Thursday, 9 July 2015

Hero





A note slipped in her diary whilst she was away in the toilet. 

That was a bold move, Andy thought. That was a bold stupid move. Andy was sat a few tables away from her and he had promised to watch her bags and laptop whilst she ‘nipped to the loo’ as she put it. With no idea of what her name was Andy had formed a relationship of trust with a stranger, something he doesn’t very often have with anybody. His last girlfriend Clarissa was either a control freak or a nervous wreck, flitting between the two so that Andy always felt slightly responsible for their continued state of tension. She’s dating that bikram yoga instructor now so, each to their own he consoled himself.

Whilst peering over the edge of his book at her belongings intently (like a hero) it occurred to Andy that, well, she had been quite attractive really. Kind eyes, bright hair, soft features; he continued to muse contentedly that he was now her watchman, her uncredited protector. 

But then the waiter came and dread filled his feeble fleeting heart.

Alexander the waiter believed in himself and called everyone “darling” in a lovingly sexist way. If a pretty lady entered his establishment and didn’t have the exact change for a mocha he’d do what any self-appreciating male with sexual prowess would do, he’d give her a smile and a wink and let her have the mocha for less. Sure less, not free - he has principles come’ on ladies. Twenty minutes ago, Alexander, was serving the lady with the currently unattended bags and had spotted her feminine waistline and shiny eyes. Now’s his chance. Striding over with purpose to her empty chair Alexander wipes it down with a cloth and slips his phone number in to her closed diary that she left on the table. 

Wide-eyed but with no other external signs of shock Andy awaits with foreboding. A dark cloud emitting drizzle has formed around his head. Clammy.

What if the nice woman who had asked me to watch her bags while she went to the bathroom thinks it’s ME?! And I have somehow broken her trust. I’ll never be asked to be a hero again. I’ll never be considered by her to be an honest trustworthy individual! And when she finds that number she’ll be filled with conceit and probably tut inside her head that all men are pricks and after one thing only. Well I’m not after one thing only! He thought decidedly (although he did quite fancy her but that was besides the point at this minute.)

She came back and Andy had missed his chance to do anything about the note slipped inside her personal private diary, he was livid with himself, all he had to do was take the note out and eat it or something why hadn't he acted fast enough?

‘Thanks’, she said and smiled back at him. 

The waiter behind the counter gave her a wink across the cafe. Andy grabbed his belongings hurriedly scraping them in to his bag before disastrously upturning a saucer filled with the residue of his filter coffee on to his crotch making him exclaim ‘shitheap!’ downwardly into his soul. The woman who was sat cross-legged at her laptop smiled over the edge of her screen in his direction with forgiveness and understanding. ‘Sorry’ muttered Andy and hurriedly dashed out forgetting his book behind, and so clambered back in past the other diners and metallic tables that scraped over the linoleum floor apologising again and again to recover his book and then finally leaving to get the hell out of there. 

Cath turned to the correct page of her diary to check dates and found a slip of paper with a telephone number written across it and a small black scribbled heart in the corner. Written on receipt-paper she thought turning it over in her fingers. The heart looks like something drawn by a pre-schooler. Completely uninterested she ordered another black coffee and went back to checking dates in her diary.