7.3.2013 Journal Prompt

July 3, 2013: It was a first date.

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3 Replies to “7.3.2013 Journal Prompt”

  1. She didn’t know that was what it was. If she had she would have dressed different and done her hair and worn other shoes. She thought it was just coffee and maybe there’d be people there that she knew and the man serving behind the counter breaking into a sweat and swearing against the steam from the coffee machine and music playing in the background. But that’s not what it was.

    He stopped her going into Brian’s Coffee Parlour where they’d arranged to meet. He said ‘if she didn’t mind’ and he took her hand and led her across to the other side of the street. The taking of her hand was done so quickly and with such confidence that she didn’t question it, and they skipped between the cars and were a little breathless and laughing.

    He had a bicycle propped up against a lamppost and a chain and padlock looped through the back wheel. It was an old butcher’s bike with a basket on the front and a rack behind the front seat. There were things wrapped in newspaper in the basket and he wouldn’t tell her what. He unlocked the padlock and mounted the bike. Then he invited her to climb on the back.

    ‘Are you serious?’ she said.

    She thought maybe it wasn’t allowed. That there were laws against it and if they were caught there’d be a fine and the day would be spoiled. But she got onto the back of the bike and she wrapped her arms about him and she said ‘ok’.

    He took her to the edge of town and cars kept sounding their horns and bus drivers waved to them and a man in the street started singing that song from the film, the one where Paul Newman is on the bike and the girl is impossibly balanced on the front handlebars and everything is wobbly. And the song was something about raindrops falling and not ever bothering about rain or anything and just being happy. And that’s the bit of the song that the man in the street was singing.

    It was quiet where they stopped at last and the land about them so flat they could see for miles in all directions, and the air was so warm that the view seemed to be made of water and rippling, and birds cut giddy arcs across the sky, and they were alone. They walked a way from the road. Then he unpacked the basket and there was a grey blanket to lay on the ground and a silver flask of coffee and china cups and plates and small pastries with almonds on and it did not matter that the pastries were a little crushed from being in the basket.

    ‘This is unexpected,’ she said.

    ‘Good,’ he said.

    ‘Almost like it’s a date,’ she said, and there was a question in what she said.

    ‘Almost,’ he said, and he might have kissed her then and confirmed it but he knew there were rules about first dates and so he merely smiled and poured her some coffee and they sat without talking, just being and taking everything in.

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