“Who was that guy that dropped you off?”
“Yes, the paramedic. And before you ask, he asked me out, and I said yes.”
“Yes, I am.”
“You like him don’t you.”
“I don’t know how I feel about him, yet. We’ve only just met.”
“Julie, I can see it in your eyes and besides I saw that kiss you shared.”
“Oh come on, he parked outside my window, I couldn’t help but see.”
“Okay, so I like him.”
“Good, about time you found a decent guy.”
“Yeah, and he may have helped me get rid of Richard.”
“Oh, bloody hell, he isn’t still sniffing around is he?”
“Yes, he was after me today, trying to get me to go out with him, again.”
“And how did Ben help?”
“He showed up just in time to meet me for coffee.” I saw the look of confusion in her eyes. “He gave me his number, and we ended up arranging to meet up for coffee. So we did, but Richard caught me off guard asking me out again, and then I kinda told him, Ben was my boyfriend.”
“Wow, how did that go down?”
“Well, let’s just say, when Richard went by again, I guess he was spying on us, Ben kissed me.”
“And how was that?”
“It was amazing, and the second kiss he planted on me outside was even better. He is just perfect.”
“Careful there, Julie, for someone who didn’t want to settle down, you sound a lot like someone in love.”
“Oh shut up,” I giggled as I placed a kiss on her head, and told her I was going now if she was going to be mean to me.
She told me to go, that she was tired anyway. I promised I would pop in another day to see her and Lewis.
I drove home, locked my door, fed the cat and took a long hot shower. It had been a long day. I would not have believed that I had found a man to take me on a date, at work. I had seen my fair share of paramedics, and none of them compared to Ben. The ones I had met were older, were the younger ones hiding, or had I just not seen them.
The thought of Ben playing along when Richard was about made me smile. Richard would not take no as answer, maybe he would now.
A date, I could not wait to go out with Ben, my thoughts were interrupted as Jessie rubbed her soft wet nose against my ankle.
“Is your bowl empty?” I asked her. She looked up at me, as if she understood and went to her bowl, and indeed it was empty of biscuits. Had I forgotten to fill it when I left the house that morning? I was in a rush, but it was unlike me to forget to feed her. I filled her bowl, and then fixed myself something to eat, I was suddenly hungry. I placed a pie and some chips in the oven, wishing it would hurry up and cook.
Eating alone, as I often did, sharing the meat with Jessie. She would curl up beside me and wait as I dug in.
The next morning, I woke up early, Jessie lay in one of her usual spots, curled up by my feet. She often woke me by walking up my body and would stop at my face, placing her paw on my chin. Telling me she wanted her breakfast.
Yawning, I padded down the hall and opened the fridge. I spoiled her I knew that. I added a little condensed milk to her bowl.
She rubbed her head against my leg as a thank you, while I added meat and biscuits to her other bowls. I then made myself a mug of coffee and sat curled up on the sofa, I had an hour and a half before I needed to leave for work, when I remembered today I was off, I was on holiday. I had three days off; I had booked them to visit Natalie after the birth of Lewis.
Although I had had a shower the night before, I filled the bath and laid in the hot water for over an hour, my mind drifted to Ben, hot gorgeous Ben. I then dressed and rang Natalie. She apologised and said she had his family coming over and that if I could come over tomorrow. I did not mind. It meant I could do whatever I wanted; I could have a duvet day. I had not had one of those for years. Curled up on the sofa in my duvet, pigging out on goodies while watching movies. Just then my mobile vibrated, I saw that I had a message and could not believe who it was from.
Ben: I don’t know about you, but I have a spare hour or two, and wondered if you were free.
I stared at my phone, I could not believe he had contacted me again, so soon. Did he like me, as much as I liked him. I stared at the phone for a few minutes, and before I could change my mind, I typed out my message.
Me: As it happens, I have today off, and I am free.
Ben: Good, I’ll pick you and we can go out for the day.
Me: I thought you had an hour or two to spare.
Ben: I did not like to say I have the whole day off too, and scare you off.
Me: What do you suppose we do all day?
Ben: Well, as far as I am concerned, we should get as far away from the hospital as possible.
Me: because of Richard, or??
Ben: Not really, but we need a break from that place.
Me: I could not agree more. So where would you like us to go?
Ben: How about we take the train down to the beach.
Me: we could drive you know??
Ben: Where is the fun in that, besides, I wouldn’t be able to stare at you all the way there, and if I did we would end up in A & E.
Me: Now when you put it that way, the train sounds good to me. Should I meet you at the station?
Ben: Sure, say ten.
Me: Ten it is. See you soon.
Ben: See you soon..:-D
I had less than twenty minutes to get there, but it would not take long if I drove. I changed into more suitable clothing, boots, and applied make-up and put my hair up. Happy with my appearance, I drove down to the station and parked my car. I was seconds away from seeing him again, and spending a whole day with him. I felt like a teenager, who had met her first crush.
He stood outside, looking nervous, and sexy at the same time, he looked rather dashing in jeans, and did I check out his bum in jeans, of course I did. I stood for a minute or two admiring him. I did not want to get caught staring at him, and made my way over to him, his face lit up as I approached, maybe he was worried I would not turn up. Something about me, he would learn, when I said I would do something, I did it.
“You made it,” he said, leaning in to kiss me, but instead pecked me on the cheek.
“Of course, shall we go?” I said, eager to start our day out. My first date in a very long time.
The train ride there, only last half an hour, but we chatted as if we had known each other forever. I discovered he was one of four, he had two brothers and a sister, he was the youngest, and he had lived at home until a year ago. I wondered for a moment how old he was, he looked about my age, was he younger, did it matter?
I dared not ask, he asked about my family, about my life, he sounded generally interested. Did I want to bore him with my life story, tell him that at ten I was sent to live with my father, a man I had only met once, because my mother decided that she no longer could take care of me. Of course, at the time I hated her for abandoning, but by the time I was sixteen I knew she had done it for all the right reasons.
I saw her once a month in the beginning, but over the years, those visits ended up being once every three months, and then once every six months, to a year, to then nothing at all. I knew she was not doing it to hurt me, she didn’t know me, and was not the kind of person who was actually maternal. I worried that I had inherited that, until I found my love of babies. Bringing them into the world, was one thing, but having my own, was a whole other thing.
The train came to an abrupt stop, thrusting me forward, I must have zoned out as I felt his arm being thrust across my chest. Had I almost fallen out of my seat, I had no idea.
“Sorry, I am, I didn’t realise the train had stopped.”
“Shall we?” he said, taking my hand as we exited the train and stood on the platform. It was very similar to the one we had started on, but bigger.
We walked out the double doors and made our way along the path that led to the beach. There was small town too, where we decided to eat before walking towards the beach. The sun was shining and the tide was in, Ben insisted we wait as he wanted to walk along the beach.
We walked towards a small café, and found a table, the staff wore white aprons, we ate crumpets and shared a pot of tea.
After the food, we made our way to the beach, we walked along the sand, his hand in mine. I scanned the beach, a habit I had. I saw Ben do the same. As we walked I felt eyes on me, but then again there were loads of people on the beach. Ben bent down and whispered in my ear.
He had to be kidding?