Now as it happened he didn’t hear anything the next day apart from an email letting him know that his profile had been accepted and welcoming him to the service. Also they wanted to know if he would like to subscribe so he could contact other members, he declined. He may have had his profile on the website (and he did because he had seen it) but he wasn’t paying anything, he had decided that from the start. Anyway he could contact women if he wanted to without shelling out any of his hard earned. He could do this by sending them his profile, that let them know he was interested and hope they would contact him. They called this a virtual kiss. How corny, even the thought of it made him want to vomit!
He didn’t bother sending his profile to anyone, he just thought he’d wait and see what happened. It didn’t take long for something to happen, when he got home from work the next day and checked his email Jimmy had a virtual kiss!
It didn’t mater that she was cuddly and average looking, or that she lived miles away from his home or that she was in a loveless marriage and was looking for a way out, or even that she smoked. She had shown an interest in Jimmy from what he had written and with no photo.
Now from the very start the alarm bells should have started ringing but, he had tunnel vision, he had had one reply, it might be the only reply and he wasn’t going to let her get away. So caution to the wind and out with his credit card to pay the subscription. Jimmy emailed her, Heather she was called, told her he was pleased to hear from her and told her a bit more about himself, also asked for a picture and told her he would get her one as soon as possible. As soon as he sent the email he was off credit card in hand to buy a scanner for his pc!
When he got in he was straight back to the pc, checking his email and there it was a reply from Heather with a photo, and, another virtual kiss!
Shit! What was he going to do now?
He liked Heathers photo, she was definitely cuddly, but she did have a pretty face and a glint in her eye. She said in her email that she would like to meet him and that did start the alarm bells, surely there was more than a hint of desperation here! Jimmy wrote to her saying surely she would rather wait till she knew what he looked like and they found out a bit more about each other. She must have thought this was the elbow as he never heard from her again.
Becky on the other hand was a different prospect completely. She was divorced, lived closer, but still a haul and was a slim fit lady who loved the gym. She was a mature student who had gone back to school to improve her job prospects and was looking for new friends. Sounded good to Jimmy even though she was studying forensic science and her hobbies were Arthurian legends, he could learn as he went along. Obviously he couldn’t or he would have learnt something from Heather!
Jimmy spent hours on the Internet learning about King Arthur and forensic science, and then sent her a sweet email and attached a photo! He had found an old photo taken a few years before in the back garden with his shirt off which after he cropped it a bit didn’t think looked too bad, then waited. He didn’t have to wait long, she wrote back saying that she loved the photo and she wanted to get to know him better. By this time he was shitting his pants and had realised that they had very little in common and did something that he regretted ever since. He didn’t reply! This was the first and only time he ever did this and was well out of order, and he was sorry, but this was a learning curve after all.
Jimmy now decided that he would search for women who he liked the look of and not wait for them to contact him. He had paid for a month’s subscription and was going to get his monies worth. So he sent out a few virtual kisses of his own and emailed a few women who looked like a good match. Before long he was talking to five different women, which was quite hard work and time consuming. He was having to print everything off that he sent or received to make sure that he didn’t mix up any of the women or tell them the same thing twice! Jimmy was enjoying it immensely and found he had a bit of a flair for it. He was quite a shy guy and if he was out at a party or sitting at a bar he would try and find a corner and hide himself so he wouldn’t have to talk to anyone. When he could hide behind his computer he turned into a different person. He had a whole day to work out what he wanted to say and he didn’t have to hold back. If someone sent him a picture and they had a great smile or a cute nose or a sexy glint in their eye, he could tell them that, something he would find it hard to do to their face. Probably one reason his marriage broke up, he could be quite romantic on the inside but found it hard to show it on the outside.
It was about this time that he got introduced to the world of instant messaging which was a bit of a shock. He was happily typing an email when a message popped up on the screen saying “Hi”. He eventually worked out how to reply and did so, not knowing who he was talking to! Jimmy had to ask! It was a lady he had just started talking to and had recently given his email address to, Jackie. This moved things up a level as far as he was concerned as he had to think on his feet. He still had the security of being able to hide behind his computer screen but instead of having a whole day to think of what he was going to say he had to be spontaneous.
Jackie was good looking, she had her hair cut short and bleached blonde which suited her, and was funny and they got on well. The I M was fun and he took to it quickly but wasn’t to keen on getting everyone on there, man that would be a disaster! He worked out how to appear offline when he was online and that way he could talk to whoever he wanted to without offending anyone. He still emailed the others daily but spoke more regularly to Jackie. They were getting on well and had even exchanged mobile numbers. She had three boys who were into the same things as his boys and they stayed with their dad the same weekend Jimmy’s boys were with their mum. This was to be his downfall.
They had only been talking for about a week when on a Sunday morning Jackie popped up on his screen trying to find out what he was doing for dinner. It took him a while to realise she wanted him to ask her out for lunch as we were both sat at home alone. He knew this as she had told him after he picked up the courage that if he hadn’t asked her then she was going to have to ask him! They arranged to meet at a local tourist area which was about halfway between both their homes and have a wander around and choose somewhere to eat.
They logged off shortly after and then the panic set in. Jimmy was going on a date for the first time in over fifteen years and basically a blind date at that! He knew he only had one chance to make a first impression, he had two hours, what would he do first? He washed his car! He had an old scruffy motor but thought it would be important for it to be clean, male logic? Then he had a bath dressed casually and made sure to spray lots of deodorant as he was sure he would sweat plenty! He left early and was there in plenty of time so went and checked out the restaurants, then he got a text message from Jackie saying she was stuck in traffic and was going to be late. This gave him plenty of time to find somewhere to eat and try and relax.
Jimmy had a quick look around the restaurants then went back to the cinema where they had agreed to meet. It was a nice day so he took of his jumper and sat on the steps in front of the cinema in the sunshine waiting for Jackie to show. She was only a few minutes late in the end and when she arrived he could tell she had made a real effort which made him feel under dressed. She looked as good as she did in her photo but was quite a bit larger than he expected. Jimmy was sure it didn’t say cuddly on her profile!
As she walked towards him she looked a bit confused as if she was there to meet someone else. Perhaps a bit like him she hadn’t got exactly what she was expecting. Jimmy got up to meet her as she walked towards him, but he had a problem, what did he do now? Shake her hand, kiss her or what? He sort of tried the first two together and got the, or what! He half of stuck out his hand and at the same time lent forward puckering up, he looked a bit like he was doing a weird robotic dance. Jackie just stood in front of him with a look of astonishment and didn’t kiss him or shake his hand. Oh shit! he thought to himself.
“You Jimmy?” Jackie said with a frown.
“Yes, and you must be Jackie” he replied feeling his cheeks glow red and added “Nice to meet you.”
“Yeah, hi, I’m Jackie. Wasn’t sure it was you as you look, errrrm, different.”
“Don’t take this the wrong way but, older!”
Jimmy turned a darker red colour and managed to stammer out “Sssooorry!”
“Well we’re here now we might as well get something to eat.”
This is going well, Jimmy thought to himself wishing he could disappear into thin air.
“There’s a carvery just around the corner doing Sunday roast, you fancy that?” Jimmy said trying to sound confident and in control but sounding more like a timid mouse.
“Sounds good to me.” Jackie replied
They walked the short distance to the carvery in silence. When they got there they were shown to a table. They were lucky to get one as the place was packed to the rafters, Jimmy mentioned as much and got a grunt in reply.
“Just take a plate and help yourself.” The waiter said.
Jackie got up first and Jimmy followed, he had an embarrassing experience at a carvery before which he didn’t want to repeat. There had been a stack of what he thought were wooden plates, nice touch, which he started loading with vegetables. Even when the guy carving the meat said “You sure you don’t want a plate instead of a tray, the gravy will run on the floor!” he still didn’t twig. He had to be given a plate which had lead to uproar from the queue behind him.
Jimmy watched carefully as she lent forward to pick up a china plate and he followed suit. He must have been watching too carefully because when he stood upright he smashed his head on a rather large ornamental light fitting.
“Fuck off!” He shouted loudly then wishing he hadn’t as the whole place went silent and everybody turned to look! The light was still shaking but hadn’t broken as Jimmy rubbed his head.
Jackie turned to him and with a look of disgust said. “What did you do that for?”
“You think I did it on purpose?”
“Everybody looked at us!”
“Sorry!” Jimmy said unable to believe his ears. “It was an accident.”
They got their food and hardly spoke through the meal, for whatever reason it was obvious Jackie didn’t want to be there. What the fuck am I doing here? Jimmy thought to himself. When the bill came Jimmy was surprised Jackie insisted that they go Dutch, “As I like to pay my own way.” He walked her back to her car and they said their goodbyes. He hoped and prayed that if he went out on other dates they would go better than that! Well there was no way they could be worse.
Shortly after Jackie had the good grace to let Jimmy know that he wasn’t what she was looking for and wishing him good luck. Jimmy replied with much of the same, he could have been disheartened but he was still chatting to four other women so he got straight back on the trail.
His one regret, she didn’t even get to see his clean car!
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