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Old 02-19-2006, 04:37 PM   #1
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Up Close & Personal Chapter 10

It's the lead-up to the big date, are you as excited as I am? Lol! Thanks again for the feedback, it's all faaab! Not real, as usual.


Chapter 10

You remember all that stuff I didn’t give a damn about yesterday? You know, the ‘short notice’ and ‘nothing to wear’ and ‘playing hard to get’? Yeah? Well, turns out, in the cold light of Saturday afternoon, that I do give a damn about those things, and very much. Okay, not the ‘playing hard to get’ bit, because it’s Larry and are you joking? If I play hard to get he’ll probably realise I’m not worth the effort.

So basically, I have nothing to wear and I have no idea how to act on a date with anyone, let alone U2’s drop-dead gorgeous drummer. As I may have mentioned in passing (or whined about when nervous) I have never had a proper boyfriend. Sure, in school there were one or two silly behind-the-bikes kisses but they were horrible and anyway I’m pretty certain the boys had been taking bets on who could kiss me for longest and survive. I’m sorry to say I didn’t manage to kill any of them. All that died was my self-confidence when it comes to the opposite sex.

I mean, it’s not been for lack of trying. If I saw a nice-looking guy at my previous work, for example, I’d do all the usual boring girly tricks of fluttering my lashes, smiling, laughing at stuff he said that wasn’t particularly funny. None of it ever worked and I ended up wondering why I was wasting time pandering to their male egos anyway.

Is there any chance it might work with Larry? Or am I supposed to be myself? Ugh, what a dreadful thought. That’ll scare him off right away. Because I can dress up for tonight all I want but underneath it’s just me. I slouch around at home wearing scruffy jeans and I sometimes don’t wash my hair for three days because I’m too lazy. I like cheesy pop and I couldn’t tell you anything about chords. I never think about my future ‘cause it’s scary and I’m not that fussed about being a bit of a loner. It’s all just what I’m used to.

But what if Larry doesn’t like it? Doesn’t like me? He’d be well within his rights.

Honestly, I am so stressed I might explode.

And I’m in town, clothes shopping, which I’m afraid is not my favourite pastime and does nothing to improve my mood. The shops are full of pretty dresses and cute tops and high shoes, none of which I could wear without feeling utterly stupid. I sigh as I pass a rail of baggy jeans, wishing I could get away with wearing what I’m comfortable in. I should have suggested we got a bag of chips and sat on a wall in the rain.

See, that actually sounds like low-pressure fun, to me.

Just when I think things couldn’t get any more ARGH, who do I bump into by the ‘I’m a slut with too much cleavage’ tops but Adele, complete with boyfriend. They’re holding hands and making gooey sticky eyes at one another. I side-step the urge to be sick and instead tap Adele on the shoulder, smiling sweetly.

“Hey, how’s it going?”

Adele freezes when she sees it’s me, and then she’s smiling too. God, we are so fake.

“Fine, yeah, you? What are you doing here?”

I shrug. “Oh, y’know, just upgrading my wardrobe. Can’t seem to find anything I like, though. Hi, Dan,” I add politely, seeing as he hasn’t bothered to acknowledge my presence. I assume Adele’s been slagging me off to him all morning. He nods in return.

“Actually, can I have a word?” Adele dislocates herself from Dan, who skulks off to menswear, and steps closer to me. “Listen, I’m sorry about the way I acted yesterday. I didn’t mean to have a go at you.”

I sigh. “It’s okay. I’m sorry, too. I should have told you about Larry.” This, readers, is a lie. I shouldn’t have told her anything, and I don’t want to tell her about tonight. But in the spirit of friendship, sacrifices must be made. “I was going to phone you later. Larry’s taking me out tonight.” I almost whisper, not wanting anyone else to overhear. It’s bad enough telling Adele, and I’ve known her years. It’s just, I’ll feel less ridiculous if there’s no one else to laugh at me.

Adele, to her credit, doesn’t squeal or shout or throw a fit. Her jaw does drop, but so would mine if the situation were reversed. “Really? Oh my God! Where are you going?”

I shrug again. “No idea. Somewhere nice for dinner. S’why I’m looking for something to wear. You know me, wouldn’t know posh clothes if they hit me in the face.” I pick up a disgustingly low-cut top and wince. “Although even I know that is not a good look.”

“Well, no,” Adele agrees, putting it back on the rack. “I think you’re in the wrong shop, though. Let’s go across the road, I know somewhere much better. I’ll just let Dan know to meet me after.” She’s off to find him and inside I am quite pleased that for once, she’s chosen me over him.

In the other shop, I realise Adele is right. It’s much better. It’s less in-your-face and within minutes I’ve found a pair of trousers and a top I think might look okay. I venture into the changing room to try them on and am most dismayed when they do nothing for me. It’s not that they don’t fit or suit… they’re just boring. I’m not sure boring is what I ought to be aiming for on a date with Larry Mullen Jr.

Adele nods when I show her the outfit and confide my worries. “No, you’re right. Give me a second, I saw something else that would be much more interesting.” She disappears, I close the curtain and undress, and soon she sticks her hand in with a dress. A dress! Is she mad? I don’t do dresses! Even you all know that and you haven’t known me for nearly as long as Adele has.

“Adele…” I begin warningly, but she steps into the changing room, a stern look on her face.

“Shush. Try it on and for once, Rach, just trust me.” She hands me the offending item and departs. I stare at it with disgust, even though I quite like the colour. It’s slightly darker than emerald green, with pretty straps and a full-looking short skirt. I’m really not sure, but I decide it’s worth a shot and slip it on.

And you know what? I don’t look awful. Not model-esque either, but not awful, and that’s the main thing. The skirt is just above the knee and flares out so that it moves nicely when I walk, and the upper-half is fitted, but not too low that I’d feel uncomfortable in it. Maybe Adele is right. Maybe I can get away with wearing this.

It’s this ‘maybe’ of madness that leads me to standing outside the shop ten minutes later, dress in bag and also a pair of silver shoes that Adele insisted on paying for (on condition she gets to borrow them whenever she wants) and a heavy sense of dread. Why is it that in the safety of shops and homes you can put on any outfit and think it’ll work, but when you think about the real world and facing actual people, all that confidence and hope drains? Why am I so bloody terrified?

God, I really am terrified. Not only is this my first proper date, but it’s Larry. What happens if it all goes wrong?

“Rach, you look a bit ill,” Adele says, taking my arm as we go to meet Dan down the street. “Are you okay?”

“Uh-huh,” I reply, staring straight ahead. “Yeah, fine.”

“Do you want me to come back with you and help you get ready? Make-up, hair, everything?” Adele is being kind, I appreciate it, but this is something I think I have to do by myself.

“No, I’ll be fine,” I say. “Look, there’s Dan. I’m just going to get my bus. See you later.”

Adele hugs me. “Call me and let me know how it goes!”

I smile weakly and walk off towards the bus stop, clutching the bag and hoping against hope that tonight will not end up a total disaster.


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Old 02-19-2006, 04:51 PM   #2
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Great chapter, chickadee! The suspense is killing me!! Can't wait for more!

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Old 02-19-2006, 05:37 PM   #3
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Originally posted by ThoraSEB
Great chapter, chickadee! The suspense is killing me!! Can't wait for more!
Agreed! This is exciting.
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:17 PM   #4
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i cant wait!

great chapter
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Old 02-19-2006, 08:39 PM   #5
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I only have one complaint... The chapters are too short! I love this story, it's so funny!
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Old 02-19-2006, 09:03 PM   #6
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Hahaha Rachel reminds me a little of myself!! LOL!!

I can totally feel her pain. Totally.

I'm really liking this story. It's funny, real, and has a nice flow to it. I just wish I could write half as good as you guys on here.

Can't wait for the next chapter!
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:55 AM   #7
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I'm dying here! We need another chapter!! I must admit I seem to have a few things in common with Rachel as well, for one I HATE clothes and two I Larry too. But yes, great chapter again
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:49 AM   #8
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actually... rachel sounds like a mirror-image of me. LOL

even the ramblings.. and the funny self-bashing things... lol.
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Old 02-20-2006, 05:44 AM   #9
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great chapter ^^ can't wait to see how larry will react on her in that dress
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Old 02-20-2006, 12:20 PM   #10
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Great chapter Can't wait for the next one!
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Old 02-20-2006, 01:47 PM   #11
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great chapter

can't wait for the next!

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