I took my queasy stomach out for a walk. Cooped up inside for five days now I couldn’t face another sleep, TV or my sofa. At least a peppermint tea would provide distraction along with the opportunity to observe life outside my four walls.
Cafe Nero was waiting – all bright lights and squishy sofas.
Minutes later, peppermint tea in hand I sat down opened my book and began to read. Glancing to my right, I noted the shoes sitting next to me; sturdy hiking boots, just the thing for the inclement London weather. How sensible I thought, but also how annoying was this man – flicking and poking his tablet screen incessantly. I shifted in my seat so that I couldn’t follow his every tap.
I rose to find the bathroom and turned to ask if he’d keep an eye on my things. “Of course, no problem” he replied looking at me with kind blue eyes. Really quite sweet I thought, observing just how grumpy I was.
On returning I ordered a hot chocolate and once again took a pew. His wife bustled in. “Good day, darling?” she asked as he stood up to greet her. “Yeah, not bad.” “I’ll go across to Tesco and get dinner, you stay here and mind the bags.”
She departed as he turned to me: “Excuse me, I see you have a Samsung phone, is it the same as mine? How do you find it?” I looked at his. “It’s okay, it cuts out sometimes when I’m talking but that’s usually because I’ve accidentally hit the ‘hold’ button. My friend Perky says it’s because I’ve got such high cheekbones.” “Like a supermodel?” he said. I burst out laughing.
“I discovered it has a voice recorder the other day” I went on. “I find that really handy if you want to, you know, record things.” “Oh yeah, I recorded my ring tone the other day” he replied. “Held the phone up to the TV when my favourite line came up on ‘My Cousin Vinnie’.” “That’s great!” I exclaimed. “Such a boy’s film – I suppose being a girl I might have something from ‘Pretty Woman’ or ‘When Harry Met Sally’!” “Or how about from Patrick Swayze’s movie: ‘No one puts baby in the corner’!” he suggested.
We carried on laughing and exchanging stories. His wife returned. “Oh, no! He’s not boring you with his phone is he?” she asked. I looked at ole blue eyes. “Not at all” I replied, suppressing the urge to flick my hair. “I was delighted for the distraction”.