They had been set up the week before. Her friend had coaxed her into coming out for a meal at a casual, low-key restaurant in Notting Hill with loads of people. Her friend knew she’d never shown up for a double date. And when it turned out to be only the four of them, it was too late to run away. Besides, she was pretty hungry. And that guy was kind of cute.
They talked about everything and nothing. He made her laugh. They shared fries and tomato salad. She skipped down the stairs on the way down to the restrooms. And almost broke an arm, slipping on the smooth concrete steps. The pain made her cry, but she gritted her teeth and popped her swollen elbows into buckets with ice. She couldn’t possibly leave now.
He had to go to Sweden during the week. He only lived in London at weekends. They had a proper date on the following Saturday. A walk in Hyde Park. Cappuccinos and cake at a tiny coffee place on Westbourne Grove. They had been kicked out at 9pm, surprised at how quickly the time had passed.
He gave her a present. Not flowers. Not chocolates. Art prints. How had he known she loved Marilyn Monroe? He just liked the prints because she looked so happy. They reminded him of her.
She would keep the prints. She would keep the remains of the first bag of Haribos they had shared. She would keep that cute guy.
Happy Anniversary, Big M. And thank you, A&K!