STORY

We first met whilst queuing to be served in Blacker's Department Store. I had dropped my bag and he knelt down to pick it up. I said thank you without really taking him in. It wasn't until he came out with the line 'They look warm' was it that I first looked at him. I must of stood there for around ten speechless seconds. The reasons being that I didn't have a clue what he was talking about, but most surprising was the boy himself, and how handsome he was.


'Your socks' and he pointed to the socks I had in my hand - the main reason I went into Blackler's in the first place! I flushed with embarrassment. Sensing the embarrassment, the boy changed the subject as to awaken me from my flustered state. He turned the attention to small bracelet he had just bought. He wondered whether he thought it was suitable for his girlfriend. My disappointment at the word 'girlfriend' was soon dashed when he continued to tell me that he was breaking up with her and that it was a break-up present. He hoped it would soften the blow, whilst being a reminder of the good times they had.


He finally introduced himself as 'Henry'. He was a confident young man, and before we had both been served he managed to ask me if I wanted to grab a cup of tea. I had no plans until the evening so gladly accepted.


We had several cups of tea at a local cafe and talked for quite a while. It turned out that, like myself, Henry was a fan of the movies. Before I knew it, it was late afternoon and I had to get going. I apologised for having to end this wonderful brief encounter. He too agreed that our meeting was too brief and asked if I would like to meet up the following week at the same place. I tried to play it cool, but there was no hiding the fact that I was desperate to meet up with Henry again. I was already counting down the minutes when I left the cafe for my friend Eillen's house.


'Arr, wait until you meet him. You'll love him - and his mate ain't bad, either' Eileen said whilst piling on her make up in the mirror. It was Saturday evening and we were getting ready for our weekly trip to the Lacarno. Eileen was talking about her new fella, who she had been dating for a couple of months. I had never met him and this was the first night that I would. I didn't really care about Eileen's fella and his mate - all I could think about was meeting Henry the following Saturday.


Still in a romantic haze, I didn't feel the cold as we queued up outside on a freezing cold November's night. Once in the warm and familiar surroundings of the Lacarno, Eileen set off to find the boys. 'There, they are over there' proclaimed Eileen as she dragged me over there. The two of them had their back to us, only turning to Eileen's shout of 'Aye, you two. Here we are.' When they did turn round, I nearly fainted with shock, as one of the boys was Henry.


Things got worse when Eileen kissed Henry - this was her new boyfriend. I put on a brave face. Eileen introduced my to Henry and Harry. Henry shook my hand and tried to make eye contact but I avoided looking at him at all costs. Harry was a pleasant young man and done his best to entertain me throughout the night, but my mind was elsewhere. Harry sensing this asked Eileen for a dance - leaving me and Henry to talk.


'It's a small world, isn't it.' 'Too small was my reply.' I wasn't in the mood for talking so I took Henry's hand and led him to the dance floor, where we danced in silence. As the song began to fade out, I said I had to leave. 'See you next Saturday then?' That was the first time I looked into his eyes - and I could of melted on the spot. I left without saying anything - not even a goodbye to Eileen.


The next day Eileen came around to my house in floods of tears telling me that Henry dumped her that night, and gave her some cheap bracelet as a parting gift. She showed me the bracelet, and I thought it was beautiful. 'What are you doing next Saturday? Fancy going shopping then to the Lacarno to help me look for a new fella?' I thought about it...'Nothing' I said.


Although, I wanted to go and see Henry so much, I never went on the Saturday and I never saw him again.



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By Rita Sheridan Rita Sheridan


This story was added on 26th October 2011

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