Like any show there is always an after show party.
Once the show ended, I went to catch Ben to congratulate him. He seemed genuinely happy to see me. (And I’m not just saying that) I told him what a great show it was. We got talking and he asked if I would come for dessert with the rest of the gang. He looked hopeful and I said I would need to check with Cara. Luckily she agreed.
Whilst Ben and a few volunteers were stacking the chairs; Nick, Cara and I caught up. If you’re wondering why we didn’t offer to help; we did, but were told – it’s all been taken care of. Nick brought up the topic of Freddie Ljungberg. Those that know me, will know that Ljungberg; a) is a great footballer, b) the man who modelled CK underwear and looked hot. Even now. Cara was still chuckling away as she knew my fascination with him. As did Nick to be honest. The only one who didn’t at that point was Ben. But then why would he?
Nick was and still is a good friend and got me through when times were tough. (The year we worked together.) He knew quite a lot about me as a friend and that was the reason we survived the year. You could say that Nick was my partner in crime, just like Lara and Abi. I asked Nick if he was coming for dessert. But he declined, because he said he was way too old. He is only a couple of years older than me and I’m only in my early thirties.
I always thought I was a strong person in my twenties, but I am most definitely stronger, confident, self-assured now. Age makes you wiser and you learn from your mistakes. That’s what I think – am I alone?
Anyway back to the present topic. Nick said he wasn’t going for dessert and whatever I tried he wasn’t being persuaded. But he did invite me to the end of year do, he told me to come along. I said it would depend on when it was and I’d confirm with Lara. Once the hall had been cleared, Nick left. Cara and I headed to the car so we could follow the boys to the dessert place in town. Some where along the way we lost them. So I parked in the usual place – by the cinema.
Cara and I made our to the dessert place and heard the group before we saw them. They were situated at the back of the establishment. We went over and sat down on an empty table as the others were pretty full. Some of the kids came over to say hello. Cara ordered a dessert and I got a hot chocolate. Yes, it was in the middle of the summer, but I wasn’t hungry. Ben joined us shortly afterwards – as he was doing the rounds.
Ben joined us shortly afterwards – as he was doing the rounds. He ordered food as he hadn’t eaten food before the show. The three of us were chatting away about things in general. I think it (I can’t actually remember) that it was more Ben and myself talking than Cara, although she did chip in. Before long, another colleague turned up with her husband (their children had been part of the show). Noah and Emma were surprised to see me; just as Nick had been. After catching up with them, Cara and I decided to leave as it was still a school night.
Ben was outside with a couple of children who were waiting to be collected. We said bye and he gave me a hug. It was what we always did. No awkwardness and as far as I could remember, not much else. I was dreading the goodbye as I wasn’t sure where I stood. Strange as it seemed, for the first time ever; I didn’t know where I stood with Ben.
Remember we were (are) just friends. (His favourite phrase)