Quick A/N: I uploaded the full thing cause I changed/improved a couple of minor details/paragraphs..which you probably won’t notice or care about..carry on :)
♪ We’Re hAppy, free, confUsed and lONely at the same TIME. It’s miSERable and MAgical oh YEAH. ToNIght’s the NIght when we forGET about the DEADLINES, it’s time UH UH..♪
The thunderous, upbeat vocals of Taylor Swift was barely audible as each word was ridiculously emphasized and overpowered by four weary yet lively girls; each occupied to no extent. Giggles had a domino effect as the hours passed.
♪…AbOUt you. BuT I’m FEELing TWENTY-TWO…♪
"I’m gonna be twenty-two before I finish filing all of this!"
A half whine attempting humor proved more amusing than it should have been as laughters reiterated off the taintless white walls.
It was near 11pm, a fact I wouldn’t have known if I wasn’t in a room cluttered with technology such as laptops and IPads. Time was both of the essence, but also not at the same time at Calidan Designs Studios on this Sunday Night. The harmony of sewing machine, papers shuffling and typing of keyboards created quite a melody along with the background music.
With the arrival of October around the corner, came the abrupt overwhelming stress of preparations for Paris Fashion Week 2013. And the period of time leading up to the extravaganza had a name of its own, Internship Hell.
I recalled scoffing of skepticism when Bethany, another 19 year old fashion hopeful, and long-time intern, informed me of the nickname. It was naive, the fact I believed she probably had a flair for the dramatics. Little did I know…
In anticipation for a show of this degree, or any at all really, the designer themself, and the employees they possess, are buried in the surplus of responsibilities regarding issues such as models, set dressing, lights, and of course- the clothes within the showcase collection. However, any modification in decision in any of the previously mentioned catergories, no matter how big or small, slumps upon the shoulders of us interns. Fixing hems, organizing seating charts, altering lengths of the pieces, filing paperwork, sewing on labels, researching design concepts, organizing schedules, photoshopping images of the designs made with various patterns, etc. etc. etc. The workload was endless, much like the cliche nightmare of a neverending hallway.
However, as I snuck a glimpse throughout the brightly lit room in the spare second I allowed for breathing, the corners of my lips crept up into a smile. And soon enough, the grin was mirrored and duplicated as eye contact was made around the room. Despite all being exhausted in both aspects of physical and mental, the atmosphere managed to remain frivolous and energetic. Cheerful. Passionate.
Although it was quite late, and all of us had been in the studio since 8am this morning, there was a simple truth that there wasn’t anywhere else any of us would rather be. Yes it was tiring, tedious even. But these times of madness are what fashion interns live for. It was the factor of fascination for the industry that made 16 hour days worth every minute. It was an escape.
A single fire alarm type ring all of a sudden resonated throughout the building, causing an embarrassing shrill to escape from my lips. It genuinely frightened me, as I held my palm against my racing hearbeat; Until I took note of the intriguing expressions donned on the other girls’ faces. Silent conversations for which I could not comprehend were exchanged. There was an emerging excitment in each pair of eyes that simply could not be concealed while only curiosity emerged in my own.
"What was that?" I questioned, gaze flickering between all three of their faces
"How often do you guys do this?" I questioned, giggles drifting though the halls as I stepped into the studio lounge with Bethany by my side. Her auburn curls flouncing with each step as we joined the other two interns, Meredith and Anna. An array of large white sofas constructed into a semi circle was now occupied by four girls indulging on frozen yogurt and aimless chatter. Soft carpeting and countless cushions adorning the room rendered it the ideal setting.
"As often as we want." Meredith smirked in response as she tossed a piece of popcorn in my direction. My excitment was perhaps a bit excessive when I successfully caught it on the tip of my tongue. Though that may also just be result of the abundant amount of coffee I had consumed.
It turned out the alarm that had frightened me ever so much was set up by none other than Aunt Louise. Due to the fact exhaustion decreases the level of productivity, the sound was meant to cease employees and interns from overworking during frantic times such as this. However, simply with the unwillingness to depart the dream of a studio, as well as it being a pleasant way to bond with one another, a tradition within the interns ensued. On the premise of a slumber party, we continue on with some simple tasks such as filing or hand sewing in the amidst of light gossip and junk food.
It was a fluffy atmosphere, one that masqueraded all worries and cares into obliviance. Even if only for a little while, I was content.
"Tessa your phone’s going off. Again." A shouted remark interrupted my footstep out the lounge door, as well as my need to head to the washroom.
My perception didn’t fail to notice the hushed giggles that were initiated by the word ‘again’ as I pivoted around. And for the second time that night, I was absolutely perplexed by the scene surrounding me. The state of confusion was really quite irritating.
The three chuckled at my expression before informing me that it had been vibrating without pause for the past ten minutes.
"We wanted to see how long he’d last." Bethany admitted, the mischevious grin that tugged at her lips was too much for comfort.
He? As I made a beeline back towards the girls, my mind comtemplated all the possibilities of who ‘he’ could be in the brief two seconds it took. In the pathetic state of reality, I really wasn’t close with many guys. Especially not many that would consider me an option to call at near midnight of a time.
"I thought I told Jack to n-" My mumbled breath stopped short as my eyes acknowledged the screen.
Why it caught me off guard, I haven’t the slightest idea.
Or, perhaps, I did have a clue. For the whole of the week, quite an effort had been made on my part to limit our interaction from little to none. It may be irrational, but I was in no desire to even imagine the awkwardness that will surely pollute the air between us, much less actually face him. And tragically, life doesn’t come with a rewind button to my convience. So in my twisted state of opinion, I much rather lose Finn quietly, in a subtle manner, than dramatically.
The phone that was clutched in my one palm continued to buzz while I stood motionless. It must have been a puzzling sight, for questions soon slipped out one by one. Who was he? A boyfriend? Why was he calling? Harries, why does that name sound so familiar?? I suppose it was a blessing these girls were too focused on school and their careers to fritter any of their precious seconds on the internet to fully recognize Finn’s name. It meant a simple ‘It’s complicated’. was enough to satisfy as I fidgeted on the decision to ignore the call.
Better to sever from him completely than to linger around in disoriented bits. Right?
Then a blur of movements set my adrenaline ablaze.
"Hello, Tessa’s phone." Anna’s already pouty pink lips puckered and blew a kiss at me as her feet took off to the other side of the room.
A sly grin against my horror filled eyes that begged and pleaded for her to hang up, to cut the connection. But she persisted with her pretense of me not being present within the room as she continued to converse with Finn. Neither Meredith or Bethany were willing to help as they did nothing more than chuckle from their place on the carpet.
An exasperated sigh, I sunk into a part of the sofa and muffled my head under a pillow. Melodramatic? Perhaps. But my annoyance was ready to be expressed as I heard a cheery farewell, no doubt spoken into a phone.
"Anna what the hell?!" I exploded as I stood back up. Frustrated, hands tugging at the base of my hair.
"You said it was ‘complicated’," Her tone calm and collected as her fingers mocked quotation marks at the last word. "I just gave you an opportunity to make it uncomplicated."
Deep breath in, voice small, and head slightly shaking from confusion, “What?”
She smiled, in a warm, almost maternal nature, as she placed my phone back in my palm.
"You’re meeting him on Tower Bridge in half an hour. He sounds pretty desperate for your company right now."
It wasn’t a request I could decline. It was an order that was, in truth, not hard to accept. With a sigh, I stepped into Anna’s embrace, and spoke a quiet gratitude.
"Can I at least go pee first?"
"Oh I’m meeting someone, he’ll keep me safe. No worries." I assured the cab driver that worried for a young girl out alone at this time of night with an easy grin as I paid him for the ride.
Stepping out into the cool breeze, I took a second to gaze at the view. Tower Bridge, a gorgeous combination of suspension and bascule bridge over the River Thames. From this angle, I was captured by the dim lighting of the tower on my side, the fairytale-esque architechure of it.
I didn’t risk drifting far from near the base of the bridge though, as that was where Anna agreed on my behalf to meet Finn. Despite understanding her intentions were pure, as were the other girls’ as they nudged me out the door, I was still quite bothered at being placed in this situation.
Which didn’t help my pulse from racing a mile a minute.
I was alone, and that felt dangerous. Not because it was midnight in London. Not because I had nowhere to run to if something were to happen. But simply because I was alone. And my mind liked to wander into forbidden areas in times of stillness such as this;
We were mere silhouettes, that collided and fitted well. He groaned against the sound of my thumping heartbeat, and I twitched at the panting of his warm breath.
"We’re gonna be okay, right?" My eyes were fluttering close as the stray piece of conscious barely mumbled and quickly got shoved aside.
He didn’t hear. And I didn’t care.
There was tension from drunken lust. Heavy sounds and sweet nothings filled the void.
His tender kisses neared my collarbone as my fingers grasped and tugged at his soft chestnut tresses.
A gust of heavy wind rearranged pieces of my hair. With a shaky hand, I carefully tucked the loose strands behind my ears once more.
My lips twitched at a hint of a smile. Even at a low tone, the distinct polished accent was still audible. Uneasy waves crashed through the place just below the ribcage and down the back of the throat as I turned. Cautious. Nervous.
A/N: So it’s FINALLY done. I just wanna thank you all for putting up with so much crap from me. I know it must be frustrating. And to be honest, the craziness is just beginning as finals season approaches. I hope you know I’ll be trying my hardest to write as much as I can. Cause you know, things are starting to get interesting ;)
At least, I think so… Anyways, I had more planned for 23 but decided that it needed its own chapter. Nonetheless, I really hope you liked this chapter. Cause it actually means the world to me knowing you like my work. And as always, I’d love to hear some comments, feedback, or suggestions!
I love you all!