I dry my hands, and shoulder my bag. Typical, I think, looking in the mirror: a really good hair day and I’m spending the evening in the library.
I swipe my card, and push open the door. The heat of the afternoon sun hits me. I root around in my bag for my sunglasses and set off down the street.
On the corner is a café. As I approach, three guys come out. They’re all in suits, carrying takeaway coffees. Smug, I think to myself; and the one in the middle, vaguely familiar… oh shit. I’m pretty sure he’s seen me. I pretend to be searching for something in my bag. As we draw level, I look up.
He smiles. ‘Hello.’
I smile back – of course I do. ‘Hello.’
We kiss on the cheeks. His companions hover nearby.
‘You’ve been at work?’ he says.
‘Yes, but I’m off now to sunbathe!’
‘Ooh. I’m very….’
He smiles. ‘Envious, but not too much. I’ve just had a long lunch in the square.’
‘Lovely! I only found out about it recently, but it’s perfect for this weather.’
‘Yes! So, how are things?’
‘Fine, thanks.’ I nod towards the building I’ve just come out of. ‘I’m here quite a lot now.’
When we first met I was based at the other office. Now we’re just around the corner from each other. I look for a subject change.
‘And err… yes! Lots of time on the phones!’
‘But,’ I add quickly, ‘I’m going up to Scotland later in the month, for a ball, which I’m looking forward to.’
‘Are you going to any of the balls?’
‘No,’ he says, ‘but I’m going up in September to do a couple of weeks’ fishing.’
His passion. He told me about it between reels. Pun not intended.
He glances at his colleagues; they’re getting restless, and so is he, I can tell. ‘Well….’
My cue to leave.
‘Yes, well, fishing! Enjoy! See you soon!’
I turn and walk away.
‘“Lots of time on the phones”?’ I repeat to myself, shaking my head. ‘What was I thinking?!’
Passing the café, I catch a glimpse of my reflection in the glass and smile. Next stop: library.