February 6th, 1991
At home, England
I was up early this morning for my hair appointment at Braids, during which Tracy asked if I had anything special planned for the day.
“Poor planning,” she tutted. “You should always have somewhere decent to go after you get your hair done.”
“That’s good advice,” I nodded. “I’ll keep it in mind.”
I popped into River Island in the hopes of getting some ideas for an outfit to wear to Lorna’s wedding next month, but nothing struck my fancy. Feeling slightly despondent, I thought I’d go and see Susan at work, before heading home.
Susan is perfectly suited to her job at Milton Keynes shopping centre and when I stepped into the office she was showing a woman in a wheelchair a map of the vast area, sweet and considerate as always. When I caught her eye, she smiled widely and gestured, “just a minute.”
“Hello, Karen love,” she said, as we hugged hello.
“Looks like a busy day for you.”
“As always,” she said. “You just missed Ben.”
The mere mention of his name made my stomach twist.
“I did?” I said, hoping for more info. “Is he just here for the day?”
“I think he’s staying over, you know what he’s like, you never know with him.”
I laughed. “That’s for sure.”
“He said he was heading to John Lewis to look at shoes,” she grinned, reminding me how much Mother and son resemble each other.
“Well maybe I’ll run into him,” I said, desperate to make a make a mad dash for the door but not wanting to appear rude. Fortunately, a couple came into the office, giving me the perfect excuse to leave.
“See you later,” I mouthed.
“Bye love,” Susan said, turning her attention to the couple.
I practically ran to John Lewis, slowing down only when I reached the men’s shoe department, where I spotted Ben, sitting in the corner, surrounded by shoe boxes. His posture indicated defeat but when he looked up, his wide smile matched Susan’s and I felt my heart do the little flitter flutter thing.
“Fancy meeting you here,” I laughed.
“You’re just in time,” he grinned. “I need help!”
We flirted heavily as Ben decided on two pairs of not inexpensive shoes, before asking if I fancied, “finding a nice country pub so I can buy you lunch to say thanks.”
We ended up in Olney, in the epitome of a country pub, complete with low beamed ceilings. We talked and laughed nonstop and by the time we left, it was dark!
“We should just stay for dinner,” Ben joked.
“Don’t you have to get home?” I asked, hoping for an answer that would make me happy.
That was seven hours ago and I’m too excited to sleep but knowing Ben is in my bed is enough to make me go back upstairs and crawl into bed beside him.