Weak Bridge Ahead

 

Previously on The Gates to James Dean –  It’s just jazz baby. Click here to read it!

Weak Bridge Ahead 

I have the next two days off. Considering mum dropped a bomb when she told me that her and dad have to stay in Paris another week, which means they will miss my 18th and the signing will have to be delayed. Timely, because I’d much rather have a meltdown while I’m alone, instead of having to keep up appearances at the bookstore.

Erin and I slurp milkshakes while we watch street performers in Covent Garden in the baking heat. Tourists cram the streets, but what do you expect on a Sunday in Covent Garden? I’m wearing a mid length kimono style dress. The Japanese inspired floral print in pastel colours was ‘a no brainer purchase.’ It’s a pretty dress with an ability to make one feel like a dainty miracle… helpful when in mid meltdown.

“I wish I could I wear something like that.” Erin says, sighing at her attire of T-shirt and denim shorts.

“Have you tried?”

“What’s the point? I’m too short and my boobs are odd sizes. Clothes like that never fit properly and I look weird in them. You’re lucky you can wear whatever you want.”

Since when? Not a true statement at all. “Okay.” I cut in. “What’s up?”

Erin is contemplating September. an important month for pre uni couples everywhere. Does she attempt a long distance relationship with Dylan, or break up with him as he waves her off, or should they break up now so it’s less traumatic when September rolls up?

Hmm. Tricky.

I have the opposite situation. I’m staying in London, Joules is also staying in London to study and Drew lives in London. I called Joules back last night by the way to politely decline his offer of cocktails, but said another time.

“I think we will try and make it work.” Erin said. “Many people have relationships who don’t even live in the same the country! I’m sure we can cope with the distance of a few hundred miles.” She rattles off unconvincingly, but those people are always older with life already figured out. What if he meets someone else? He’s bound to meet someone else. Life is ruined.” Erin continues.

“Hang on Erin. You don’t know that’s what will happen and what if YOU meet someone else, someone better? You could discover a whole new bigger life for yourself? It’s not all about Dylan and whathewill do. He could hold you back when you think about it.”

The horror on Erin’s face froze as my (rather inspiring I thought) opinion flew over her head and off into Leicester Square. So I tell her she’s right and long distance relationships can totally work, no reason for it not to. Life backs true love all the way. My first response sat true with my inner spirit and I feel a little fraudulent for back tracking.

Except, I do believe Cupid pulls his bow and shoots an arrow for everyone and when you find your match then poof, destiny is all over it. Distance is hardly a drama that would concern Cupid and destiny.

…Herein lies the real question, how do you find your match, the one with your name on the arrow, invisibly piercing their heart?

The conversation turns to Drew Scott and how I met him and our unfolding friendship…”How was I to know he is the son of a famous jazz family?” I add.

“They spent last year in Vegas. Drew’s a photographer and works part time at the Black leather.” I tell Erin, as though suddenly I’ve known him for three years.

“Are you kidding me?” Erin is aghast when I tell her about the family’s musical life. “Let me see.”

I pull up on google all about The Scotts; songs, stage scenes, concerts and paparazzi gossip. Erin is fixated on scrolling through the information on her phone and fires questions every 2.5 seconds each with a flick of her without raising her head.

“And he’s single? Erin asked. “He’s actually been taking you out and calling? Returning your messages? What about Joules? How do you know he’s for real? Looks like a player to me. Scroll, scroll, scroll.

“Yes, yes and Yes. Well so far it’s Joules ‘Mr. perfect gentleman’ who has played me – for a girl who he thinks is cool with sub par standards – Drew – hasn’t and doesn’t.”

“Joules isn’t all over the media with half the women in Vegas! OMG Tilly what are you doing?”

Like a game of tennis, our conversation continued in defense of our own sides, it was encouraging. NOT. I especially liked the part about how I’m too picky, expecting guys to be Jay Gatsby and that Joules is a decent guy. I could do far worse, like being Drew’s quest of his London leg on his journey.

“I agree with Vic.” Erin continued. “I want to be made up for you Tilly, I really do. I don’t want to see you shattered into bits and on the front page of The Daily Mail.”

Ouch. OUCH. “Settle for the good rather than going for the great, hey?” I reply.

“Would that be so bad? Look at me and Dylan, we’re perfect for each other. Happy, or at least until September we are. Greatcan be a false obtainable, wishful thinking at best”

The last of our shakes are slurped and we snake through the crowds towards the tube station, pausing to window shop at fashion ateliers we can’t afford. One giant window in particular boasts a full-length sequin dress, a little revealing, but aren’t they all? Erin’s rapid talking begins to drown as the rich burgundyand cut of the dress speaks louder to me than Erin does and I have to ask her to repeat herself, as I stare in the window at magnificence.

“I said I’m sorry for being mean.” Erin repeats and I love her for it, yet her ‘small thinking’ startled me today – We can be more than those before us and around us -not just in love, but in a career and our styles too. We can.

 

Who knows why today was different and why for the first time, I can see a crack between Erin and I…That I believe in greatnot ‘good’. Anything else feels ‘off’.

It’s a crack I didn’t expect to discover and I’m not sure what to do with it. This is my best friend after all not just a friend I might meet in the pub.

In all British honesty, I don’t know for sure Drew isn’t a dickhead, I don’t know for sure Joules isn’t either, but I do know that I’m not.

I wave bye to Erin at the tube barrier as I decide to walk my fifteen minute journey home, and I can’t help but think that the masses with the  ‘good enough mentality’ causes the weak ‘bridges’ they built in the first place to collapse. It’s an effect of their own making, as they throw their arms up yelling ‘why me life, why me?’ Instead of accepting  – that maybe – it’s time to get off the damn bridge, take a chance on yourself, and go for great.

Annaliese

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