisfied, don’t answer my next question."
She she smiled. She was starting to like him.
"Where is Nancy?" he asked.
That was the exact moment she remembered why he seemed so familiar. She had seen him last year on Christmas, but at a different party, where Nancy had dragged her, as usually. Olivia was sitting in the corner the whole time, not talking to anyone, but someone came up to her. He kept asking about Nancy. Yes, this was one hundred percent him. Oh, what a pity. Just as she was starting to like him. He certainly came here only for Nancy and she could do nothing about it.
She must had been silent for a while, because he smiled softly and said: “There you go. Thank you.”
She looked up at him, a bit confused.
“Go upstairs, there’s a really nice view from the roof. You’re gonna see the fireworks at midnight, which is," he looked at his watch, "in a few minutes."
She consedered it for a while, but then smiled back at him. „It was nice meeting you, Ren.“ She turned around to leave – second time this evening -, but then she turned back and added: "Nancy’ll be downstairs to see the fireworks, I’m sure of it." With that, she walked past him and made her way to the bar. She ordered orange juice and feeling like a little kid, she walked upstairs to the roof, taking the dring with her. She was expecting it to be crowded, but it was completely empty.
She sat down on the edge of the building and leaned to look down on the street. Everything looked so tiny from where she was now. She scanned the crowd for a minute but then found Nancy talking to someone, who she was sure was Ren. She smiled, satisfied. She looked up at the sky and had a sip of her orange juice. The December air was chill so she hugged her legs, hoping it would help. Ren was right, the view truly was beautiful. Snowflakes were falling down slowly, carried by the cold wind. Some of them landed on her, staying there long enough for her to admire their unique beauty, then disappearing forever, leaving nothing behind. New York City. On Chrismas eve. Well, not for long. She looked at her watch. It was 11:58. She looked up at the sky again and smiled. This was probably the most beautiful thing she had seen in the past year. She layed her back on the cold surface of the building and closed her eyes. If she could only capture this moment. If she could just take it, own it. And whenever she would want to, she could come here for as long as she would please. If there’s anything like heaven, she thought, this is it.
She opened her eyes, hearing the fireworks, and she sat up. The beautiful moment had gone and all it had left her was a memory. Pure, imperfect memory that was going to disappear. Like every other one. Like when you finish a movie. You get a certain feeling from it, and it lasts for a while, but then it disappears. Just like the snowflakes.
A strange sound from behind her interrupted her and she looked around. The wind was getting a stronger, so she stood up and narrowed her eyes so she could see what was causing the noise.
She would swear, that out of nowhere, a blue police box appeared right in front of her. Not believing her own eyes, her jaw dropped. She wasn’t sure of what to do, she hesitantly approached the box. Suddenly, the door opened and a tall, skinny man walked out of the box. She jumped back, but he didn’t seem to notice her, he just walked around the box. "No, no, no! I wanted to to go to medieval London, how did I get to..." he looked around. "America?" He looked disgusted.
Olivia cleared he throat.
The man looked at her and smiled happily. "Hello. Who are you?"
She frowned. "Who am I? You just walked out of a blue box that wasn’t even here a few minutes ago."
"Fair point." He tilted his head. "I’m the Doctor, and this," he pointed at the blue box. "Is the TARDIS. Time And Relative Dimensions In Space. I wanted to go to medieval London, but she took me here, I don’t know why. Anyway," he looked at her. "Your turn. Who are you?" He frowned, trying to be serious.
She still stood there in shock, unsure of how to react. "Okay..." she started. She looked around, then back at him, to be sure she’s not hallucinating. He was still standing there, with his chin up, waiting for her to answer. "Olivia. My name is Olivia Bells. This," she pointed to her glass of orange juice that was put on the ground, "is my plane." Nerviously, she laughed at her own joke. "No, but seriously, who are you?"
"I told you, I’m the Doctor," he repeated, a bit annoyed. He looked like he couldn’t understeand why it’s taking her so long to wrap her head around this.
"Doctor who exactly?" she asked.
"Just the Doctor."
"What were you doing in a blue box?"
She shook her head. "Are you mad?"
"Yes,“ he smiled. "Aren’t you?"
"You mean do I have a box that I teleport in?" She laughed. "No, in that case, I’m not mad."
"That’s a pity. I like mad people."
"That’s because you’re mad."
"I suppose." They both kept silent for a moment. "You don’t believe me. You don’t think I can travel with this box." He was getting excited, Olivia could see that. He walked over to the door and opened it. "Come and see it yourself, Olivia Bells." His smile was soft and childish, and she wasn’t sure if it was the fireworks, snowflakes, or his intense blue eyes, but something made her want to have a look.
Not taking her eyes off him she came closer and walked right into the blue box. She turned aroud to see it. She remembered how she thought the snowflakes falling were the most beautiful thing she had seen this year. She was wrong. Oh, how wrong can a person be. It was just a box, she was sure of it, she had seen it. It was huge on the inside. Huge, and beautiful. It was glowing, she had never seen anything like this before. It was all so overwhelming. She heard the door close behind her. "How-"
"Bigger on the inside!" the Doctor shouted, still excited. He laughed and walked over to the centre, which looked like a console and started pressing some buttons.
"Wait, what are you doing?" she ran over to him, concerned. After all, she just stepped into a wooden box that is bigger on the inside with a strange man, who claimed it can travel, and he just started pressing buttons. That sounds like travelling. This is not what she was prepared for.
"Taking you to medieval London, where I wanted to go in the first place." He pulled a lever and the ground started shaking.
Olivia had to hold on to something so she wouldn’t fall down. And she could here him laugh. She couldn’t help herself. She felt like a child, she laughed. How did all of this happen? It felt surreal.
All of a sudden, the shaking stopped. The Doctor looked at her. "I’m an alien." He waited for her to say something, but when she didn’t he continued, casualy. "You know, just throwing it out there."
"Okay," she replied, smiling. She wasn’t sure why she wasn’t trying to run away, after all, she didn’t know this man at all. The Doctor? That’s not even a real name. A simple wooden box that was bigger on the inside? This could all had been just a trick. A trick to play with her. But she couldn’t help herself. It was Chrismas. Maybe that’s what made her want to jump so high that noone could reach her, run so far that noone could ever catch up to her. This man may had been a trickster, but she didn’t care. He appeared out of nowhere and somehow, he had given her hope. Hope for a better life, or rather a better way of living it. How could she possibly turn that down? "So what about the midieval London you promised me?"
He laughed, his blue eyes were glowing. She could swear his smile was the most beautiful thing. "Oh, Olivia!" He ran around the TARDIS, not even looking where he was going. He knew every inch of it by memory. It looked like he was dancing. "This is just the beginning, I swear." With that, he opened the door.