Now he was down to four, two possible and two probable. Lynne who he’d chatted to a couple of times was off on her holidays and said she’d mail him when she got back. Jo who he was chatting to quite a bit but who was reluctant to meet up as she felt that he was either too tall or she was too short, Angie and Karen who were both keen to meet up. Jimmy wasn’t keen on meeting either of them yet after his recent experience with Jackie. He thought it prudent to find out as much as he could about both of them before they met. He used his boys as an excuse saying they were staying with him for a couple of weeks. This gave him a fortnight to pick their brains before he agreed to meet up with them.
Angie was a dental hygienist who worked in and around Farnham as a locum where she had a flat. She knew the Portsmouth area where Jimmy lived well as she had been in the navy and it was there that she learnt her trade. She hadn’t lived in Farnham long and was using the personals to make new friends. They chatted for a while and Jimmy made her laugh. She was having problems at work and he empathised with her and she liked that. She did live quite a haul away but what did that matter? They agreed to meet for lunch on the first available Sunday (Sunday lunch was getting a bit of a habit) at a pub restaurant by the river, near her home. He had worked for a while in nearby Aldershot and knew the area quite well. They were to meet in the car park so out came the chamois leather again! They had been chatting for a while now so he was hopeful the date would go a lot better than his previous effort. The big problem was he had lots of time to think about it and that was making him nervous.
Something else was making him nervous. One of the other ladies he was talking to, Karen, was keen to meet him and asked Jimmy out for lunch on the same day! He had to tell a fib and say he was lunching with his parents and they arranged to meet up on the Tuesday after at a local pub then on for a meal, he had never eaten so well! At least it would be dark and he wouldn’t have to wash the bloody car again!
Karen was very nice. She was a lecturer at a local college who had separated from her husband after she found out he was cheating on her. She had just moved into a small house with her two teenage kids and was looking to move on. As she was a teacher she would give Jimmy a topic to write about for the next day and when he had done it he would set her one. It was fun and a good way of finding out about each other, it also made him use his brain which had been vegetating ever since he left his management role and had become a postman.
On the Sunday morning of his date Jimmy set out in plenty of time as tardiness was one of his big time hates, one of his many anal traits. Probably too damn anal as he got there about an hour before they were due to meet! When you wake an hour before you have to get up that hour flies by and when you are in a boring meeting for an hour that hour drags. When you are waiting in a pub car park for an hour for a date you have never met time stands still and he swore it started going backwards!
Angie arrived about ten minutes late; Jimmy watched her drive into the car park in a brand new mini cooper which she parked virtually opposite him. He let her get out of her car and look around for him for a little while before he got out to meet her. It was like a penance for making him wait, childish, but he felt he had to make some sort of stand. As soon as she saw him she waved and gave him a huge smile, Jimmy gave a little wave and smiled coyly back. As she walked towards him Jimmy was able to check her out and was impressed with what he saw. Angie looked like one of those women who spent ages to make it look like she had “just thrown a couple of things on.” She was wearing jeans tucked into black patent leather boots, which had at least a two inch heal and a cream mohair jumper which did little to hide her ample bosom. Her chestnut coloured hair was cut to a shoulder length bob which seamed to shimmer as it was caught by the sun and she wore little if no make up. He had seen her picture and it hadn’t done her justice and now he was wishing it was a scratch and sniff photo because when she lent forward to kiss his cheek she smelt wonderful. Her perfume was a fresh smell with a hint of apple or cherries or maybe both and while he was trying to decide he hardly heard her say “Hello Jimmy”
He gave her a half vacant look.
“Jimmy, you are Jimmy right?” she smiled “I don’t usually go around car parks kissing strangers!”
“Yeah, I’m Jimmy” he said sheepishly “I was miles away!”
“Sorry I’m late, hope I didn’t keep you waiting too long?”
That brought him back to reality with a jolt. “That’s ok, don’t worry about it.” is what he said to her while inside he was thinking, Late! Fucking late! I’ve been waiting in this car park for over an hour and you’re fucking late! though after meeting her it didn’t hold the same venom as it might have.
They stood for a moment not really knowing what to do now they had met, until Angie said “Shall we go inside then?”
“Ok” Jimmy mumbled and they headed towards the entrance.
As they entered the foyer Jimmy was thinking to himself, this looks a bit up-market!
“It’s nice in here” he said as they arrived at the bar.
“Foods good as well” Angie said as she moved to let someone past with a tray of drinks so Jimmy could get served.
“What will you have?”
“Errm, a glass of the house red please. I’ll go bag a table outside while you get the drinks. Ok?”
“Yeah, ok, that’s fine.”
Turning to the barman Steve asked for “A pint of lager and a glass of house red please mate.”
“Large or small?”
“Large or small what?”
“Wine! You want a large or small one?” the barman said in a very patronising tone.
Fuck! Steve wasn’t sure what to do now, if he bought a small one he would look tight a large one he was trying to get her drunk. Bollocks!
“Large on please, buddy” he said with a cheesy grin filling his boots.
The grin wasn’t there for long when he got the bill; he didn’t get much change from a tenner, and was wishing he’d settled for the small one! It was up-market in here! As he walked across the room with the drinks Jimmy was sure he could see people nudging each other as if to say there’s the bloke who was sat in the car park for an hour!
He found Angie outside on the raised decking overlooking the river sat on a wooden bench. She was watching a family of mallards swimming towards her where someone had thrown some bread into the water.
“Lovely view” he said as he handed Angie her wine.
“Yes it is and such a lovely day” she replied taking the glass off him “Jesus! Look at the size of this, you trying to get me drunk?”
Jimmy could feel his cheeks colouring up and said nothing as he sat down next to her. She was right, it was a lovely day. It was early autumn but felt like late summer, there was a slight breeze and the sun felt warm on his back. He took a sip, he wasn’t going to be hurrying beer at these prices, then put his glass on the table. Turning to Angie he spoke, regretting it as soon as it left his lips. “You come here often?”
He couldn’t believe he had actually said that, how corny! Jimmy was sure she was holding back a laugh as she said. “I’ve been here quite a lot, sometimes I walk down. I live just on the other side of the river.” She pointed in the general direction of some houses in the distance. “I’d have walked today if I could have got my act together this morning. I’m not much of a morning person.”
Angie was very interesting and had a lot to say, so it was quite easy for Jimmy as he just had to sit back and listen. He offered the occasional nod with a “mmmm” or “yep” thrown in for good measure. It appeared she had lived in Malaysia and as she spent a lot of time there and was having a house built in Kuala Lumpur. She intended to spend part of her time in England and the rest in K L. She was able to do this as her skills were transferable and was able to work in either country and that was why she was working currently as a locum. The time seemed to fly by as he found out more about her and soon they were calling last orders on the food.
“I need to pop to the little girl’s room, want me to order something to eat as I go past?”
“Sounds good, I’ll try and find a table inside while you order.” Jimmy said getting to his feet. “You having a roast?”
“I was going to, yes.” She said grinning and rubbing her tummy. “How about you?”
“Yes please.” he said rubbing his tummy back then, feeling like a dick, Jimmy turned red again!
He found a table and sat down and tried to look cool by checking his phone for messages, there were none! When she found him she had a receipt in her hand.
“You paid for the food?”
“Yes, you pay for it when you order.”
“What do I owe you then?”
“Nothing, my treat.”
“Ok, thanks” said Jimmy feeling embarrassed for the third time. “I’ll get another drink then?”
“Please, but Jimmy, a small one this time eh?”
He didn’t have to worry about blushing this time; he was still red from the last time!
All through lunch Angie chatted about her life in Malaysia and during coffee she asked him. “Would you like to come back to my flat and look at some pictures?”
“I’d love to!”
Angie drove her car and he followed in his to her flat, well no, flat was probably the wrong word to describe it, apartment would perhaps be better. When they drove into the gated complex Jimmy thought he was well out of his league and when they entered the apartment he was sure! The place was huge, all decorated out in cream, walls and carpets, the carpets had pile so deep you couldn’t see your feet. Jimmy was worried about wearing his socks in the house never mind his shoes!
“You wanna drink?”
“Tea would be nice” said Jimmy. Then wishing he had asked for coffee when she said. “I don’t usually drink tea but I think I have some Earl Grey or some Darjeeling in the cupboard somewhere.”
Jimmy plumped for Earl Grey. He was surprised as it tasted quite nice but thought there wasn’t much point getting used to it as he was unlikely to have it again. They moved from the kitchen into the lounge and sat or rather sunk into the leather sofa. Jimmy really didn’t feel comfortable and considered asking for a plastic sheet to sit on so he wouldn’t make the sofa dirty. He tried to imagine his boys in that room and came out in a cold sweat. When she started telling him about some of the rooms items and ornaments their relevance and cost he started to sweat more. Angie told him about some rugs she had around the house that she had brought home from Malaysia and wanted to import and sell on. They were very nice and very soft and very expensive, they retailed around £500 a pop. Jimmy thought, I could carpet my whole house for that! He needed to go into the bathroom and wipe himself down with a towel. When he got in there they were thick, fluffy and white so he splashed water on his face and dried it off on his shirt.
Now he had no idea how much a dental hygienist earns but surely not enough to pay for this plush apartment, a brand new car and have a house built in K L so he did something very out of character and asked her.
“Perhaps I didn’t explain my situation very well.” Angie said as she sat down on the sofa next to him. She was sat next to the arm of the sofa, her knees pulled tightly to her chest and her bare feet pointing towards him. “I’m not actually divorced even though I’ve been separated for a long time.”
“Yes, my husband is very possessive where I’m concerned and would never agree to divorce!”
“How do you feel about that?” Jimmy asked trying to hide his astonishment.
“I’m cool! He has his life and I have mine.”
“Right.” Jimmy replied unconvincingly. “Where is he now?”
He must have looked concerned as she said “Don’t worry he’s not here! He is a director of an international engineering company and spends most of his time out of the country.”
“Is this his apartment then?”
“No it’s mine.” She said hesitating before adding “But he pays the mortgage.”
“It’s your house but he’s paying for it?”
This didn’t seem odd to her and never blinked an eyelid when she said “He doesn’t come back to England often but when he does he needs somewhere to stay.”
“And he stays here?” Jimmy asked incredulously.
“Yeah, why not? It’s handy for the airport.
Jimmy was beginning to think maybe it was him but surely he wouldn’t be the only person to think this more than a little weird.
“The car his?”
“No that’s mine!” She said with a wry smile “He bought it for my birthday.”
Angie got up brought over some photo albums, sat next to him on the sofa and showed Jimmy photos of her new house being built, she sat very close and he wasn’t sure if she was coming on to him. Not wanting to look stupid he did nothing.
“What the fuck am I doing here?” Steve thought to himself hoping he hadn’t said it out loud. He was feeling really uncomfortable now and wanted to leave without appearing rude. His imagination was working over time, what did she want from him? Did she want a bit of rough or worse, was her husband watching from behind that huge mirror on the wall ready to film them having sex on the couch or the £500 rug?
After an excruciating forty five minutes looking at photos of the house during its different phases, then of her (including many in bikinis) and her husband. She said “Fancy another cuppa?”
Steve accepted another cup of Earl Grey which he drank so hot it scalded his tongue, then made his excuses and left. As they said their goodbyes they promised to meet up again knowing they never would.
Bring on Tuesday night!
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