How are you feeling this week? What are your plans for the end of the year? I hope you can spend some time with your (chosen) family in a safe way. I plan to!
I’m on schedule to release the next episode in a few days. Until then, I have this teaser for you! But there’s more: the yearly holiday extra (written) scene is also on its way…
This had to be the longest day in Nathalie’s life. She couldn’t remember ever being so uncomfortable before. Even the final weeks before graduating and her thesis presentation had been less nerve-wracking.
It was ten past three in the afternoon and Nathalie had spent the whole day watching Raven and Bart in the meeting room. There had been no break so far. Not even for lunch.
Nathalie had texted Raven to find out what was happening but had gotten no reply. She kind of understood why. Bart hadn’t left Raven out of his sight. At one point, he had even accompanied her to the bathroom door. It was beyond ridiculous.
At this very moment, Bart was showing Raven the latest designs in great detail. Raven looked very interested and seemed to be asking lots of questions. Nathalie feared Bart had somehow managed to convince her to invest after all.
Surely Raven couldn’t be that good of an actress? If she was, that worried Nathalie in a whole new way. What did it say about a person if they were able to lie to someone’s face so well?
It made Nathalie think about how little she really knew about Raven. For a few days, it had seemed as if they had known each other for ages. Their time together had felt so natural. Their conversations so safe and effortless.
But lying to Bart was already taking its toll, Nathalie felt. This situation had pulled them from their blissful state and put them smack dot in the middle of a web of lies and deceit. A web that Nathalie had spun in part.
And here she was sitting at her desk now, pretending to work and getting absolutely nothing done. Her inbox was filled with questions from the team members. She couldn’t bring herself to answer them.
“Why am I doing this?” Nathalie wondered for the umpteenth time.
If she had only dared to resign on the spot or simply tell Bart about her relationship with Raven immediately, they wouldn’t be spending the day in this ridiculous way.
“I can use my savings to pay rent for a couple of months if I don’t find a new job straight away,” she thought. “Why am I so desperate to keep this job?”
Her parents’ faces popped up in her mind. She could easily picture their disapproval. Nathalie’s throat tightened just thinking about them. She wished she could just stop caring about what her parents said.
She wondered what Raven would think if she found out that Nathalie still cared about her parents’ opinion. Would she think Nathalie was immature? She probably would be right to.
“I’m not good enough for her,” a tiny but persistent voice in Nathalie’s head whispered.
She frowned. It wasn’t like her to feel so insecure. This day was messing with her head. She glanced at the clock on her smartphone. She still had several more hours to go until it was time to go home.
Nathalie reached for the phone.
“Everything is so fucked up today,” she typed and sent it off to Kim.
She was happy to see that her best friend almost immediately read the message.
“What’s going on? Trouble in paradise?” was Kim’s reply.
“Bart showed up at the hotel yesterday while I was there. I had to hide in the bathroom!” Nathalie typed, shaking her head. “Now Raven is at the office and it is all just such a shit show.”
She looked up at the meeting room, waiting for Kim to reply. Raven had gotten up and was pointing at something on the screen. Bart nodded approvingly and started to explain something.
“What the fuck,” Nathalie whispered.
Kim had replied with the exact same three words when Nathalie rechecked her phone. “What the fuck.”
Nathalie sighed and started typing again. Her hands were a little shaky now. “It’s all my fault. I didn’t want to tell Bart I’m in a relationship with Raven and I shared inside info with Raven so she wouldn’t invest in the company!”
Soon after she had sent the message, her phone started vibrating. Kim was calling her. Nathalie sighed nervously and rejected the call.
“I can’t call right now!” she typed quickly.
The sound of fast-approaching footsteps made her look up. Her heart skipped a beat when she saw Bart standing right beside her. Nathalie met his eyes while she flipped over her phone so he couldn’t see her screen.
“Nathalie, kan jij Publiek reserveren voor vanavond? Zeven uur is goed,” Bart asked her.
Nathalie’s eyebrows shot up. The palms of her hands were instantly sweaty. Why was Bart asking her to book a restaurant for tonight? Had he convinced Raven to continue their conversation over dinner?
💜 Dear fellow romantic,
I'm on a mission to make people smile. That's why I share my stories freely: so everyone has access to them.
As a crowdfunded and queer creator, I humbly ask for your support to help me keep going in 2021. Every dollar makes a huge difference.