Chapter 3 : III
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There are plenty of days where London isn’t overcast and its temperature warm, even hot. The sun shines over the beautiful architecture around London, the parks are illuminated by its bright orange and yellow, and the moods of everyone all around are lifted just slightly. People are more likely to smile back if one was to smile at them, customers are less likely to act completely mental when something goes wrong with their meal, and couple will probably not pick that day to get a divorce.
It’s basic human psychology, when the weather is dreary and the surroundings are bland with very little light bringing out the florescent colors that nature has to offer, people are more likely to be rude. When a person walks outside to find that everything is practically glowing under the sun’s rays their moods pick up.
Unfortunately, the weather was not in Ellie’s favor that day. She was sitting in Hyde Park on a bleary day in London writing the first draft of her essay. She’d occasionally glance down at her phone in the hopes that she’d received a message from someone, anyone. It’d been a week since she’d given her number to James and still no word. She’d given up on there being any chance he’d actually call her or even show up at the coffee shop looking for her. This was fine, she’d been expecting him to flake on her anyway. After all, Dominique had warned her about James.
Evolution is a central concept in biology that attempts to answer questions on origin. It’s concept that life changes and develops over time otherwise known as evolution. All organism have a common beginning. The concept was introduced by Jean-Baptiste de Lamark in the year 1809 but was not semi-accepted until Charles Darwin derived his own theories fifty years later.
Ellie reread her fifth first paragraph the essay and remained unsatisfied with her introduction. She took her pen and slowly dragged it across the paper insuring that every word was crossed out. The essay wasn’t due for another two weeks, but she felt it was best to get started on it. This was her attempt at not being the procrastinator that she knew she was because it’d never helped her the past.
She bounced her pen against the notepad over and over, but nothing came to mind, “Ugh!” she groaned frustrated. An older woman and her friend were walking past her and gave her pointed, judgmental looks as if she belonged in the loony bin. Ellie smiled a very false, sarcastic smile giving the two ladies that she acknowledged their rude and judgmental ways. They turned around quickly after making eye contact with her and continued speed-walking down the paved road. “Bitches,” Ellie said under her breath. She gathered her books together and carefully placed them in her bag after deciding that she wouldn’t get any great ideas for this essay until later.
She made her way out of the park quickly and onto the streets. She felts drop of water on her forearm and two more soon followed it. She glanced up at the sky just as it begin to pour, “Oh bloody--! Shit!” She quickly glanced around her for shelter having forgotten her rain coat and umbrella at the apartment. She quickly walked into the nearest store she could find, which happened to be a bridal shop.
“Welcome to Betsy’s Beautiful Brides! Are you here for a fitting?” said an overly friendly lady with large teeth and flat, straight, dark brown hair.
Ellie smiled uncomfortably and looked around as she slowly backed out, “Sorry, wrong store!” She quickly exited and walked into the sandwich shop beside the bridal shop. The man responded with a simple grunt. “Um, hello, can I get a half queen’s sandwich?”
“Did yeh wan’it toasted?” Ellie shook her head and the man yelled her order out to the cooks, “Anythin’ else for yeh?”
“Alright, three pounds, 42 pences please.”
Ellie handed him four pounds, “Keep the change,” and walked over to the waiting area. As she waited for her food to finish her phone began to ring in her pocket. It was relatively loud causing few people to search for the source of the noise. She quickly pulled it out and answered, “Hello?”
“OI! ELLIE! CAN YOU HEAR ME?!” a voice yelled through the phone. She pulled the phone a couple inches from her ear and scrunched up her nose at the painful ache that bubbled in her eardrum.
“Yes, yes, I can hear you just fine. Who is this?”
“IT’S ME! JAMES!” Any previous confusion she may have had prior to that moment had been wiped away. James was clearly a very strange guy; it made sense that he would be the one to call her up just to yell over the receiver.
“James? Why are you yelling?”
“I WANTED TO KNOW IF YOU COULD HEAR ME!”
She rolled her eyes, “Yes! I can hear you a little too well thank you very much. Stop yelling!”
“Oh, erm, sorry. I, er…I just got a new phone, wasn’t sure about the…uh…the erm---“
“Yes that’s the one! Reception!”
“Oh okay, good to know I didn’t give some loon my number then,” Ellie laughed. She heard the deep chuckle of James on the other side.
“Err… I really don’t like talking on the telephone,” James said after a moment of awkward silence.
Ellie hesitated, unsure of how to take that statement, “I mean, we could just text if you want.”
“What’s—never you mind. That’s not what I meant though; I just meant that I don’t like this not seeing your face thing. Can we meet somewhere? How about the coffee shop?”
Ellie laughed, “Oh! Yes we can meet somewhere, but I am not going to work on a day I have off. Think of somewhere else.”
“No! You know London better, take me out somewhere.”
Ellie smiled, “Alright then! Meet me at the entrance of Hyde Park on Carriage Dr.”
“I’ll be there in ten minutes,” following this statement was a beep and Ellie’s call was instantly disconnected. She stared at the phone for a moment bemused by his awkwardness. It wasn’t the usual suave and confident James that walked into Café Coffee not but a week ago. It was a man that didn’t ooze perfection and seemed more human. Though, on numerous occasions she watched him stutter before her over trivial matters such as the “healers” incident as well as the “friendship flowers.”
Ellie wasn’t daft nor was she brilliant, but she could easily see through the flowers James had attempted to give her. He intrigued her though; she wanted to know why he was so intent on getting to know her. She felt as if there was something motivating him towards his slightly obsessive interactions with her even though the last week he hadn’t attempted any sort of communication.
She quickly grabbed her sandwich and left the sandwich shop and made her way to the entrance of the park thankful the rain had stopped.
It felt like she’d been waiting eons for James to make an appearance. She glanced down at her clock twenty times now; he was twenty minutes later than he said he would be. The bench she was sitting on was starting to get uncomfortable. Each piece of wood pushed up against her legs causing her to shift awkwardly. She looked down at her watch again, “Seriously?” she muttered beneath her breath. She stood up and after a quick glance around in hopes she’d spot James in the distance she made her way to the subway station.
Her thoughts raced through her mind in a fury. She couldn’t believe she waited for him for thirty-five minutes. What right did he have to not show up after he called her?
“Ellie!” she froze but didn’t look around. Clearly her mind was playing tricks on her. She continued onward, “Ellie! Wait!” Without thinking, her head whipped around and she smiled. The relief that washed over her was incredible. She saw his tall, athletic frame jogging towards her. His brown hair bounced ever so slightly at its length. As he got closer, she remembered how angry she originally was though and her once careless smile became a frown. She stood there sourly as he approached her. “I’m so sorry. I went to the wrong park; I didn’t realize there were so many in this city.”
Ellie softened her demeanor, “Yes, well you could’ve called and let me know or something,” she reasoned.
He ruffled his hair, “Yeah, I’m not so good with using the phone. We don’t really use them back home.”
“Where are you from exactly? It sounds very different from anywhere I’ve ever been and Dom never talks about her home.”
James looked around awkwardly before glancing up at the sky as a few drops of rain fell on his face, “Let’s find some shelter first.”
“Oh, well the bus stop is right across the street. If we hurry, we shouldn’t get too soaked. We could go to the mall?”
“Yes,” he grabbed her wrist, “Let’s do that.” He pulled her down the sidewalk.
“You’re taking us away from the bus stop you know.” She was trying to hold back laughter but the look on his face was priceless.
“Oh you think you are clev—“ James’ face contorted as he spotted something in the distance, “Come on then, show me the way.” He extended his hand towards her. Not quite understanding what he saw, she took hold of his hand and pulled him in the right direction. Their intertwined hands brought a smirk to her lips that she pointedly concealed from James. “I’ve never been on a bus.”
Ellie smiled at him, “Well you are in for an experience. Be ready to have no personal space what-so-ever and to smell a must so horrid that you want to jump out the window. On the bright side, this is the perfect time for you to tell me about yourself.” Bus 148 pulled up just as she said this. It became apparent that no one in London wanted to walk around outside as the bus was even more crowded than usual. James was pushed further into the crowd behind Ellie as more people packed themselves in.
Ellie turned around to continue their conversation but was surprised to find his tall figure not but a couple centimeters from her own. As romantic as their situation could have been, the feeling of other bodies touching them from all angles was enough to wipe any such thought from her head, “At least we aren’t on the subway,” she starts, “It’s much worse down there.”
James finally looked down at her and smirked, “Well since I can’t grab onto one of those poles, I guess you’ll have to do.” He wrapped one arm around Ellie’s waist as the other hand grabbed onto a rail above.
“Savor it while you can James. I guess we can wait to talk until after we get off this bus. It’s not but two stops down.”
“So, are you going to tell me about yourself? You already know where I work and go to school, who I live with and what I’m majoring in. Yet I know nothing about you except that your town is a little different,” Ellie started. James managed to convince her into going to a restaurant of her choice and to let him pay, “So I guess I’ll start with the basics. How old are you?”
“I’m twenty-four, and you?” He was twirling his spaghetti with his fork as he said this before putting down his fork and staring intently at her.
“I’m twenty-one. Do you have any siblings?”
“I do, I have a younger brother, Albus and a younger sister, Lily. You’re actually the same age as her. Do you?”
“I have an older brother. His name is Derek. He’s twenty-seven and is very protective,” she winked.
“Does that mean I’m something he needs to protect you from?”
A chuckle escaped Ellie’s rosie lips, “Perhaps. Dom seems to think so. What is it with you two anyway? She seems to know you pretty well but she’s never spoken of you.”
“She likes to keep her home life private. It’s very different than the life you’re used to.”
“Continue,” she took a sip of water, her eyes piercing his shocking green ones.
“Why is your home life so different? Why would Dom want to leave it?”
“We can talk about that on another date. How did you meet Dom?”
A faint smile appeared on Ellie’s lips before she disguised it with another sip of water. There were going to be multiple dates. “She was in my Freshman English class. We got along great because we both hated writing. Her especially since she’d taken such a long break after graduating grade school. Then our friendship blossomed and now we live together. Do you work? Go to school?”
James opened his mouth and closed it. His green eyes piercing hers with such intensity, “I, er, I’m a personal trainer.”
“No way! That’s perfect! You can inspire me to get fit!”
“You need to get more fit? I don’t believe you!”
“You better believe it sir!”
“Well you were certainly gone a long time,” Dominique greeted as Ellie walked through the door, “What have you been up to?” Dominique was lying on the couch flicking through channels on the television.
“Well I went to study and then it started pouring rain and I grabbed a sandwich,” she walked into her room, “And then I…wentonadatewithJames,” Ellie closed her door quickly.
Dom lifted herself up from her comfortable position quickly and stared at Ellie’s door, “You what?!”
“I went on a date with James,” Ellie repeated emerging from her room again, “Yeah, it was nice. He seems like a really great guy, he didn’t even try to kiss me like a true gentleman. Although, he did give my hand a good smooch.”
“Ellie, you are seriously in dangerous territory. James is a loose cannon, he is literally famous in our town for being a womanizer.”
“Well I’m not going to make this easy for him. It’ll take a lot more than being really fun on one date to get into my knickers,” Ellie joined Dom on the couch, took off her shoes and put her feet on the coffee table, “Come on Dom, give me more credit than that.”
Dominique sighed and looked down, her strawberry blonde hair falling loosely in her face, “I’m just saying. I know my cousin and he does everything for a reason.”
“Yes, that may be true, but perhaps his reason is that he likes me and actually wants to get to know me. Seriously, give me a smidgen of a credit. Is there no chance that James actually is interested in me? Is that impossible?” Dominique shook her head ‘No,’ “Well then stop being a hater and let’s just see what happens, yeah?”
James entered his loft feeling rejuvenated and excited. The warm colors of the living room greeted him and he collapsed on his couch. A smile was brought to his lips as he thought of his date and closed his eyes. Not much time passed before there were pecks on his window. He looked over and spotted an owl waiting for him to open the window. He reached into his back pocket and flicked his wand allowing the owl to come inside and land on his arm. He recognized this bird as McGreggar, Scott’s bird, otherwise known as Mickey-G. James thanked the owl and pulled the letter off its leg allowing the owl to take off out the window promptly.
POP! “Jamesie! Where the bloody hell have you been?!” Scott yelled from James’ kitchen, running into the living room, “Please tell me you haven’t been lying on this couch ever since practice.”
James looked up at him warily, “I haven’t been, I’ve been busy.” Scott arched his perfectly plucked eyebrows, “With stuff. I don’t want to talk about it man. You said you wanted to get pissed? You want to pre-game it here before we hit the clubs?”
James stood up and looked at his best friend. Scott was about the same height and build as James, topping off at six feet and was muscular and lean. He had light brown skin, hazel eyes and dark brown hair accompanied by a contagious smile that has broken the hearts of many women. He and James were chasers on the Kenmare Kestrals quidditch team. They’d grown very close over the last couple of years through hours of training together.
“Yes! I’ll get the firewhiskey!” Scott raced to the kitchen grinning. James joined his friend as he poured two shot glasses, “Tonight is going to be an excellent night. Mind if I stay with you tonight?”
“Course you can mate,” He grabbed his glass of alcohol, “Just don’t try and shag with some bird in my bed again like you did last time. Cheers!”
A hearty laugh escaped Scott’s throat, “Cheers!”
A/N: It has been a very long time since I updated this story. I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Sorry if there were a lot of grammar issues, I double checked everything but not too thoroughly.
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