Ellie, not Eleanor

It wasn’t the first time I was late for work, but this time I had a valid reason!  Some idiot on the underground thought it would be a good idea to jump the barriers causing absolute chaos!  Normally there would be others in the office that would also be late but I’d just missed the last train.

“Eleanor you’re late again!”  She’s not my boss, I don’t know why she has to comment.

Yes, Hi my name is Eleanor, most people call me Ellie apart from my parents or when I’m in trouble, which can happen, but not as regular as it used to though!

“You’re so observant Hollie!”  I was flustered but I was not going to let her know that, plus she was a receptionist and she is there to greet guests not comment on my time keeping.  I could see Uncle (to be) Glen sat at my desk, watching me as I walked through the open plan office.

“Two days on the trot Ellie, I hope you’ve got a good excuse?”  He said as he raised his eyebrows at me.

“It was chaos on the underground, someone jumped the barrier and they were stopping people from getting through.”

“Neil and Charlotte managed to get in.” He commented and stood up to let me sit down.

“I’m so sorry Glen, I just missed that last train.  I will stay late tonight to make up for it.”

“Damn right you will.”  He huffed and walked back to his office.

Ok so I don’t expect to get the bonus this year, which we do normally get just before Christmas but I’ve been trying to plan a wedding and yes my wedding!  I log in to my computer because Glen has obviously turned it on for me so I don’t have any further delays, I glance over and see Charlotte sipping her coffee and glaring back at me.

“How the hell do you get away with it bitch.”  Stared back at me on the messenger when my screen eventually came up.  I laughed out loud and some people in the office glanced over at me. That’s a bad habit I really need to knock on the head, I am not alone in an office anymore so I need to be quiet!

“Because I’m marrying his nephew!” I smiled smugly back at her when I typed it.

“I hate you!”  Her response was.

“Love you too!”  I added a blowing a kiss emoji for fun, minimized it and started to go through my emails.

Charlotte or Charlie has she liked to be called (but I still can’t get my head around that so I still call her Charlotte) is my ally and I am hers but everyone in here thinks we don’t know each other that well. We’re like spies for each other when the other isn’t in the office, like when there’s someone talking about us which sometimes can turn out actually fun and makes the days at work less boring. We do often chat on messenger instead of meeting in the kitchen so that we don’t get seen together, I feel like I’m having an affair or something!

“I think they’re going to make me redundant at work you know.”  I’d said to Gabe just after I had just moved in with him just over 6 months ago.

“They can’t, you’ve only just started working there!”
“Doesn’t make any difference, I heard it and everyone’s been talking about it.  They’re getting rid of at least 20 of us, last one in first one out!”  He puffed up his chest like he does in defence.

“Well I don’t think it’s right! You work really hard there and some of the team do nothing!!” He exclaimed angrily, I had previously told him that the office was full of lazy feckers so I brought that comment on myself.

“Gabe, hun, I will find another job.”  I knew it wasn’t the point by the way he frowned at me, practically throwing the milk back into the fridge.

And I did find another job, well technically he did because his uncle had a vacancy arise in his office so I’m now a Legal Administrator.  It’s an ok job, all I have to do is arrange meetings, type letters and sometimes a bit of HR stuff so I know how much everyone earns which is quite a hold!  Don’t get me wrong though, I’m not that sort of person to let slip that Neil in Quality earns fifty thousand a year! Oops did I just say that?

My office phone rings which alerts me like a bolt of lightening.

“Ellie, can you arrange a meeting with some new clients, I’m just emailing over the dets.”  One of the Legal team, Matt.  I don’t know why he won’t say ‘details’, and also does he really need to interrupt my thoughts if he’s sending me an email anyway?  He does think a lot of himself, I remember when I first started he came and sat on my desk and introduced himself and told me I looked like Dakota Johnson.  I thought he was creepy, but he’s actually a great guy and I get on with him really well. Although as soon as he realised I was marrying Glen’s nephew I didn’t see much of him after that.

I don’t mind working here, but it’s not my ideal job.  I am good at my job and have been told that too which is a good boost especially as I’ve been made redundant twice in my life, I know, worst luck!  But when people ask me what my ideal job is I have no idea. I know when I was at school I wanted to marry a wealthy man and have lots of children but then reality sunk in!  My mother used to say that I watched too many reality programmes, and that I had no incentive and no direction which is why I got a job in an office just to shut her up.

My friend Lizzie has an amazing job designing accessories but I’m not very artistic, so would be rubbish at it. Every year she gets me a pair of shoes and they’re always shoes that I would wear, in fact she’s going to design and make my wedding shoes and accessories.  Both Lizzie and her boyfriend are artistic, he’s a professional photographer. Yes, before you ask his colleague is doing our wedding photos as he would be in them!  I just wish I could see them both more often but we’re always so busy especially now trying to organise the wedding, and Gabe is working so many extra hours.

Gabriel is a consultant, he advises how companies can make more money and spend less money apparently.  I try to show an interest but he says it’s just a job to pay the bills, he doesn’t like talking about work.

I was in on my own tonight, so I spent a lot of time just sitting in front of the telly not really watching it. My mobile phone was on the arm of the chair and started to ring, it was Lizzie.

“Hey you, how are things?”  I squealed down the phone, she wouldn’t ring very often.  It was normally hands free when she was stuck in traffic or cooking.

“I’m ok.  Are you alone?”  I looked round the room as if she was there, knowing full well that I was going to be alone for most of the night.

“Yeah, Gabe’s meeting with clients, this time he’s doing it alone.”  When I say this, he would sometimes ask me to go with him because it made him look more down to earth and human apparently the clients like it.

“New clients?”

“I think so, you know what he’s like Lizzie, he doesn’t like talking about it.”  I feel her stare down the phone.

“Ellie, does he ever say why he doesn’t want to talk about it?”

“Because he doesn’t like to spend his spare time talking shop apparently.”

We were on holiday in San Francisco when he proposed, he was meeting clients out in Los Angeles so we made it into a holiday and travelled to San Francisco.  We were stood on the Golden Gate Bridge when he asked me.

“Do you know what Ellie, I want to spend the rest of my life with you.”  I held him tightly as he said it.

“Me too babe.”  I had replied wondering if it was a proposal but didn’t want to get my hopes up.  We had been together three years then, but when he bent down and handed me a brown leather box and opened it I was still surprised.

“You must’ve seen it coming?”  He had said while ripping open a lobster later.

“Well I was hoping that you would propose soon, I mean we have been together for three years and I’m not getting any younger!”  I’m 35 before you ask, I know you were wondering and yes to me that is old to have children and I want to get started almost straight away!!

Four months down and no sign of being pregnant and the we’re almost ready with the wedding plans, I just need to go for a dress fitting but I’ve picked a dress that would hide a bump if needed and asked if we can do the fitting 2 weeks before the wedding.

“I thought I’d start to sort out the hen do.”  Lizzie brought me back to current time.  About bloody time, I felt like saying I mean the wedding was just over 2 months away.

“What are we doing?”

“I’m not telling you, but I need to get in your flat to pack for you the day before.  We’ll be somewhere for two nights.”  Ooooh I started to get intrigued, I promised Lizzie I wouldn’t ask too many questions but I was bursting!

“In this country?”  I pushed.
“Shush, I’m not answering any questions!”  She cried down the phone.
“Am I allowed to know who’s coming?” I had previously emailed her the contents of my friends list and contact details as soon as I had set the date with her.
“My lips are sealed, you’ll find out on the 22nd January!”  She was always good at keeping secrets, me on the other hand was always rubbish.

“So when are you coming home to visit?” She asks this every time I speak to her, I’m from Hampshire, but London is now my home but she still says home like I’m going to move back.
“Lizzie, London is home now and I will come visit soon.  Every weekend seems to be busy.”
“So there’s no point in me coming to visit then?  Ellie I have not seen you for almost a month, and before you say we Face-Time’d last week that doesn’t count!”

“I know, I’m sorry.  Well I could try and get out of Saturday but it’s Gabes friends, we’re doing something with them almost every weekend!”  I can almost see her rolling her eyes.
“I know it sounds selfish Ellie, but I’m your best friend!  Can’t you say you need to sort out wedding stuff?”

She really does pull at the emotional strings.