Monday, 29 October 2012

182: Noughts and Crosses

Penny made the first move, offering Simon a date at her local wine bar.  “Let’s meet there,” she said.  “It’s close to my house and not far from the station for you.  The food is plentiful and cheap, if we get hungry during the evening.”

Simon blocked her off, with reasons why the wine bar wouldn’t do for a first date.  “Isn’t it your local if you live that close?” he said.  “What if someone wants to come up and chat?  They might spoil the moment.  Besides,” he added, “I don’t really like wine.  Wine bar lager is usually pretty bad.  How about my mate’s house warming party?”

Penny liked a good party, but she was worried a house party might be a beer-fuelled lad-fest, not the thing for a first date at all.  “That sounds great, but maybe we should get to know each other a bit better before I meet your friends,” she said.  “I wouldn’t want to put you in an awkward position.  What about a pub in town then?”

Simon wondered if he could convince Penny to come to Pete’s party.  They had been on a booze cruise a few weeks before and the last of the imported lager would definitely go at the party.  Maybe they could find a pub near Pete’s.  “We don’t need to go into town, it would just be noisy and full,” he said.  “Perhaps we could try the pub on the corner by the British Gas place.  Do you know it?”

Penny knew exactly where Simon meant.  It was two bus rides away and it didn’t sound like he was planning on collecting her from home, so maybe she would have to get herself back alone at the end of the date too.  “That’s quite far away from my house,” she said.  “Two buses usually and they don’t run too often in the evening.  Maybe we could see a film in town instead?”

Simon and his friends were due to go and see the latest zombie film the following weekend and he considered inviting Penny to come along with them.  Maybe not a perfect first date, he realized.  But then, just the two of them at a horror film, snuggling up in the dark?  “That could work,” he said.  “Fancy ‘Zombie Night Force’?  It got five stars in all the reviews.”

Penny groaned to herself.  Did this guy have any idea about dating girls?  Probably just planning on groping her in the dark.  “I don’t like Zombie films much,” she said.  “Too much gore, even the funny ones.  Maybe we could see a comedy?”

Simon just knew she meant a rom-com, something about girls and relationships and getting married.  What a nightmare.  “I don’t think there is much comedy out at the moment,” he said.  “Unless you know of any?  What about a band instead?  There’s a local band plays every week in the pub I mentioned earlier.  By the gas place.” 

Penny knew when to retire gracefully and admit defeat.  “Tell you what,” she said, “I’ll call you sometime.”

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