Up in the air

  • Up in the air


  • Artur
    Floss you don’t deserve this but anyway we are going to celebrate your birthday in a hot air balloon

    Floss
    Why don’t I deserve it? ( she looked at him with a smirk)


    Artur
  • You know full well. ( he looked down at her and kissed the top of her head) I promised myself I wouldn’t be made to look silly like last time and yet, here we are again.

    Floss
    Yeah, I know. I know. Here we are again. Moving on….
    ( They were the only people in the hot air balloon – apart from the guy operating the gas, so conversation was easy. Artur handed Floss a glass of champagne from the hamper he had bought).
    Thank you. Anything else in there?  (And she tried to look inside before he snapped it shut)

  • Artur
    Never you mind. There may be

    (Conversation was quiet for a minute whist they sipped their drink and admired the view. A huge puff of gas brought them back to the present

    Floss
    I was just remembering the first time I bolted. It was sort of funny, as well as slightly scarey

    Artur
    Well funny for you Madam, but not for me. I really do think you need help you know. It’s not normal to keep hitching up your skirts and running. Metaphorically speaking that is…….( and he raised his glass which silenced her )    I mean, if you didn’t want to meet why the Hell did you drive over a hundred miles just to turn around again. Why didn’t you just call and say it was off?

    Floss
    ( quiet for a minute and then she said ). Well I had paid for the Dartford Crossing so I thought I wouldn’t waste it. And I just hoped I might change my mind by the timeI got there

    Artur
    ( raises his eyebrows)
    But you wasted more on petrol you stupid Bim. It just wasn’t nice for Robbie either. He was looking forward to a nice walk and all he got was bundled into the car and a two hour drive.

    Floss
    I didn’t ask you to follow me

    Artur
    Well I didn’t know what was going on. For fucks sake, do you know how bonkers you seem?

    Floss ( laughing)
    I have to admit watching you in my rear view mirror was quite funny. Well, maybe just a little bit. You and that dog just standing in the road watching me drive away. 

  • Artur
    You know many women would see me as a bit of a catch. Well most women apart from you

    Floss
    Well if you don’t think I am interested why do you keep asking me out?

    Artur
    Do you know at three in the morning I often ask that self same thing myself. Anyway look at the view it is rather lovely. Are you warm enough? There are blankets over there. ( and he went and got a blanket. Wrapped it around her and kissed her on the top of her head)

    Floss
    Do you do that because I am small?

    Artur
    what?

    Floss
    You know what. Kissing me on the head like I am a little girl

  • Artur                                                                                                                                                  Well you are my little girl

    Floss
    Don’t go building up your part. I may bolt.

    Artur ( laughing)
    I would like to see that bearing in mind we are hundreds of feet above the ground. It was a good choice booking this.. You cant run!

    Floss ( laughing also)
    I remember driving home from your place and you had parked upon my drive having beaten me. I couldn’t believe it. Although I did stop off at the Sainsbury near you and buy my shopping..

    Artur
    Well there you are then. I only stopped for a Pee. Not a weekly shop. No wonder I beat you. But you still continued to be mean and wouldn’t let me in to use the bathroom .

    Floss (laughing again)
    I remember. You had to sneak off to the Beach and find a bush. Lucky it was dark. ( silence ) The bracelet is lovely. Thank you

    Artur
    Yes well if you don’t behave there won’t be any more!

    Floss
    That makes me sound like a kept woman. A Stepford Wife

    Artur
    Agh you wanted to be one of those

    Floss
    Yes I did. Once. A long time ago. Not now. Now I just like bolting ( and she raised her glass towards him)  Have you forgiven me for Christmas Eve?


  • Artur
    Absolutely not. That was absolutely unforgivable. Fancy just getting up and leaving the table and not saying a word

    Floss
    Oh come on. I did tell the people at the table next door and they promised to say something to you when you returned. It’s not like I just up and left and didn’t say anything

    Artur – wincing
    it’s painful to remember and YOU did just up and leave and you didn’t say a word to me. Can you imagine how I felt coming back and seeing your seat empty? I knew you had left. I just knew it. I walked around hoping to see you up at the Bar or somewhere and it was only when I came back and sat down, trying to look as if it was all normal that the bloke next door told me. And boy did he go to town telling me. Bloody Arse

    Floss (letting out a huge laugh)
    Oh I wish I could have been there

    Artur ( looks at her and glares)
    Well obviously you don’t otherwise you wouldn’t have left but I can reassure you that it wasn’t nice having some Oik bend over and tell me with his beery breath that “my bird” had said goodbye and left. And on Christmas Eve as well. You do take the ruddy biscuit, Floss, you really do

    Floss
    Ah but you did follow me ( and she taps her nose in a knowing way)

    Artur

    Only because I was worried and wanted to know you got home safely. There were lots of drunks about and I was concerned for your safety. Although on reflection if anyone wanted to run off with you I think they would be welcome to you. And you had smashed down half a bottle of champagne; looked decidedly unsteady on your feet and who knows what you would have done. Floss, answer me this, WHY DO YOU DO IT?

    Floss                                                                                                                                                       i don’t know. , I just get panicked I guess. Or was bored…….

    Artur
    Cheeky Cow. Thanks. ( and he turned away ). Look, I have a lot of good traits. A lot of women would give their eye teeth to be with me

    Floss
    Okay – name them,

    Artur
    I live in a beautiful apartment overlooking the sea at Southend, It has delightful views of both the water and the infamous Southend pier. A wonderful 1930s Art Deco building. It’s very sought after.

    Floss
    Hmm It was built more for the Jewish community than for Gentiles. But yes, lovely all the same. However it smells of gefilte fish around the common ways which means I have to hold my nose until I get to your door. I say a full ten points for the wonderful location. Take 4 off for the cooking smells and no ventilation

    Artur
    I have a very smart black jag. Top of the range. Full spec. Able to shoot up and down the M25 at will. Blah Blah

    Floss
    With personalised number plates. Very infra dig. The personalised number plates mean a minus point on the scoring

    Artur
    Ah this is something you like. My villa in Cyprus. Extra points have been awarded by you, I know, for the fact that it is northern Cyprus and not in the South.

    Floss
    Take five points away that it is a modern design in a gated community. I had dreams of it being in an Olive Grove with a couple of donkeys roaming freely and me going out there each morning picking lemons to squeeze into the pitcher of Pimms. A wonderfully rural property with wooden shutters and tiled floors and a balcony to have my early morning coffee on whilst I wafted around in a cheesecloth kaftan and feet bare . Not a glass and steel design banged up against your neighbours. However, we can add ten points for the fact that it did have its own private pool and an en-suite with every one of the four bedrooms. However Sweetie, it just goes to show that you can take the boy out of Essex, but not Essex out of the boy. ( she ducks as Artur goes to flick her )

    Artur
    Miaow. You lived here once you know ( and he refills her glass)
    I am the senior partner in a prestigious firm of Accountants. I have a very nice corner office. My own bathroom off it …..

    Floss ( interrupting)
    Yes, why is that?. (he didn’t reply). And a wonderfully soft and comfy sofa which looked rather like a Bonkette on which maybe previous conquests have been . So I will award ten points here for optimism, however misplaced

    Artur
    I always take your calls, however busy I am and you know I was busy these past few weeks with end of tax year.

    Floss
    ( smiling at him from under her hat). Yes, I would hear you get up from your desk, open the door and whisper “ hold my calls for a little while please ” to an unknown person beyond and so I will award you fifty fuckin’ points for paying attention and making me feel important especially as it was, as you kept reminding me, during the “End of TaxYear” when I knew you were super busy

    Artur
    I took you to some rather sumptuous places to eat. We had copious cocktails at the American Bar. And private dining in Rules ( somewhere you had wanted to eat in since 1977).

    Floss
    True. True. But I didn’t like the way you got smashed on two Mint Juleps. That makes you a lightweight and I had to assist you across The Strand and up Maiden Lane for dinner Not a good look and so I must deduct more points for non chivalrous behaviour.

    Artur
    I booked a holiday to Costa Rica as a surprise for you because you said you wanted some sunshine. I also said if you didn’t want to go bird watching I could arrange for you to go horse riding instead. Blimey Floss, you also said you hated flying coach, so I upgraded to business ! How did I get that wrong?

    Floss
    You booked an “all inclusive” on a large complex. I was not going to be pushing my tray along the buffet table with one hundred and fifty other Brits any time soon. No Siree!

    They both stopped and took in the view. Floss was pleased for the blanket and pulled it more tightly around her. He went and put his arms around her to keep the chill away. She lent against him

    Artur
    Be nice to me. I bought you jewellery for Christmas and even though you bolted on me on Christmas Eve, during dinner, I still said you were allowed to keep it as a reminder of what you will come to regret losing. And you will you know, you will regret this. ( he smiled at her )

    Floss
    That’s confidence for you. Didn’t your wife say you were a narcissist ?

    Artur
    Ex Wife ( he corrected her with an old fashioned look). That drive home up the M25 was miserable. Awful. I felt so desolate. You can be such a mean girl.

    Floss
    You said it was an easy drive home. No one was about

    Artur
    Well they weren’t but I wasn’t going home in the best of circumstances

    Floss
    Well you had an early night. Don’t complain and you blocked me on What’s Ap so if I had wanted to apologise I couldn’t have done.

    Artur
    Did you want to?

    Floss

    Probably not! But you shouldn’t block me. Anyway why are you taking me out today? You said you had met someone who was very nice and appreciated you

    Artur
    I have and she does

    Floss’
    So why are you here? ( she pouted and crossed her arms)

    Artur
    That,my dear, is the ten million dollar question. I guess I must just love being treated badly, especially by you

    Floss
    I bet she’s boring. Where does she live?

    Artur
    Billericay. And don’t say anything mean about it

    Floss
    No one lives in Billericay

    Artur
    She does. Anyway I am saving a lot of money on fuel. She doesn’t bolt either

    Floss
    Hmmm Did you buy her jewellery for Christmas? Does she know you are taking me out today


  • Artur
    I didn’t know her at Christmas. Sort of. I said I had a previous engagement which was hard to cancel

    Floss
    What are you doing about the holiday? Cancelling it?

    Artur
    Nope! I just changed the name. I am taking Pamela instead

    Floss
    Who is Pamela? The boring Bint from Billericay? Hmm. A lot of it literation there. I should remember that … boring bint from Billericay

    Artur
    You said you didn’t want to go there as it was all inclusive on a huge complex. Now shut up and enjoy the view. actually on second thoughts, close your eyes. I have something I want to give you.

    Artur turned to get something out of the hamper. By the time he had found it and turned back, Floss had disappeared .

    So did she bolt – or did she fall?



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