Status: Active, updates may be very slow though, but bare with me

Shoulder to Shoulder


The next day Elena made the trip into London’s West End so she could do some shopping. It was only a few weeks until she moved to the east of the country to complete the third and final year of her Media Studies degree at the University of East Anglia. She was busy buying last-minute things such as a new winter coat, and a new pair boots. Luckily, Elena had been working almost non-stop throughout the summer, so she could treat herself and not feel guilty about being frivolous her money.

As she traipsed through Office looking for a pair of sturdy boots that would shield her feet from the rain, keep her feet warm and looked stylish, her phone buzzed in her pocket. Her face lit up as she read the message.

Are you free? Do you want to meet up for coffee? x

At the back of her mind, she had been wondering when Juan would get in contact with her; she’d had a great time with him the night before. It was almost like all she wanted was to keep talking to him; he was so interesting that she couldn’t get enough. When she replied affirmatively, she quickly ran out of the shop and onto Oxford Street, before realizing that Juan hadn’t actually told her where he wanted to meet. It was mere seconds before he sent her another text; it detailed directions to a coffee shop in Putney. After quickly checking on her phone which Tube stop she needed to get off at, she sent Juan a text informing him she’d be around half an hour, then Elena made her way into Oxford Circus station.

Her Tube journey wasn’t long, she stayed on the Central Line all the way down to Notting Hill Gate and then switched on to the District Line down to Putney Bridge station. Once she emerged from the underground, it was only a few minutes’ walk to the coffee shop that she was meeting Juan in. The River Café was a small shop almost across the road from the Tube station. It’s what Londoners would call a ‘greasy spoon’, a great little place to get a cup of tea and some breakfast or lunch.

Almost nervously, Elena smoothed down her blouse before she went inside. As soon as she stepped over the threshold, she saw Juan sitting in the far corner of the café. With a small wave and a grin, he beckoned her over. He took her hand in greeting, and kissed her cheek then the two sat down as a waitress came over.

“Would the two of you like anything to eat or drink?” She asked, retrieving her notepad and pen from the front of her apron.

Juan gestured for her to go first, so Elena spoke. “Um, could I have a mocha please?” The young waitress nodded as she wrote down her order and then turned to Juan.

“A cappuccino please,” he smiled brightly at the girl as she wrote down his order as well. She left, promising to return quickly with their drinks.

“I hope I didn’t interrupt your day by asking you to come here,” Juan said, looking worried that he could’ve completely halted Elena’s day, the thought only just occurring to him.

Elena placed her bags on the floor, pushing them under the table slightly, making sure no one would accidentally trip over them. “No, don’t worry. I was out shopping when I got your text.” His eyes flicked towards the bags. “Buying things for university,” she clarified.

He looked slightly confused for a second, before Elena continued; “I’m going to university in Norwich in about a month to complete my final year of my degree.”

“Congratulations!” He smiled happily at her. “What course are you doing?” He leaned forward, seeming genuinely interested in what she had to say.

“I’m doing Media Studies, but this year I’m concentrating more on the Internet and journalism.” She explained. “I have to write a dissertation this year, it has to be around 10,000 words!”

As their drinks arrived, Juan began to speak. “I attended university in Spain, I studied Journalism as well.”

Elena sipped her mocha, chuckling slightly as Juan drank his cappuccino, and was left with a froth moustache on top of his actual moustache. She giggled as she handed him a napkin. “You have no idea how often that happens,” he smirked while wiping the froth away.

“Where in Spain do you come from?” Elena asked, curious as to how he ended up in London.

He shifted in his seat slightly, “Well I grew up in Northern Spain, in a place called Asturias. But then when I was 15, I moved to Madrid, and then over to Valencia when I was 19 and I lived there until last August, when I moved to London.” Elena was surprised at the amount of times he’d moved.

“Why so much movement? Did your parents move a lot for work?” she queried.

“Not really, when I moved to Madrid, I moved alone.” He said, as though it was normal for a teenager to move across the country without his parents.

“Alone, why?”

“I moved to play for Real Madrid.” He stated simply. “I’m a footballer.”

That’s when it all started to fall into place, Elena was beginning to realise why she thought she recognised Juan the night before.

“Which club do you play for now?”

“I play for Chelsea.” He answered after a sip of coffee, confirming her theory.

“Is your last name Mata?” Elena asked, she’d seen Juan’s face before because her father and brother were huge Chelsea supporters and she’d often watch matches with them when they were on TV. She knew the names of the majority of the team, but wasn’t sure what a lot of them looked like.

He nodded shyly, as Elena’s face exploded into a grin and she explained why. “My brother and dad go on about you all the time. Apparently you’re ‘a legend’!” She used air quotes for something her brother said about Juan on almost a weekly basis. He looked down bashfully at the compliment, as though he wasn’t used to the praise.

“Well, now at least I know they won’t hate me because I play for a rival club!” he quipped. She chuckled, although Elena was thinking about how he expected to meet her family, maybe he was thinking about some sort of long-term thing.

“I really enjoy talking to you, Juan.” Elena said, pushing her now empty coffee cup away from her.

He’d finished his coffee as well. “I like spending time with you too.” He said. The two left the coffee shop and began walking towards Putney Bridge.

“Where do you live?” Juan asked, as their hands brushed together lightly.

Elena couldn’t hold back a smile, “I live on the other side of London, north east. I’m more Greater London, if we’re being specific. What about you?”

“Oh I’m very local, I only live about 5 minutes away from here, in that building over there,” he punctuated his sentence with a point across the bridge, diverting Elena’s gaze over to a high rise building. “A couple of my other team mates live there too, so it’s nice to be around people I know. And my sister also lives in London, not too far away from here.”

“It’s nice to know you settled in here so well.” Elena said, taking the initiative and taking Juan’s hand in her own. He looked at her shyly, and she just smiled confidently. They walked around for about half an hour before Elena said that she better get going. She was ready to go and get the tube back home, when Juan offered to drive her home. No matter how much she tried to refuse, he wasn’t having any of it. He took here hand and dragged her back to the garage at the bottom of his apartment building.

He walked over to a large black Range Rover and gestured that she get in the car. The car’s interior was plush black leather, the seat were some of the most comfortable that she’d ever sat in. She’d been so busy taking in the luxurious inside of the car that she hadn’t noticed Juan talking to her.

“If you want to type in your address…” he pointed to the screen in the dashboard, which was displaying a Sat Nav function. Carefully, Elena put in her address and with a few bleeps, the device’s automated voice informed them that it was calculating the quickest route back to Elena’s house. She was still living at home due to the fact that she was a poor student and living with her parents was the cheapest option. That being said, she did spend an awful lot of time at Lila’s flat in Battersea, so she was in South West London quite a lot.

The drive home with Juan was nice, he gave her full reigns with regards to the music; he gave her his iPod and let her choose the soundtrack to their journey. She chose The Cure and Florence + the Machine and they both hummed and sang along for most of the journey. Much like the night before, Juan’s accent was something she found incredibly alluring. However, she did find some of his misnomers adorable, the cultural difference and slang terms were something that Juan was yet to get the hang of.

As they drew closer to Elena’s house, she found herself not wanting to leave. All too quickly, they pulled up outside her house. They sat in silence for a few seconds before Juan leaned over a kissed her softly. When they both pulled away, noticed a blush staining his cheeks, just to let him know that she was happy about this as well, she pecked his lips once more before getting out of the car. She left her door open and went round to the boot to get out her bags. Elena climbed back in the car quickly and kissed his cheek, promising that she’d text him later and thanking him for driving her home.
♠ ♠ ♠
So, chapter two! Hope you guys enjoy it, it actually ended up being a lot longer than I expected. And I don't usually proof-read these chapters before I post them, so I apologise for any errors!