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

Shoulder to Shoulder


It was getting late and Elena had promised her mum that she’d spend the evening with her. Once again, she was putting her pumps back on, ready to leave, when Juan offered to take her home. At this point, Elena knew better than to argue with him, he always ended up taking her home anyway, so she accepted. As Juan locked his front door, Elena waited patiently; when he turned around, he took her hand and they took the lift down to the garage.

Despite the fact that she’d been in it a fair few times, the Range Rover still felt very luxurious to Elena.

“Aren’t you going to put my address into the SatNav?” she asked, buckling her seatbelt.

He shook his head, “I don’t need to, I’m pretty sure I remember the way back.”

Elena was impressed, “Well, this could go really well, or we could get lost in the middle of nowhere.”

Juan chuckled at her lack of faith in him. “I’ll be fine, I’ve always been good with directions.”

The pair sat in silence for the next few minutes, the only sounds being the Sigur Ros song that played from the sound system.

“When is your birthday?” Elena asked, she’d refrained from going on Juan’s Wikipedia page, she wanted to learn about him by asking questions, not by reading an internet page.

“April 28th, I’ll be 25 next year.” He replied, taking a smooth turn around Piccadilly Circus. “When’s yours?”

“March 25th, I’ll be 22.” She replied, twirling a strand of hair around her index finger.

The light early September winds blew leaves on the trees from side to side. It was just starting to get slightly colder in London, not unbearably cold, just enough to make you need a jacket.

Apparently Juan did know the way back to Elena’s house as they arrived there very quickly. She grabbed her bag from the back seat and pecked him on the lips, thanking him again for bringing her home. He told her to stop thanking him, “I wouldn’t offer if I didn’t want to bring you back!”

The warmth from her house enveloped Elena as soon as she stepped inside. She chucked her keys into the ceramic bowl on the table that had been there for as long as she could remember and made her way inside.

“Hey mum, hey dad.” She greeted her parents with a hug each.
Just as she sat down and slipped off her shoes, her mother spoke. “So, who was that outside in the expensive car?”

Elena just carried on taking off her shoes, choosing to ignore her mother’s questions.

“Was it your boyfriend?” her nearly 50-year-old mother said in a singsong voice – she was so childish sometimes.

“…Maybe.” Elena said quietly, hoping her parents hadn’t heard her.

Her dad piped up suddenly, “Really?”

He wasn’t being mean, but Elena had never really spoken to her parents about her boyfriends in the past, she’d always deny having one, as she was embarrassed. But this time, she didn’t mind them knowing, she just wasn’t sure she actually wanted to tell them who he was.

They began to question her on his identity, her mum was calling out random names and her dad was joining in. The irony didn’t escape her, she realised that her father knew exactly who her new boyfriend was. But she kept quiet and managed to slip away from them and into her room.

The date of her departure to Uni was growing closer, and Elena was just making sure the arrangements for her accommodation were final. She was living in a house about 20 minutes off campus with 4 of her friends. It actually surprised Elena how quickly her time at university had passed, it seemed like it was only a few months before she was a nervous fresher just getting to know the area and making new friends. But now, she was almost done, just a year left until she’d walk away with a degree and out into the world.

Elena knew she’d made at least one friend for life whilst at Uni, she’d met Lila during her second week at UEA, and they’d not stopped hanging out since. It was at a meeting for the Film Society; Elena had arrived a few minutes late, as she was unable to find the room in which the meeting was being held. There was only one seat left, in the third row from the back next to a honey blonde haired girl.

As quietly as possible, Elena slid into the seat, not wanting to interrupt the speaker from his welcome speech. “Sorry,” Elena whispered as she sat down, causing the girl to need to move her bag off of the seat.

“No worries,” the girl replied with a smile.

After the meeting, they were walking out of the building and they both started talking. They were both from London and were both doing the Media Studies course. “Oh yeah, I think I saw you last week at the introductory lecture!” Lila recalled.

The next two years passed in a flash, and seeing as the two were both from London, they’d often catch the train back home together. Lila’s parents were very well off, so she’d lived in Kensington her whole life, one of the more expensive parts of the city. But when she’d turned 20, her parents had surprised her by giving her a flat in Battersea. She told Elena that they’d been saving up since she was a baby to buy her the flat. Quickly, Lila’s new abode had become their headquarters and always met up there whenever they were both free and in the city.

The other three girls that were going to be their housemates for the forthcoming academic year were friends of both Lila and Elena, but none of them were as close as the two. Rachel, Millie and Susie were all lovely girls, the first two studying English Literature and the third studying Spanish. Along with this, Susie was an international student, she was originally from Los Angeles and her mother is Spanish.

Elena was actually a year older than Lila, Rachel and Millie seeing as she’d taken a gap year between Sixth Form and University to work to save up money. And Susie was the same age as Elena as her course was over four years due to the fact that she had a year in Spain as part of her course. So whereas Elena and Susie would be turning 22, Lila, Rachel and Millie would be turning 21.

The next day, after Elena had spent some time with her parents, she left the house; Lila had asked if they wanted to meet up. And as they hadn’t seen each other in almost a week, she agreed. They were going to Wagamamas just off Oxford Street; it was the one they went to most often, it was just out of the way, so it usually wasn’t too busy.

When she arrived, Elena noticed Lila sitting towards the back of the restaurant. Dumping her bag on the long table, Elena shrugged off her cardigan and placed it on the hooks under the table.

“Dave is such a dick!” Lila began, as though the two were already in the middle of a conversation. Despite the fact that she had only just arrived, Elena knew exactly whom Lila was talking about. Dave was Lila’s boss, she’d taken up a position at Forever 21 as a Visual Merchandising intern over the summer and Dave had been nothing but an annoyance for Lila.

“What did he do this time?” Elena asked while looking down at the menu, the act was pointless, she knew exactly what she was going to get – she got the same thing every time she went to the Japanese restaurant.

“He has given me this,” she dropped a huge stack of papers on the table, “to go through, edit and organise. For tomorrow.”

Elena gasped. “Tomorrow?”

Lila tied up her long locks in a loose ponytail and nodded. “For 10am.”

“That’s fucking ridiculous!”

“Tell me about it.” Lila said grimly. “It’s annoying because I only have a week and a half left until my placement is up and then there’s only another week before we go to Uni.”

“Exactly.” Elena replied. “Think about it positively, only 10 more days and then you’re out of there, you never have to speak to him again.”

“I’m glad too. If he wasn’t the one who will give me a reference in the future, I would’ve told him where he could stick his filing a long time ago!” Lila laughed as the waiter approached them.

The two’s conversation slowed once their meals had arrived – Yasai Katsu Curry for Lila and Yaki Soba for Elena.

Elena had been trying to find the right moment to tell Lila about Juan, and she thought if she didn’t tell her soon, she wouldn’t tell her at all!

“So…you know when you dragged me out to Boujis a few weeks ago?”

Lila nodded in response as she ate a forkful of rice.

“Well, while you were off dancing,” Elena continued, tucking a curl behind her ear. “I met someone.”

“Ooh, do tell.” Lila grinned, leaning closer to her friend across the table.

“He’s nice, and young – he’s 24, and Spanish and adorable, and cute.” Elena stopped herself, realising she was completely gushing about Juan.

“Spanish? Very sexy!” Lila laughed. “So what’s his name?”

“His name’s Juan.” Elena blushed slightly as she said it.

“Aw, look at you.” Her friend said, referring to the gradual pinkness that was rising over Elena’s face. “You’re clearly smitten!”

“I was kinda worried, because he’s really well off…”

“What, do you mean, well endowed?” Lila asked, completely missing the point.

“No! I mean, he earns a lot of money. You have a filthy mind Lila!” Elena reprimanded her friend.

“What difference does that make? You obviously like him a lot – I haven’t seen you blush that much since we bumped into Dougie from McFly like two years ago!”

“I blushed so much when we met Dougie because he was a childhood crush, okay!”

“The thing I’m saying is, don’t worry about anything. Be concerned with you and your new boyfriend – what other people think doesn’t matter!”
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Soo, a little background in this chapter, just so you know what's going on in Elena's life regarding Uni.