“Beauty lies within us all like a pool of lava;
Sometimes it just needs a little help before your volcano can erupt!”
Ellie was sort of a friend of a friend of Hannah’s. She worked in one of those massive furniture shops which are just a huge expansive warehouse of furniture, all of which looks nice on the floor, so you buy it, then when it gets delivered it comes in a flat box, with thirteen thousand different pieces, and by the time you have it put together so that it somewhat resembles the item you thought you had bought, it no longer looks nice, because it has numerous blood stains on it, from the many, many times you punched it as hard as you could out of pure rampant frustration.
Thing is with these furniture stores, with so much stock and annoying little kids running around all day, things are bound to be damaged. And damaged goods don’t equate to strong sales figures. So they are quite regularly changing over floor stock. Therefore if you’re lucky enough to know someone who knows someone who knows someone who works in one of these shops you can often get some super discounts on old floor stock. The staff at Ellie’s shop, ‘Friendly Furnishings’ were not actually allowed to do good deals on floor stock for their friends. However it was one of those rules which “officially” is a rule, but is really just a guideline. If they don’t sell the damaged floor stock to someone they have to throw it out, so it may as well go to someone.
That was what we were doing today. Hannah explained that her friend Claudia had spoken to her friend Rachael, who had spoken to her friend Ellie, who had mentioned that they had available some damaged bunk beds and sofas which I could have for practically nothing, and would be able to set my place up just like Hannah’s. Hannah knew how much I had liked her decorating ideas when I had gone over for dinner. I thought it was very sweet how she had gone to so much effort for me to do the same.
So there we were standing at the back loading dock entrance to ‘Friendly Furnishings’, when a metal roller door opened and standing in front of us was Ellie. For me this was love at first site.
This was a quite a strange feeling for me. I had seen many attractive girls over the course of my existence, and had been quite fond of many of them from first impressions, but that had always been a more lustful feeling. This was different. I don’t really know how to explain it. Ellie was pretty, but she wasn’t the prettiest girl I have ever seen, but there was just something about her which felt right. As soon as I looked at her time seemed to stop for just enough time for me to have this premonition that Ellie would have a part to play in my life.
Ellie on the other hand barely seemed to notice me at all. As soon as she came out, she had a very quick catch up with Hannah, you know the type,
“Hey long time no see” One says
“I know it’s great to see you” The other says
“I know, we should catch up more often, so what have you been doing anyway?”
“Not much, what have you been doing?”
“Well good to see you”
“Good to see you too”
“You look well”
“Thank you, and you too”
Then you get on with what your there to do. Why has society made up so many of these little rituals of politeness we go through when we see people, like asking fifty people a day “how are you?”, and never hearing an honest answer once.
Anyways Ellie took us into the store room, we followed behind her and no body said a word. This gave me a good opportunity to stare at Ellie’s ass. She really did have a lovely behind. Ellie was not your typical beauty. She wasn’t overly thin, not fat but very curvy with just a little bit of extra meat around her bones, she was busty with quite a round bottom but she was short, only around five foot, and still really petite, just a curvy sort of petite. What made her really stand out though were her eyes. Her eyes looked like they took up half her face and they portrayed warmth I hadn’t ever felt from eyes before. They were brown which matched nicely with her dark brown hair and her tanned complexion, and she had the most perfect skin I had ever seen.
We walked deep into the maze of chairs, desks, beds and bookshelves until we came to a collection of bunk beds. Ellie pointed at about four or five identical ones, just in a row each one a different color, and said “you can take any of these for twenty bucks, they have been discontinued, some kid fell off the top of one and broke his arm, so we got sued. We won but we don’t sell them anymore”, “that was a lucky break!” Hannah replied, and we all had a little giggle at some poor kid’s horribly painful injury. Ha ha, hurt kid, funny stuff.
Hannah said “we’ll have that one”, pointing at a turquoise metal framed bunk, then turned to me and said “you need some color”, and said to Ellie “remember to deliver it without the bottom bunk”.
Then Ellie walked us over to a selection of couches. Before we reached them Hannah ran over to them and launched herself at a purple fluffy sofa and yelled out to me “You’re definitely getting this one”. This is when Ellie finally actually noticed me.
You know how when you’re out in a group of three, and one of the group does something slightly crazy or off the wall? Well one of our little social traditions in a situation like this is for the other two to look at each other and giggle and say some lame line like “how nuts is she” and then giggle some more.
Well that’s what Ellie and I did here. Only instead of some lame joke, we just caught each others eyes, and had a brief moment of pure eye contact. I felt like I had been caught in a tractor beam straight from her eyes, and it felt like I would never be able to look away. The best thing was Ellie was looking back, acting like she was having a similar science fiction inspired physical reaction. It was only an instant, but it changed me forever.
“Come over here and sit next to me!” Hannah yelled at me. I went and sat on the couch next to her. It was incredibly comfortable, just seemed to engulf you. Hannah said she needed to test one thing and asked me to get off for a second, which I did, then Hannah proceeded to lie on the coach on her back and spread her leg and start rocking back and forth like some invisible man was having sex with her. This made us all laugh and provided me with another opportunity to have a brief exchange of eye contact with Ellie.
“How much can Jas have this one for?” Hannah asked
“You’re in luck…that’s actually got a rip in the material, but it’s only at the back, are you putting it up against a wall, cause if so it’s basically perfect and you can have it for thirty bucks” Ellie replied, mostly looking at Hannah, but three or four times sneaking a look at me out of the corner of her eyes.
“Ok he’ll take it” Hannah replied “we better let you get back to work”
“Oh shit…you’re right….ok I’ll let you know when I can get it delivered…nice to see you again Hannah….nice to meet you Jas” and with that Ellie walked away off towards the near by elevators.
Hannah and I walked our way back through the maze towards the roller doors we had come in, however just before we got out of view I turned to have one more quick look at Ellie, and to my absolute joy at that exact moment Ellie also turned to have one more quick look at me. We caught eyes again and this time gave each other a brief smile, before my view of her was obstructed by the china hutch I was walking past, and by the time I had gotten past it she was gone.
Four days passed with only about four seconds with Ellie not on my mind, until my new couch and bed arrived. Hannah came around to help me set it up, and brought with her six milk crates, six cushions, and six covers for them – three purple and three turquoise, her present for me. Hannah has always been so sweet to me. We threw my old ratty, blood stained, cum stained, food stained bed onto the street, and set up the bunk with the sofa under it, and the home made milk crate chairs/tables in different places.
My apartment suddenly seemed like a home. The color added so much, made it feel happier, and friendlier, and more comfortable, and just not a depressing hole like before. I thanked Hannah a million times for all she had done for me, and she said seeing my face made it more than worth it, and this made me want to try and stop smiling, and Hannah said “you cant stop, can you?” and this made me try and stop even more, and Hannah hugged me, and I stood there feeling embarrassed for a few moments.
That night, despite my bed being about three thousand times more comfortable than my old bed, I barely slept a wink. I spent the whole night thinking about Ellie. I created a thousand fantasies of us being together, and they all made me feel great. For a moment! Then I would remember it was nothing but a couple of nice looks - she was far from my true love forever. Then I would tell myself to stop thinking like that, and would drift off into another fantasy with Ellie by my side.
As the birds started to sing their songs to let me know that it was a new day outside I heard a voice “What can I do right now to make my life better today?” It was the voice in my head. I remembered my pact with myself, if I know something that I can do which will improve my life today, then I have to do it – no matter how scary.
I knew I had to go back to ‘Friendly Furnishings’ and ask Ellie out. But how? I’d never asked anyone out before, how do you just go up to a girl in a furniture shop and ask her out? I spent about three hours pacing around my apartment, doing figure eights around my milk crate chairs, trying to come up with a plan.
After much deliberation I finally came up with something. I’d walk in, try and spot her, and see what happens. Not really a brilliant plan, but hey at least I was going to have a go, that’s a big step for me.
I put the David Gray song ‘....Babylon....’ on the stereo and pumped up the volume, especially listening to the line “If you want it….come and get it….for crying out loud”. That’s right, I wanted Ellie, I had to go out and get her!
Then I got dressed up in one of the funky outfits Hannah had picked out for me and had a look in the mirror. Feeling like a moron I took off those clothes and put on my usual kind of clothes and had another look in the mirror. Looking like a loser I pulled off those clothes and put back on Hannah’s outfit and left the house.
I trembled my way down to the train station, then I shook my way along the train ride, and then trembled some more on my walk to her work, then stood out side for a while. “If you want it come and get it for crying out loud….what will improve my life today?.....If you want it come and get it for crying out loud…..what will improve my life today” I mumbled to myself over and over, more as a way of delaying entry rather than psyching myself up. Then I started to think about how I would feel if I went through with it and she said yes, just the thought of that was about the nicest feeling I had ever felt, the real thing must be incredible. It was worth the risk. So in I went. Holy fuck, I WENT IN!!
Now as I mentioned before this shop was enormous about the size of four football fields, and it’s not just a big open space, it’s all sorts of rooms and displays, and I had never even seen Ellie in there, we only saw each other in the warehouse that time, so I had no idea which department she was in, or even if she was working on this particular day.
So to make a long story short I spent the next four hours walking around a furniture store. Yes that’s right four hours. Four hours in a furniture store is not fun, four fucking hours nervously trying to psyche yourself into doing something potentially very humiliating is not fun, trying not to be spotted by the seventeen staff members who asked if I needed any help three and a half hours ago isn’t fun, and walking to the fucking train station after finally giving in and being crushed is not fun.
Sitting on a train and hearing
“Hey its Jason right?......I’m Ellie, we met the other day” Isn’t fucking bad, despite the immediate shock and near suicide attempt at the gut wrenching stress of suddenly being faced with your love at first site without the opportunity to prepare yourself.
“Hi….how are you…….um…..yeah….JayJay actually” I said “You fucking retarded moron” I thought to myself
“Oh….I was sure Hannah said it was Jason”
“Well it is….Jason Junior…..so my friends call me JayJay….well sometimes….well some of them….you know other people…..that I know” I replied “Well you have officially fucked it for yourself I moaned to myself
“Ok well I’ll call you JayJay then….it’s cute!”
“Thanks….and I’ll call you Ellie” what is fucking wrong with me
“Well that is my name”
“Yeah….well I wouldn’t want to call you Stephanie then would I?”
“Ha ha ha ha…no I guess not” She giggled
“Nice save dickface” I thought “So what have you been up to today?” I asked
“Just work…had the whole day in the warehouse today…..it was so draining….I need a nice hot bath”
“Fuck you god you cunt….you knew I was coming and put her in the warehouse…what good was that supposed to do me……..oh no wait…hang on….you also had her come up to me on the train….I’m sorry god…thank you so much for this…I really appreciate it…will you forgive me for that other comment….been a stressful day…..you sort of have to forgive me anyway don’t you?....all that making your son die such a painful death and all…well sorry you must get sick of people reminding you of that all the time” I thought “Yeah that sounds nice” I said
“Yeah you look like you have had a long day….what did you get up to?”
“Just walking around the shops”
“You didn’t buy anything?”
“Oh that sucks…..but shopping is still fun anyway”
“Yeah it can be alright”
“So where do you live?” she asked, as she flicked her head so her gorgeous brown hair dropped back behind her shoulder
“I get off in two stops…I’m just around the corner from the shops”
“Oh cool…near me…next stop is mine”
“Oh cool….yeah we must be really close…we should hang out sometime” I said “Oh my fucking god…..did you just really say that….who the fuck are you kidding?” I thought
“Sure that sounds great” she said as I swallowed the vomit which had just come into my mouth
“Did she really just fucking say ‘that would be great’….if you want it come and get it…..what should I do today….just finish the job you idiot….she gave you the window…stop thinking and say it…now…..now….now…..now…..fucking now….fucking nooooooow” I thought “You should give me your phone number” I mumbled
“Oh ok…..sure….have you got your cell with you?” I gave her my phone and she stored her name and number on to my memory. Then she got up as the train was pulling up to her station.
“Nice to see you JayJay!” she said
“Nice to see you too…..seeya” I replied
“SOMETIMES LIIIIIFE THROWS YOU NOTHING BUT TROUBLE – BUT NOT TODAY – NOT TODAY – ALL MYYYYYY TROUBLE HAS GOOOOONE AWAY” I sang to myself as loudly as I have ever sung anything in a public space before, just for a little while forgetting I was still on a train, and forcing weird looks from all the other passengers. I didn’t care though, not today.
I got off the train at my stop then I skipped my way back to my apartment floating like a butterfly which has just accidentally flown through someone’s smoke rings from the pot he was puffing on.