Wedding Night

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CC Image courtesy of RMH40 on FlickrI look at the screen and frown. It’s late, I’m still recovering from drinking my body weight in wine and the prospect of reading an industry report on processed cheese isn’t all that appealing.

*

One of the bridesmaids points him out to me as the only straight, single man there. I look him over, the guy from Dubai, and decide I’m not in the mood for rejection.

Then dinner happens. Pierre to my left is a familiar face from university. He’s charming, French and so not interested. At one point I look over at Catherine.

‘Anything?’ I mouth, nodding in Pierre’s direction.

‘No.’

‘No?’

She could at least pretend.

‘No Anna.’

CC Image courtesy of N@ncyN@nce on Flickr

Catherine and I head in the direction of the bar with a view to asking about taxis.

‘Or,’ I say, putting a hand on her arm, ‘I could try talking to the guy from Dubai?’

‘No Anna.’

‘Why not?!’

‘Because….’ She sighs. ‘Will it make you happy?’

‘Probably not.’

 

‘Oh! Thank you!’ I take one of the G&Ts winging its way to the table via Dubai. ‘You’re Erik, right?’

He confirms his name, asks mine.

‘I’ll rise,’ I say, getting up, ‘in the words of Maya Angelou.’

It’s not my first gin of the night.

‘What?’

‘Oh nothing.’

You’re tall,’ he says.

‘So are you.’

We talk. I discover he loves oysters, Futurist sculpture and Egon Schiele and that he works for his family’s processed cheese business. By the time we’re dancing Viennese waltz in the driveway I’m pretty much a lost woman.

CC Image courtesy of flickr-rickr on Flickr

Catherine comes over. ‘Our taxi’s here.’

I rise from the hay bale, say my goodbyes to Pierre and the other guests. Finally I come to Erik.

‘It was nice to meet you.’

‘You’re leaving?’

We walk a little way from the bonfire.

‘Goodbye.’

‘Goodbye.’

His lips touch mine.

 

‘Why didn’t I stay?!’ I say to the ceiling.

Catherine in the neighbouring bed laughs. This has been my reprise pretty much since we left the bonfire.

 

A week later I’m showing Erik’s LinkedIn photo to close friends with an entirely unfounded sense of pride and ownership. I’ve added him on Facebook, which he doesn’t appear to use, and have heard nothing. I haven’t read the processed cheese report.

 

I decide to shelve all further explorations until the happy couple return from honeymoon and are ready to be reminded that they have friends who are still single and sufficiently unhinged to believe that a distance of 3000 miles is no obstacle to a relationship.

CC Image courtesy of Kurush Pawar - DXB on Flickr

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Untitled (2013)

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CC Image courtesy of danielweiresq on Flickr‘We haven’t bumped into each other in a while!’

He’s got this big beaming smile, big arms – I’m not usually one for muscles, but if they’re going – and twinkly blue eyes.  For a moment I wonder why, a few Facebook messages in, my interest in the guy had cooled, I’d stopped asking questions, he’d stopped asking questions etc etc.

Then I remember.  It was the mention of ‘Christian karaoke’.  Which is ironic, because there’s something a bit god-like about his looks.  If I were to describe him in greater detail, which I’d quite like to do, and send a draft to my mother, she would reply ‘M&B’, meaning Mills & Boon, meaning cliché-ridden and basically shit.

I smile back.  ‘No we haven’t!’

And isn’t that a shame, I think, remembering our last pavement encounter.

Actually it is kind of a shame.

 

It’s the end of the evening, and people are lining up for the last dance.   I’ve been charged with rallying the troops.

I pass by where he’s standing, chatting to a girl I know.

‘Are you guys dancing?’ I say.

He dons his jacket.  ‘Actually I’m going.’

‘Oh no!  Well, nice to see you…’

We kiss on the cheeks.

‘You still haven’t given me that tour!’ he says, grinning.

I grin back – of course I do‘No, well…’

Does he actually want me to, or is he just being charming?  Which I hate.

‘It looks like you’ve got contemporary stuff on at the moment, from what I could see in the windows?’

‘Yes, it’s just coming to an end.’  I laugh.  ‘And I wouldn’t have wanted to inflict that on you!’

He grins.  ‘You’re not a fan?’

‘I’d have thought you’re not.’

He concurs.

‘I’ll let you know when there’s something good on,’ I say.

Will I?

A flash of that smile.

I will…

And a cheery goodbye.

… tomorrow probably.

CC Image courtesy of Tilemahos Efthimidias on Flickr