I peered at the card, hoping it was his number, and squealed when I saw that indeed it was.
“His number,” I said.
“There you go, not looking for Mr. Right and he arrives like a Knight in shining armour.”
“Yeah, right. Anyway,” I began changing the subject. “Let’s get her weighed,” I said to Kerry the midwife in the room.
Kerry removed the baby from Annie and removed her nappy before placing her on the scales and weighed her.
“That’s a good weight?”
“It’s good, now how about you hop in the bath and get cleaned up a bit.”
“Sounds good to me, I think I should. Thank you, Jules for being here, I am glad it was you that found me.”
“Could you imagine Charlie attempting to help?”
“Don’t make me laugh,” she said, as I helped her into the bathroom as Kerry dressed the baby.
“Thank you, for being here for me, Jules.”
“Of course, now I will let you bathe while I go back in there and have another cuddle.”
“Thanks, I won’t be long. Thank goodness I had my baby bag in my car.”
“I did say it would be wise to do that, after all, babies can arrive at any time, and I was right.”
“You were,” she said, as I closed the door and entered the room. Kerry handed me Annie’s daughter.
“So did I see that hunky ambulance man give you his number?”
“You have to call him, if you don’t I will.”
“Okay, you know I think I will.”
“You are worse than they are, I don’t want to come across as desperate.”
“But you haven’t been on a date in months,” Annie said, as she pushed the door open, and climbed onto the bed. I help her, as she was a little unsteady on her feet.
“Right, so I should jump on that then, bed him, get knocked up, or should I try the relationship thing.”
“Well, What do you want?”
“I don’t know, I think a date first would be an idea, or a cup of coffee.”
“Call him then, say you are still here and if he gets a break to meet you in the canteen.”
“Right, maybe I should text him,” I said.
“You should, go on, do it now.”
I rolled my eyes and pulled out my phone. “Fine, if it will get you off my back.” I placed her daughter in her arms and told her to feed her again, she was hungry. I pulled out my phone and turned it on.
Jules: Hi Ben, this is Julie. I wondered if you fancied grabbing a cup of coffee sometime.
I hit send and put the phone down.
“There you go, see, easy.”
“Yeah, very easy, now let’s concentrate on you and this little one.”
“I am tired. I think I need a little nap, can you put her in the crib, you don’t have to stay, I am okay.”
“I should call your mum, I know you don’t want her here, after all was said, but come on, she is your mum. She should know you had her.”
“No, she told me I was not to ever contact her again.”
“Annie, let me text her, at least just to let her know.”
“No, it’s fine. I am doing this on my own, and I don’t want her to know.”
“Annie, you know I never asked about the father, but do you plan on telling him.”
“Are you kidding me, I met him once, I spent one night with him, Jules. All I can recall was his name and what he looked like, how could I track him down.”
“Okay, forget I mentioned it, forget them. Get some sleep, Kerry can place your daughter in the Nursery while you sleep if you like.”
“No, I want her here with me.”
“Okay, whatever you want.”
My phone beeped as she opened her mouth to speak. I picked it up and saw it was a reply from Ben.
Ben: Hi, coffee would be great, I would love to. I finish at two, if you are still here then we could grab one here in the canteen.
“What does it say?”
“He said, he finishes at two and we could meet for coffee here.”
“And you are going to agree to it, you have what half an hour and then you can meet him.”
“Of course,” I said, replying that I would love to. And a smiley face.
“Good, now go in my bag grab my make-up and touch up your make-up.”
“I don’t look that bad do I?”
“No, but I think a touch up can help.”
“Okay,” I said, doing as I was told.
I stared at myself in the mirror, and added a fresh layer of eye shadow, mascara and a little foundation. That would do it, I did not want to overdo it, I was not a person who wore a lot of make-up. I re-entered the room.
“Now scoot, go, I will see you later and you can tell me all about it.”
“Okay, is there anything you need me to bring for you?”
“No, I have everything I need right now.”
Kerry left at the same time and allowed Annie to rest up, and told her to ring the bell if she needed her. A cup of tea was placed beside her, and I closed the door and took a deep breath. I had been on dates many times before, but this was different. I was in my work place, I did not date doctors as many were married or just after one thing, getting laid. Of course the girls would think that ideal for what they wanted me to do. I wanted more; I wanted love, the whole thing. Babies could come later, I had time. I was not twenty-five for another nine months.
I knew a lot of the staff and they said there hello’s as I passed them in the corridors, and then the doctor who had been trying to get me to let him take me out stood in the way of the canteen door, his eyes on me, his lips moist.
I could tell what he was thinking; it was nice to see me out of my uniform. He had said so many times how he had imagined I looked out of it. I knew he did not mean everyday clothes though.
“Julie, don’t you look stunning today.”
“Thanks, Richard, I am on my way to meet someone, do you need me for something?”
“No, just that date you promised me.”
“If you recall I said no, on many occasions.”
“Yes, but you also said once that you would think about it.”
“And I did, and I said no.”
I felt a presence behind me, and turned to find Ben stood there, a worried look on his face.
“Julie, am I interrupting you two?”
“Yes,” Richard snapped.
“No, he was leaving.” I turned to fully face Ben and smiled, taking his hand, a little forward, but I had to do something to get Richard to leave me alone.
“I’m having coffee with my boyfriend.” I said it before I realised I had, I had thought it, but never meant to say it.
“Boyfriend, I thought you were single, is this why you turned me down, for him, a paramedic?”
“Richard, he is more man than you will ever be,” I said, as I led him away, his hand in mine. He was quiet and I knew I had blown it with this cute guy. It would be worth it to rid myself of that horrid man.
As soon as we joined the queue, Ben released my hand. I waited for him to make an excuse to bolt for the door, but he stood there chuckling to himself. It was going so well, a date like no other. I may as well have said he was my fiancé. I ordered two coffees, paid and walked to the nearest table. I wanted to drink up and leave as fast as possible. I had made a mistake doing what I did, he was still laughing as he joined me at the table. He could have run away, but he was sat opposite me.
“So,” he began. “Do you think I should know what that was about, I mean now we are an item already?”
“Ben, I am so sorry, it just kinda came out and he wouldn’t take no for an answer, and you were there, looking so dashing and sexy. I am sorry.”
“Dashing and sexy, well just the way a boyfriend should look, but maybe we should go on a few dates, don’t you think.”
“I do, and…”I was lost for words, he was staring me still smiling. Wow he had a great smile.
“So we both know what we do for a living and by the sounds of it what you do for fun is the same, but really what else do you like to do?”
“I am a huge fan of musicals, and before you pull that face I have seen so many times before, don’t know it before you have been to one.”
“Are you asking me to go to a musical with you?”
“Well I guess I am. I will let you choose though, I don’t mind what I go see.”
“So if I chose cats, or starlight express or even The sound of music, you wouldn’t mind.”
A smile could not help but appear on my face, he knew his musicals. I nodded. “I would love any of those, but my favourite has to be Mumma Mia, the atmosphere is amazing.”
“Okay, but if I have to go on one of you favourite dates, that means you have to go on one of mine.”
“AH, I walked into that, didn’t I?”
He nodded. He was smiling, still.
I picked up my coffee after adding a splash of milk and one sugar.
He took my other hand suddenly, sending waves of electricity down my arm.
“Richard,” I whispered.
He nodded, took my cup from my hand and leaned across the table, his lips were on mine without warning. I was not complaining, he was a good kisser, but then he sat down, and told me he was gone.
“So who is playing the part now?” I teased.
“It was half an excuse really, those lips needed to be kissed.”
“Oh yes, and I would not another one before the day is done.”
“Oh really, Ben!”
We finished our coffee, unaware of the others around us anymore. We talked, joked and found we had similar tastes. In food, and he admitted he liked musicals, so I had not scared him off. His date idea, he would tell me on our second coffee date, after his shift tomorrow. I had butterflies just thinking about it. He walked me outside, it was then I realised I did not have my car, that was still at Natalie’s. I would have to walk, but first he kissed me again, and this time, it was longer, deeper and I swear I moaned as he placed his hand on the loser of my back. I needed a lot more than this, I wanted it, craved it. I had forgotten how good a man could make me feel.
We parted finally, not that I wanted the kiss to end. He looked down at me.
“Do you need a lift, I do recall bringing you here in the back of my rig earlier.”
“I don’t know if I could ask you to do that.”
“I don’t see why not, after all isn’t that what boyfriends are for.”
“You are not going to let me forget that are you.”
“I am not saying one day I won’t be that guy, who knows, I like you a lot, Jules, I want to see where this goes.”
“Me to,” I admitted.