4. Disappointment

Gemma had just got back from work. It was dinner time and I had just finish plating mom's dish for our meal.

"So, my mom said hi," I pointed to mom's cooking on our small dining table.

"Oh my god, I miss you! and your mom is the best!"

We laughed and start to eat our dinner while we talk about everything that we've been missing out from each other.

"Well, I can't believe you skipped the most awaited Brice Durant's book signing event."

"Right?! I hope he's not upset that I decided not to go..."

Gemma throws a napkin at me to stop me from continuing my words.

"Shut up before I throw a kitchen knife at you." She muttered while spooning mom's casserole in between her words.

"Jeez, cuz...didn't know you've become this bloodthirsty since I'm gone."

She shrugged and continue eating mom's cooking.

"...anyway, you looked like you've actually been working your ass off, can I see the paintings?"

"It's still packed in my room. Why don't I show you in the morning, I want to sleep early tonight. It was a long drive."

"Sure." She drinks the clear water and starts piling the empty dishes in the sink while I tidy up the leftovers.

And by sleeping early I mean cozying and wrapped myself in a blanket while continuing to read my honey bun bun's book.

"Oh, I missed you so much." I smiled giddily while stroking his face printed on the back cover of the book.

"I shall sleep horny and peacefully tonight." I bite my lip while talking to myself as I couldn't contain the little sparks of happiness.

Though reality hits when morning arrived. Gemma came to my room and told me that my paintings were good. But she has always been honest with her expression, and her face was telling me that it was mediocre at best. Mom and dad were probably biased when they said my paintings were great.

And that was when I decided to rip the bandage and call Brenton. He came three hours later and I was devastated when I saw his face.

"These are not your best, I know you can do better but it's a start. Look, I'll keep these for you but why the change of style to Impressionism? your Expressionism was very good."

"Oh God Brenton, I don't know if I can do this. I made a freaking landscape of my parent's backyard. I'm so fucking pathetic."

"It's not bad, it'll sell. But it's not you. Ella, you know what I'm saying right? You're so much more than this, I'm not seeing your passion, see here your seems that you're too careful. You need to let yourself go."

Brenton was circling my painting, he was scrutinizing my painting with his expert eyes and I was feeling defeated already.

"Ella, as I said before, I'll put these aside for you. You still have time for Trisha, re-set your mind, indulge yourself, have fun, go out with Gemma, do something out of the ordinary, anything to keep your mind from your painting. Then start again let say next week?"


"Ella, you can do this. I believe in you. You just need a little push."

I smiled at him and let him cover my painting and take them away with him.

"Remember what I said. I'm here for you kiddo." He grinned and ruffled my hair, before exiting my apartment. I know he was cheering me up, telling me I got what it takes, but still...


Trying to take in the criticism was hard, I thought I was good with the last two paintings, though deep down I know they weren't my best.

"Oh, come here..." Gemma pulled me in for a hug after I told her about what Brenton said about my paintings. She was just back from her office and put everything down when she saw me in my oversized PJs and fluffy socks.

"And I know you have the look when you saw my paintings, it's okay Gemma."

"Right okay, Brenton said to have fun, go out with Gemma? look, Ells, I know just the thing to help you relax." She looked mischievous, and I was alert immediately.

"I don't think I like how you're looking at me now."

She giggled and grabbed me to sit next to her.

"Okay, some of my co-workers were raving about this new dating app, I thought we can try and have some hot random guys pay for our dinner."

"We're going to get ourselves humiliated, we're two virgins who are clueless about men."

"That's what's going to make it fun! we're doing this together!" she laughed so hard making me finally laugh with her.

"Come on, Ells! we got nothing to lose."

"Eh, our virginity?"

"You really think it matters? and I know we're not saving ourselves, we just haven't met the right man."

"Hey! you're talking to yourself, well maybe...argh, I don't know. Shit, okay! let's just do this." I give up and handed her my phone, she giggled then downloaded the app for me.

"Okay, first thing first, no obvious picture of us, give them glimpses. I want them to click our profiles to find out more..."

Feeling exhausted from all the sleeping since Brenton left me, I was putting my life in my cousin's hands.

"When this fails, or maybe not...we'll get other matching tattoos!" Gemma was all too excited for the app thing, while I was just mimicking her and follow what she's doing.

"Now, we wait?"

"Give me your phone, why don't you relax go shower let see if I can set up a date for us tonight." She grinned and started swiping left and right.

"I'm going to regret this at some stage," I muttered lowly as I got up and decided to go shower instead, I was not in the mood for dinner thinking it probably best just to order some take-out when she's done with my phone.

An hour later I was dressed in my other oversize PJs and Gemma looked at me with her disapproving look.

"Go back and get changed, we're dining out with two potential guys! I'm going to shower now, go change to something casual and sexy." Her smile was wide and she looked overly excited for the double date.

She was out of her room looking date night ready with her tight jeans and sheer sparkly top.

"That was fast, are we safe doing this? where are we meeting? who are they?"

"In a restaurant, I forgot, but your name is Serena, and I'm Naomi."

"But first, you need to change." She shook her head at me, and started roaming through my drawers and pulled out my black lacy top and a darker shade of jeans."

"...oh...and wear that red pumps."

I nodded thinking it'll be faster without the argument.



"Why the fake name?"

"Ells, seriously, we don't want them searching our name on F******k right?"

"Uh... I guess not."

"Look, we'll get there first and request a table near each other."


"Ella, eh...Serena, we're meeting someone tonight, who knows these guys can be the ones!"

I rolled my eyes at her, but she still hugs me and cupped my cheek telling me to smile.

" need this, forget everything else, be someone else!" she clapped her hands excitedly and I smile like she wanted me to, hoping that I will pass the night unscathed.

One hour later we reached the trendy restaurant and I was strangely hungry.

Must be from all the excitement.

"Come, Serena, I got us a perfect table. We're two tables away, so we can text each other without being noticed."

I nodded and followed her and our waiters.

"I'm hungry, can we order first Naomi? and where did you get these names, it sounded familiar."

She winked and told me to ask for the menu from the waiter.

We were being a total stranger and I was checking out my date's profile on my phone until it buzzed and startled me.

"You are as beautiful as your side cheek profile picture."

I looked at the man to my front, he was moderate looking at best but his crisps expensive-looking shirt and Breitling watch upped his game by several points. I smile at the man and thanked him.

"My first,"

"No explanation needed, Serena."

"Thank you, Glenn."

"So, dinner?"

He chuckled and waited until I finish with my order then told the flirty waiter that he wanted the same menu as mine.

"I just want her away from our table so I can talk to you."

Again, I smiled at my date thinking that the guy must've been on many dates to make himself at ease with the situation.

"You're nervous, don't be. So tell me what do you do?"

"Eh...I'm... unemployed."

"Okay, didn't ask where you work, tell me what do you do at home?" he gave me his warm smile, with a sexy wink.

Oh, this guy is good.

"I read."

Glenn kept on trying to draw me out to talk about myself more, but I was not feeling comfortable. Until I decided to end the date after more than an hour of a very awkward meal.

"I'm sorry, I don't..."

"Hey, it's okay. You're very beautiful. Eating dinner with you is a treat already."

Again, so smooth. Too damn smooth for my taste, he was making me a bit wary. I texted Gemma when he left me at the entrance of the restaurant.

"Not to your liking?" Gemma asked once she joined me at the coffee shop in front of the restaurant.

She sighed when she rest back in her seat.

"Yeah, mine too. I think we're doomed." She muttered and drinks my coffee.

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