The Time Of My Life

Cassie Holmes never expected to win the Win a Date with One Direction creative writing competition. She had only entered because it gave her another excuse to write; something she loves to do. She’s not really a fan of the boy band, but when she meets her date of choice, Zayn Malik, she can’t help but feel drawn to him. Zayn is focused on his career as a member of One Direction, but after reading Cassie's winning entry he is intrigued. Meeting her in person, he is taken with her wit and charm. Will what starts out as just a publicity stunt become something more?

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3. The Date: Part 1 (Cassie)

The phone call came when the e-mail said it would.  There was a short discussion of what the date would consist of.  I want to have several options.  The editor explained that some things they would cover the cost,  like breakfast and lunch, but the rest I would have to pay towards myself which I thought was fair.

The week leading up to the date was a little nerve-racking though I tried my hardest not to think about it too much.

The day before the date, a car came to pick me up to take me to the London hotel where I would staying for two nights.  It had been arranged so that I could spend a whole day with Zayn.

I'd packed an overnight bag with a couple of changes of clothes along with a few necessities, including my Netbook.  I never spent a night away from it.  I wrote most of my stories, songs and poems on it.  I also put in my new iPhone which came just two days after I'd recieved the e-mail and phonecall.

After checking into the hotel, I went straight up to my room.

A double bed dominated the room, but there was still enough space for a desk in the corner by the window.  There was also a television set fixed the wall opposite the bed.  There was also a fairly spacius bathroom.

After finishing my exploration, I immediately unpacked my Netbook and settled down at the desk to write up some ideas for a story I'd been working on.

 

After a very good night's sleep, I showered and dressed in the outfit that my mother had helped me put together.  I had chosen my favourite quarter-length dark wash jeans, a green short sleeve T-shirt with a pink and purple butterfly design, and purple trainers.  My favourite butterfly stud ear-rings and a platinum watch completed the look.

I had a quick much on on a cereal bar to tide me over before brushing my teeth and putting on a wish brush of waterprood mascara on my eyelashes.

In my handbag, I'd put in my iPhone, wallet, a bottle of water and an umbrella; you never know when you might need it.

Chekcing the time it had just gone half past eight.  Time for me to go down to the lobby where I was to wait for Zayn.

I was just about ready, except for a few last minute touches.  With a swipe of lipgloss and a sprtiz of my favourite perfume, I was ready.

 

Arriving on the ground floor, I checked my watch again to see that I still had fifteen minutes to spare, so I asked the receptionist to tell whoever asked for me that I was be in the seating area.

I plopped myself down in an armchair and took out my iPhone.  I had already copied my favourite songs into it.  Popping one earphone into one ear, I selected Emmy Rossum's Slow Me Down.  I couldn't help singing along to it while I waited.

"Cassie Holmes?"

I looked up, startled.  I hadn't been so deep in the song I hadn't heard anyone walk up to me.  It was Zayn.

"That's me," I said.

He was even better in real life; his pictures and music videos didn't do him justice.  His jet black hair was styled in a way reminded me a little of Robbie Williams.  He had light brown eyesand a cute, boyish face.  He was long and lean with a little muscle.  He was dressed casually in light blue jeans, white trainers and a read button-up shirt thar brough out his tanned skin.

"I'm Zayne," he said.  "I believe we have a date?"

I could help letting out a snort of laughter as I stood up.  "Yes, we do."

Placing a hand on the small of my back, he led me out to the car.

 

The atmosphere was a bit awkward, as neither of us really knew what to say to each other,  So I decided to make small talk.

"Nice weather today, isn't it?" I asked.  The weather was always a good place to start.

Zayn looked up surprised.  "Uh-yes, it is," he replied.

"Up in Oxford it's been raining cats and dogs nearly every day for the last couple of weeks," I said.

"You live in Oxford?" Zayn asked.

"Just outside Oxford, actually," I replied.  "It's close enought that it's only a twenty minute drive from the city centre, so it's oretty convenient since I go to Oxford University."

"What are you studying?"

"Creative Writing."

There was a pause in our conversation, before Zayn said, "I read your story."

"You did?" I asked.

He nodded.  "I really enjoyed it, and so did my band-mates."

"They all read it?"

"They said that the guy reminded them a lot of me," he said.  "Which I have to admit I could definitely see; it was kind of like seeing myself on paper."

I blushed a little, I was not used to praise from someone who was not family, friend or a teacher.  "Well, you were the inspiration for the character," I remarked.  "I read some of the books that were published about your band, and watched some of your interviews and and music videos to get a feel for your personality."

"Do you watch the X Factor?" he asked.

"No," I replied.  "I actually prefer The Voice UK."

"Fair enough."

We then started an argument about which programme was better, which led to a discussion about the musicians who had found fame through them.  Inevitably we started a discussion about Zayn's own band.  When I confessed that I wasn't a fan of his band and had only entered the competition, Zayn had been shocked speechless; mimicking the face of a fish.

"You must be really dedicated to your writing to enter for just that," Zayn commented when the shock had worn off.  "I admire that.

"You are too, unless I've read you wrong," I said.  "From what I understand it takes real dedication to get through the X Factor, even if you didn't win."

At this point we had come to a stop outside McDonald's, which we had decided on for breakfast.  Zayn ordered a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Bagel, a Fruit Bag and a black coffee, while I had a Double Sausage and Egg McMuffin, a Hash Brown and a cup of tea with milk; well, the chauffeaur ordered them for us after we told them what we wanted.

I was a little surprised at Zayn's choice, as I knew that he was Muslim through his Pakistani father, but then I had heard from a television programme that children from a Mulsim-Christian marriage often 'mixed and matched' their family beliefs and customs, for lack of a better term.

"What would you like to do first?" he asked when we'd finished eating.

"What do you usually do when you go out?" I asked.

"Cinema, bowling, karaoke, hanging out at the music stores...that kind of thing," he replied, vaguely.

For some reason I got the feeling he was testing me, to see what I would choose.

"Well, when I go out with friends I usually go window-shopping, to the cinema or karaoke," I said.  "Or, depending on the the person, to a museum or art gallery."

I thought the last two might appeal to him because I'd read somewhere that one of his hobbies was drawing.

"How about the Museum of Natural History/" I asked.  I hadn't been there in years; not since I was six or seven when my uncle and his family were visiting from Italy.  I can still remember running around the dinosaur exhibit with my cousin Roberto , who loved it so much that I'd written a story about a boy discovering a land of dinosaurs with him as the main character.  He had been so chuffed with it when I read it to him that he wanted a written copy of it to take home.

I wasn't sure if Zayn would agree to going to the museum, but I was happy when he did.

We didn't have to pay for tickets, so we just went right in.

The museum was even more wonderful than I remembered.  Some of the exhibits hadn't changed in fifteen years, but there was a lot that had been added, and many of the information panels had been digitised and made to be interactive.

I'd ignored most of the displays when I was little, but now that ther I was older I could appreciate it more.  Laos, you never know when something will inspire a thought that would later turn into a story.

In the Red Zone, there was a gallery with sculptures of 'key figures in Earth's history and mythology', according to the brochure I picked up at the entrance.  At the base of each of sculpture there was an artefact of some kind, a fossil or a mineral of some form.  One of the sculptures was of a Cyclops and at its' mase was a Mastadon skull with a hole in the middle of its' head.  The information panel next to it said that this was what may have inspired the myth of one-eyed giants.  Maybe I could write a story about someone finding a cyclops skull.

Time just flew by in the museum, and we found ourselves back in the Central Hall just before my stomach started growling at me.  I blushed in embarassment.

Zayn chuckled before saying, "I'm hungry too."

Glancing at my watch, I saw it was now nearly quarter past one in the afternoon.  We'd started browsing the museum at about ten o'clock, so we'd spent a more than three hours in the museum.  No wonder we were hungry!

"What shall we have for lunch?" Zayn asked.

"How do you feel about Italian?  I know the best Italian restaurant in London," I replied.  I hadn't been to cousin Luigi's place in a while.

Zayn shrugged.  "Why not?"

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