Following Amazon Tom handing over the chocolate boost bar, I immediately felt at ease. As we walked over to the bar, I clutched the chocolate bar in my hand; this was the first piece of food I had encountered all day and I was fighting the urge to rip the packet open and inhale the snack but thought this may give off a less than lady like demean (little did I know, I was on track to diminish that anyway).
I struck up conversation with Tom to distract myself from the hunger pains. We chatted about work mainly; he had a pretty cool job working for Amazon and as he talked about the office. My current job working in the city was working for a small business and I missed the corporate world terribly (said no one ever), but I did.
Tom had organised for us to have drink at a bar close to Liverpool Street. We managed to find a seat and after Tom ordered a bottle of red, we sat down and got to know one another. Turns out my pre-date nerves had been totally unnecessary; we had a lot in common! We talked about Netflix series (and how we were both guilty of binge watching), work, the gym and I couldn’t believe how easy it was to talk Tom, and it was genuinely like meeting an old friend.
However, as the conversation continued -so did the wine. (gulp) As I hadn’t eaten all day I was starting to feel a little light headed. I shrugged off my tipsiness, I would just limit myself to one more glass (said no one ever)…
Two bottles later and the conversation had moved from intellectual to idiocy. Tom and I joked around and by this point I was having too much fun to notice it was 12pm and I still hadn’t eaten. Mid conversation; I excused myself to the bathroom. As I stood up, it seemed the room stood up with me (you know the feeling? When the walls move?) and I teetered like Bambi in my heels. Tom reached out his arm to balance me “Shall I get us some food?” He asked. I actually wanted to kiss him (and would do more than that later); food sounded like the best thing EVER. I made my way to the bathroom and once in there tried to sober myself up.
I re-applied my make up and had a short sharp word with myself in the mirror. When I arrived back at the table Tom had ordered a platter of food to eat. I ate in as lady like a manner I could manage whilst starving. I even offered Tom the last piece of breaded chicken when in reality all I wanted to snatch it from him and growl like some rabid wild hyena. In my absence and much to my dismay Tom had ordered another bottle of wine with the food and this is the part of the story that takes the form of drunken flashes rather than a realistic account of the date.
From what I remember after the last bottle (and have been reminded by Tom on many occasions); I blurted out the whole Matt and I drama (to which Tom listened politely and was extremely empathetic), about the poor career choices I thought I had made since moving to the city. I then; took my shoes off in protest (of nothing) followed by taking a selfie of both Tom and I then sent it to my mum (yup, I have no words either and it doesn’t feel better writing it second time round) Tom as I know you are reading this my lovely friend – thank you for putting up with me on that date (and since) – you deserved a medal!
As I left the bar (shoeless) I made the informed (and classy) decision that it wasn’t the best idea to get the tube home.
“Tom!” I shouted, putting my hand on my chest, clearly ready to make some loud drunk announcement at 1am. “Can I tell you something? And it’s a big secret” (this was not a big secret…) Tom agreed to hear more…
“I, Tom” I continued “have never ever ever ever had a one night stand” I giggled and shh’d him.
Surprisingly, Tom didn’t ask too many questions about my announcement nor did he put up much of a fight when I insisted on staying at his place. As such, my first Tinder date extended a little more than I had originally imagined and Tom was my first one night stand… but more on one night stands later…
I was startled from my sleep by the loudest horn noise. I sat bolt upright and my head span. I covered my hung-over eyes that had been blinded by the morning light. Wait? Morning light? Why could I see morning light? I had blackout blinds. My head pounded and at that moment my brain couldn’t even comprehend my current situation. I opened my eyes more slowly than the first time round and let them adjust to my surroundings. Wait … This wasn’t my bedroom… Where was I? … I looked around the room and felt a little lost. I was lying in the standard young professional rented London apartment, only issue was – it wasn’t mine!
“Morning” said a male voice. I jumped so hard I nearly fell off the bed. I turned (too quickly for my fuzzy head) and there was a topless Tom. “You feeling okay?” He asked. Safe to say; I wasn’t feeling okay, I didn’t know where I was, I was supposed to be in work, my head pounded and as reality dawned on me – I wasn’t feeling as proud of my one night stand as I was last night.
“What time is it?” I asked, panicked. “And where are I?” Tom calmed me. “Becky, it’s 730am and you’re in Bethnal Green”
I breathed a sigh of relief, okay, drama over; I was two stops away from work and home on the central line and I wasn’t due in work for another 2 hours.
My brain calmed and the evening quickly pieced back together. A kaleidoscope of laughs, selfies and shoe-less antics flooded back this was then followed by a lot of naked flashes and I just wanted the ground to swallow me up.
Tom immediately brushed it off and invited me for breakfast. We had food and drank coffee, although I still couldn’t shake the embarrassment. After back and forth chat we basically talked one another out of going to the office and called in to “work from home” We spent the morning chatting (sober), eating and watching TV.
Even after my maiden voyage in the “one night stand” sea, Tom was very lovely and made me feel relaxed. I realised (sober) how well got on; he really made me laugh and I felt like I could actually talk to him as a friend. Sure, without a few wines, I didn’t have the same “jump him” urge, but he was such a nice guy and seemed so genuine.
After a lovely (and slightly slutty) first date, I left Tom’s place and got on the tube home. I have to (shamefully) admit, that leaving, I was marginally proud of myself. I had never had a one night stand and in that moment, walking home in my work dress still slightly drunk; I could finally say I had done it.
(Just a quick note; my first POD cast will talking about one night sands as I think there are different views on this, so keep your ears peeled.)
When I got home, I checked my phone and there was a message from Tom “Hey B I had fun today :)” That was sweet! Beneath his message notifications from tinder filled my phone with little red flames.
I hadn’t actually been talking to anyone since chatting with Tom and hadn’t been active on Tinder for a week or so. I’m terrible at spinning plates, let alone men and if I dated more than one, I would slip up and call them by the wrong name or something. Given I was embarking on one night stands, I didn’t think wrong name calling would be appropriate and opened on to Tom’s profile…
“Tom – last active 1 hour ago ”
Now…I am under no illusion that all guys (and girls) are solely committed/married after one Tinder date but 1 hour ago, I had been in Tom’s bed, I’ve got to be honest… didn’t feel great. Was this the world of dating? Swiping post-cordial? I gave up and put my phone down.
Over the next couple of months alongside work and the nights out; Tom and I continued to see one another. Both being foodies meant that we spent most of our time eating out and cooking. As we continued to see one another my feelings towards Tom developed although not in the way I had quite hoped. I had mixed feeling about him; on paper – he was great and I did fancy him but there was something I could never put my finger on … sometimes it felt more like a friendship that anything else.
On one particular date Tom and I decided to head to one of my favourite burger joints in London.
I met Tom at our usual spot at Liverpool Street station, it was both our first times at the burger place. “So.” I asked “Any clue on direction?” Tom didn’t have a clue so pulled his phone out. Much to my surprise; red flamed notifications filled his phone. He closed the notes down quickly and looked rather sheepish. I rolled my eyes, how did someone have the time to talk so much? We were now a couple of months down the line and although we hadn’t had the “where is this going” conversation, I was a little miffed yet again.
We had another nice dinner and after a relaxed evening; headed home. While on the way home my girly brain had an overthink. Maybe I wasn’t doing this dating thing right? Should I be dating more than one guy? Did I even have time to talk to people let alone date someone else?
The next day (which was a standard Friday night) I was out in London with Mini. She asked how things were going with Tom and I told her about the tinder addiction I was dealing with. She laughed. “You are a few of months down the line, maybe have a chat to him?” she said “Do you even know if you like him long term B?” I thought about this for a minute. I did like Tom, on paper he was perfect but something still wasn’t sitting right. “Maybe just keep your options open, he seems to be” I liked Mini’s attitude. She was right, why couldn’t I play the field? (Turns out I’m terrible at it) but at the time I thought it would be a great idea.
After a boozy Friday night, I headed home. Tom called me drunk (the usual) telling me how much he liked me. Honestly, boys and mixed messages? And women are supposed to be the complicated ones eh?
Following the drunk call with Tom, I jumped into bed and popped my phone on charge. As I dozed off my phone vibrated – I leaned over half expecting to see another message from Tom and to my surprise, it was actually a match I had made a while back.
“Hi B, how’s your Friday evening been?”
I put the phone back down, I would respond to that in the morning.
When I woke the next day, I took some time out for me. I headed over to the Olympic Park with Mini where we held boot camp and got some breakfast at one of my fave brunch spots; Hatch in Homerton. I would strongly recommend their brunch to anyone visiting East London. Their food is fab and I am a massive advocate of supporting local businesses rather than the “Breakfast clubs” of the world.
Over brunch, Oscar and I had started to message…
“So what do you do?” Oscar asked.
I replied “I work in a small tech firm”
“That’s strange” he said “I work for a tech company, we may know the same people”
“Who do you work for?” I asked (not expecting know the same people)
“Oh I work for Google…”
Okay, so I now had Amazon and Google (you couldn’t write it) After laughing inwardly to myself Oscar and I went on to arrange a date for the following weekend.
As the week ran through, I started to realise just how bad I was at the whole “double dating”. I was already starting to trip up; I kept mentioning things to Oscar that I had said to Tom that neither of them knew about and with working, studying and generally living life I found it difficult to text 2 guys at once. Hats off to anyone who dates numerous people, it’s like a full time job and to idiots like Matt who basically lead double lives – you deserve a medal, I am not sure how you have the admin time!
Thursday came round and Tom and I had another mid-week date lined up. He cooked me dinner and we watched family guy on the sofa. Things were weird with Tom, he was such a nice guy made me feel at home and I could talk to him about anything but there still wasn’t a huge spark no matter how much I willed it. Plus his phone was still lit up with red flames every time we met, so we clearly were on different pages. After another nice evening, we went to bed early as we were up early for work the next day.
My phone rang and bolted me out of my sleep. That wasn’t my usual alarm? I grabbed my phone off the bedside table quickly not wanting to wake Tom. It was my friend Shell who I sometimes got the tube into work with, she would be wondering where I was. I answered and whispered…
“Hey! I stayed out last night I won’t be on the normal tube time”
“Oh hey girl” she almost shouted – Shell was always full of energy and was obviously already out and about. Her voice was so energetic and bubbly that if my whispering hadn’t woken Tom, this conversation probably would have. “No worries! She said and oooooo you dirty stop out, which one is this Amazon or Google guy” I froze, her voice was so clear and loud the “Amazon Google” comment basically hung in the air of the silent bedroom! I turned over slowly praying Tom wouldn’t be awake (pleasedontbeawakepleasedontbeawake) – nope, just my luck, there was Tom wide awake and gave me a little wave. He’d obviously heard.
“Erm … So … I … Err” no words came out and for anyone who knows me that isn’t the norm.
“Look B, just don’t worry about it” he said and got out of bed to get ready.
I felt bad, maybe Tom wasn’t worried about it, maybe he was but what I did know at that moment after a couple of months seeing Tom I needed to make a decision as the whole double dating thing wasn’t for me; never will be. Tom left before me and I decided to drop him a message and be transparent. I wasn’t sure what I wanted from Tom but this would hopefully clear things up…
“Hey Tom, so I’m sorry about this morning. I just wanted to be honest as the whole thing weirded me out a little. I’m not sure what this is or even how I feel about it but I do know I’m not the type of girl who dates multiple guys and if this just keeps going how it is although I’m having fun it just seems kind of pointless, you know?”
Tom responded in a way similar to mine saying how busy work was and the fact that he was moving didn’t help. He wasn’t sure what he wanted either. After chatting, it was obvious we weren’t heading in a direction together; we mutually decided to remain friends. (Little did I know – this wouldn’t be the last between Tom and I, but more of that later in the story)
As I left Tom’s apartment, I didn’t feel sad or anxious, it felt like it was meant to happen. I put my headphones in and headed off to work to enjoy my Friday and pay day drinks. Oscar text me to confirm we were still meeting the next day, I honestly couldn’t be bothered but it wasn’t really fair to cancel.
Saturday came round and I made minimal effort for the date. I pulled on jeans and a white top coupled with some heels and headed off to meet Oscar in the agreed bar in Central. I arrived slightly early so grabbed a drink and sat at the bar. This time I didn’t have any first date nerves. My phone vibrated and it was Oscar “I’m so sorry- I’m running slightly late” I didn’t mind – I ordered another cocktail from the bartender (that one would be on Oscar). As I was sipping my drink; I looked over towards the door and saw Oscar rush into the bar looking flustered. He was dressed very well and had clearly made an effort. As I watched him look around panicked I was reminded of when Tom and I had first met when I had been all over the place. I immediately warmed to him and walked over to put him out of his misery. His back to me, I tapped his shoulder and he spun round.”Oscar – Hi, I’m B!” I said.
Oscar smiled clearly relieved, my gut immediately told me Oscar was a good guy and the next few months would certainly be fun (and will make you an interesting read)…
Thanks for reading again!