Ah yes. In chapter 21 I'd
Meeting the Parents
By 'parents', I mean concierges. And by 'met', I mean, 'encountered'.
His arrival to my apartment had been pain-free. I'd buzzed him in and up he'd come. The concierges probably thought he was just a regular good-looking guy on his way to visit some lucky lady. I knew things would be different on the way out though, when they'd put two and two together (or in this case, one and one) and they'd realise that the fortunate girl was me.
I wondered how on earth I could sneak a 6ft 5 bloke past without them noticing. I contemplated asking Hands to go commando (and crawl along the floor like a soldier, as opposed to not wearing underwear) but realised that was a ridiculous idea. He'd end up filthy and I didn't want people to think I was taking a tramp out for dinner. Instead as we exited the lift, I whispered to Hands that as we walk past the front desk he was to keep looking straight ahead and leave the rest to me.
I thought we were doing quite a good job. We'd both got the nonchalant walk down pat despite having no time to practice. I trilled 'Hi' as we passed so as not to arouse suspicion. We'd almost made it out the door when...
'Er, wait a minute...'
'Where do you think you're going?'
'I'm going out,' I replied, feeling like a teenager.
'But it's a Saturday night...you're not allowed out.'
'Says who?' I replied starting to sound a bit petulant. I was at the risk of being grounded.
'Says you!' they laughed.
They were referring to a comment I'd once made when I'd come home from an evening out and announced that I was too old for Saturday nights and they were only for young people. Young people who don't mind music so loud that you can't hold a conversation. Young people with stamina for lots of queues (the queue to get in, the four people deep queue at the bar to get a drink, the queue for the ladies etc, etc.) Young people who don't feel the cold and therefore don't need to wear jackets.
I then said that if they ever saw me heading out on a Saturday they were to stop me and tell me no.
Obviously I didn't mean it. I'd only said it once. I was a bit tipsy at the time so it really shouldn't count.
It's not like they remember all my drunken chat. They've never mentioned the time pre-Hands that I asked if they'd find me a boyfriend and I insisted the only criteria I had was that he be able to drive and swim. They've never mentioned that. And in actual fact they should have mentioned that. They should have taken me aside for a little word the next morning and said that a nice girl like me could aim a bit higher when searching for a man. Perhaps look for someone that can ride as well.
'We're only going for dinner' I said, as if that would make it better and suddenly they'd forget it was Saturday.
'It's still Saturday night,' they said.
'I won't be late.'
'Ok we'll let you go just this once. Back before midnight though or we'll be locking the doors,' they jested.
At least I think they were joking. I didn't find out because despite having a lovely meal Hands and I were more interested in each other than our surroundings, and decided we'd be as well going back to mine.
'Look I've brought her back before she turned into a pumpkin!' Hands announced to the concierges as we entered the Tower at 11:45.
'Well done lad. You can come again.'
The Doubts Start
My concierges may have approved of Hands, but I was starting to have some concerns. I may have given the impression that everything was going hunky dory with my hunk, but there was an issue. One big issue. I'd tried to ignore it, but when I went to work on the army base during the week it became more and more obvious, and more and more of a problem.
Hands doesn't give good phone.
Our texts were great, our emails were even better and we were fluent in body language but our phone conversations were below par. We just didn't seem to know what to say to each other. I know you could say that it takes two to maketh a conversation and I should shoulder some of the blame for our crap chat, but I've never had this problem with anyone else. I think I'm quite good on the phone. I've certainly had lots of experience over the years. Once I even did it for five hours with an ex. No, it must be all Hands' fault.
During one such chat (for want of a better word) I decided to fill an awkward silence by recounting an incident that I'd had earlier in the day. I told Hands about how when I'd gone to take the radio mic off a soldier we'd been filming, he'd obviously got confused about why I was moving in to his personal space and kissed me. I couldn't stop laughing as I explained how embarrassed I was, and how embarrassed the guy was when he realised the real reason that I'd approached him.
Hands reaction? 'Oh right.'
'That's all he said?' Taggart asked me. I'd made some excuse to Hands to get off the phone and had called her straight away for her opinion.
'Yes,' I said miserably. 'Maybe we just aren't meant to be? Everything else is great but it's just hard work on the phone. And we clearly have a different sense of humour. He didn't even find that story slightly funny.'
'I thought it was hilarious!' Taggart said. She had. She'd been practically wetting herself when I told her. Unfortunately it wasn't Taggart that I wanted to bump uglies with.
The next day I had an email from Hands.
Sometimes I find your Scottish accent really difficult to understand, particularly when you are laughing. I have no idea what that story was you were trying to tell me last night! We obviously need to spend more time together to practice so I thought we could go away this weekend. I've already booked us in to a hotel. You just need to say yes!
What on earth had I been worried about? Talking on the phone is overrated anyway right?
Yes, Hands! Yes! Yes! Yes!