I knew in that moment I had lost him. It was like all we had ever worked for, looked forward too, planned, had been thrown away in that one moment. I knew my life was going to change. I knew this was the start of the new chapter of our lives. But I never thought it would turn out like this. They say it will never happen to you, I wish I had got that in writing. Why did it have to happen to us?
Copyright Laura Sharp ©
I stand there and look up at the old stone building. Brighton Aquarium, It reads. I look down at my form that has my induction instructions on. How I really do not want to be here right now. I huff and place the paper in my pocket. Why am I even here? I take my headphones out of my ears and begin walking ahead. I open the door to the aquarium and walk inside. There's metal barriers inside, which requests your ID. I open my bag and try to find my ID but can not seem to locate it.
"You ok?" a voice says from behind me
I turn around with my left hand in my bag and stare at a gorgeous, six foot, black haired, sea blue eyed guy. He is a thin guy, wearing black skinny jeans, black boots and a grey jumper. His hair is a mess and he has some light freckles on his face. I can't seem to find my words.
"Lost your ID hey, I used to do that all the time" he jokes
I smile nervously. Why can I not speak? He looks awkward and doesn't know how to continue the conversation, so I take my hand out of my bag.
"I'm new" I blurt out
He is taken back.
"Is that your name?" he asks confused
I laugh and he laughs to and suddenly it doesn't feel as awkward anymore. Wow he has a beautiful smile. It makes me feel slightly at ease. I shake my head and he pushes me slightly.
"I'm messing. I'm Noah, maybe I can help?" he asks
Noah. What a lovely name!
"Really?" I ask "I've got this"
I pull out the paper from my back pocket and open it.
"Lucy" he says
The way he says my name, makes my heart melt ever so slightly. I nod and he hands me back the paper. Confused, I put the paper away. He gets out his ID. He swipes it over the barrier and the gate opens. He walks through quickly.
"Quick" he shouts
I see the gate closing and quickly run through, he grabs onto my arm and pulls me forward. His touch, warms my skin and he suddenly lets go.
"It's like being in the Olympics here" he jokes
I laugh and put my bag on my shoulder.
"Thanks for your help Noah" I thank
He smiles and puts his hands in his pocket.
"Come with me, I'll help you out" He says
"That's ok" I reply "I better check in with HR"
He laughs and nods to the direction near the 'east' door. I look ahead at the reception and shrug. We walk towards the east door.
"So you're new, what's your story?" he asks
I begin to explain, explain that my mum and I moved down about a month ago, because mum sold the house in July in London and we moved to Brighton.
"Why Brighton?" he asks typing a code to gain access via another door "Not that it's a problem, I've lived here my whole life"
He opens the door open for me and I walk through. I wait for him to walk through and he closes the door behind him. I explain that mum met a guy called Ryan last year and she wanted to move down here to be closer to him.
"Sweet" he sharply says
He walks down a corridor with me. I smile and then he asks how old I am. I explain that I am seventeen, eighteen in January. He nods and we continue walking.
"I think Ryan's nephew works here" I say "Jake"
Noah laughs to himself. I ignore his laugh and explain that it was Jake who managed to get me the job here, because Ryan asked if he 'could have a word'.
"Yeah, I know who he had a word with" Noah teases
I frown and then continue to explain that I'm really going to miss my best friend Liz. Liz and I have been best friends since we were little. We went to school and then college together and then I had to break the news that I was leaving to move to Brighton, because mum had fallen inlove. Again. Like she always does, with these online dating websites. However, I'm quite convinced this time it will probably last six months, maybe a year tops and then it'll be over. By then, I'll be eighteen and can move back up to London to be with my best friend.
"Well if you can pretend that you want to be here today, that would be great" Noah advises
Not sure whether to take that as a joke or not, I nervously smile as he holds a door open for me. I walk through and then look up to some stairs.
"You'll be fine" he says smiling and walking past me
I walk up quietly behind him and we approach what looks like an attic. However, in the middle of the room is a massive water tank. You can hear the sound of water being poured into it and then surrounding the tank is a few shelves and a fire door in the corner. There is also an office to my left hand side. Standing in the middle are a group of people, all dressed in the same uniform.
"Come" Noah says touching my arm
His touch is soft and delicate and I can't help but blush slightly.
"Guys, sh!" He shouts
I watch him as he orders and everyone turns slightly towards him. They catch me, plodding behind and smiling. There's a six foot blonde hair and blue eyed guy, with quite big muscles, and a cheeky grin. A ginger haired, skinny guy, with floppy hair and blue eyes and loads of nose piercings. Then there's another guy, who is standing next to him, with black jelled her, blue eyes and a skinny face. Then standing a little bit away, is a short, stumpy girl, with long black hair and brown eyes. She smiles at me which makes me feel comfortable. But I can't help but feel Noah stands out from them. He is so attractive.
"Is this the new girl?" The guy with the big muscles asks
"The new girl has a name" Noah snaps pushing him slightly
"Sorry" He teases "Do you have a name?"
I frown at him, wondering why his being so patronising. He looks deep into my eyes and Noah must feel how awkward I feel, as he looks at me and then him.
"Her name is Lucy" He says
I slightly feel complimented that he would remember and not have to ask me again.
"Cool, Danny" The guy says stepping back
The ginger guy standing next to him is standing there rolling a roll up.
"Mate really? You've just started work" Noah says catching what his doing
The guy shrugs and starts heading towards the fire door.
"I'm Rob" He mummbles
"He's abit antisocial" The third guy says stepping forward
"Stop overcrowding and bombarding her" The girl says pushing the third guy out of the way
She wraps her left arm around me and I shuffle slightly.
"It's so nice to have another girl in the team. I'm Tammy" She says excitedly
I smile and look to Noah for support. He smiles and leans against the wall. Wow, he looks hot.
"Hang on" The third guy says "You're not Lucy, Lucy?" He asks
I frown at him in confusion as to what he means by 'Lucy, Lucy'. Everyone looks at him for answers.
"Jake, you make no sense" Tammy laughs
"Whose Lucy, Lucy?" Danny laughs back
"Oh my gosh, you're Jake?" I ask shocked
Jake laughs and nods his head rapidly.
"Well, would you look at that? We're practically family already" Jake teases
I laugh uncomfortably, knowing full well mum would have probably dumped his uncle by now, if we was back up in London.
"Alright mate, don't scare her off. I need my team to be up to full speed" Noah jokes stepping infront of Jake
"You're team?" I ask confused
"Yes, my team" Noah smiles grabbing a folder from behind me
I can feel his body pressed against mine.
"Noah is our leader" Tammy says "He instructs what we do each day"
I nod slowly. Wow, so he will be my boss? I can't fancy my boss! But with those arms and that body odur he has, how can I not? Noah pulls out a file. Rob walks back in and joins the group.
"Rob, as you've decided to smoke, you can go back out and wait on the delivery" Noah orders
"Mate, I've just been out there, there's no deliveries yet" Rob moans
"Well, you can wait like a good boy then" Noah teases handing him a folder
Rob groans and walks towards the fire door. I smile as Tammy winks at me and links arms.
"Please say I'll be with Lucy" Tammy begs
"No, not yet. I need you to start doing a stock take on the food" Noah replies handing her a sheet
She groans and takes the sheet.
"Maybe later" She laughs walking off
I smile and then stand next to Jake and Danny.
"Danny, me and you mate will do some admin work in the office. Jake you can show Lucy what we do on tours, as we have one at ten and half twelve" Noah orders
Jake shrugs and Danny heads to the office. But I want to be with Noah. I feel like grabbing onto him, but he smiles at me and begins to walk behind Danny. I stand there hopelessly. I watch him walk away, until I hear Jake call after me:
Lunchtime comes around quite quickly and in some ways I am actually happy to be having some time to myself. I've done the tour with Jake. His shown me how to sign in, in the morning and set up for the shows that day. By shows, we mean the Dolphin and Seal show that is done outside by the trainers and also stock taking, as well as cleaning the tanks and feeding the animals in there. I haven't seen Noah as of yet, in fact I'm not sure where his gone. Jake advises it's lunch and walks with me to the canteen.
"You've not got plans for lunch, have you?" He asks me
Well, even if I did it would be rude to cancel on him now. He gives of the impression, he wants to get to know me. So I can't back away now and go and sit by myself. Maybe, I can sit with him and get some inside gossip on Ryan. Perhaps, I'll be able to find out some deep dark secrets, which will hopefully mean it can put mum of him and we can move back up to London asap.
"No, not at all" I politely reply
"Great, here grab a tray. The food is alright here, beats the whole tesco meal deal" He laughs picking up a tray
As we move down the line to get our food, he explains, he will be soon looking to live with Ryan because his parents moved to Spain and he wanted to stay here. I explain that I wished I had a choice when mum and I decided to leave. He likes my mum, he starts complementing her and it makes me feel bad and makes me feel like I am being ungrateful. We grab some lunch and sit down at a table. He informs me that his just stopped seeing someone and asks the same question to me. I tell him I'm not seeing anyone. We start to eat our lunch.
Tammy then comes over with Danny and Rob but no Noah. I feel a little disheartened, but try not to show it. I mean after all, I have only know him a few hours. I smile as they all come over and sit down on the bench.
"Hey" Tammy says sitting down next to me
She takes a look at my salad and then at me.
"Ah" she huffs "You're not one of those girls, are you?"
I look confused. The boys are totally oblivious to what she means.
"You don't just eat salads and starve, do you?" she asks directly
I shake my head anxiously.
"God no" I say "I'm just not that hungry, must be the nerves"
She sighs and tucks into her lunch.
"Damn it, a folk" She says getting up and walking over to the other side of the canteen.
I watch her go, as she leaves me with the guys.
"She's just amazing isn't she?" Danny says gazing at her from across the room
I follow his eyes to Tammy, who is getting a folk and speaking to an older woman. I'm not sure if he's being sarcastic or not. No one else comments.
"She's nice" I reply quietly
Danny carries on looking at her. Watching her as she laughs with the older woman. He smiles to himself. It's kind of cute, somehow?
"Oh put your tongue back in your mouth!" Jake jokes throwing some food at him "You need to get over her"
I look at Jake and then Danny. Intrigued to know, I gulp my drink quickly.
"Get over her? Did you date?" I ask curiously
The boys laugh, even Rob who hasn't said anything in the last few minutes.
"He wishes" Jake jokes
Danny sighs and takes his sandwhich into his hands.
"I just can't do it. I work with her, I live next door to her and yet I feel I can't go beyond that line you know?" He says looking at me directly
I nod as I eat more salad.
"They just work too well as best friends" Jake advised "that's the problem"
I sigh and give a heartfelt smile to Danny. I feel sorry for him. He strikes me as someone who has a big heart, but doesn't know how to express it. Jake carries on eating his lunch and Danny keeps glancing over to Tammy, who is still speaking to the woman.
"What about you Rob?" I ask making direct eye contact as he sits opposite me
Rob looks up. He strikes me as someone who is very quiet. Doesn't say much. Goes with the crowd. He looks at me, with a straight face, no emotion.
"I'm gay." He bluntly replies
I nod and smile. Quite shocked. Not that he's gay, but just how bluntly he told me. I'm not sure how to reply.
"But no, I have no boyfriend." He adds on
End of conversation. I carry on eating my salad. Tammy comes over and sits down next to me again. I smile.
"Apparently Noah is going to be over in a minute! His just in the mens room" Tammy explains
"Oh cool. Is that what she told you?" Jake asks nodding at the woman walking past and smiling at us all.
She's a small woman, with black long, thick hair and blue eyes. Quite tanned. Wearing tight trousers, a beige blouse and heels. She obviously works in HR and not on the shop floor. She just has that authority look about her.
"Yes, she just saw him." Tammy replies taking a mouthful
My heart starts aching. Why am I coming over with jealousy? I hardly know this bloke. He doesn't know me well. He may be with someone, or even gay. I mean, I didn't think Rob was gay. I feel jealous that I can not spend some alone time with Noah. And now, it's anxiously eating me up about who this woman is. Why am I so bothered? I have no right to know.
"Is that his girlfriend?" I blurt out
Oh Lucy. Not your place at all. I wish I could take that back. Everyone starts laughing. Rob even starts laughing. I think that's the most amount of noise his made all day. Jake laughs and puts his hand on my back. I watch his hand, as I feel quite patronised. Tammy and Danny try not to spit out their food. I feel embarrassed. What have I said? A rush of regret fills by body.
"That's not his girlfriend" Tammy giggles
Oh damn. Oh I hope none of them say anything. How embarrassing. I can feel my cheeks heating up. I shuffle from left to right. But if that's not his girlfriend, does he even have one?
"That's er... his mum!" Danny adds
My cheeks are now burning! My heart is throbbing. As I look over at the woman I can quite clearly see the resemblance. I shut my eyes. Tammy laughs. She tells me not to worry, but how can I not? I feel humiliated.
"I can see why you would think that though!" She says
I look at her for help. Really?
"Sarah had Danny when she was like sixteen. His only twenty!" Tammy advised "So she is a young mum"
I nod. Wow his only twenty. I'm seventeen. He would not go for anyone like me. What am I thinking? Crushing over someone, who wouldn't look twice at me. Plus, we work together. Look at Danny and Tammy.
"Whose a young mum?" Noah asks sitting next to Rob "You got a kid Lucy?"
I shake my head.
"No" I reply
"She's only seventeen!" Jake butts in
Thanks Jake. I sigh and take a sip of my drink.
"Fairs. You just been talking to mum Tammy?" Noah asks taking a chip from Robs plate who doesn't even seem to notice or care.
Tammy lets out a giggle and I feel my heart sink even more. She nods.
"What's funny?" Noah asks letting out a slight laugh
Oh his laugh, it makes me feel warm inside.
"Has anyone ever thought your mum was your girlfriend mate?" Danny asks letting out a slight laugh
Oh no. Please don't!
"No mate, that's sick!" Noah laughs taking another chip
Way to make me feel better. I look at Danny, but before I can say anything he blurts out:
"Well Lucy here seemed to think so!"
I sigh. Oh brilliant. I just want to sink under the table and into a hole. Everyone looks at me, including Noah. Everyone looking like they want to laugh, but they don't.
"You thought Sarah was my girlfriend?" Noah asks trying not to laugh
I nod and then everyone laughs, including Noah. I laugh to, trying to make myself feel better.
"Oh Lucy. You'll fit in well!" Noah laughs
Everyone laughs again.
The conversation thankfully then changes to what is going on for the rest of the day. Tammy says she is going to work with me and tell me about what they do when they clean up at the end of the day. Noah explains he will be doing a check of the stock take that we have all done today and get onto ordering any more food in for the animals, so it's in the office on Wednesday for me and him to take in deliveries. I somehow can't help but feel happy and get excited about it, but I don't show it. Rob says that he is putting on a show this afternoon, the last one for the day. There's some discussion over the fact a show has been arranged last minute, Noah gets quite stressed and it's quite hot. I find it hard to believe, that Rob can put on a show, as he doesn't have much of a personality. Danny says that he is going to do some admin work in the office with Jake. They fist pump to that.
Jake and Danny finish up what they are eating and say bye to us. Rob agrees to go with them, when Danny asks if his coming. Tammy leans over and takes the rest of his chips. Poor bloke, hardly got to eat any of his lunch.
"That boy would follow anything!" Tammy bitches
"Who Rob?" I ask
She nods and rolls her eyes as she carries on eating the chips.
"I'll meet you in the tank room Lucy, I'm just going to the ladies" She advises and gets up
Noah is sitting there on his phone. I feel nervous it's just us two. I feel complied to mention what I did earlier. I shuffle forward slightly and Noah senses I want to start a conversation. He puts his phone away.
"I'm sorry about earlier!" I whisper
Noah laughs as he leans forward and places his hands together.
"Don't worry" He replies
"I just thought. Well it doesn't matter, it's none of my business anyway!" I say
"Mum had me young. She was sixteen, my dad was eighteen. He went travelling, rather than sticking around to raise me. He went to Thailand and never came back. Probably met someone out there or got work, I don't know. So mum raised me all by herself. We have always been close. She got me this job here. She works in HR" He explained
It felt nice he was opening up to me. I felt like we was bonding. I liked hearing about his life. He seemed to interest me and felt like he was pulling me in for more.
"That's sweet!" I empathise "My mum was a single mum too"
He looks surprised.
"Wow, really?" He asks "Well it's quite common now a days"
I nod. He is so easy to talk to. He listens. He wants to know more. I smile and grab my rubbish, ready to throw away.
"Hey Luc" He says as I get up
Luc. No one has called me that in years. My stomach turns. I look at him and smile. He looks at me up and down.
"No, I don't have a girlfriend." He adds
I feel a sudden rush of relief, but just smile instead. I can't help but do anything than give him the thumbs up. Why the thumbs up? He smiles.
"Oh OK" I respond
"I mean..." he adds getting up "That's what you really wanted to know wasn't it?"
I tuck my chair in and he carries on looking at me, with a flirtatious look. I smile and walk away, but I can't help but feel some sort of connection as I start to walk away. I turn back around and his still looking at me, he smiles. I smile and walk out of the canteen.