John had met her a couple of times and she probably didn't remember, which is something he wouldn't be surprised about. He wasn't really much of a person. Yes, he was a person, but he wasn't a known person in the business. He was an individual with little to nothing to his name, but a guitar, a pencil, paper, a dingy flat, a few songs, and the clothes on his back. To the average bloke, he looked like one of those people who tried to get into the music industry but he hasn't gotten there yet or probably will die trying. Sometimes he wonders if it was worth it, to abandon everything in Scotland and come to London on a whim, on a feeling. But, judging by the fact that he was invited to this film party that was the aftermath of a screening personally, he knew he was getting somewhere, along with the waves of individuals that had praised his supposed work. Perhaps they were just going through the motions or were being kind to the little known musician, he wasn't sure. It was nice, but at the same time, it was queasy. Didn't feel right, didn't feel like it was really heartfelt, but all of his thoughts at that point were thrown out the window when he was introduced to her. The same person John had seen a handful of times yet had said nothing to, unless one would count singing as a form of communication of first meets. He was going to meet her. Properly, not just a brief glance into the mingling crowd and seeing her face.
"Doctor, I want you to meet somebody. This is my friend, Clara." John hadn't even noticed that Amy, one of the women he had previously met a little while ago, was standing in front of him. Was he really that dazed off? His eyes darted from Donna to the person she had introduced as Clara. Clara, the person he had seen several times. Clara, the person he wanted to know. His first meeting and he felt like a bloody teenager with all these feelings rushing towards him. He didn't believe at love at first sight, but he damn well believed in her. Finally getting a closer look at this Clara, he realized that she was also in a similar predicament as he was. She looked like she was way out of her ball park, in her early thirties or late twenties. She was drinking water, indicating she was on edge. Most had a glass of Sherry or some equivalent. "She's a song writer. Writes for a couple of the big guys."
"Hello." He said, "I believe we've met before, briefly? At the other party a few weeks ago?" He hoped to jog her memory, perhaps out of pedantry or to give them a basis to talk about besides music. The cogs seemed to move in her head before she determined that she indeed had.
"Oh, right! Yes, I believe you were one of the opening acts, were you not? I can't forget that unruly mop of silver curls and that stage name of yours." So she had remembered. It wasn't his best act, but at least people clapped and cheered. That was how he really got invited to this one, even though acting wasn't his thing. Amy seemed to have grinned and walked away.
"Quite right, yes. You can just call me John. Everyone else was quite pretentious, so I didn't bother to give them my name." Clara chuckled at that. "I'm surprised you remembered."
"Of course. It was quite the show from someone I hadn't expected to be able to do such things." A cheeky punch at his age, of course. He didn't care if he was 55, he bloody well felt like he was in his thirties. But it wasn't out of disgust, it was out of jest so he wasn't as offended as he would have been. Plus, he didn't want to scare her away by making her feel as though his feelings were hurt.
"Don't judge a book by it's cover, Clara. I'm more than what you may see." He said, sipping whatever hell alcohol he chose to pick up. He wasn't sure if that was implied as anything but friendly, but if she felt it didn't, she said nothing. She didn't leave after the introduction like most of the people he spoke to. He was surprised, if anything, that she didn't already move on to the next strapping gentleman. But he knew not to ask if a good thing was happening. They kept on talking, for a long period of time. It felt like hours, but it really had only been thirty minutes.
"I haven't really had the pleasure of talking to anybody like me." She said, after a long talk about how she wrote songs, which was less than conventional. Apparently, she baked failed souffles while determining what to compose for whoever she had to write for. It was weird, but it was an amusing quirk he found...dare he think it, cute. He brushed the thought away as quick as it came. That was inappropriate and he knew it.
"Like you?" He inquired.
"Someone who doesn't know what they're doing." Oh, she's perceptive. He wondered what gave it away. He wasn't very good at making masks yet. "I came because Amy wanted me to get more people to write for and honestly, I'm not one for parties like this. It's too adult-like and posh for me. I don't know how to weave through people and converse about small talk. Especially when I am with strangers."
"I'm a friend." He offered lamely. Clara contemplated this and for the briefest of moments he had expected her to scoff or something of the sort, but she didn't. Instead, she laughed.
"You know what, yes, you are." He let out a breath he didn't know he had actually held until that point. Even her laugh was interesting and the way her face turned to jubilant amusement.
"Oh, there's Adrien. I have to go, John, but it was nice to talk to you." She gave him the briefest of winks before disappearing into the crowd. Adrien, he guessed, was her boyfriend or some equivalent. She was a couple of yards away now. So much for conversation. He put his glass on a table nearby and felt alone yet again. He wondered how many days will it take until he saw her again.
It only took about a few minutes as he was determining whether or not he should leave when she came back into his eye line.
"You're still here? Would you like to come out with me for a bit?" She gestured outside. He couldn't tell if she was flirting or just wanted to use him as an excuse to leave. He was always rubbish when it came to people. That's probably why he was alone like this.
"What about Adrien?"
"Adrien? Oh, his wife was calling him back home, so he had to go." He hoped his face didn't betray any pleasure in the fact that Adrien was not indeed her boyfriend or any form of lover. But he shouldn't, he really shouldn't. He was way older than her and it wouldn't be appropriate. It just wouldn't. "Let's go, yeah?"
His mouth opened, prepared to say a yes, when his phone rang in his pocket. He took it out and glanced, his eyes narrowing, "Oh. It's my manager, hold on."
"No worries." He answered the call as Clara went off for a moment to speak with a nearby stranger. She was so chatty, he wondered how she could even feel as though she was an awkward person in a crowd. She was just so vibrant, like a ray of sunlight in the darkness of this mingling of sweaty bodies in a small room of uncomfortable proportions.
"Hello? What is it now, Missy? I'm in the middle of something." The annoyance was clear in his voice. Missy chuckled at this. Oh, she had an ulterior motive.
"You don't want to even talk to me, so I'm assuming Clara has captured your attention faster than I thought." Missy, his dearly beloved manager came from the other end. She was one of the few people he kept close to him, despite her annoying timing, strange dress, and overall strange demeanor. But, he couldn't complain. She had gotten him this far and he was sure she would get him further, as a friend and as a manager.
"What the hell are you talking about?" He growled quietly into the phone as he looked at Clara seemingly agreeing with the woman she was speaking to.
"Pretend as though I am talking to you about something regarding business because I'm assuming I probably interrupted your conversation with her. Before you dare open your mouth, I will answer the questions that you will say out loud and it will not prove well for you if she is in earshot." Clara was in earshot. "Yes, I set Clara up with you. I asked Amy to bring her closer, she's a contact I have been conferring with for awhile. Clara is a damn good songwriter, John, more so than you will ever know unless you work with her." This was not how he was hoping that he was to get closer to Clara. He had hoped Amy genuinely wanted her to meet him. Now he felt as though Clara had been deceived by his manager. Missy sensed this and continued, "She knew you already from the last gig you did. A fan of the little bit of work you have, as Amy put it, but she doesn't show preference to stay in good terms with all the people she writes for. It'll be nice, John, you know it will be."
"But nothing. It's a plus that Clara already knew you from your previous gig. Get to know her better. Get her to write a song for you, because John, honestly, you aren't making a lot of money and time is of the essence." Missy paused before continuing with tenderness, which was something completely new from someone like Missy, "As a friend and not as your boss, I am telling you to get her to do so." She was right of course. Living in London wasn't the best decision, cost-wise for someone who had tossed the idea of work a long time ago. If he didn't make money, that pool that he had saved from his smaller acts would be gone before he knew it. He growled, sighing, knowing she was right.
"Fine. I'll think about it." He concluded. An exasperated sigh came from the receiver.
"You're not going to think about it, John, you're going to bloody well do it." She hung up on him and Clara noticed this, striding back to him.
"Ready?" She asked him expectantly. He didn't feel so well about leaving with her anymore, but he couldn't say no.