Chapter Seven

Tim phoned at lunchtime that Sunday. To be honest I hadn’t been up long and was still in my dressing-gown.

“Hiya, how are you? Is it raining there? I’m looking forward to tonight. I’m planning to leave after lunch, say 4ish, so should be back home just after 6.”

“Great Tim. No it’s not raining, although it is overcast. I’m looking forward to tonight too. So you’ll be back 6 ish. Any ideas on what we should do?”

“Well Sophie, Mum’s cooking the most enormous lunch so I don’t think I’ll be up for eating out. That is unless that’s what you had in mind. I’ve a very flexible stomach and can always manage to eat.”

“No I shan’t be hungry tonight either. We could go to a film. I’m not sure what’s on though?”

“No we wouldn’t get a chance to get to know each other if we went to the pictures. What about going bowling? I’m not much cop at it but it would be a laugh.”

“OK. That’s a great idea. Why don’t I come and pick you up at 7. You’ll have done enough driving. Where do you live?”

He then gave me his postcode and house number so I could find him with my satnav. After the call I didn’t know what to do with myself. I was too excited to have breakfast. I started to watch the TV but couldn’t concentrate so I put my wellies on and went for a walk. I liked the feel of the fresh air on my face and the sound of the birdsong. I felt euphoric and walked right round the village, far further than I’d ever walked before. I still wasn’t hungry and just had one oatcake and cheese for lunch. So I went upstairs to my room. I wasn’t sure what to wear, something sporty or something glamorous? I tried for something that fulfilled both criteria and wore tight-fitting black leggings and a tight fitting black top which showed off my figure to advantage, I hoped, and a fancy gold belt to set it off. Eventually it was time to go. I set off in plenty of time and arrived fully ten minutes earlier than I’d intended. I found the place, a terraced house with bright red front door in a small backstreet with cars parked on both sides of it – nowhere for me to park. So I hooted. Twice. Someone from the bedroom window of a house opposite shouted something and gave me the V sign. No response from Tim. Reluctantly I drove further down the road and found a place to park on double yellows and walked back and rang the bell. A stunning very black girl with bright red lipstick opened the door which completely nonplussed me.

“Hi, does Tim live here?” I managed to stammer.

“Oh, you must be Sophie, come in. I think Tim’s almost ready. He’s out of the shower anyway. I’m Rebecca, Tim’s housemate.” With this she grabbed me and kissed me on both cheeks.

Just then Tim appeared looking absolutely gorgeous in a polo shirt and black jeans.
“Hi Sophie. This is my housemate Chakka. Oh I see you’ve introduced yourselves.” And he casually wiped off a bit of my lipstick from Chakka’s face. I was feeling a bit lost.

“Look,” I managed, “I’m parked on a double yellow line. Could we go. I know I’m early but I wasn’t sure how long it would take to get here.”

“Oh, OK. I’m almost ready. Where are you parked?”

“That way,” I indicated.

“You could wait in the car if you like. Just in case any parking wardens show up. I’ve just got to clean my teeth.”

“No, I’ll wait.”

He dashed up stairs leaving me with Chakka, me not knowing what to say. I needn’t have worried.

Chakka said, “Tim obviously didn’t tell you he shared with me. I can see this has thrown you. You’re not the first, by any means. Even in this day and age everyone expects Tim’s house mate to be male. And Tim never warns his visitors. I think he delights in surprising them, you. Of course we’re not romantically connected. I’m engaged and my fiancé lives in Bristol so we only see each other weekends at the moment. It’s not ideal but we planning to move in together soon, depending when can both get jobs in the same town.”

Just then Tim appeared and ushered me towards the front door.

“Bye Chakka,” he shouted. “Have a good un!”

As we walked back towards the car Tim said, “I’ve booked a lane for half-past. And another at 10. I thought we could have one game, grab something to eat and then have another game. I hope that’s alright, only if you don’t book you can queue for ages.”

Once in the car I wanted to find out a bit more who this Chakka was without seeming to pry too hard.

“Is Chakka your only housemate?” I ventured.

“Oh yes. The place only has two bedrooms. I think I see what you might be thinking. No we’re not lovers. In fact we hardly see each other. She’s engaged to this chap in Bristol and spends every weekend down there. And she spends every evening on Skype to him. Otherwise, I’d be after her. No I wouldn’t really, she’s not my type.”

“Glad to hear it. Am I your type?” I said rather anxiously.

“Well we’ll find out if we suited to each other tonight.”

The evening went well I think. I’m no great shakes at bowling but I did manage a couple of strikes and Tim was very gentlemanly and told me how well I’d done. I found it a bit difficult to concentrate. I suppose a fear of making a fool of myself. Also I had a stupid smile on my face all night. The meal was different from my normal fare. Tim didn’t want to eat the kind of food they served in the bowling place so we went to a little vegetarian restaurant not far from the station. The décor was homely, gingham tablecloths and candles, and the food excellent. I was amazed how tasty my meal was, never having really ventured down the vegetarian route myself. I did get a bit upset because one of Tim’s friends was sitting on the table next to us and insisted in talking to us which meant Tim and I didn’t have the kind of cosy, intimate evening I’d hoped for.

He did invite me in to his place and miraculously there was a parking space, a very tight one. I backed straight in and enjoyed Tim’s appreciation of my parking skills. He made me a very nice coffee, apparently he was really into coffee and had his own espresso maker. We sat on the sofa in subdued lighting with some soft music on and chatted. It was blissful but I was getting impatient for him to make a move. Just before my patience evaporated and grabbed him he took the initiative suggesting we dance. We just swayed to the music, letting our bodies touch, my breasts pressing into his chest, his leg between my thighs, his arms encircling me and my fingerd digging into his back. When he kissed me I lost control, the passion overwhelmed me. I was ready for him to take me and said as much. He said it was too early for him. This was a new experience. Usually I was desperately trying to protect myself from the unwanted attentions of randy men.

I felt totally at peace with the world as I drove home. We’d agreed to meet next evening and I was sure I was in love. How did I know this? I had butterflies in my stomach and a silly grin on my face as my Dad remarked when I walked in.

“What are you looking so happy about?” he asked.

“Oh am I? Nothing special.”

“Been out on a date?”

“Might have been.”

“Anyone I know? You finished with that other berk didn’t you?”

“Dad that’s hardy fair. Maybe you’re right. He was a bit of a wally.”

“So who’s this one?”

“Oh he’s an agricultural student at Rease Heath. He’s lovely. And I met him at the Festival Park branch when I was working there. He was on his vac job.”

“OK. I hope he’s not just after you money though.”

“I don’t think so. I don’t think money is high on his list of priorities. He’s more interested in saving the planet. Anyway I’m bushed so I’m off upstairs. Goodnight, Dad.”

I gave him a little kiss.

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