September 30th, 1990
Excelsior Hotel, Heathrow Airport
When I got to the crew car park this morning, Richard was standing a few rows over from where my car was parked. He waved, I waved back and before I had a chance to unlock the boot, he was right beside me.
“Allow me to help you with that,” he said, pointing to my Samsonite.
“I’ve got it, but thanks,” I said, swinging my suitcase into the boot.
“I was hoping to catch you,” he said, the flush rising in his cheeks.
I slammed the boot shut. “You were?”
He cleared his throat. “I was wondering if you’d like to go out for a drink sometime?”
“Ehm, actually, I’m seeing someone.”
“Does he fly?”
“No. He’s an engineer.”
“With British Airways?”
I shook my head. “No, he’s American. He lives in Los Angeles.”
“Oh,” he uttered. “Wasn’t expecting that. Well, I’d eh, I’d still like to give you my phone number.” He held out a sheet of First Class stationery, with his number scribbled across the bottom.
“Please take it,” he said, his cheeks becoming redder as he passed it to me. “And if LA begins to feel too far away, please give me a ring.”
“Righty-o,” I said, immediately feeling foolish at my use of such an expression.
“Ta ta for now,” he responded in a mock posh accent, grinning widely.
I came to the hotel and slept for most of the day before meeting up with Lolly tonight, who, I haven’t seen since she came back from working in America. Our first stop was at the Magpies but we only stayed for one drink before heading out in search of someplace livelier, which we found in Richmond.
“All the blokes are wearing white jeans,” Lolly giggled.
“That’s what we get for coming to a trendy wine bar.”
We talked for hours about Lolly’s time in Boston working as a nanny, which she has no intention of returning to.
“Didn’t you like living in America?”
“I did but I really missed my family. You know how close I am to them.”
“I have to say, except for my mum and dad, I don’t think I’d miss any other family if I was, say, to move to somewhere like, say, LA.”
She laughed. “So, this whole David thing is that serious?”
I nodded. “Just the other night we were talking about me moving there. A conversation, he said, we’ll continue after I meet his family at Thanksgiving.”
“Well that’s if I can get leave, I’m not sure yet, but yeah, I’d say it pretty serious.”
“And if you didn’t join BA, you’d never have met him.”
“I know, that’s such a weird thought, isn’t it? And I’d never have met you either.”
And what a shame that would be, because Lolly is, without doubt, someone I’ll always be friends with.