“Get me out of here!” I said. The day was ruined, how could he do this to me, was this the first time he had followed?
He took my hand and led me of the beach. I apologised for him.
“This is not your fault, he has a problem. Is this the first time he has followed you?”
“I don’t know, I really don’t know.”
“Should we call the police?”
“I don’t know, maybe we should just go.”
“Okay, let’s go, should we eat, or just go home?”
“He’s spoiled our day out, I was really enjoying it.”
“Me too, let’s not let him spoil we should pretend he isn’t here. Let’s go and get fish and chips, we cannot come here without having greasy fish and chips, and an ice-cream.”
“You are so right, we should. I haven’t had decent fish and chips in a long time.”
“Well, I know the perfect little place, we could have it out of a bag, which is the best way, or we could have it served up on a plate.”
“I have always had them in paper, and you can’t quite beat that, but I like the idea of eating it off a plate.”
“Good, happy to hear that, as the place I want to take you does both.”
It took ten minutes to walk there. I could not help but look behind me every few minutes. I could not see him; I felt my heart slow down and relaxed. The scent of the chips hit me as we entered. My mouth watered.
The place was full, except for one table, we sat down and I watched the door. He passed, realising there was no room for him to enter, and join us. Why wouldn’t he leave me alone, why had he followed us.
Ben stood, and marched towards the door. He was gone before I could say a word. The door swung open, and they were face to face, I could see them arguing. Richard pushed Ben, I didn’t want Ben to get hurt, not that I didn’t think he could stand up for himself. I knew everyone was watching, but I didn’t care. I pulled the door open.
“Stop it, Richard, leave me alone, just go, leave me alone.”
“I am not following you, I just told him the same, and I will tell you. I happen to be off today and enjoying a day out. Is that a crime.”
“Well no, but…”
“Good, you enjoy your day out and I will enjoy mine.”
“Ben, come on, let’s eat.” I said, trying to defuse the situation. I was starving and our food it seemed had arrived and was now on our table. As I turned to look in the café, I realised the staff were watching us, as were most of the other customers.
“Shows over,” I said as I marched back to my seat and picked up a fork and stabbed at a chip. They were still staring, but I did not care if they were all looking at us.
The date could have been a disaster, but we chose not to let it, and enjoyed the rest of the day. We entered one of the many attractions, played on the two pence machines, bowled. And last but least, we walked along the beach eating a whippy ice-cream. Then we waited for the train to take us home.
The ride was silent, but I did not mind that. I had checked the whole train for him, to make sure he was still not following us. He had said, he wasn’t, but I did not believe him, and nor did Ben.
The date was over, he kissed me good, a long hot kiss, and watched me climb into my car and drive away.
The house was quiet, my cat was nowhere to be seen. It was unlike her to not come out when I came in. I called out her name, but nothing. I was too tired to go looking for her. I opened my back door, and stepped out onto the patio. I did not like that she was not here, she was my companion. We often curled up on the sofa together.
I shuddered, cold and full of the enjoyment of the day, ignoring the fact that it was almost spoilt. I closed and locked the door.
Filled Jessie’s bowl with biscuits, and then made my way to my room. I planned to take a shower, and curl up on the sofa with a mug of tea.
The water was hot, as it trickled down my body. My head beneath the water, I heard a muffled sound. The cat flap maybe. That made me feel better, finally she was home. She did not often stay out, she was a home girl, and did not often stray far from the home. I switched the shower off, wrapped my body in a fluffy cream towel. Stepping onto the rug, I opened the door and walked down the hall to my room. My door was a jar and suddenly swung open, making me jump. My heart raced at the door swung back. I turned around and there stood Jessie, looking at me, and in her mouth a mouse. I prayed it was dead. The last time she brought in a live one I could not stay in the house, I had to call someone in to find it. Just that thought, made me shudder. She dropped it at my feet and jumped on my bed, curled up and closed her eyes.
“You scare me like that, and act like nothing has happened. Silly girl.”
I sat on the end of the bed, beside her and stroked her behind the ears. She looked up at me and then closed her eyes again.
The next morning, I woke up early, my last day off. I had plans to visit Natalie at ten, and spend an hour or two with her. Later I would food shop, and put a load of washing on. I would have an early night, there was no doubt about it, today was going to be a good day, and as the first text arrived from Ben, I had a smile on my face.
Ben: Good morning, just checking in, wondered if you fancied meeting for coffee at the hospital at 1pm on my lunch hour?
Me: I can do that.
Ben: perfect, see you then.
I was seeing him again, another date.
Natalie could not believe I was seeing him again, and no matter how much I was loving cuddling little Lewis, my mind was on Ben.
“Wow, I have never seen you so ga ga, over a guy.”
“I’m not ga ga.”
“You are, you checked your watch five times already.”
“Yes you have.”
I did not even notice that I had been doing that.
I left an hour later, giving me half an hour to get to the canteen. I arrived, parked my car and entered the hospital. The place was as usual packed, it was strange to see it empty, and rare. I passed the shop, and waved to the two ladies who worked in there. I stood by the entrance to the canteen, and felt a hand on my shoulder. I turned around to find Richard staring at me.
“I want to apologise about yesterday,” he said, his hand still on my shoulder. I nudged it free.
“Okay, it’s forgotten.” I stepped away and turned my back to him.
I hoped he would just leave, leave me alone and never talk to me again. I did not like him, he made me feel so uncomfortable.
“Julie, there you are,” Ben said approaching me.
“Here I am,” I said, throwing myself in his arms.
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, sorry, is it wrong to have missed you already, I cannot believe I am saying this, but I really like you. A lot.”
“Good, because I like you a lot too.” He took my hand and led me to the queue for to buy coffees. “I only have an hour, but wondered if I could see you again tonight?”
“Sure, what would you like to do, we could catch a movie or..”
“We could, but I think I much prefer it if we were alone, no one else to spoil our night.”
“Ah, yes, okay, your place or mine?”
“I would say yours, mine, well…”
“Okay mine,” I said, as I sat at the table with my drink in hand.
“Good, I’ll bring the movie and goodies.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure.”
I could not wait until Ben arrived, I had not gone food shopping, and instead, I cleaned the house. Changed my bed sheets, not that I was expecting anything to happen. I wanted to be prepared.
He arrived on time, we sat on the sofa, silent for ten minutes, the movie still in the box. He placed his hand on my knee, and that was it, his lips crushed down on mine. I could have told him to slow down, to stop, but I did not want him to. I had not planned it, we had not meant to. I never had sex with a guy this soon, but it felt so right, he was sweet, and so gentle. We moved to the bedroom, thankful for changing the sheets. He kissed me, before pleasuring me in more ways than I ever dreamed about.
We laid there for an hour, entwined. We seemed to fit together so perfectly. I wanted to allow him to stay, but he left an hour later. I kissed him goodbye, a dressing gown wrapped around my naked body.
He had told me he too never planned to let it go that far. I kissed him again and told him, me too.
He had been gone five minutes, when I heard hammering on the door, I had the biggest smile, Ben was back. I could happily have him back in my bed again. Just the thought of his lips on mine, had me shuddering. I had not had time to put a nightdress on, and was thankful as I knew it was soon be removed.
I opened the door, a hand pushed me hard against the wall. His hands fumbling with my dressing gown, as he slammed the door shut with his foot.