“It was you wasn’t it” she said, glancing over the top of her wine glass. It was a question rather than a statement and there was a sparkle in her eyes as she said it. I knew that she was fishing for information.
“What was me?” I replied, my tone non-committal.
“The flowers, it was you that sent me the flowers”
“Was it? What makes you think it was me that sent them?”
“I don’t know, just my instinct I guess” she held her look on me for a few seconds before she looked away around the pub at all the other patrons. She found it slightly amusing that everyone else in the pub were couples,
I looked at her looking around the pub and smiled to myself, I was taking in the details of how she looked dark hair, almost black, tied tight into a bun. This was her work look, business like, official, and yet sexy as hell. Little make-up, smooth complexion a slight natural tan to her skin, her mouth slightly parted. She had finished taking in the surrounding people and looked back to me.
I could tell she wanted to continue the conversation but I was saved by the server appearing and asking for our order. She ordered a Moroccan lamb tagine and I went for a bouillabaisse, with that ordered along with a couple more drinks we dropped into some small talk about work and the upcoming Christmas festivities.
She wasn’t going to be up to much, she mentioned visiting her parents who lived about an hour north of London, maybe meeting up with some friends for a meal whereas I was spending it with my family, kids, friends etc who tend to pop around for the big Christmas dinner that was normally put on at my place.
Before long the food arrived and we both tucked in. the smell of all the different aromas was amazing, Moroccan spices filling the air with their warm mysterious smell. We ate in silence and once I was done I left my spoon in the bowl, sat back and patted my belly with a satisfied sigh.
“Yes it was me” I announced as she finished her last mouthful.
“I knew it” she said after momentarily being thrown by my sudden announcement. “Why would you do that? your married“.
“No I am not married, I have a girlfriend but I am not married“.
“That’s just splitting hairs really, your with someone why would you get me flowers?” her face was serious. Now that I had admitted the purchase and she had it pinned down to me she wanted to know the details.
I sighed “Yes ok, if you want to look at it in a black and white manner then yeah it’s bad of me, I can explain my reasoning if you’re interested to know?”
“Go for it” she said, her mood now one of almost annoyance, her arms crossed over her chest defensively.
“I think you’re gorgeous” I paused to look at her “and yes I do have a girlfriend and yes if you want to look at me like I am such a bad person then fair enough, but you know what. There are hundreds of regrets I have so far in this life, regrets because I didn’t do something and this time I didn’t want that regret“.
I was on a roll now, it had been awkward to start but now that the ball was rolling I found the words coming to me, flowing, faster and faster.
“Do you remember when we were in that other office and we were talking about Christmas shopping, you said that you had no one to buy for. I couldn’t believe it. I thought it must be by choice that you are not with someone, I couldn’t keep my eyes off you and even the way you said it had a tinge of sadness to it“.
She was silent, just looking at me waiting for me to continue.
“So yeah I was a sucker, I got a little smitten and then you were here in this office, I went out to lunch saw a florists and bought some flowers, spur of the moment thing, but I wanted you to smile, I wanted you to know that someone liked you, someone was thinking about you, and so I bought them, I am sorry you didn’t like them” I pushed back on the chair ready to get up and leave, I had talked myself into a bit of state. I felt embarrassed that I shown attention where it was obviously not wanted I had let down my walls and been punished for it.
I looked around the pub, if anyone had overheard our conversation then no one had made any indication of that which was a relief. I picked my coat from the back of the chair and slipped it on, I looked down at her. She was emotional, not crying but I could see that well of tears in her eyes that were so close to spilling over.
She looked up at me “Don’t go“. it was almost a whisper the harsh tone gone. I still felt tense, exposed even and wanted to leave but I couldn’t, I looked at her my hands resting on the table. She reached out and covered my hands with hers, her fingers entwining with mine. I felt the warmth of her touch, the heat sinking into my skin, my thumb moving backwards and forward, almost massaging the skin on her hand.
“They are beautiful flowers” she said shakily and I did smile when I got them.
She stood and lent across the small table that we had been sitting at and kissed me, her soft lips pressed against mine for just a moment and then we parted.
“C’mon” she said “We’ll finish this later, we had better get back to work“.
I wanted to do something with dialogue and try to get a flow going with it, I am not sure if this would be classed as “good” dialogue but I didn’t think it turned out too badly. This time I wrote the story and then looked for a picture rather than the other way round.