*Any entries from Hugh's perspective are very fiction-based. Some are also infused with conversations we have had and my interpretations*
The day I was set to meet Ava wouldn't fly by quick enough. I was struggling with myself as I kept trying to think about what to text her during the day. I wanted to message her and see how her day was, to try and suss out if she was just as nervous as I was, but more importantly, I was desperate to hear her soothing untainted voice again. The idea of being in a restaurant with her was something that I was really looking forward to. I needed to see if all was what it seemed, was she going to be just as I imagined or would she end up being just like everyone else.
As the hours drudged on I finally managed to pluck up the courage to send her a message, however, it wasn't as smooth as I had hoped I could have made it.
I will meet you at the hotel at 7:30 pm tonight,
It was the only thing I could manage to send her as my head spun in all different directions. I had a specific image of her in my head and was hoping that she would live up to the expectations. I had tried to google her earlier in the day however I got nowhere. I couldn't even find a Facebook profile for her.
Sitting at the airport answering emails I found it strange that she hadn't responded immediately. It wasn't a situation I had ever really faced before. She was on a roll here, making me feel like I was going crazy. As much as I admired her for not kissing my ass I was also desperate for her to respond. Hopefully, after tonight I would be able to create some form of a relationship where communicating outside of the professional boundaries would just be something that didn't need to be so complicated.
My phone began vibrating, breaking my reverie. Looking down at the caller ID and seeing Hayley's name was something that I was tempted to let go to voicemail.
"Hi Bub" I responded trying to pre-determine what type of mood she would be in.
"Hugh, when are you coming home?" she snapped. I exhaled at the thoughts of having to explain for the millionth time that I would be back in two days' time. The crevice of distance in our relationship was something that was causing both of us a headache. Hayley had become notorious at tuning out whenever I spoke unless it was something that she wanted to hear and I was becoming increasingly impatient with her ignorance.
"I'll be home on Sunday, I thought I told you this morning" I responded. Desperate to sate her and prevent an argument.
"No, you fucking didn't! I organised dinner with our friends and how am I supposed to explain your absence this time Hugh! You are so inconsiderate of others" she screeched down the phone. She had obviously already predetermined an argument. I could tell that she was looking for a fight, there was something obviously eating at her, and yet she wouldn't tell me until World War III broke out and I was standing at the gates of hell. At this point in our relationship, she would probably be there with her pitchfork poking me through the gates!
"I'm sorry Hayley. I'm just about to board, I have a few business meetings to attend and I'm signing a few contracts. If I had known you wanted to do a dinner I would have rescheduled but it's too late now." I responded, calmer than I felt.
"Why is it you insist on spending weekends away from me, seriously I barely see you anyway Hugh and you book meetings for Fridays, out of town. If there is something, I demand you tell me," she responded. I knew this was not going to end well no matter what I said.
"Look, Hayley, it has nothing to do with you, it was the only time they could be done. Let's plan to do something next weekend. I promise I won't book anything for then" I really didn't want to be having this argument for the next few days while I was away. I had no intention of canceling on Ava. No matter what Hayley threw at me.
"Don't bother Hugh. You live at the office and yet you have plenty of people you could hand the reigns over to so I really don't understand why you don't scale back. Don't bother calling me tonight, I won't answer!" She was pissed off but I was tired of these guilt trips. She had not told me about any plans and I am not a mind reader but saying any of this would just fall on deaf ears.
"Next weekend, I promise Hayley" I responded just as I heard the attendant announce my flight boarding over the speaker system.
"Whatever, I won't hold my breath so don't bother making plans, I'm sick of being left here alone" she spat before hanging up on me. I will admit that I was kind of relieved to get her off the phone. I knew that in a few hours she would calm down and would begin making plans before crawling back and apologising. It was the same old situation with her, the old saying "Same shit, different day" came hand in hand with Hayley and it was really starting to get to me. Hopefully, someday my life would be revitalised, I was really looking for someone to breathe some life back into me and I had a feeling that I was about to meet her.
* * * *
After an agonisingly turbulent flight, I was grateful when the pilot announced that we were finally about to be able to disembark. Traveling in business class meant that I was able to leave first and I really was itching to get out of my seat and drive as quickly as I could to the Hotel. I had a feeling that I was going to be late and without being able to send Ava a message I was hoping that she wouldn't feel stood up or worse…leave before I got there!
Traffic was a nightmare and in-between the time I had landed, picked up the rental car, and began driving through the city, I had been interrupted by ten different calls, thirty different text messages, and a million different crises that needed my immediate attention.
By the time I actually arrived at the hotel I was already twenty-five minutes late and didn't even get the chance to call ahead to the hotel and pre-check-in or announce my guest. Trying to concentrate on what one of my heads of management was saying I was also trying to get my car parked. I had never stayed in this hotel before but due to major sporting events in the town, I was unable to get to my usual hotel.
When I finally approached the glass doors I found myself dying to get off the phone.
"Look Simon, it can wait till Monday. Don't stress, I will send an email to the European partners tomorrow. They will be fine. Thanks for letting me know. I'm running late for a meeting. Have a good weekend mate" I responded to his never-ending stressing rant.
Just as I hung up I found the glass doors open automatically for me. I took a few steps forward and instantly felt myself drawn to a brunette standing beside a pillar opposite the reception desk. I couldn't see her face until I took another step forward and watched as she turned in what seemed like slow motion, Time stood still as her dark silky hair cascaded down her back, I caught the sight of her emerald green eyes that almost looked hazel as the reception lights dazzled over them. I recognised her in an instant and even though I hadn't even spoken to her I just KNEW beyond everything that this was Ava. She was nothing like I had imagined…She was everything I could have dreamed of and more, I just hadn't realised it. The magnetic pull felt as though it was in overdrive. I was instantly floored by her natural beauty. She had taken my breath away. It took every single amount of willpower I had to stop myself from running towards her or stopping dead in my tracks. I wanted to stand there and just admire her from a distance, there was something about the way she held herself that had me captivated from the moment I first set eyes on her. As I stood less than a meter from her I noticed her chest rise and fall as her breath hitch. Did she feel the force pulling us together?
I held back the burning desire to grab her around the waist and pull her towards me in a passionate embrace, I really couldn't afford to scare her off but being so close to her and not being able to touch her was killing me. I had never felt what I felt in her presence in my life. It was almost as though our souls recognised each other before we had even met. I saw the flicker of recognition flash across her surprised face in that very moment but other than the look in her eyes that said she was just as nervous as I was, I couldn't read her. I felt so naked, so vulnerable and I felt as though I was baring more than I ever had without even uttering a single word. I had a million questions for her, I wanted to know everything there was to know about her, I needed to know the curves of her body and feel the softness of her hair as I ran my fingertips through it, I felt every fibre of my being yearning for hers. I knew she wasn't going to be another conquest, she was the missing link in my life and I knew in that very moment that I had to have her in every way humanly possible…