Louisa was smiling; she had taken a half day from the office to surprise her boyfriend David with some good food and nice wine when he got back from his big meeting today. He'd made such a huge fuss about it that morning, going on about how he would have to miss their lunch date and wouldn't even be able to call. He was such a sweetheart sometimes she thought to herself juggling the 3 bags full of all the things she needed to make dinner and even some sexy new lingerie for afters. Wrangling with her keys, gracefully as ever, she fell through the door and was just picking up a rogue potato when David appeared from the living room.
'You're home earlier than usual' he said. 'Well, I was going to surprise you with dinner but now you've…..ruined it'. As she walked into the open plan kitchen she saw all of David's stuff had been hastily thrown into boxes, and before she could speak David said 'I'm sorry Louisa, it's not you it's me; it's just not working.' 'Any other clichés you'd care to use David? I can't believe you were just going to leave and say nothing.' 'I've got a van downstairs, I'll get this stuff out of the way and we can talk later.' Dammit, why did he have to look so sexy when he was breaking her heart? But Louisa resolved to hold it together, at least until he'd left. 'David, I don't think I ever want to talk to you again after this.' And with that Louisa took herself off to the bathroom to send the SOS text to her friends.
After about half an hour David shouted 'Well bye then' through the still locked bathroom door, and as the flat door slammed shut the tears came. Luckily her best friend Sally also chose that moment to arrive home, 'Bloody knob head…let's get you sorted, Gary is on his way with wine then we will get drunk and go into town and get even more drunk. Gary has passes to that new karaoke place and we all know break-ups require Gloria Gaynor.' 'OK' sighed Louisa.
Sally had been her best friend since high school, and she knew better than to argue with her. They had moved to London from Glasgow together after they had finished university, and that's where she had met David. The tears welled up in her eyes again. Sally hugged her tight, 'Oh Louisa, I never liked him anyway, too pompous and selfish. Now drink this sherry, it's medicinal and anyway it's all that you've got.'
Twenty minutes later Gary arrived with three boxes of wine, 'one each', a massive box of chocolates and flowers because 'We gay men are always the most thoughtful.' The merlot was going down well, too well and it was only just going on five o'clock. 'What time does this new karaoke place open then, Sally has prescribed Gloria Gaynor.' Louisa asked Gary. 'It opens at 8, but we can't get there til at least 11, we have to make an entrance after all so plenty of time to paint on a smile.'
Needless to say by the time 9pm came around they were all pretty drunk, on a Monday night as well. A school night! 'Maybe we should just stay at home, I have to work tomorrow.' said Louisa. 'No way' said Gary, dancing away to the dance cd he'd found at the back of the rack. 'David hated dance music' wailed Louisa. 'Time to go me thinks' said Sally.
When they arrived at the karaoke place it was already busy, Sally said 'I've called in the cavalry', and already there were some of Louisa's best friends from work. Louisa loved her job; she worked in public relations and by all accounts had a pretty cushy number. David had sorted it for her, him and her boss Sandra went way back. 'Screw work tomorrow, you need tequila' shouted Evie, her friend from payroll, over the dulcet tones of some woman singing Adele, in a skirt that was way too short for her age. Louisa loved a bit of karaoke, but she had to have had a few drinks in her first and the bottle of tequila that Evie had just appeared with would make sure of that.
Louisa looked around the club, there were so many people there, could she sing? Too late, they had just called her name, how on earth… 'I thought we better get it out of the way, but they said no to Gloria so I picked you something else appropriate' said Sally with a wink. 'Gee thanks!' Louisa mouthed as the opening chords of Beyonce's Single Ladies began. It was then that the tequila took over. Not only was she belting out the lyrics but she was doing the dance routine, she just couldn't help herself. Little did she know Gary had his phone out recording her. She was three quarters of the way through the song when 5 guys came in, she recognised them straight away, it was the members of her favourite boyband, Dakota 5, from her teenage years. Oh my goodness, her teenage crush Will was looking at her and smiling. The worst day of her life was starting to look up.
Climbing down from the stage she noticed that the Dakota 5 guys were sat in the VIP section right next to her table. Then she noticed Will from her work had arrived too. She liked Will from work, they had a flirtation over the photocopier but it was just a bit of banter between them. Not like Dakota Will who just caught her eye and smiled. After another tequila or four she felt invincible, 'I want to sing again, what can I sing? I know I want to sing Tina Turner she's the ultimate survivor.' and as the karaoke had gone dead she was straight up to sing. This time it was Proud Mary, again complete with dance moves, and again with Gary filming. She was so completely wrapped up in her song that she barely noticed Dakota Will approach the stage, although by this point almost everyone in the club was watching her and whooping, whilst Sally shouted 'she was only dumped today' to whoever would listen. This time when the song finished, Louisa stumbled off the stage into the arms of Dakota Will and that's her memories of the night stop.
Louisa woke up, she groaned and reached for her alarm clock, arrgghh it was 9:30am, she was late for work. It was then she noticed a note on the pillow next to her. 'What have I done?!?' she grimaced. The note read "Thanks for last night, sorry I had to dash off but I hope to see you again soon. Hugs Will xxx" 'Will from work? oh no. Hang on Dakota 5 Will was there too but it couldn't have been him.' She pondered while she ran into the shower.
It was 10:30 when she finally got into the office, and almost ran square into Sandra, just managing to stop herself from spilling her huge latte down Sandra's expensive Chanel suit. 'Running a bit late Louisa?' Sandra said loudly, and everyone in the open plan office went silent. 'It's ok' she whispered 'I understand, I heard about David, but please next time you have to let off steam, can you do it well less publicly. We have some important new clients coming in at 11am and we need to impress. I want you in the meeting with me.' 'No problem Sandra, I'll get sorted in a minute but let me finish this latte first.'
As she made her way past the photocopier she saw Will, panicking she blurted out 'Great night last night' and did a nervous laugh. Will nodded his head and smiled. Louisa scurried off to her desk, her fears were right her and Will had hooked up last night, but now she had to get into work mode and get ready for the new clients. She opened her email, 35 messages, about double the usual number. The first one she saw was from David with the subject heading "Karaoke", she opened it and it said simply "glad to see you're moving on, but really not very mature; Single Ladies???" How did HE know, him of all people, and why would he email about it. The next email was from Sally, the subject "megastar". 'Congratulations on your graduation to megastar, your debut performance has already received 250 hits. By the way, where did you disappear off to? We couldn't see you, but thanks for the text to let me know you got home safely…with Will oooh! Call you later for the gossip, love Sally.' Hits? What did that mean? Evie appeared by her desk 'I can't believe Gary uploaded you onto YouTube. You weren't too bad though. We've all enjoyed watching it though!' 'Gary is a dead man.' Wait until she caught up with him. Just then a call interrupted her decision on potential murder weapons, it was reception; 'Can you let Sandra know that's her 11 o'clock here? But Sandra was already at the door, Louisa went to join her and there was Dakota 5 coming out of the lift. Sandra smiled 'Hello, I'm Sandra and this is Louisa, welcome to Pressman, we've been looking forward to working with you.' Will looked right into Louisa's eyes and smiled, 'good morning Tina, what a nice surprise to see you again.' He winked. Could it have been him who stayed after all? Louisa smiled awkwardly; this was going to be a long meeting.