This was my fist effort at romance writing and was included in the bestselling, charity anthology, 100 Stories for Haiti, back in the day.
Dinner for Two
Has that clock stopped? No, my watch says the same time. Stop looking every thirty seconds, will you?
Maisie Connolly, this is your bloody fault. If it all goes wrong, I’ll never speak to you again.
Right, check the food, Sarah, it’s fine, you know it’s fine, you only checked it two minutes ago. Wine, where’s the bloo…okay, it’s on the table, should be room temperature by now. Maisie Connolly, if this wine isn’t as good as you promised you’ll be wearing it tomorrow. At twelve quid a bloody bottle it ought to be dynamite.
Check the mirror, sigh, I’m sure those lines round your mouth are getting deeper; you’ll need cement to fill them in if they get any worse.
What’s that? Was that a car? Dare you peek through the window? You don’t want him to catch you looking. Count to thirty and listen for the car door closing… thirty, no, can’t have been him.
I hope he likes classical music; those free CDs from the Sunday papers were worth keeping after all. Classical is a bit more sophisticated than Simply Red.
Hang on, daft girl; Simply Red is fine for that close up chat on the sofa later in the evening. Damn, where the hell is it?
Had to be in the bloody car, didn’t it? Right then, that’s Mozart for dinner and Mick Hucknall for afters, lovely.
Twenty-five past eight. This has to be the longest night of my life, are we stuck in a time warp or something?
Hope he likes the dress; check the mirror, not too much cleavage, not too short. Come on, Sarah, you’ve been through all this; it took you two hours to choose it. What if he comes in a suit though? Are you formal enough? No time to do anything about it now. I bet he wears a sodding suit.
Let’s hope it goes better than last time, eh? Note to self, if you spill the red wine over his trousers, don’t dab at his crotch with a napkin.
Why did you do that? You should have left it at a horrified, ‘sorry.’ It was his house; he could quite easily have nipped through to change. He ended up being more embarrassed than you did, and why did you keep bringing it up throughout the meal? Oh my God, then you go and lose a contact lens in the Beef Stroganoff.
Wonder if he’ll want to stay over?
SARAH! Stop that, you slut…It has been a while though…
Eight twenty-eight. Stop looking at the bloody clock!
He’s going to be late, isn’t he? What if he doesn’t come at all? No one could blame him after our last date.
Two glasses of wine, Sarah, and that’s the limit. You don’t want to get the giggles like last time. For pity’s sake, he only asked you how you liked it, and he was talking about coffee.
Bit of a shame he still has that ex-wife hanging around in the background. She shouldn’t really be calling him half way through a dinner date. He was very kind to her though, not many exes would offer to give her and her new bloke a lift to the airport at the weekend.
I hope Malcolm doesn’t ring me half way through this meal. He’ll get short bloody shrift the lying cheating…Maisie Connolly; you had better not ring to see how it’s going either.
Eight thirty-one. He’s late; please don’t say he’s going to stand me up.
How the hell did you get yourself into this, anyway? You know you can’t cook.
Phew, lucky girl. Another couple of minutes and you’d have been serving crispy chicken.
Phone! It’s him isn’t it? Calling it off, he’s had a breakdown. His ex has come back to stay. He’s just found out he’s gay!
Bloody cold callers. No, I don’t want to change my bloody phone provider, you bloody numbskulls.
You need a drink. Just a small one, Sarah, remember the giggles.
Candles? You forgot the bloody candles. This is going to be a real cosy meal with a sixty-watt light bulb hanging over the dinner table, isn’t it?
Eight thirty-three, where the hell is he? If he stands me up, I’ll…hang on, whose is that car in the drive? Shit! He’s here. Damn that bloody doorbell, why didn’t you change those batteries when you noticed it wasn’t working?
Shit, shit and triple shit.
Right, breath in, deep breaths, calm yourself. Think Feng Shui or is it Buddhist, OM OM. Check mirror, you’ll have to do. Don’t smile too quickly… act as though this is a weekly occurrence, no, don’t do that, he’ll think you’re easy.
Shit, he’s wearing a suit.
Oh he is looking gorgeous though, offer your cheek you slut, not your mouth.
‘Hello, Mike. Are you early?’