I didn’t get a chance to talk to Jo today to make sure she wasn’t weirded out by my failed seduction attempt. I don’t know what I’d say anyway. But I did do something very decisive.
I was stewing all day about Elise disappearing so soon and I just realised I couldn’t let it happen. I text Mel to say I’d have to come around for a naked run around the streets some other time but I really needed to see Elise. She actually texted back and said “Yes. That’s important.” I felt very grateful to her for that.
So straight after work I went to Elise’s pub. I knew she’d be there, and it wasn’t really empty. I said I wanted to persuade her to stay. She said she really couldn’t because she had no long-term plan, and no idea what she’d do, and just going back to France was the only option. I said it wasn’t because she could stay at my place for as long as she wanted, and she said it was really nice, but she would only do that if she had some idea of when she’d be independent again. I said I didn’t care and we could solve that problem afterwards.
Then some random guy was listening and asked why we were arguing. I said that Elise didn’t believe me when I said I wanted her to move into my flat. He said “oh, you’re friends then,” which is an understatement to my mind, and I blurted out “we’re in love” and he sort of went “oh” because he obviously wasn’t expecting that.
Elise said “Kate might think she’s in love but she’ll be fine”, and that was like a red rag to a bull for me. So I said, “If that’s what you think then I’m going to prove it to you. I’m not going anywhere until you agree to move in.” Elise laughed and said she’d have to throw me out at closing time, but until then I could stay as long as I liked.
The guy laughed and said she does have a point, but now he has to go home. But I was determined and a bit crazy, so I stood up, and I was wearing a full-length dress, but not for much longer as I pushed it off my shoulders and wriggled out of it, and stood there naked, with the half a dozen people in the pub staring at me. And I folded up my dress and handed it to the guy at the bar and I said “Take this with you. Because if I’m naked she can’t throw me out.”
Elise laughed even more and came and leant on the bar with her chin on her elbow and said I should just wait and see if I couldn’t be thrown out naked into the street. And besides, she said, it wasn’t far back to my place. I turned to the guy who was holding my dress and said “Weren’t you going to leave?” and he said that right now, with me like this, he didn’t want to go anywhere.
Elise was still laughing and said I win, and my heart jumped, but she said only that she’d talk about it, and that the guy should give me my dress back. He said good, because if he turned up at home with another woman’s dress his wife would have some questions.
I told Elise, though, that I wouldn’t put it back on or go anywhere until she’d agreed to stay at mine, at least for a few weeks. She said that was no incentive, because she was more than happy to have me sitting naked at the bar, and the guy asked if I’d be back next Tuesday or any other time because he’d make sure he was here. I said unlikely as Elise wasn’t going to be managing it much longer and he said “shame” and also a shame that he really had to go home.
Well, I spent the next couple of hours sitting there naked, although I didn’t get to spend much time talking to Elise because all the regulars wanted to talk to me instead. But finally around ten the place was empty enough and we talked, and finally Elise said she’d move in for three weeks but if she couldn’t find a job here she’d have to go back to France. I said that was a start but I wouldn’t let her leave and she said “What are you going to do? Threaten to strip naked everywhere? Isn’t that what you normally do anyway?” I stuck my tongue out at her, but I finally left feeling so much happier.