I was beginning to get a savage blister on the palm of my hand from opening too many champagne bottles (officially the most glamorous injury ever) and tensions were beginning to run high among staff, as stocks ran low among the alcohol. I tried to work as quickly and efficiently as I could, all whilst trying to conceal the massive silly grin on my face. But I couldn't help myself and it didn't go unnoticed. And it was this which caused the gentleman, for reasonable reasons because of reasons who I shall call Mr. Caspian, to first speak to me.
|30 minutes at Google...|
Mr. Caspian was stood in a group of about five or six very important looking people. They were immediately distinguishable from the rest of the crowd - the room was packed with sparkling young hipsters in garish clothes with swoopy hair, and this group were a little older and more sophisticated, wearing finely tailored suits and silk blouses. While everyone else was trying hard to retain expressions of cool, smug disinterest, this group was obviously more relaxed and smiling, looking almost to the point that they were visibly amused at the pretentious attempts of the youth. They were stood at the corner of the bar, in full view of me flailing around trying to satiate the throng of socialites pressing over the counter at me, empty champagne flutes a-dangling.
When finally the crowd had dispersed a little and Rose and I could finally take a cheeky swig for ourselves, Mr Caspian approached the bar. He had a large, smiley face and gestured with mock trepidation at his empty glass. I smiled, rolled my eyes, and started unwrapping a new bottle.
"There you go sir." I sighed in mock-exasperation, filling his glass to three quarters. I could tell that he was easy-going, and in my post-german-supermodel-daze I was feeling a little devilish. "Actually," I said and carried on filling the glass almost to the very brim, "Just so you don't come back any time soon."
He chuckled with a raised eyebrow. "But darling, I enjoy coming back so much."
"Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
He laughed and returned to his group. Rose and I leant back against the counter-top making the most of our break, and musing over the evenings events. I had a quick scan of the crowd for Kai but couldn't see him anywhere. We'd had a major drama as we'd entirely run out of champagne glasses, so we did a quick circuit of the room, grabbing any unattended glasses we could find, to wash them and fill them back up with bubbly. As soon as we came back, in an almost de ja vu like fashion, Mr Caspian returned to the bar, this time with four empty glasses.
"Doing the rounds this time" He says with a grin.
"I tell you what, at this rate if you keep hold of your glass, then you'll be the only one getting free drinks for the entire night."
"Oh well, aren't you just my favourite. You know, you're far too glamorous to be working behind the bar. What's your name?"
"Well thank you. You're fast becoming my faourite too. My name's Katie. What's your name?"
"Well good evening Katie. Nice to meet you. My name is Mr Caspian, Katie."
"Well, Mr Caspian. Nice to meet you too, Mr Caspian." I said in a softly mocking tone. I was surprised at my own cheek, but my encounter with the German supermodel had chased away all inhibitions. My mind wandered back to some advice I'd heard at a conference at University. Terry Mansfield, CEO of The National Magazine and Hearst Corporation had said to a room of bright young hopefuls, "So what's the first thing you do if you want to be successful? Well you be as a cheeky as you possibly get away with from this moment onwards."
"Where do you come from, Katie? What do you do? You don't seem the same as these people." He gestured at two of Zoe's stick-thin picture-perfect other interns having a quiet yet heated conversation in the corner of the room, undoubtedly about champagne glass-gate.
"Well I'm a writer, Mr Caspian, and a trainee journalist." His eyebrows slowly raised and he drew himself a little taller.
"A writer?" he said, a little quieter, all traces of teasing gone from his voice. "That's very brave of you, Katie. Not many people claim themselves to be a writer, even if they write."
I wandered if perhaps I was being a little delusional. Was it a social faux pas to call oneself a writer if they haven't been published? I shook my head mentally. No. I didn't care if I wasn't a successful one, I was still a writer.
"Did she say a writer?" One of their group, a small Asian woman in one hell of a skirt suit stepped forward. "You should get her to come work for us!" She nudged Mr. Caspian and the others in the group laughed. Curiosity ignited in me hard and fast like an atomic bomb, but I carefully did not let it register in my expression. Caspian looked thoughtfully at the ground. I took my chance.
"Darling if you want to offer me a job then just say so."
The group erupted in surprised laughter and Mr. Caspian gave me a mixed look of complete shock and wild amusement.
I spent the rest of the evening talking to them, in between scavenging empty glasses, serving up the last of the champagne and just generally being a cheeky bitch.
"So what do you write, dearest Katie?" Mr Caspian asked after a while.
"All sorts, Mr Caspian. I write articles for an online magazine and for my journalism degree, I write short stories and fiction, and my main project at the moment is my blog, Scarphelia."
"Oh so you're a blogger too? What's your blog about?"
I hesitated. Shit.
What is Scarphelia?
"I guess..." I stuttered and I could see the minuscule creases of a disapproving frown appear around his eyes. What kind of blogger doesn't know what their blog is about? Oh yeah, me.
"I guess it's an inspiration blog... Crossed with a diary, I suppose. I actually sent my blog to Zoe and asked for some advice and she actually said to me 'I don't know why your blog works... It just does'." I laughed nervously. "She then sent me a message saying 'I think I've figured out why people like it - you're a one woman reality show'."
"Zoe read your blog?"
"Uh, yeah... I sent it to her on Twitter and she gave me some really great feedback."
"How do you know Zoe?"
The light-hearted jokiness seemed to have vanished and I didn't quite know how to take him anymore. I thought about my answer. 'Because she did a speech at my uni and I bugged her afterwards to read my blog and she did, then her intern happened to be my friends girlfriend and owed me a favour after my laptop got stolen so offered me a last minute job as a cocktail waitress?' Maaaaaaybe not.
I decided to take the journalistic approach and just be as vague as I possibly could be, without flat out lying.
"Just through blogging."
"I see... I see." He looked very thoughtful and alarm bells started to ring in my head. Had I put my foot in it somehow? Who actually was he?
"Tell me Katie, why do you write?"
I smiled. Back in my comfort zone.
I then launched into a full on tirade, just as I'd done with Blake Samuels, about my passion for writing. I would write down all of the reasons here now, and I know how contradictory it would seem not to do so, but my explanation is pretty much this entire blog so far.
Before I could even stop myself, I began gesticulating wildly, my face getting hot and the volume of my voice steadily increasing as I started weaving the tale of how I became a writer, the sheer passion and explosive creativity I feel in my fingertips when I pick up a pen and the sanctity and solace I find between the covers of a book. I told of my favourite books as a child, the inspiration they instilled in me and the crazy adventures I have gone on with full commitment from my heart mind and soul, just by looking at a few black words on a few white pages.
I was aware that I was rambling and his bewildered expression did all his talking for him, but I just couldn't stop. I have a habit of getting awfully carried away when there's something I feel passionate about.
"...and I do not care if I'm not successful, I don't care if I never get published or no-one reads my work, I just have this deep, electric passion running in the same current as my blood, and this abundance of creativity and idea just bursting from every pore in my body, and I will always, always write. I may have other jobs and go in different directions with my life, but always, underneath it all, I will first and foremost, always and forever, be a writer."
He just stared. I'd been ranting for about fifteen straight minutes. I took a deep breath.
"Sorry," I laughed nervously, "I get a bit carried away with things like this."
His blank expression then broke into a hearty grin and I breathed a little sigh of relief.
"Admirable." Was all he could say and I felt a little crestfallen. Admirable. For all that?! Oh well, better than nothing.
The guests began to thin, and it became apparent that the evening was drawing to a close.
"Katie, I want to give you something."
Mr Caspian reached in to the inner breast pocket of his grey trench coat and retrieved a small shiny metallic container. I watched intently. He flipped open the top and withdrew a small crisp white card. My heart leapt to my throat.
"I want you to call me, first thing tomorrow."
I turned over the card and I swear my heart stopped dead in my chest.
"I'm Zoe Griffin's agent." He said with a grin, but my expression was paralysed.
Mr Caspian, unbeknown to me the entire time, was from the biggest talent agency in the whole of Europe, representing some of the most famous actors, singers, models and writers in the world. The name of the agency (for reasonable reasons because of reasons I shall, of course, change it) was called Marcus Fox. And the reason my heart stopped dead was because ever since I was younger, and I'd wanted to become famous, I'd searched for agencies to apply to. The one agency I'd set my heart on, had been Marcus Fox. I'd had the website saved in my Internet toolbar for years, in the hopes that one day, I'd have the guts to send something in. And here I was, being handed the card and being made to promise I'd call.
He began to leave and I stammered, "Mr Caspian!"
He returned with a smile. "Yes, dear Katie?"
"I can't call you tomorrow, I have to catch a flight in three hours."
He laughed. "Of course you do. Who doesn't? Just make sure to email me, tonight, before you go."
"How shall I sign it off? 'Katie, champagne girl from-' "
"No." He interrupted. "Put Katie, just Katie. I'll know exactly who you are."
And with a small smile, he turned and walked away.
Trying to act like a normal human being on the train home, after an evening like that, turned out to be the greatest challenge of the night.