I never set out to do any shopping, this was meant to be a first date after all. However, the bargains in the craft and book shop were too good to miss out on. The window display beckoned me with special offers and since we were just wandering around the mall anyway, I told my date we should go in.
To be honest, I wasn’t attracted to him at all. He was a head shorter then me, sadly something I’d noticed as we had left the coffee shop and I prefer my men tall. He was dressed all in black; hoodie and jog pants, so not very date presentable and he had longish black hair and a beard too. In fact, he reminded me of an over stuffed teddy bear; not very good looking, but very cuddly.
We split off; him to look at craft stuff and me to look at books. I browse the titles and book covers as my mind recalls something he had said before whilst we had sipped sweet coffee.
‘The last novel I read was last year and it was Fifty Shades Darker.’
I had shivered at both those things, ‘why?’ I had blurted as my mind screamed, I read a book everyday and get through one in about a week! How could anyone not read?
‘I can’t get into them,’ he had replied and shrugged.
‘And what did you think of Fifty Shades?’ I asked slowly.
‘I liked it. Grey is an interesting guy. I haven’t seen the movie yet though, I’m worried it’ll spoil the books.’
I had hid the disgust on my face and finished my coffee quickly. I switched the subject back to TV series, which he seemed to handle better.
Shaking my head, to clear those thoughts away, I grab a book and looking at it decided it wasn’t for me. I choice another then a few more, but nothing appealed to me. Glancing over my shoulder, I track him down and see him talking to someone, a tall black man with a patterned shirt on. Must be a friend, maybe?
I get moving and wander a round. I spot a humors book about newspaper headlines and since it’s a pound decide to get it. I find some notebooks, really reduced, some craft stickers, two books on sewing and a few other things.
‘Looks like you found somethings,’ he says, appearing at my side as I am looking at the adult coloring books.
‘Yes, I did. I saw you talking and thought I’d leave you to it. Was that a friend?’ I ask.
He nods, ‘old friend, from about two jobs back.’
‘I’m going to get these and then…erm, I think I might have to go home,’ I trail off.
Silence creeps between us and we both hear a woman talking loudly on her phone as she goes past the shop. The traffic in the mall has picked up and I can hear school kids chatting and laughing.
‘What time is it?’ I ask.
He digs his phone out and answers, ‘almost five.’
‘Then yeah, I need to go.’
I head to the till with him following me then pausing to look at something. I pay, we meet again then walk out.
‘I wish I could stay longer. It’s been fun. I got this exercise class this evening and I don’t want to be late.’
‘It’s fine. I had fun too, maybe we could do it again sometime?’
‘Sure. Minus the shopping though? I didn’t expect to find all this stuff, but it was so cheap. One of the books I get was like three pounds instead of thirteen. It was too good not to get,’ I laugh a little.
We dodge a wave of people then head outside. I debate telling him not to bother walking me to the bus stop, but as we are all most there it doesn’t matter.
‘I shall text you,’ I say as we come to a stop.
‘Yes, please do. It was nice meeting up,’ he adds.
‘Yep, I had a good afternoon.’
He moves to hug me and met him. Hugging him does feel like a teddy bear. I break the hug before he can kiss me, though I am not sure if that even crossed his mind. We say goodbye and I watch him walk away.
I collect what I think about him and decided that though I don’t see him as being my next boyfriend, the possibility of friends is there.