Extract - Do You Take This Man?
We, Louise and I, pub-crawled along the canal. It was the first really nice evening of summer and in true English style, everyone had gone to the pub to celebrate. All of the blokes had their t-shirts off, except for a few who were sensible enough to realize that white, slightly goose-pimply flesh and beer bellies are not Summers’ most attractive look. We were sat on the patio enjoying the cocktails that Louise assured me would make us feel like we were in Ibiza “We’ll have a slow comfortable screw and a screaming orgasm” Louise had simpered to the waiter “If you can manage both at the same time! Oh and could I swap my cherry for a pineapple chunk?” Pure class is our Louise.
I spotted one bloke, in a man-u top watching his friends jump off the locks and obviously not feeling the need to join in with their potentially suicidal pastime. I was just admiring the way his hair curled up where it had got too long and the muscles in his arms where his football shirt ended, when he looked up and caught me staring. He smiled, a huge smile that made his entire face break into lines, and then he winked. I smiled back and then looked away still grinning stupidly.
“What’s so funny”? Louise says turning to look over her shoulder. “Phwoooorr, Bloody hell! He’s well fit. And he’s well looking over here! Hang on a mo!”. And before I have a chance to stop her she leaps up and races over to him. They talked for a few seconds and then they were both walking over to me. “Hi!” “Jo, this is David, David Joanne. Right well I’d best be off, have fun…” and with a huge thumbs up and a rather obscene thrust of the hips she was gone…
“Can I join you?” He said “Or should I go back over there and throw myself in?” “Oh god no” I said “I wouldn’t want to be responsible for the death of someone as handsome as yourself”. The cocktails were beginning to take effect. He pulled up a chair, so close that his muscular, if slightly bandy, legs were pressed closely alongside mine. We chatted about football, families and jobs, obviously in the order of his priorities. He told me he was a banker type person. A good job, he said, in that it allowed him Wednesday afternoons off to travel to away matches. He’d been to France last summer for the world cup and wanted to know if I’d be up for a trip to see the boys in action in Japan, in 2002.
Do you mind if I smoke? He said. I must have looked a tad reluctant (a look I have been trying to rid myself of ever since becoming a non-smoker and not ever wanting sanctimonious but before the term) ‘No, No, go ahead, god I used to be on a pack a day! I just couldn’t stand the thought of, you know. Oh bloody hell, I know! …Do you fancy a bag of chips?’That was always our favourite meal out. Chips, curry sauce and a battered sausage.
Later, as we staggered out of the chip shop he said, “So what your saying is that if I don’t quit you won’t marry me?” “You what?” “You won’t marry me if I don’t quit?” “No” I said “Absolutely not”. He grinned, stubbed out his Marlborough light and quit that night.