It was the first date Annabelle had been on since saying goodbye to Robin. Matthew was a friend of Nina, who had been a friend since college. Nina had told Annabelle that Matt was a very decent guy, and although he could come across a little shy, he was a real catch.
Matt had suggested that they meet at the Victoria and Albert Museum in South Kensington. He loved history and often spent hours wandering around the museum at weekends. Annabelle knew the museum well. She used to live in an apartment around ten minutes away.
Before meeting they had told each other what they would be wearing, and agreed which entrance into the museum to meet at. Robin e-mailed Annabelle the night before saying how much he was looking forward to meeting her. He also announced that he had decided to carry a book and a rose, so that she could identify him amongst the crowds, and hoped she wouldn’t think it too much of a cliche.
Walking towards the museum, Annabelle spotted Matt and had time to regard him before he saw her. He had light brown curly hair and a handsome chiselled face. He looked smart. Matt seemed surprised when Annabelle approached him and inquired, “Hi…are you Matthew?“
“Yes, hi. Are you Annabelle? Wow!”
Annabelle held out her hand, and Matt accordingly took it and then leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek. Matt seemed to be shaking.
Annabelle suggested they find a cafe to sit and have some coffee. They crossed the busy road and headed towards the many cafes that were bustling with tourists. Matt seemed to keep a distance from Annabelle. Rather than walking besides each other, he seemed to make sure his pace was too fast for Annabelle to keep up with. Annabelle pointed to a pretty Italian cafe. Matt nodded and went in ahead of Annabelle, and found a table which was right at the back of the cafe near the restroom.
“Do you want to go first?” asked Mike.
“Do you want to get your coffee first? I will look after the table.“
“Oh! Yes, sure. Shall I get you a coffee too?” suggested Annabelle.
“No! I will get my own.” Matt grinned.
Annabelle stood in the queue trying not to contemplate whether she was enjoying the date so far. It had only been a few minutes. It just felt so different from dates with Robin. As she reached the front of the queue, she ordered a peppermint tea. She only drank peppermint tea when she felt anxious. As the waitress was making her tea, Annabelle turned and saw that Matt was looking her up and down and that he had a broad grin.
Once Annabelle had returned to the table with her tea, Matt jumped up to go and join the queue. He remarked that her coffee looked odd. Annabelle sat staring at the rose and the book that were laid on the table while she waited for Matt to join her again. They sat opposite each other and for a few moments there was silence, which Annabelle could not bear. She started to ask Matt questions about his work and his family, whether he had hobbies and interests other than history.
Matt then asked Annabelle what kind of relationship she was looking for. Annabelle was hesitant for a moment and said she did not really have any particular expectations. Matt then told Annabelle that he didn’t really want a relationship with lots of talking and chatting. He said he can’t cope with a woman who is needy. He explained he likes his own space, and did not really want someone always disturbing his peace with phone calls and messages. He mentioned that if he is watching something interesting on television, the last thing he wants is an interruption.
Annabelle absorbed what Matt was telling her. She was not sure how to reply. So she said something that she doubted was wise on a first date, “The thing is Matt, I have just had a year-long relationship with a wonderful man. He and I were in touch nearly everyday and we did things together. We visited lots of interesting places, we went for walks in the countryside, we made love a lot… there was a lot of making love. I am not really over him. But he has gone, he is in another country now. We have said our goodbyes and although we will always be friends, we have both agreed that we are now single and free to pursue romantic connections elsewhere. So I am just starting out with dating again, I don’t have anything set in my mind.“
“Oh this is the guy Nina mentioned. Well, if he has moved to a different country, it’s over then isn’t it. I don’t mind having sex with you, well, I mean, I am sure I will quite enjoy it. It’s all the chatting I don’t want. It does my head in. I had a girlfriend for a couple of years, and she was driving me insane with wanting to talk all the time. I’m not having any of that. I am a man who needs his space, but who likes to spend time with a beautiful woman every now and then, and of course sex will be a part of that.”
“So, am I correct in understanding Matt, that after today, you don’t want me to text you, or call you. You will let me know when you feel like having a woman’s company? Is that right?“
“That would be ideal, you’ve got it in a nutshell” replied Matt looking satisfied that Annabelle had understood him so quickly.
Annabelle put her bag over her shoulder and rose up from the table. “Well, thank you for making time to meet me Matt. I will do as you say, I won’t text you or call you. I don”t want to disturb your peace, or your enjoyment of life, or any interesting television programs.”
“This was great Annabelle, I am glad we got on so well and that we understood each other. I will call you about next time. We could have sex if you want next time we meet up.”
“I am going to have to go Matt. I need to be somewhere and I am worried I am going to be late.”
“Alright Annabelle. Look forward to seeing you next time. Do you wanna kiss before you go like?“
“Maybe next time Matt.” Annabelle turned and fled from the cafe. As soon as she left, she began to run towards the tube station. She boarded a train headed west-bound. Forty-seven minutes later she stepped off the train and bounded towards the escalator leading upwards. She rushed through the tunnel towards the elevators where scores of people were waiting patiently. When the doors of the elevator opened, Annabelle managed to squeeze her way into an elevator which then speedily took it’s passengers up three floors.
On leaving the elevator, Annabelle viewed the signs and message boards that were displayed. She walked towards a desk under a glowing red sign that read “Singapore Airlines”. A pristine assistant greeted her with a beaming smile and asked how they could be of service. Annabelle asked if she could purchase a ticket on the next flight to Adelaide, Australia.
As soon as she had purchased her ticket, she dialled Robin’s number on her phone. Within a couple of ringing tones, she heard his voice “Hey baby, I love it when you call me at three o”clock in the morning. I was just thinking of you when my phone started ringing. How did you know?“
“Oh Robin, I am so sorry I woke you, I forgot about the time difference.”
“Annabelle, you can call me anytime, I love hearing the sound of your voice.”
“Robin, do you have plans twenty seven hours from now?“
“Hmm – let me see that will be Monday morning at around six o’clock. I think I will be exactly where I am right now, in bed, dreaming about my girl back in London.“
“Do you think you could change your plans for me Robin?“
“What no hot fantasising about you?”
“Would you maybe meet me at the airport instead?”
“Here? The airport here in Adelaide! Yaa-hess! Wow Annabelle – you’re coming over!“
This post in response to The Genre Challenge hosted by Teresa aka The Haunted Wordsmith
Today’s genre: Romance