4 | Scheming With Dolfinns

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It went without saying that Dharsheni's reaction to Isabella's proposal was a big, fat yes

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It went without saying that Dharsheni's reaction to Isabella's proposal was a big, fat yes. They spent the entire weekend loved up to nearly nauseating levels, only it never reached that point because I'd never been more thrilled for anyone, particularly when Dharsheni asked me to be her maid of honour. I probably spent more time than I should've eyeing up my phone and hoping to spot a message from a certain friendly ghost, but I didn't dwell on the lack of contact too much.

When my alarm blared the following Monday, I was uncharacteristically happy to be startled awake at seven AM. I'd not had a chance to discuss the Casper situation with Dharsheni in detail given she was busy being the protagonist of her own love story. It was a shame because I wasn't naïve to the potential car crash of dating your boss, and Sheni was impeccably skilled at bringing me back down to earth when necessary.

For the time being, I attempted—rather poorly—to respond casually to conversations I had with Casper in the office as if I wasn't recalling what he looked like naked every time we spoke. I'd assumed my disappointment over my lack of promotion would've started subsiding, but over a week later, I frankly still felt awful about it. The only difference was that I no longer despised Casper for it, and when I questioned Mike on it, he responded with an awkward shrug and the excuse of it was a HQ decision to hire someone external.

It was Thursday morning, and the eight-sixteen Victoria line northbound had been stationed at Euston Station for nearly seven minutes. I'd used the station WiFi to warn Casper of my expected lateness, but the train was especially cramped today, and there were only so many times I could read the overhead poem opposite me. It was an old one; one I'd first spotted around six months ago, and not particularly one of my favourites—nowhere near as gorgeous as A Suitable Gentleman.

Worse still, Vici Hottie was standing inches away from where I was sitting. I'd not uttered a word to him since our bizarre encounter a week prior, nor had he to me, and I had no intention of changing that. He'd started doodling images of stick figures in various stereotypical pornography scenarios onto scraps of paper, and would then use them as makeshift bookmarks so that the images poked over his hardback as he read it on the train.

It was never anything explicit; one day he'd draw a stick man with a stethoscope around his neck and a stick woman who'd dramatically fainted over a bed, the next he'd draw a student-teacher scenario, and so forth. Today's edition was the classic pizza delivery guy scene.

There was clearly something desperately wrong with him.

Don't get me wrong, I still looked because a potential serial killer or not, he was still an aesthetic masterpiece, but I had no plans to move beyond stealing a few admiring glances. The problem was that we'd been stuck at Euston for over ten minutes, which was around how long it took to walk from here to King's Cross, so not even Vici Hottie and his erratic behaviour was a sufficient distraction anymore.

As if on cue, a voice began to echo around the train, courtesy of a train driver's announcement. It took some straining to understand what on earth it said, but I caught enough to realise the train was going to be stuck here for the foreseeable future. With a groan and a heavy sigh, I rose to my feet and started muttering multiple excuse mes as I squeezed through the mass of bodies blocking the carriage's exit.

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