I had seen him so many times. It was getting silly now. Honestly, was this some kind of romance novel your mum took on holiday? No, this was my life. Prince Charming doesn’t show up if Cinderella sits in her room brooding over a pretty man with a guitar. What if he was rude? Or talked with his mouth full? What if he didn’t like me? Okay, I need to grow out of that one…
I put my book down, folded over a corner of the page and looked in his direction. Women were still dancing as his song came to a close. He opened his eyes, and mine darted away while I took a sip of my coffee and looked awkwardly to the other side of the square. I was behaving like a twelve year old, giddy, giggly, red with nerves and knowledge I would probably never have the courage to say anything.
What would Frankie say? ‘Rory you bloody div, chuck it in the fuck it bucket…’ an awful turn of phrase but effective nonetheless.
I’d spent too long worrying. I looked up and he was packing up his things, talking to a small blonde girl, French, I think. Oh, who am I kidding? I had no clue… He had his hat full of change which he was counting out while chatting to the french girl. He seemed hesitant, she seemed keen. I immediately sympathised with her.
I picked up my book again and moved back into someone else’s dream scenario. I sipped more coffee and refused my brain’s urge to guide my eyes from the book and look back at the man I had seen everywhere and nowhere, for weeks on end. I did this with Charlie when I first met him, drifted, hesitated, second-guessed, but it still worked in my favour. Well until he broke my heart, but hey ho.
Oh sod it. I put down my book, pushed my sunglasses up onto my head and looked up. He was walking over to me.
Bloody hell. Get a grip, Rory.
God, why was my voice so weird and nasal. As I said hello, he said in heavily accented English,
”No, French, I learnt a little… I saw you reading an English book… So I thought maybe I should try and talk to you that way. It was the one you were reading last week, on the bus…”
”You wanted to learn some English to…?”
”I wanted to, maybe, er… Go for, a drink?”
He mumbled nervously.
”Are you busy now?” I smiled.
He reciprocated. I had a good feeling about this one.