Paul met Anna at work, a Human Rights charity based in London. He was a Campaign Manager, she a recently-graduated lawyer, working there on a twelve-month internship to gain experience in in the field.
Anna was almost fifteen years Paul’s junior, and besides, he was divorced, with a child. Danger signals. But he was pleasant-natured and witty, He was passionate about his work, which he took more seriously than he did himself. Anna grew to enjoy working with him.
Paul had liked Anna immediately, and, could it be, she was flirting with him? Surely not. This gorgeous, perfect blonde must have men tripping over themselves. Besides, what could she possibly see in him? He had just hit forty, not only divorced but with a ten-year-old son. He was starting to spread, had no car, and had rented a tiny, one-bedroomed flat in Kilburn since the divorce, which accounted for most of his meagre income. Not exactly the catch of the century!
Anna was obviously going places. In the time they had worked together he’d learned that she was originally from Sussex, but had studied Law at King’s College in London. She’d had a steady boyfriend throughout almost the entirety of her degree, but was now – very contentedly – single. And now, she had only two months left at the charity. But the seed had been sown, and Paul could not get Anna out of his mind.
“She’s out of my league”, he had said to his best friend, Pat, in the Irish Rover pub one night. The Rover had been their “local” since they’d been old enough to drink. Pat’s advice was to go for it. His exact words, “Carpe diem, you useless git”, along with some choice words about Paul’s paunch and prospects. After all, in a few weeks, the chance would be gone. Pat could be quite direct when he wanted to.
For all the agonising, the right moment which never came, the expectations of blowout, of crashing and burning, it was actually quite easy. She’d agreed, without hesitation.
They agreed a “fun” date, nothing heavy, a relaxed ambience, which explains why they went 10-pin bowling together to “Life in the Fast Lane”, up at Brent Cross, one sultry evening in May.
Could this be the start of a beautiful relationship?
for Fandango’s One Word Challenge (FOWC), ambience.
With one last question: where would you choose, on a first date?