Brushing past pink tinged magnolia blossom, I stepped through my front gate.
I noticed the hair first: Blond, slicked back from his forehead like freshly-washed with a comb running through it. I’ve seen quite a few of these chaps recently – how do they do it? How does the hair stay so rigorously in place? Is it back-in-the-day brylcreem? I needed to investigate but perhaps now wasn’t the time. A navy blue rain mac, umbrella swinging from his left hand, and a briefcase in the other completed the picture.
He kept up a steady pace one step behind me. I’ll let him pass I thought – save an awkward situation. He drew level. “Do you know the way to Warwick Avenue?” he said.
“Yes, second right.”
“Are you going there – you look like a local? I’ve just moved in.”
“Um, yes, I am.”
“I’ll stick with you then ’til we get to the tube.”
Our safe haven of a conversation was the weather and what we were doing that day. Me, a meeting I was excited about. Him – a technology event in Holborn.
His briefcase looked heavy.
At the tube, like meeting someone on a flight and not knowing when to say goodbye, we semi parted. “I’ll probably see you down there” he called out rushing ahead.
I let him go. I heard the tube doors close as I reached the bottom. Walking onto the platform they re-opened. I stepped on, sitting a demure one seat away. We laughed. The tube filled up. Hesitantly I moved up one next to him to allow space, accepting our very live predicament.
I spilled the beans of my existence and Edward did his: “I’m in I.T., my parents are too. It’s fast pace, high pressure. I’m young, I may as well..I can handle it.”
“Was that always your dream?”
He shrugged, focused on his watch. “I wanted to be a detective.”
“But, you look like one!” I exclaimed.
“Don’t say that, you’ll make it worse. Thing is I had a mis-spent youth, too much partying, too much sport” he said raising his eyes to meet mine; an intensity of longing.
“But sport’s great!” I said.
Frowning, he clutched his briefcase more firmly, unzipped it, searching for something inside.
“I played polo for Young England” he said turning to me with a coy grin.
I felt a tear come to my eye.
“You have a lovely aura you know” he said.
I blushed: “And you, the kind of disarming smile that could crack cases.”