***This is part four of a serial*** Please read these first, if you haven’t already done so.
This is a fictional short story of 1045 words.
Andrea had tried to keep the messages to a minimum, but excitement was getting the better of her by Wednesday. She wanted Gary to know that she was still keen, and appreciated him rearranging the date. And despite hours in front of the TV, she was still none the wiser about Game of Thrones. It just wasn’t sinking in. She resolved to keep Gary interested by sending messages instead. Hopefully, he would forget about the TV show, and if she looked really good on Friday, he might not even get around to mentioning it. Before she left for work that morning, she sent another one.
Hi gary checked the menu of that chinese place online and it looks gr8 going to not eat 2 much this week so i can try lots of things on friday also thought maybe we could go 2 that bar after u know the 1 near the city hall sposed to b good i will treat u 2 a cocktail have a good day love andreaxxxxxxx
Gary read the message on his way to the station. She was certainly keen, no denying that. She had started to send good night messages, as well as the morning ones. Sometimes, there was one sent during her lunch hour too. He felt flattered that she was so interested, but he hadn’t managed to wade through all those Lord of The Rings films, and didn’t think he would manage it by Friday. They just sent him to sleep, with all the elves and goblins and whatever. Hopefully, he could be charming and attentive, and she wouldn’t think to mention it. Before the train arrived, he fired off a nice reply.
Morning Andrea. That bar near the City Hall is supposed to be very good, so I think it’s a good idea to go there after the meal. Looking forward to Friday. Gary. xx
Gary knew the bar was also very expensive, but he had been budgeting for Friday, and was sure he would have enough to pay for the meal and drinks. If Andrea offered to pay half, he would decline with thanks and say “No, it’s on me”. That seemed to him to be the gentlemanly thing to do. He didn’t really hold with all that equality stuff, not on a first date, anyway. He would get a new shirt too. Something smart for the bar, but not too dressy for a Chinese meal. Give the credit card a pasting, what the hell.
Andrea got home late. There had been a systems failure at work, and everyone had stayed behind to input all the missing data. Tomorrow was Thursday, so once that was out the way, it would be time for the date. She sat wrapped in her fluffy dressing gown, imagining how it would go. Gary would look nice, she was sure of that, and she would make sure to look her best too. She would avoid talking about TV shows and books. Maybe ask him about his job, or his family, or where he had been on holiday. If he invited her back to his place, she would politely decline. But she would invite him in for coffee, presuming it all went well. If anything was going to happen, it would be better for it to be at hers. But what if he didn’t even offer to see her home? She hadn’t considered that, and didn’t want to think about it. Better to think positive, as that made her all tingly. She sent a text to Gary, and went into the bathroom to get ready for bed. The sooner she went to sleep, the faster Friday would come around.
Gary had given up on all of it. No more Lord of The Rings, Harry Potter, or Game of Thrones. If push came to shove, he would just tell her the truth, that he didn’t know much about any of them. Tell her he said it to get her attention, and hope that she would at least be flattered by that. His phone beeped, and he opened the message. It would be from Andrea, he already knew that.
Just sayin goodnite gary been thinkin bout u tonite and really lookin 4ward to friday still just wish it woz 2morrow i looked at your photos again and like the 1 of u in the red shirt woz that on holiday or something coz u look tanned and happy anyway sleep tite and cu friday love andrea xxxxxxxxxx
He decided not to reply, or it might go on all night. He wondered if she was always like this with blokes, or was it just him? In the back of his mind, he was still concerned about his height. Whatever else he had told her was easy enough to deal with, but being much shorter was something he could never avoid being noticed. Over the past few months, he had always imagined what it might be like to connect with someone so keen. Now it had happened, he constantly worried about being able to live up to the image he put across. What if she was really the one, but it all went wrong because he was too short? It took him a long time to get to sleep that night, with those doubts niggling away at his brain.
Andrea was up very early on Thursday. She felt great, and hoped the day would just fly by. It was late night shopping on Thursdays, so she would be hitting the shops right after work, to buy that dress she had already seen. She would take it into work on Friday, and change in the toilets before going to the Chinese. Looking around her small bedsit, she decided that she would get up early tomorrow; tidy up, and change the bed too. Just in case.
After a bad night, Gary was almost late for work, getting in with just two minutes to spare. He would go to the shops later, and buy that shirt he had seen. He could take it with him on Friday, and change in the staff room.