When Harry met Suzie - a story for Valentine's Day
Harry stared at the words on the screen wondering if he should, and then he did. He pressed the ‘x’ key twice and hit send. There was no going back now. His heart was racing and he began to laugh, a nervous laugh, the kind of chortle someone makes when they’ve done something which they’re not sure they should have actually done. Well there was no going back now. He read that final sentence again.
‘Wear something red, I’ll be carrying a rose xx.’
The speed of the reply surprised him, and so did what it said.
‘My favourite colour. Sweet dreams, my Romeo, see you tomorrow xxx.’
What if the train’s late, what if she’s late, what if roses make her sneeze and what if I don’t recognise her. Harry was full of ‘ifs’ and didn’t even want to contemplate the possible ‘buts’. You see Harry had only met Suzie online.
Harry walked purposely across the station concourse in the direction of the clock, clutching a single stemmed red rose which he held out in front of him. ‘Under the clock at six thirty,’ he’d said in the email. He checked his watch again and slowed his pace What if his watch was slow, he speeded up again. Then the large clock suspended from the canopy roof came into view, the hands showing six thirty two.
And beneath the enamelled clock face a lady in a red coat with red shoes and with a red handbag over her arm was nervously glancing around. Or so Harry thought. He smiled as he approached. She smiled too and held out her hand. Harry thrust the red rose into it. She laughed, Harry laughed and they said ‘Hello’ at the same time. They both laughed again.
The meal in the restaurant was first class, the food excellent and the conversation ceaseless, and like the wine it never stopped flowing. Afterwards they walked arm in arm back to the station until they reached the clock and stopped beneath it. Harry put his arm around her and kissed her gently on the cheek.
“Thank you for a most delightful and quite enchanting evening. I’ve really enjoyed myself and of course your company. It would be lovely to meet again, Michael,” she said.
“I beg your pardon, Barbara,” said Harry in mock indignation. “But I’m Harry.”
“Harry? My date was with Michael. And who’s Barbara? My name’s Suzie!”
Image Credit » Photographs Copyright 2015 by Antony J Waller