There was contact between them at work, of course, but not enough that anyone would notice.
They’d spoken to each other, in the evenings, about every four or five days, and Anna called Paul, the Wednesday before their date, to check that everything was okay to meet. They agreed to meet up on Saturday afternoon, and head up to Covent Garden together, maybe visit a few of the posh shops, or have a bite to eat if the fancy took them.
Saturday, at ten to two, Paul was waiting at the entrance to Chalk Farm tube station. Anna turned up right on time at 2 o’clock, and they caught the next Northern Line train to Leicester Square. From there, it was a short hop to Covent Garden – London is actually an excellent walking city, the centre at least. They made a note of the films at the cinemas in the square, and strolled off together.
In this part of London, the tourist part, there are restaurants every minute, and after two hours shopping, the pair were ready for a late lunch. Back they headed, to Chinatown for some Dim Sum. They made another discovery, then – that they were both vegan, not only that, but both for the same reasons.
They ate and talked, talked and ate. There was a constant supply of green tea, to stave off any thirst they might have had. With an eye on the clock, Anna finally said, “do you fancy seeing that film? It starts at 7 and if we leave now, we can make it.” Not particularly wanting the day to end, Paul agreed. They split the bill, and strolled off to watch “The Leading Edge” together. When they left the cinema, arm in arm, the sky had become dusk, as they headed back home.
They got off again at Chalk Farm station – she’d stayed on the train an extra stop, because she didn’t want the day to end just yet, and because it was a warm evening, Paul had decided to walk home from there. Their first real kiss was just past the ticket barriers, watched rather too closely by an employee of London Underground!
Anna broke her usual rule, and agreed to meet Paul on Thursday. Against her better judgement (she could not stand football) she agreed to go with Paul to watch Arsenal, who were playing Sevilla in the Europa League that night. Paul had a friend who had some job which meant he could get tickets, apparently. This was the semi-final, not that Anna would have cared. Arsenal ended up drawing 2-2, not that Anna would have noticed.
Given the crowds of people, and the warm evening, they decided to walk back. They could have been quicker but they stopped for a nightcap, when Paul treated Anna to an expert analysis of the holes in Arsenal’s defence!
That night they consummated the new relationship. To avoid unnecessary questions from housemates, they had ended up at Paul’s. Anna was the first woman since Beth, and she had less than a month to go at RightWay.