Posted on 9th February, 2016
There was a night, early in the piece, when she found herself in a tiny hole in the wall Italian restaurant. It was a family run place, simple, and a few tables at the back of a long hallway. Hidden from the street, but once inside was clearly date central. Small tables for two, with a stump of a candle, two clunky glasses filled with deep red and nowhere to hide should someone you know walk in. They had pretended, up to this point, that there were no dates, but now there was no escaping, once seated, that there was no other word for what was about to happen. A meal shared across a bar with beers, or in a park with others was one thing. But this, with Sinatra in the background, his hand taking hers as she walked near, and the taste of metallic breath in the air, well this was a whole other thing.
He had chosen the restaurant, been here before with another, the one unspoken of and overseas, that they knew best not to bring up. Ever. She felt clouded in here. It was dark, and romantic, and everything she was not looking for in him.
Laura wondered why he had chosen such an intimate and familiar place. In his neighbourhood, near his home, in the sight line of his life. It was away from her’s and a safe place, where she could breathe. But not life this. Dan ordered for them both. It was what she wanted without knowing, but that made her even more unsure. The conversation stumbled, and flew, and tripped over itself again and again as they tried to cover the awkwardness but still spit out everything they wanted to say. He let things slip, and she held things close, and that’s how they worked these days