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Old 02-06-2006, 07:53 AM   #1
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Up Close & Personal - Chapter 1

Hey everyone, this is my new fic! It's been a while but I'm really enjoying writing this so I hope you all enjoy reading it. It's not supposed to be anything majorly serious but we'll see where the story takes us!

Of course it's all fiction, ie not true and I don't know or own U2! Unfortunately.


Up Close & Personal
Chapter 1

You know the sort of dull day when you’re so bored you’ll read the Financial Times? And enjoy it? That’s the kind of day I’m having. I’ve bought a chocolate sponge cake and eaten half of it already. I’ve watched TV, a couple of daytime chat-shows and a slow-moving cookery programme. (Why are the recipes always impossible?) I’ve done the dishes in the sink even though we have a dishwasher. And still I am so damn bored I could scream.

Maybe it’s because all my friends seem to have boyfriends these days and they just forget about me, the unexciting single person. I don’t really blame them – obviously getting laid is far more exciting than sitting here with me trying to untie knots in the telephone cable (and then creating more knots just to give myself something extra to do). But it’d be nice to be taken into consideration, nonetheless.

My black cat wanders into the room looking as blank of expression as I feel. “Aww, c’mere, Molly,” I coo, beckoning her over, but even she’s fed up of me, taking more of an interest in the threadbare patch of carpet by the sofa. “Don’t, you’ll make it worse!” I scold, jumping up and shooing her away. She glares at me before stalking off, her tail in the air. At least, I think she glared. You can never tell for sure with cats.

And now there’s mail through the door. Well, I suppose I should be happy about that. I mean, I can rip open the dodgy catalogues and fill out the forms for free stuff I’ll never use (but it’s free so who cares, right?) and that’ll take up about, ooh, five minutes? Unless I write extremely slowly, then it might take five hours and by the time I’m finished the decent soap operas will be on.

Why am I so bored, I hear you wonder? Well, apart from my mates being otherwise (horizontally) engaged, I have no job. I got sacked from my last one for making too many mistakes. Can you believe that? They didn’t bother to train me properly and then when I messed up, they kicked me out! Good thing I live at home with my parents but they’re away for a two-week holiday (alright for some) and I did all the designated chores in the first three days. Even the ironing, and I loathe ironing.

Sighing, I go over to the doormat and pick up the small pile of post. Sifting through it, I lay aside three piles: one for my mum, one for my dad and one for rubbish. No point making one for me. I never get anything these days unless it’s a dentist appointment or maybe an Ann Summers catalogue.

The local newspaper falls onto the floor as I sort and once I’m done I decide to have a flick through, kill some more time. The first two pages consist entirely of small ads and columns, so I begin to pick my way through everyone’s ‘for sale’ and ‘wanted’ boxes. Yes, told you I was bored!

Half-way through I see an advert that I’m interested in, someone selling a bunch of old U2 records. I love U2, who doesn’t? I’m usually a CD kind of gal, though, records always seem so, well, old. I look across to my dad’s record player and smile, wondering if the music would actually sound even better played on vinyl. And then as I realise I have nothing better to do, I circle the ad, make the note of the phone number and decide to give the guy a call later. I don’t want to use up all my exciting events right away, do I?

Then, one of the ‘personals’ catches my eye. Now, this isn’t unusual. I love reading how people describe themselves, most probably lying through their newsprint teeth, and wondering what they really look like. I then spend ages dreaming up my own advertisement, trying to work out how I’d sell myself, make myself sound gorgeous and exotic. I kind of don’t think I’m that good a liar, though, which I why I’ve never bothered sending in an ad myself.

This one, though…

Solid, hard Irishman, 30, seeks true soulmate to make sweet music with. Likes drums, bikes, fishing, cars, cute girls and 70s tunes. Kind, generous and pretty. Looking for a girl, GSOH, any type.

Either this guy is very big-headed or telling the truth. And from experience I’m sure I know which of those two options is correct. Although, on second reading, what sane man would describe himself as ‘pretty’? Certainly none I know, at least not in public.

I circle the advert anyway, because as you know by now, I have nothing else to do, and continue reading, fully expecting to forget all about solid, hard Irishmen (well, within reason, I am only human!).

The phone rings and I slide off the sofa to answer, taking the paper with me. I’m afraid if I leave it alone for too long Molly will use it for her own nefarious purposes.

“Hel-lo?” Yup, I do always sound stupid when I answer the phone. It’s inherited.

“Hello, is Rachel Grant there?”

“Yes, speaking,” I reply, no clue who this is.

“Hi, Rachel, this is Wendy from ‘Girl’ magazine. I’m just ringing to let you know you’ve won third prize in our poetry competition. Your prize is £100!”

If my jaw could drop any further it’d be on the floor. On top of Molly, actually, since she’s arrived at my feet. “What?” I blurt, unable to think of a more scintillating response.

“Congratulations! We’ll be sending you the cheque in the next couple of days.”

“Uh, thanks!” I babble and we hang up, me in a total state of shock. I’d totally forgotten about that competition! I’d entered it for a laugh one day, sitting in a café with my best friend Adele, not remotely expecting to win anything because we thought the magazine was silly and their contests were rigged. The first prize, if I recall, had been something like more money or a weekend away. I don’t know. £100 is fine by me, that’s for sure!

The win boosts my mood, unsurprisingly. It would be an odd person who wasn’t lifted by an extra £100 in the bank, I think. Later on, I phone the guy in the paper who’s selling the U2 records – now I can buy a few without feeling too guilty that I should be spending money on food.

Once I’ve said goodbye to him, having arranged to meet him, I find myself opening the paper again and staring at the ‘personals’ advert. Why is it catching my attention so much? There’s nothing particularly special about what he’s saying, but for some reason way beyond my brainpower, I want to find out more about him. I’d like to meet him and see if he really is pretty. I’ve lived in Dublin years and never met a ‘solid, hard Irishman’, maybe that’s what I’m after. Whatever the reason, I get on the phone again and dial the ‘personals’ number.

And this, dear readers, is the reason I end up in a coffee shop in town on Saturday, three days later, dressed in a scruffy pair of jeans and a purple sweater, waiting for the solid, hard Irishman to turn up and buy me a hot chocolate. (Hey, he doesn’t have to know I won £100, right?)

I hope he’s not too hard. People might stare.


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Old 02-06-2006, 10:26 AM   #2
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^^ What Crimson_Nails said. I like your style, and will be looking forward to the next installment!

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Old 02-06-2006, 11:28 AM   #3
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oooooo I like this! Post more soon!
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Old 02-06-2006, 05:54 PM   #4
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mmm this sounds good, off to read the next chapter...
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