THE UBER FOR EXPERIENCES – New Rules Novel | New Rules Novel

EMMA - CHAPTER 20 - (6 Min Read)


I poured myself a Grey Goose with lots of ice, making a point not to spill as it felt for some reason like everyone was watching. I packed into the corner couch next to a black woman that looked straight out of a Vogue spread, a stunning afro that you just wanted to plunge your hands into. An urge that after a few drinks; I normally wouldn’t hold back on, but thankfully sense prevailed as I didn’t really know any of these people.

“She smelt like a really good secret – juicy and a little naughty.”

This girl oozed cool. Perfect lips covered in red lipstick, a white t-shirt with slashes across the front that showed only hits of skin. I dropped my head closer to her as she introduced herself, lingering there for a second, drawing her in. She smelt like a really good secret – juicy and a little naughty. It was just so effortless for some people. Imagine being like that for a month, a year – to taste how they navigated the world. Would it be as easy as it looked? Would the experience just wreck you forever?

The coke had removed the sloppiness of the booze and seeming opened up my nose, which was weird – you’d think your sense of smell would get worse. A guy on the other couch looked at me with a wide smile, was it obvious I was sniffing this girl?

The Ace Hotel was the perfect extension to a night of escape. Michael was being lame again; Viv was meeting up with the shiny shoes banker. I was free to be whoever I wanted. All these people were just so brilliant and open, all here to have fun and with no bullshit. Here I could be whoever I wanted, and just wanted to swim around in that.


Some LA crowd is taking ridiculous seflies. “Mum is getting a Tesla so of course I’ll be getting the Mercedes.” Comes from one of their mouths. I couldn’t resist tweeting it.

Out on the balcony I end up chatting to the women that I hoped to be when I got older, not at all out of place at 2am, stylish enough to compete with anyone here.

“It’s not that I haven’t learned a lot.” I said, “The people, the opportunities, they have been great. It’s just. You know. I feel I’m just treading water, that I could be doing my own thing.”

“Yeah. Why don’t you?” She said, “You seem like you have it together.” taking a sip from her Vodka and then pressing her lips together.

She looked over the city, opened her mouth to speak, and paused before saying, “I wish I had learned to chase what I wanted when I was younger”.

We shared a cigarette, peering back into the suite through the mesh curtains; the view dominated by bare legs and Jordan sneakers. A few people danced, most hovered around the numerous bottles of liquor. I loved partying in hotel rooms.

Glamorous was the wrong word – she was cooler then that. She apologized for not knowing my name, even though I never told her. Charlie was her name, she knew Vince, but wasn’t close to him. The door slid open and smiling guy from inside stepped out, putting his arm around her waist. “I might have to join you guys for one of those.” He said.

“Alex, this is Emma, she organized the East & Low party last week.” Charlie said.

“Hey Emma, thanks. That was a great night, amazing turnout – you have quite a knack for it.”

“Perhaps.” I said, “I’m sorry if I was being weird inside. Did you see me smelling that girl? It’s just that….”

“Smelling her? No, no worries. How did she smell?” He said, as Charlie gave him a weird look.

“Pretty good actually.” I laughed and drew smiles from them.

“She is stunning. Reminds me of a leopard.”

“Emma was just saying how she would love to go out and do her own thing.” She said.

“Really, what do you want to do?” He took her cigarette from her.

He reminded me of the younger partner at my dad’s firm, the single one that would come to the summer barbeques at our place. It was only after I had hit full stride that I noticed my mouth was running.

“It’ll be a service for luxury curated holidays, really unique experiences that give people the chance to be a part of something. You know, to create a story or access a life that you can’t do in some hotel or even AirBnb. To work with a designer in their studio for a week and create something or join a group of actors for a week in a luxury house and perform something at the end of it. These kind of things are just not on offer at the moment. The combination of luxury access and creating all sorts of weird stories.” I had worked myself into a hype. It just felt so good to talk. There was a tingle down the back of my neck and across the front of my chest.

“The Uber for experiences.” She said, “Sounds amazing, where can we sign up?” Smiling at me then over at him. He brushed his hair back and took a sip of what looked like Scotch.

“Mason. He has that hungry look that can be cute on guys, but next to Charlie and Alex he just looks so young.”

A guy from the East & Low party appears from nowhere and thanks me for letting him and his friend in. Mason. He has that hungry look that can be cute on guys, but next to Charlie and Alex he just looks so young. He thanks me for letting him and his friend in which makes me look good in front of my new friends, but we are in the middle of talking about me, so I shut him out a little. Making a note to chat to him later on.

“Holidays are just a chance for bragging rights; all they want is something that someone else hasn’t done or can’t have, so they can flash it on Facebook and make people jealous.”

“So, say I want to take a boat to India tomorrow, ride a motorbike halfway across the country, switch to a caravan of camels and end up in a some sort of cave palace for a week, you help me with that?”

“Sure,” I said, “Pack your bags!”

“I’m good to go,” he said, stretching his arms out.

“It’s a really cool idea, you should do it. Holidays are just a chance for bragging rights; all they want is something that someone else hasn’t done or can’t have, so they can flash it on Facebook and make people jealous.”

“Perhaps.” I smiled as bubbles popped under my skull, working their way down my spine, between my shoulders.

He must have picked up that I was feeling the cold, offering his jacket. I looked at her for approval before accepting, her green eyes gave a quick approval. He finished his drink; through the curtain I watched the back of a girl in leather pants dancing. I decided I deserved a pair of leather pants.

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