…there was Luca.
He had also attended the language exchange event, and I vaguely remembered his face. He apparently didn’t remember my face, judging by the welcome I received.
We met at the train station, after work. I ought to have cancelled this date in the afternoon when the messages began. Having arranged to meet at 5pm outside the pharmacy, there didn’t seem to be much more to say. Luca had other ideas.
Luca: 4.03pm: ‘So, we’ll meet outside the pharmacy? Will I call you?’
I mean, if you see me, you could just come over. If you don’t see me, you can call.
Luca: 4.15pm: ‘Ok, so I’ll call you.’
Luca: 4.34pm: ‘Are you there yet?’
No, Luca. Obviously not, since we arranged to meet at 5pm. Are you?!
Luca: 4.36pm: ‘No. Just checking you weren’t there.’
WHY WOULD I BE THERE?
This was when I should have cancelled.
Nevertheless, there I was outside the train station pharmacy at 5pm. My phone rings, I answer: “Hi, so I’m here and I see you.’ WHY ARE YOU CALLING ME? This was thus the second occasion on which I should have legged it, but no, I stupidly stayed put.
Luca arrived and I said ‘hello’, to which he replied with a stare. Feeling slightly ill at ease, I asked how he was, to which he replied ‘I didn’t expect you to be so pretty.’ Well, this was going to be fun. Picking the nearest possible place for coffee, I sat down on the wooden bench and waited for my cappuccino. One coffee was placed on the table, and when I enquired as to why he wasn’t having anything to drink, he actually answered, “ I think I’m too in love to drink anything.” Oh goodness, help.
Since Luca was ‘too in love’/ too mentally unhinged to hold a normal conversation, I tried to down my coffee, and to avoid the awkward silence, I rambled on talking about anything and everything that popped into my head. He would get rather distracted and start looking around the bar, his head darting around a little like a pigeon, but just when I thought he would never speak again, out he came with a question:
“Do you have a metal detector?”
“Come again..? I don’t, no, but I’m pretty sure you do, Luca.”
Of course he did.
“So, what do you do with it?”
“I’m part of a club and we go into the fields near my house and look for things”
“Eh…cool? What kind things have you found?”
“Oh, you know, spoons and things.”
At this point, I pretended I suddenly had to leave and console a sad friend who had just messaged me, telling me of her awful break-up. As we said goodbye on the street (or rather, I said goodbye, and Luca stared), I took off, at some pace, in the opposite direction. No sooner had I crossed the road, than a emoji heart popped up on my Whatsapp. BLOCK, BLOCK, BLOCK.
Thanks for the cappuccino, though.