A man stood at the front of the almost empty room, in front of 14 empty tables, the only door to his left. He was young, probably in his late twenties, but he had a look of a senior still going through puberty. His scruffy red hair hung down over his ears, which meant he also had to keep blowing it out of his eyes. This is despite his thick green-rimmed spectacles that helped to frame his acne-covered face. His buttondown white shirt was unironed and only partially tucked into his khaki shorts. They showed off his knobbly knees and scrawny legs with long, unevenly spread hair. As if it couldn’t get any worse, to add insult to injury, he was wearing white socks with hiking sandals.
This rather sad human did have a name though. Stuck to the middle of his shirt was a red and white name tag. It read, “Simon Mclaughlin.”
Simon looked around the room, to each corner, where there stood four bulky men wearing black polo shirts, ripped denim jeans, and black shades. The two in the corners closest to Simon were rippled with muscles and looked like they should be Pro-wrestlers rather than bodyguards. The other two, however, at the opposite corners of the room, were large Samoan men. They looked like they were regular visitors to well-known fast-food franchises, but still, you wouldn’t want to mess with them.
Mere seconds later, Simon looked toward the door at the sound of the first voices entering the room.
In walked Avery Hartford. BEEP! Followed moments later by another beep and his (almost) shadow, Tamara Arrington. He wore brand new Levi’s with a red polo shirt, while she also wore Levi’s but they were skinnies. With that, she had on a grey jacket over a white flowy top and black ankle boots. Topping off this ensemble with a gold necklace and a couple of bracelets. Being the first ones there, they quietly walked toward the opposite wall from the door. Avery stopped and looked at Tamara, whose eyes were on the floor. They may not be committed to each other, only dating, though Avery wanted more. And secretly, Tamara thought she wanted that too. It was New York, they met, but with busy jobs and lives, they were still new, still dating. Months of dating but only a handful of dates. Then before he could try to make them something, Tamara suddenly up and left. Left the country, went back home, home to Canada. Now, this was his chance to see if they could get to know each other, if it was worth making a go of it. Tamara wasn’t sure why she came, maybe he intrigued her or maybe love was another dream she shouldn’t have.
BEEP! Shanna Cain walked in and immediately noticed Avery’s strong build. Before she could even take a step toward them, there was another beep. Shanna swivelled round and saw Ciana Dawn Elenate in all her glory. Dressed to impress, she wore a boho-chic A-line red dress that flowed out from her waist. Compared to Shanna, she was ready to stun, even if that’s not entirely how she felt. Shanna, however, wore tight pink dress pants and a loosely tucked white shirt, which was cuffed up to her elbow. All with beige heels. Shanna and Ciana met in London, on a one in a million chance, back in 2012. Shanna was competing in her first Olympics, while Ciana, through hard work and determination, had been very lucky to win a trip to London to see two Olympic events. None were Shanna’s events, of course. Their meet-cute happened even more randomly, when both were visiting the Tower of London. The connection was, surprisingly, instant, and they’ve been together ever since. This term is used loosely, as they have barely spent much time in the same room together, consisting mainly of a technological relationship. This was there chance to see each in person, which is why they stood there awkwardly staring now.
BEEP BEEP! In behind Ciana, walked Jakub Kowalczyk and Dakota Quinn, she clinging to his arm a little too much. He didn’t seem too bothered though, in his blue button-down shirt that was tucked into black jeans. A grey blazer over top and smart-looking sneakers just to appear more casual. Likewise, Dakota was dressed just as casually elegant, in a light blue, off the shoulder, skater-style dress with white ballet flats. Although her hair was pulled back into a braid, she did have a splash of pastel-coloured paint in her hair from painting earlier. Despite having only been dating a month, they were living together. With Dakota’s financial situation, Jakub had kindly put her up, but it had not helped his custody battle. However, Dakota still wanted to know him more and Jakub wanted to see if he could make that true connection again. Before making their way further into the room, in the middle of the square of red-tableclothed tables, she did take notice of the tall, dark stranger (Avery) standing near the opposite wall.
In strode Annalise Kingsley confidently, with Adrian Lucas Dawson hot on her tail, after another couple of innocuous beeps. They’d just arrived after landing not that long ago, but from their apparel, you never would have guessed. Annalise wore a tight-fitting, long maroon dress with matching heels and her hair in a neat but elegant updo. Adrian was in a smart blue suit, no tie, and very white sneakers. For over a year, since both had finished university, Adrian still had an effect on her. He was still able to calm and convince her to cross the Atlantic to improve their communication, and in turn, their relationship. Striving to succeed and becoming the best they can be, was not more important for one of them. For at least one of them, their relationship was just as important. Adrian looked at the two women (Ciana and Shanna) who were in front of him, he looked them up and down, thinking they were very beautiful. Fortunately, when he turned back to Annalise, he realised she hadn’t seen him looking, but that’s because she was already walking away. She stopped at the table in the corner, with a one in its centre, as well as a headlight-like dome too. She sat and Adrian joined her, seeing his name on a nametag on the table in front of his chair.
Next to set off two beeps was Gerald Miller and Cecelia Summersberry. They were arm in arm, him looking rather prideful in his navy tuxedo with a white scarf draped across the back of his neck. Cecelia looked just as elegant in her full-lace camisole top. With it, she wore a white sarong skirt patterned with a blue design print. It almost had a greek feel to it. Their clothes were the only thing that matched when you looked at them, as their age was the main difference. Though for Gerald, this was usual. It was purely a short-lived physical thing for the past two weeks, while he had business to attend to in Washington DC. Why did he come here then? Gerald looked around the room as the walked further inside, his eyes drifting between Annalise, Ciana, and Shanna. He was also looking at Adrian and Jakub, but more subtly, not wanting anyone to notice that. Cecelia was amazed that they were here but at the same time, wasn’t sure why. When she found the event online and suggested it to Gerald, she wasn’t quite sure if she knew her reasoning behind it.
Gazing at Cecelia’s back as Montell Garrett walked in with Atlas Sims. Beep beep. Atlas beamed and went for Montell’s hand once walking through the door. Montell pulled away at the slightest touch, he wasn’t one for handholding, at least not when it wasn’t on his terms. He wore a new dapper suit with a tight white T-shirt and aviators. The blazer and pants were tinted with a dull green/blue colour in a subtle grey check pattern. Atlas, on the other hand, was wearing a tight black shirt, which was tucked into his belted olive green jeans. They were both dressed rather well for two people who had met in a shelter. Neither were doing the best financially, but together they realised they could afford to rent a small place to live. It was months though before anything happened, but it was Montell who started it. It’s Montell who starts everything, taking what he wants and not leaving Atlas the chance to do what he wants. As they walked over to the far side, Atlas knew that after all this time, this was his chance to turn the tables.
Alba Guadalupe Ubiñas led the way through the door with her fingers laced through Charlotte Black’s. Beep … Beep. She didn’t stop leading until they reached the centre of the tables, then she turned to face Charlotte, still holding her hand. Charlotte looked beautiful in her long, off the shoulder, deep red dress that was longer at the back. Alba was in something darker but just as classy. A black pencil sheath dress that gave her an hourglass figure; the dress was styled like a modern day business suit. Together they looked like a power couple, even though they were both medical students in Washington. That’s where they met, two years ago, at college. It was love at first sight, well, at least each other’s first love anyway. Everything between them had been quick, even their engagement. So was it all true, or just the rush of the moment they’re in. That’s why they both came here, to figure things out. Neither one knew if it was the real deal or if it was just how they felt, all because they were each other’s firsts.
Beep beep. Olivia Currie and Samantha Mae Simmons entered the room together. As Samantha started surveying the scene, she spotted Alba, the tanned beauty, looking her up and down. Then Olivia looped her arm through Samantha’s and gripped her hand, causing Samantha to turn and give Olivia a smile. She thought Olivia looked quite ravishing in her high-waisted, form-fitting, stonewashed jeans, accompanied with a bra-like top, which was joined together with a mesh crop top. Samantha’s attire, however, was a little more shapeless. As she had on a black, spaghetti strap dress with a green sweater vest over top. Thrown together with black heels as well. A cute couple, for a pair who had only been dating since Samantha had started covering for one of Olivia’s colleagues on maternity leave. The mild arguments and lack of common similarities were the reasons for them being here today. They wanted to see if it was worth giving them (their relationship) a go or not.
Beep beep. Dylan Easton Aylsworth entered the room that now had over a dozen people. He had his arm around Cleo Madeen’s shoulders, his fiancée. The woman he was going to marry, spend the rest of his life with, the love of his life. It was no secret to him that he was having second thoughts, but how would he truly know how he feels when he’s never at their home in West Hollywood. Today was going to give him more answers, he hoped. Dylan looked at Cleo in her short, black strapless dress accompanied with black and gold heels, and gold hooped earrings. Dylan’s style was much more classic, wearing a basic black suit with a white rose in his chest pocket. As for Cleo, she wasn’t too sure why they’d come here, their relationship worked well for her. After all, he didn’t seem to mind social life and erratic behaviour. Yes, it was true that he wasn’t home all that often, but when he was… their relationship worked, especially their physical one, they seemed to tolerate each other rather well. Together, they made their way right around the tables before seeing their name tags and sitting down at table two.
Alison Martin arrived, beep, almost skipping inside the door. She looked around at all the faces gathered in the room. There was one that especially caught her eye, a girl (Cleo), who was definitely beautiful. She was also tall compared to Alison’s short stature. She looked down at herself, at her outfit. She was wearing a simple black sheer top, which covered a detailed bralette with a cute pale pink jacket and skirt. She still wore her iconic pink glasses. Beep. At the sound, Alison turned and saw Yassine Montgomery. He must have just flown in, as he wore his usual casual attire when he had just got off work. He was wearing a white tank top, showing off his Chinese dragon tattoo on right arm and chest. As well as grey sweatpants and black flip-flops. Alison sighed and turned away from him. This was one of the reasons she’d asked for them to attend this event, his laziness to dress for the occasion. It was also because, despite the length of time they’d been in a relationship, he still couldn’t commit to one city. They were still in a long-distance relationship. Did Yassine even want to be with her?
After Alison and Yassine moved further into the room and a couple more beeps, Britt Hansen and Lydia Flores entered the room together, ready to relax and focus on themselves rather than their careers. Britt was wearing a princess scoop, maroon cocktail dress. It had a long-sleeved, lacey top, with a pleated satin skirt. Lydia looked like an angel in her pure white when standing next to Britt. Though her white cocktail dress had a hint of red in its floral pattern, and to finish off the ensemble, she had on caramel heels. In San Diego, California, was where they had a house. Rented, but it is still where they called home, when they’re both there. Lydia was often travelling away for work, while Britt spent extremely long hours at the restaurant. The relationship was not their first priority. But today, here, it was. They’ve come to put it first, help to solve any problems they may have and try to put each other first. Lydia looked around, to see who was actually here to help them. Her eyes fell on Yassine; tall and athletic, just the way she usually liked them. Then she spotted Avery and Tamara, they were one attractive pair. She hoped that she and Britt looked that good too.
Beep beep. Both Ross Freeman and TJ Charles walked into the room with swagger. Both looking too cool to be attending this event, and rather unattached from each other as well. Their eyes were staring intently at the other people in the room. Ross couldn’t help but focus on Adrian in all his cuteness. While TJ’s interest was taken by Tamara, looking so very smart. TJ looked slightly smartly dressed too but rather casual in a long-sleeved, tight-fitting, olive green sweater top with beige dress pants. Ross, on the other hand, was a little more casual in blue jeans, and a loose white T-shirt with an unbuttoned pale blue shirt over top. They were only dating but had known each other for years. Good friends in school actually. In fact, TJ had known Annabelle’s mother and was there for him even after the event. That’s why they’d started dating, they were there for each other. But were they just meant to be friends, or could there be that romantic connection they were both longing to find? They hoped they’d find out today, as they made their way into the room.
As Robert Wilson and Emma McEthan entered, there were another two beeps. Robert and Emma weren’t holding hands, as they weren’t that intimate, but maybe being here could help with that. Robert was watching Emma in her stonewashed skinny jeans with a Gucci belt and tight pastel-coloured shirt. She was beautiful. Emma looked over at Robert, thinking he was a bit overdressed, as he must have been wearing his only suit. It was his navy tuxedo, he was wearing, with a sky blue bowtie. It actually made Emma feel quite underdressed. For the second time in Robert’s life, a relationship happened when he was working. Emma was having a typical L.A. night out and a fancy dinner with friends, and Robert was the restaurant’s pianist. That night was surprising for both of them and there were definitely fireworks. But the problem they faced was communication. Emma was too selfless to focus on the relationship, and Robert can’t help but think about the past and all the similarities to the first time this happened to him.
Beep. Jakolbi Andrews walked in first, around the time that Robert and Emma were staring at each other. He took in all the faces in the room, making notes on any potentials; Adrian, Avery, Jakub, Alba, Ciana, Shanna, Tamara. Today was going to be a good day. Jakolbi was dressed in black jeans and grey tank top with a red checkered shirt over it; all rather casually really. Beep. Lola Jeremy Grace casually walked in minutes later, dressed in a tight green shirt with the cuffs rolled up to his elbows. The shirt was mostly tucked into belted dress shorts. To top off the ensemble, he wore hiking boots and a brown beanie. Walking up behind Jakolbi, he placed a hand on his back and smiled apologetically when he turned to look at him. The smile was returned. Jakolbi and Lola lived together in a place they had co-bought in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Not that Lola was home that often to appreciate it, but that’s okay because they were fine with it. Their relationship was an open one; not only because Lola was away for work a lot of the time, but also because Jakolbi was not one to be monogamous. Yet, they return to each other afterwards. So why were they here if their relationship was okay in their eyes? That’s because the event was found and recommended by a mutual friend.
When all were gathered in the room, the doors closed loudly behind Jakolbi and Lola, causing many to jump. The small man-child up the front, Simon, cleared his throat and took a step forward. His voice was squeaky and also cracked every so often, almost as if it hadn’t broken yet. “Hello. I welcome you to the first Reverse Speed-dating experiment.” He paused for the few claps and cheers. “You all believe that you are here to help to improve your relationships, but that is only partially true. Yes, we… I did bring you here to help with your connections and love life, but not with your partners. In this room, your “soul-mate” has been calculated and you will hopefully find them before time is up, but they may not be the person you came with.” His speech sounded rehearsed, as if he’d been practising for hours in front of the mirror. “The doors are looked and will not be opened, if at all, until all 14 “soul-mates” have been found.” At this, even the guards looked up in confusion of possibly being stuck here. If you are all able to find them, then you will be able to leave the experiment and continue your life with whomever you want. If not, well… that goes without saying." Another pause. “As for the experiment itself, I will explain how it works one everyone takes a seat. Go ahead and do so, please?!”
Right, each character can make one-two posts for sitting down, and possibly complaining, and then I’ll start the round once this has happened. (wink)
@EchoRavencroft, @ScarletSwanHunter, @CrazygirldY_dY_dY, @AnimeOtome, @Miumi.hp, @Madilnel, @QueenChid, @SilverRose, @Littlefeets, @YassineCool, @amberh.episode, @Daisy_Flower1, @Sabes, @jiya.episode, @coco.xhic, @Alexwrites, @episode.loverr, @Daunt