By Chance

‘“Elle,” Niall smiled. “It’s a pleasure to meet yeh’.” He said, shaking Elle’s hand gently. Elle recognised the twang that was evident in the way he spoke to be an Irish accent. She caught his bright blue eyes in her own and felt somehow that Niall was also familiar to her.’
Elle has lived in central London for a little over a week with just one key to her flat. One afternoon she bumps into somebody in the street, losing her only key down the drain. The stranger, somehow familiar, convinces her to stay the night at his place where she meets his flatmates, who are also familiar to her. They are generous, humorous and very welcoming, and it doesn’t take long for Elle to recall who they really are. From there laughter, talent, friendship, romance and careers ensue, all by chance.

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1. One

Elle Meredith was dreaming that she was in a dark room all on her own when someone abruptly turned on a bright light. Despite the unpleasant surprise it was a warm and welcoming light that drew her from her unsatisfying slumber. She opened her eyes to the same bright light and as she woke up realised that she had fallen asleep on her single armchair once more, the early sun blaring through the window on her face.
Sighing heavily she glanced around the room. It was a mess. Boxes full of her possessions were stacked around her with only half of them being unpacked. Clothes were left on every surface, objects tightly clothed in bubble wrap created paths on the floor and the kitchenware her mother had given her was strewn across the attached kitchen. It was a small flat fit for no more than two people and it was full. But it felt empty.
Elle interpreted her dream to have reflected her newfound independence that came with moving to central London. Within weeks of finishing school, and being eighteen, she moved from the quiet outer suburbs that she had grown up in to work full time for at least one year before pursuing further study or a career.
She had only been living in her flat for a little over a week and was finding it hard to completely unpack as she worked full time. She had found a suitable job only a block away from her building before she officially moved in. It was a small cafe, The Corner Bakery, in the city centre and was always busy. She was lucky to have found such a job with good pay and a great location. Because of her time consuming work she was only able to unpack in the evenings.
As such, she had stayed up much too late the night before trying to get as much done as possible and fell asleep in her armchair, still wearing her work clothes from the previous day. She was beginning to think she would never finish unpacking at this rate. She glanced at the clock leaning against the wall where she intended to hang it. Half past six. She had to be at work by eight.
Feeling very weary she willed herself out of the comfort of her armchair with her drowsy limbs and stretched her already sore body. She guessed she had about five hours sleep at most and was finding it hard to believe that she had to work up until closing time- five in the afternoon.
She spent time in the shower waking up properly and trying to feel energised before having a more than satisfying breakfast that she hoped would make up for her lost sleep.
Once she was as ready as she could be for the long day she knew she had ahead of her, she picked up the single key she was handed to her flat and walked her way to work with her bag hooked on her shoulder and an umbrella in her hand.

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