5 years later
Bright flashing lights and chaos was everywhere. That was what a career in photography was like for me. I would stand there awkwardly with my lonely camera and wait while the models for my pictures were primped and prodded. That was what I do for a living. As much as it was hectic and a little boring at times waiting around, photography is what I love. It’s what I do best. I always loved capturing the beauty all around. I was now a professional photographer for a New York Fashion Magazine. I only had the job for six months and I already had shot models, celebrities and new upcoming fashion designers for the magazine.
For some strange reason the day was pretty slow and boring. It was usually busy all the time but sometimes there were few exceptions. I had never been much for waiting but I had no choice. I was shooting a model that was a little too unprofessional for my taste. Every five seconds she screamed for someone to fix her hair or makeup or one thing or another. She was bratty and very rude. I heard her scream again and gave her a evil look.
“Down kitty, patience is a virtue.” I heard someone sing behind me.
I turned around and it was my friend and fellow coworker Lacey Cambel. She was actually my roommate all through college. We became very close friends. We hit it off right away when we met. We had a lot in common including our love for photography. I don’t know how we wound up working together after graduating but I didn’t care. It was great to be working with someone I knew. I was happy and relieved to have her by my side. It made the job a lot easier especially on one of the annoying days.
“Lacey, the girl needs to get a clue. She needs to have a little more respect and courtesy for the people she works with. I’m surprised her hairstylist didn’t turn her head purple or something yet.” I whispered. Lacey looked at me with a raised eyebrow.
“Okay, I think she’s ready now.” One of the model’s people let me know.
“Yay.” I said sarcastically toward Lacey. She held back her laughter.
So I took the photos while the model complained more and more. Finally a few hours later it was over. I sighed with relief. Once everyone cleared out and everything was cleaned up it was about 6 pm. Lacey and I headed out.
“So what do you think? How about we go out for some drinks tonight? I’d say it’s well needed.” Lacey suggested as we walked to her car.
“I don’t know.” I hesitated.
“Oh come on girl! It’s the weekend and you need to get out there and live. There’s more to life than taking pictures. Besides we haven’t been out together in a long time. Please? It’ll be fun.” She smiled hopefully.
When she asked like that I just I had to give in. “Alright but you’re driving.”
“Yes! I’ll pick you up at nine!” She stated excitedly as she got into her car and drove off. I headed home to get ready for the night to come.
Later that night as I was finishing getting ready I heard a knock on my door. It was Lacey right on time. I opened the door to let her in. There she stood in all her glory. She wore a sparkly red halter top with tight black straight leg jeans. Her stiletto boots had to be at least four inches high. She was taller than me to begin with so with those I had to practically strain my neck to look at her face. Her hair was down in wavy tendrils. Her makeup looked stunning as always. She’s always had good fashion sense.
“How do I look?” She asked as she did a little twirl. She was always excited to get out and party. She loved to mingle and flirt with almost every guy she saw. She wasn’t promiscuous though. She was just very friendly.
“You look marvelous darling.” I replied with my best attempt at a British accent. She shrieked like a school girl. I gave her a look of disgust as I held my ears to shield them from the horrific high pitch sound.
“Calm down, girl. I don’t want to go deaf before the music starts.” I let her know as I released the grip on my ears.
“Sorry, I just can’t wait. I feel like dancing.” She threw her arms up and started dancing around my apartment. “Are you ready yet?” She asked.
“Almost.” I replied as I went back to my room to finish doing my hair. I opted for comfort with my outfit. I wore dark blue jeans with a dark purple quarter sleeve v neck shirt. On my feet I wore flat ballet shoes. There was no way I could survive in heals the whole night like Lacey could. My hair was up in a simple pony tail and my makeup was subtle. I always believed in less is more.
We arrived at the club around 10 pm. The line at the door was unbelievably long. That was okay thought because for Lacey and I it was not a problem. Since we worked for one of the major magazines in the city we attained certain perks. Getting into exclusive clubs was one of them.
We walked straight up to Eddie, the bouncer, and he seemed excited to see us.
“Where have you girls been hiding?” He asked as he gave us each a big bear hug. We had known Eddie for a while. We made frequent visits to the same club in the past. Even more so with certain events that were held there for the magazine.
“Just been busy, man.” I smiled.
“Ah, I see.” He smiled back. “How have you two been?
“Very good, honey. What about you Ed? We missed you.” Lacey flirted a little. It was just in her nature even if she didn’t really like a guy. I don’t know how she did it. My flirting skills were greatly limited compared to hers.
“I’ve been pretty good sweetie.” Eddie answered. “You and Soph need to come out more often. It’s no fun around here without you two.”
I loved Eddie. He was a sweet guy and a good friend. He was like a big teddy bear, not only with his personality but with his appearance. He was definitely built to be a bouncer. He was a big guy. Anyone who didn’t know him would be incredibly intimidated. As much as he was sweet, he still did his job very well. He had broken up many fights before. Anyone would be a fool to cross him.
“I know Ed. I’ve been trying to get her out but lately she just chooses to be a lazy bum. I’m surprised she came out tonight.” Lacey made sure I heard that.
I stuck my tongue out at her. “I’m standing right here.” I stated the obvious. All three of us laughed.
“Alright girls, go have some fun.” Eddie motioned us through the door.
The place was crowded and the music was bumpin. Lacey immediately started moving to the music as we made our way to the bar. I wasn’t much of a dancer, at least not in public. I could dance if I wanted to. It’s not like I didn’t have rhythm or anything, I was just shy about it. Usually I danced alone in the privacy of my own room and that was it.
Lacey ordered her ginger ale for the night. She was of course the designated driver. Plus she could still have a good time without drinking.
“Choose your poison Sophia.” Lacey encouraged. “My treat.” She smiled.
“Oh, I’m good.” I said hesitantly.
Lacey gave me a scolding look. “Excuse me missy but we came here to have a good time. I drove because I wanted you to have a good time. Come on just have one at least. It’ll loosen you up. Then maybe I could get you to dance in public.” She had a pleading look in her eyes.
I glared at her. “Fine, just one.”
“Yes!” she proclaimed, “Could I get a long island?” I heard her order from the bar tender. I almost protested but she was way ahead of me and wasn’t going to take no for an answer. I guess one wouldn’t hurt.
Three long island ice teas later I was on the dance floor with Lacey. I hadn’t had that much fun in a long time. I decided on no more drinks for the rest of the night. If I was already dancing, who knew what I would have done if I kept drinking.
“See girl, I knew you would have fun!” Lacey yelled over the music.
“Yea, this is fun.” I smiled goofily. Lacey just laughed.
“Come on let’s take a break and find some seats.” She said.
We headed back to find seats at the bar. When we got there we just ordered some waters and chatted a bit as well as we could over the loud music. We must have been sitting there for quite a while when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see who it was. I came face to face with a pretty good looking guy.
“Hi,” the stranger said.
“Hi,” I replied. Was this guy trying to hit on me or was I just in the way for him to get to Lacey? Either way the situation was bound to be a little awkward. I wasn’t big on meeting people in clubs. They usually turned out to be sleazy. The guy was probably just trying to talk to Lacey anyway so I put the thought out of my mind.
“Do you have the time?” He asked me.
Was this guy for real?
“Um,” I looked at my cell, “Its one o clock.” I let him know.
He smiled at me awkwardly for a second before speaking. “Okay,” he started, “so I have to tell you something. I knew the time already. I just was trying to find an excuse to talk to you.” He confessed.
He wanted to talk to me? Lacey nudged me toward him while she sipped her water.
“My name is Ryan.” He introduced himself putting his hand out to shake mine.
I politely shook his hand, “I’m Sophie.”
“It’s nice to meet you Sophie.” He stated sweetly.
“Nice to meet you too Ryan.” I said.
“You from around here?” He asked keeping up the conversation.
I wasn’t sure what to do. He seemed nice enough but you never know nowadays what kind of people you could run into. I decided to keep the conversation casual to be polite.
“Yea, I live about ten minutes from here. What about you?” I asked.
“Yea I just moved here from Connecticut.” He informed me. “This may sound cliché but I’m curious. Do you come here often?” He laughed nervously.
I just giggle. He did seem like he genuinely wanted to know the answers to the questions he was asking me.
“Actually, not lately. I use to come here a lot when I first moved here but I’ve been pretty busy these days with my job.” I answered honestly.
“Oh, really? What do you do for a living?” he asked curiously.
“I’m a photographer for a magazine. What about you?” I asked in return.
“I work in accounting.” He answered. He stopped there for a moment. I’m glad the questions didn’t get too personal. It’s always been hard for me to trust guys. My heart’s been broken way too much for me to take things lightly. I’ve chosen to be extra careful in my decisions with men. I like to keep it casual and be sure about someone. I take it slow.
“Do you want to dance?” He asked abruptly.
“Actually I’m all danced out for the night. Sorry.” I was half lying.
“Oh no, it’s okay. It happens.” He paused for a second. “Look I’m not very good at this so I’m just going to lay it out there. I think you’re beautiful and was wondering if it was at all possible for me to get your number?” He said a little too quickly. If I wasn’t listening intently I probably would have missed it. I was quite overwhelmed by his sudden blunt decision. He was sweet but I didn’t know what to say at the moment.
“I’m sorry if I just completely overwhelmed you.” He completely read my thoughts. “Like I said, not good at this. But I would rather be straight forward than beat around the bush.” He added.
Ok so I was not only overwhelmed but a bit impressed all at the same time. It takes guts for anyone to be that straight forward like that.
“Um, I’m sorry but I’m not big on meeting people in clubs and just giving out my number. No offense to you at all I’m just weird like that I guess. Sorry but I can’t.” I said.
As much as I was impressed and as cute as he was my instincts got the best of me. I just couldn’t go forward with it. It was like some strange feeling in the air stopped me.
“Ah, it’s ok. Just figured I ‘d give it a shot.” He said sadly.
“I’m really sorry.” I apologized.
“It’s ok, I completely understand. It was very nice meeting you anyway and I’ll let you get back to your friend. I guess I’ll see you around?” He questioned with a hopeful glint in his eyes.
“Yea, definitely.” I assured him.
He smiled at me slightly and walked away.
I was a complete jerk. I scolded myself. I really was sorry. I felt so bad turning him down but I didn’t know what else to do. He was a nice guy too. Leave it up to me to ruin something before it even got started. That wasn’t the first time. My emotions just always got the best of me. I guess it was for the best. Lacey was going to kill me. I turned around and there she was with a shocked look on her face. She must have heard. I’m definitely going to hear it now. At least it saved me the trouble of having to break it to her gently. I could already hear her yelling at me before she even started. She smacked me in the arm.
“Ow!” I yelped. She hurts.
“You deserved that and you know it!” She scolded. “He was so cute and he thought you were too. You should have given him your number. You got to stop doing that girl.” She sighed. “What am I going to do with you?”
She was right as always. I spent the rest of the night thinking of how dumb I was for doing what I did. That definitely put a damper on the rest of the night. I felt bad for ruining Lacey’s night too.
When we left the club, the car ride home was silent. I knew she was upset. I wasn’t going to fight with her though. She just wanted to see me happy. I couldn’t blame her for being mad. I haven’t been happy with a guy in a long time. Part of it was probably because I never gave anybody a chance to be happy with.
When we got to my place Lacey hugged me goodbye. She gave me a smile before she drove off. I should start listening to her more. After that night my weekend went by in a blur.