Now Or Never
Modern dating is the theme of Linda Lewis’s humorous complete story.
An upbeat story by Linda Lewis
Daniel would be leaving soon, so I wouldn’t get another chance. I just had to find the courage to ask him out!
WOULD you like to go to the cinema? I quite fancy seeing ‘Frozen’ again.” As I mouth the words silently to myself, trying them out for size, I wonder why the only film I can think of is ‘Frozen’. I mean, it’s a family cartoon – I saw it with my nieces!
I try to think of something else, but my mind has gone completely blank. It’s always the same when he’s sitting there, so close that, if I reached out, I could touch him. I f ind it hard to think straight. Even when he leaves the room his aftershave still lingers on the air. My work will start to suffer if I don’t f ind the courage to ask Daniel out soon.
Think, woman, think! How about that special showing of “The Hobbit” on at the multi-screen cinema? No, that’s probably not a good idea. Fantasy films can be tricky.
Years ago I went out with a man who was obsessed with Tolkein. When he found out I’d read “The Lord Of The Rings” when I was at school, he wouldn’t talk about anything else.
The date was a complete disaster. The truth was, I’d started to read “The Lord Of The Rings”, but hadn’t actually f inished it. Of course, I didn’t dare admit that.
I suppose I could always ask Daniel round to my place to have a meal and watch a DVD? No, that would never do. For a start, I wouldn’t dare.
I know things are different these days, but it’s not for me. I’d be scared he thought I was too forward.
Besides, the way I’m making mistakes at the moment I’m not sure I could manage to cook anything decent with him in the same room. Beans on toast wouldn’t impress him very much.
I’m not sure that Daniel even likes going to the cinema. As far as I can remember, he’s never mentioned going to see any films. I need something else as a back-up, maybe a play or a musical. The only trouble is, I haven’t a clue what’s on locally.
Eating! That has to be better. I mean, we all have to eat. I practise the words in my head. “I hear that new Italian restaurant in North Street is very good. Have you tried it yet? Only, I was thinking . . .”
That is useless, far too rambling. Anyway, what if the food isn’t good? After all, I’ve never actually been there for a meal. I’d need to try it out f irst.
What other places are there? There’s the French restaurant, La Boîte Rouge; it’s had some wonderful reviews.
Trouble is, it’s expensive. Last time I passed by, I checked their menu and practically had a heart attack. How can any starter be worth twelve pounds?
What about a curry? No. There’s the garlic. What if my breath smelled bad afterwards?
Maybe I could lead slowly into the subject of a date.
“What kind of things do you like to do of an evening, Daniel?” or “I was thinking of joining the local book group. Are you a member, Daniel?”
Oh, dear, now Veronica’s giving me one of her looks. This is no good at all. I’m supposed to be working, not sitting here daydreaming.
I’VE been having this same conversation with myself for six weeks now, ever since Daniel Bately started work in my off ice. We hit it off straight away, that’s what’s so annoying.
I have no problem chatting to him about work or the weather, or what was on TV last night. I know that he’s single, having moved here when his last relationship ended, and that his mother lives nearby. We’ve even had a brief chat about politics!
But when it comes to the one thing I really want to talk to him about – going out on a date – I freeze. Sometimes I wish I lived in olden times when ladies had to wait to be asked.
These days it’s all about equality, which is great when it comes to the vote and equal pay, but not so good when it means asking a man out on a date.
I look at my watch. It’s five to five. And it’s Friday. Again. If I don’t say something soon, another week will have gone by. Daniel’s only here on a temporary contract. I’ve no idea if he’ll be here next month – Andy’s broken leg isn’t going to keep him away from work for much longer.
I sigh and give the button of my mouse an extra hard jab. None of my friends have this problem. If they want to go out with a man they just come right out with it and ask them out for a drink.
That’s it – a drink! Why didn’t I think of that before? If he doesn’t sound keen I can pretend I want to talk about something work related. It’s so simple.
There are only a couple of minutes left. I’m not going to wait any longer. I’ll ask him out for a drink this evening.
I watch from the corner of my eye as Daniel tidies the papers on his desk, puts things away in a drawer, then turns off his computer. My desk is by the door, which means that he’ll have to pass my desk on his way out. That’s when I’ll ask him.
As he stands up my heart does a little flip. I watch as he walks towards me. He pauses in the doorway. “Goodnight, Angela,” he calls out cheerfully.
“Night, Daniel,” I reply. “Have a great weekend.” I take a deep breath. It’s now or never. “Do you fancy going out for a drink?” My mouth drops open, because those are the exact words I planned to say. But it isn’t me who has said them.
I don’t need to ask Daniel out after all.