Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Mornington-By-Mere – (10) Single Mum WLTM

(Part 01)

The Olsen family were originally from Abbeyvale but Lorraine’s older sister Hannah moved to Abbottsford after she had married Mick Hill.
Mick however deserted his wife and family after the birth of their second child leaving huge debts behind him including 6 six months of mortgage arrears.
As a result Hannah lost her home and she and her children ended up living in a two bedroom flat in a dingy part of town.
However what was once dingy and undesirable was, after five years, suddenly up and coming, and so her landlord decided to sell out to a developer.
She didn’t know what she was going to do, the council would rehouse her but it would be to another shitty corner of town.
She couldn’t move back home with her mum, Irene because her and her sister Lorraine were banned from any kind of contact with their mum by their abusive stepfather Graham.
And her sister Lorraine lived in a room above the restaurant at the Old Mill Inn in Mornington.

What Hannah was unaware of was however that the Mornington Estate had exercised its option to purchase Mornington Field back from the MOD and along with it the estate also acquired all the buildings and infrastructure on the airfield itself as well as 29 houses in the village formally used as quarters for military personnel.
And furthermore her sister had applied for one, however when Lorraine went to Lyndon-Sanders Properties in Shallowfield she was told that she might not be successful, being a single woman and the new housing stock all being 3 and 4 bedroom homes.
It just so happened though that Hannah’s eviction notification came within a few days of her sisters meeting with a property agent about a house in Mornington and with her sister about to be made homeless it meant Lorraine could make a new application for them all and this time they qualified for a 4 bedroom house.

Lorraine got word from the agents that she was being given the tenancy of number 6 The Close on Friday September 26th, and the first thing she did was ring Hannah.
It wasn’t the best timing in the world as she was catering the Topliss wedding breakfast and the reception the next day so she was rushed off her feet.
Which meant they couldn’t move in until the following weekend but even when the following weekend arrived Lorraine couldn’t take any time off because the restaurant still hadn’t replaced Francois the chef.
Not that the move required a lot of efforts as between them they had little or no furniture and number 6 the Close was unfurnished.

However help with that came from an unusual quarter in the shape of Gabriel St George, the Lord of the Manor, and general philanthropist and all round good egg who on the day of the move just happened to be having lunch at the Old Mill Inn with his girlfriend Chantel.

When he heard that they would all be sleeping on the floor in sleeping bags he called his old friend Jonathon Springthorpe.
He was a resident of the village himself at The Old Forge.
Gabriel decided to phone Jon who was one of the Springthorpe’s at O’Sullivan and Springthorpe Auctioneers in Shallowfield.

(Part 02)

Apart from their normal business as one of the premier auctioneers in Downshire, O’Sullivan and Springthorpe were also required rather more often than they would have liked to do house clearances.
On many occasions they would turn up a few choice pieces to at least cover the cost of the clearance but that still meant there was a lot of serviceable items that weren’t worth auctioning but still had value which eventually found their way into one of their many second hand shops across the county.
However most of it spent a prolonged period in storage first.
Gabriel managed to secure a van load of furniture and arranged for its delivery to The Close that afternoon it was a tall order to get it done that quickly but people tended to pull out all the stops for Gabriel, not because he was the Baron of Mornington but because if he had asked for it to be done it was important that it was.

He always tried to help people when he could he was very lucky to have the life he had and he tried every day to remind himself of that fact but some people didn’t like charity so he played out a bit of a charade with Lorraine when he put his head around the kitchen door and spoke to her.
Gabriel St George put his head around the kitchen door and spoke to Lorraine
“Lorraine I must apologize” he said “the furniture should have been delivered yesterday”
“What furniture?”
“Well you’re renting number 6 the Close” he said
“Which is supposed to be furnished”
“Is it?” Lorraine asked
“Yes” he said “and it will be delivered this afternoon between 3 and 4”
After he had convinced Lorraine that it was a clerical error that it didn’t mention “furnished” in her tenancy agreement he and Chantel went back to the Manor to tell the family that they were engaged, his proposal happening during the conversation with Jonathon.

Hannah had been working hard all day driving back and forth from Abbeyvale with the family’s meagre possessions, the final trip she had the boys in the car as well, who she was able to leave with a neighbor while she did the bulk of the move.
She could have really done with Lorraine’s help but she appreciated she had to work and hers would be the only wage.
It was Lorraine’s day off on Monday but Hannah had to vacate the flat by Saturday midnight so it was unavoidable.

Lorraine hadn’t been fooled for a moment by Gabriel St George’s performance regarding the clerical error in the tenancy agreement but she was very grateful to him so she played along.
Almost the moment the kitchen door closed she was on the phone to Hannah.

Hannah and the boys had only been in the house for ten minutes and they had only that minute established who was having what room and hadn’t even begun to put the boxes in the appropriate rooms when the phone rang.
“Han you will not believe what’s just happened?” Lorraine said excitedly.

(Part 03)

At ten past three the boys came running down the stairs in a state of great excitement.
“Mum, mum the lorry is here” Nick said because his brother Joe was too excited to say anything his mouth kept opening but nothing came out.

Hannah went outside and the four guys in O & S Auctioneer’s overalls were opening the back up.
“What have you got for us then?” she asked
“Everything” the older of the men replied
“What?” she said
“It’s all for you love” he said
“All of it?”
“Yes” he replied “So just tell us where you want it”
“In the lounge I suppose”
“We have express instruction to put every item in situ” One of the younger men said
“So you direct and we’ll deliver”

It wasn’t until 4.30 in the afternoon that Lorraine managed to slip off her whites and hang them up.
Once she had, she took the green bandana from her head and let her carrot coloured hair cascade onto her shoulders before she went over to the house.

When she arrived the shutter was just being pulled down on the O’Sullivan and Springthorpes truck and she could see Hannah stood on the doorstep.
It was obvious from a thousand yards that they were kin, both of them possessed of freckled cheeks and open smiling faces and the flaming red hair.
The only difference between them was that of stature, Lorraine was tall and slim while Hannah was shorter with a fuller figure but then she had given birth to two children, 7 year old Nick and Joe who was 5, and they too had the carrot coloured hair.
As she got closer Hannah ran to meet her she said
“You should see what they sent us Loz”
“Well show me then” she replied and Hannah and the excited boys took her from room to room showing her the new furniture.

Lorraine had to go back to work but with Hannah’s hard work they soon settled in to The Close and the children were enrolled at the school.
Hannah had to do all the work at the house as her sister was still bearing all of the burden at the Old Mill Inn as she was running the kitchen virtually on her own from prep to clean down, and as a result she was completely frazzled, and noticeably so.
This went on until Halloween when there was suddenly a change of fortune when Helen Andrew offered Lorraine the Chefs job and employed two local girls trainee to help her.

It turned out that the girls lived in The Close, either side of Lorraine and Hannah, Tegan Crockford was at number 5 and Cally Wilson at number 7.
Cally was the older of the two by about two weeks and she was significantly larger, not fat but very definitely cast from a bigger mold.
She stood six feet tall with short curly auburn hair, and a very large bust.
Tegan on the other hand was a foot shorter and at least six stones lighter.
She was small with delicate features and bobbed strawberry blonde hair.
And was small enough to shelter beneath the bust of her friend if it rained.
However the anomaly with the pair wasn’t their physical appearance it was their personalities.
The giant Cally was quiet and reserved while tiny Tegan was feisty and forthright.
When the two newbies started work it was amazing as almost immediately the three of them gelled and worked extremely well together and with having the extra pairs of hands to do the prep it meant Lorraine could try out new dishes to add to the menu and from day one Lorraine was visibly more relaxed as the two trainees proved to be every bit as good as expected and as a result of that Hannah and the boys got to see more of her.

(Part 04)

Hannah had worked hard keeping the home fires burning and stopping Nick and Joe going off into orbit as they fast approached Christmas and Lorraine was looking forward to having four days off, the first proper break she’d had since Easter.
The restaurant would close on the afternoon of Christmas Eve and would not reopen fully until the following Tuesday.

When Lorraine got home on Christmas Eve she was in an extremely good mood, which Hannah mistakenly put down to excitement about Christmas but then she was totally unaware that Lorraine had spent the last half an hour of her work day snogging Tegan.
So as she had been kissing in the kitchen she was a little later getting home, so she wasted no time in packing the car because she, Hannah and the children were off to Abbeyvale to spend Christmas with their mum, Irene.
It was the first time in four years they would all be together.
Lorraine and Hannah had been prevented by their abusive stepfather from contacting her.
But Irene had finally had enough after 9 years of being used as a punch bag and hit him in the face with an iron and broke his jaw.
The sisters were so looking forward to spending time with their mum, and having a family Christmas all under one roof, but most of all Hannah was looking forward to her children getting to know their granny.
However what Lorraine was looking forward to more than anything was no cooking but what she wasn’t happy about was that she was missing the strawberry haired slip of mischief Tegan already.
One thing that Hannah was worried about, in fact she was dreading it, was her mum asking her and the kids to move in with her.
She loved living in Mornington, she loved the village, the people, the house, the kids loved their school they had made loads of friends, she loved everything about it, well almost everything, and she wasn’t prepared to give it up without a fight.
The only thing that wasn’t perfect was that she was “lonely”, but she planned to take steps to rectify that situation in the New Year.

After Christmas Dinner Irene and her daughter were in the kitchen clearing away while Nick and Joe were playing with their toys in the lounge.
“That was the best Christmas dinner I’ve had for years” Lorraine said “I can’t wait until next year”
“Well I was meaning to speak to you about that” Irene said and Hannah thought
“Here we go”
“Why what’s the matter?” Lorraine asked with concern
“You’re not going to let that bastard Graham get his foot in the door”
“Good God no” Irene said “I never want to see him again”
“Then what?” Hannah asked with dread in her heart
“I’m selling up” she replied
“Oh God I knew it” Hannah thought
“Selling up?” Lorraine said
“I know it’s the family home but it too big for me now” she explained
“I think it’s a great idea, isn’t it Han?”
“Yes, great” she replied somewhat unconvincing
“But where will you live” Loz asked
“I’ll come and live with you two in Mornington” Hannah said in her head
“I’ve got a little bungalow in the Oak Dale Retirement village over in Dulcets Green” she replied
“And I’ll only be 15 minutes away so I’ll be able to see more of you both and I can come and babysit”
“That’s fantastic” Hannah said “the boys will love that”
“They get to have Granny in their lives and we get our mum back” Lorraine said and then they all hugged and shed a tear or two.

(Part 05)

They stayed at their mum’s in Abbeyvale until the last possible moment and savoured every second of the best Christmas they had had for 5 years.
When they got back home it was late on Sunday evening and while Hannah got the boys upstairs into the bath Lorraine unloaded the car.

With the children in bed and themselves fed Hannah announced she was going to have a long hot soak in the bath and then go to bed herself.
Lorraine looked at the clock and knew what she was going to do, she had already seen the tall busty frame of Cally Wilson pass by the window so she knew Tegan would be about half an hour behind her, as they were only doing bar snacks, so just as Hannah was slipping into the foamy waters of the bath tub, Lorraine slipped out the front door and down the alley that led from The Close to The Street and waited in the shadows.

Hannah didn’t even know that Lorraine had gone out she was still reflecting on the lovely time they’d spent with their mum and was thinking about how to solve her other problem.

Lorraine had stood in the shadows for about 10 minutes and was beginning to wonder if it was such a good idea when she saw her quarry cross the road.
As the diminutive figure of Tegan got to within ten yards Lorraine could wait no longer and stepped out into the light.
At first she was startled but then she recognized her assailant and a huge smile lit up her face.
“I wasn’t expecting to see you tonight” she said
“I thought I’d surprise you” Lorraine said
“Couldn’t wait to see me more like” Tegan said cockily
“I didn’t say that” she said and felt herself blushing
“You missed me though didn’t you?”
“What do you think?” Lorraine replied and took hold of her by her lapels and pulled her into the shadows and kissed her.
When their mouths separated Tegan Said
“I really missed you too”

Lorraine returned unnoticed to the house before Hannah even knew she’s gone, just as she stepped out of the bath, and as she lay in her bed she looked forward to seeing Tegan again the next day.

As Hannah lay in the bath she came to a decision in regard to her problem and was so determined to solve it that she made it her New Year’s resolution.

It was a few days after the New Year that Lorraine arrived home to find Hannah surrounded by an assortment of local papers.
“What are you up to?” she asked as she tried to see what her sister was reading but Hannah pulled it towards her chest so Loz couldn’t read it and this action served only to make Lorraine even more curious.
“Why so secretive? What are you hiding?” Lorraine asked as she tried to wrestle the paper from her sister’s hands until Hannah snapped, and shouted
“Leave it alone”
“Ok, I was only messing about” Lorraine said and went upstairs.

(Part 06)

“I’m sorry Loz” Hannah said immediately Lorraine returned
“That’s ok” she said “is everything ok?”
“Yes” she replied “it’s just…”
“Just what?” Lorraine asked “Aren’t you happy here?”
“Are you kidding? I love it here, I love living with you, I love the house and the village, so do the kids and they’ve made loads of friends and even I’ve made a few”
“But I’m lonely for “company”” she emphasized
“Well now the girls are up to speed in the kitchen I could maybe take a bit of time off”
“It’s not that kind of “Company” I’m looking for” she said and Lorraine just looked puzzled
“Company” she repeated
Still Lorraine looked at her with confusion on her face
““Male” company” she said
“Oh I see”
“I know you’re not interested in men, love and romance or even a bit of lust for that matter” Hannah said
“But I really am”
Lorraine agreed with the men part in her statement but she could have pointed out that she was getting plenty of love, romance and lust next door with Tegan but she didn’t think it would help the situation and besides it was really exciting to have a secret lover.
“So what’s with the papers?” Lorraine asked
“Lonely hearts” she replied quietly
“What?” Loz said
“Lonely hearts” Hannah replied
“Really?” Lorraine replied and picked up one of the papers and started reading.
It was the Shallowfield and Childean Chronicle, which seemed fairly typical of its type, but Lorraine found the personals quite engrossing.
She had to figure out the shorthand which took a few minutes,
But once she knew the code she could decipher the ads, for example, WLTM was would like to meet, NS was nonsmoker, LTR was long term relationship, and GSOH was good sense of humour.
They weren’t all as easy to work out however,
“What does this one mean?” Lorraine asked “OHAC”
“I don’t know” she replied “it sounds a bit exotic”
“Google it” Loz suggested and Hannah duly obliged
“Oh how disappointing” Hannah said “It means “own house and car”
They then sat down together and read the ads together.
“I have been pouring over these all afternoon” Hannah said “But no luck”
“Are you sure this is the answer?” asked Loz
“I don’t know” she replied “but what else do lonely people do”
“There must be another way to meet a man” Loz said
“All I ever do is meet other mums” Hannah said
“There is one Dad that I see outside the school every day but he’s more of a woman than I am”
“Oh dear” Loz responded “and there’s no one else?”
“There was a man outside the after school club last week who smiled at me” she replied “but he could have been a serial killer”
The two sisters laughed at the prospect and then Lorraine suggested.
“What you need to do is put your own ad in”
“Me?” she replied
“Why not?”
“Ok then” she said resolutely
Lorraine and Hannah spent the next half an hour composing an ad for the lonely hearts column.
And what they came up with was,
“Pretty 30 something Divorcee, Mother of two,
Red hair, Hazel Eyes, medium build,
Who Loves going out and enjoys nights in,
WLTM fun, honest man / single Dad
With GSOH to fall head over heels in love with and who will mend my broken heart”
She thought the broken heart line was pushing a point somewhat because her heart was broken five years earlier and was well mended.

(Part 07)

Hannah was going to phone her ad through the next day but she was chatting to some of the other mums outside the school and she heard about a part time job in the village and it completely went out of her head.

After looking at the local map, the new Bakery manager, Nathan Addison had realized that although Mornington was a relatively small village there were very many farms and hamlets dotted around the Vale as well as a number of small villages full of people who had to buy their bread somewhere, so along with the brewery, the butchers, the farm shop and the general store he set up a free twice weekly deliver service to customers who placed regular orders.
For the first few months the shops took turns to supply a driver but as the business had grown they decided to employ someone on an adhoc basis to make the deliveries for them in the van provided by the Mornington estate.

Hannah went straight from the school down to Addison’s to register her interest in the driving job, but instead of picking up an application form she found herself being led up the staircase to the little office and after filling in a modified Addison’s Bakery application form she was given an interview.

After half an hour of a fairly informal interview Nathan said
“I will need to take a copy of your driving license for the insurance”
“Oh I don’t have the paper part on me” she said rummaging in her bag “but I have the ID bit”
“Well if you pop back with the other part either today or tomorrow, we can get things moving” he said “and providing you don’t have 12 points on your license the job is yours, can you start next Monday?”
“Really?” she said “next Monday?”
“Yes is that ok?”

When she told Lorraine later that day that she had a part time job working Mondays and Thursdays, she was over the moon firstly because Hannah was so happy about it and secondly because it meant she would have the house to herself on her day off so she could entertain her girlfriend Tegan.
The kids were very happy about it as well as it meant they could go into the after school club with their new best friends.

On her first day she did the round with Nathan so he could show her the ropes and he was very methodical and a bit long winded so subsequently she was almost late picking the children up from club.
They were standing by the door with another couple of children Karen and Sam Moore and a man who turned out to be their father.
He was a slim balding man and what hair hadn’t already fallen out was going grey.
He smiled at her but she didn’t return it she had had a long day and she was in no mood to exchange smiles with a married man.

(Part 08)

Tim Moore was 33 years old and had worked at the Mornington brewery since he left school and he had made the walk from number 3, Windmill Cottages to the brewery every morning for 17 years, with his father for the first five of those and on his own since his premature death aged 54.

He didn’t know it at the time but that early loss was to set the benchmark in his life, as his mother suffered a massive heart attack and died only six months after he lost his wife to breast cancer leaving him with two children under 3.
But despite the hand he had been dealt he never complained he just got on with life and he thanked God every day for his Children.
Karen was 7 going on 17 and Samuel was an energetic 5.
But that was all he had was his work and his family.

On Thursday, Hannah had Ruby Legg riding shotgun for her, she was in her mid-twenties and a bit more lively than Nathan, she gave her all the gossip about people on the delivery round as well as in the village and she clued Hannah in on one or two short cuts and so as a result she was home in time to enjoy an hour of peace and quiet before she needed to pick up the kids.

As she walked up to the school she was feeling a little guilty because she had found out from Ruby that Mr. Moore, the married man who had smiled at her the other day was in fact a widower.
“If he smiles today I’ll smile back” she said to herself.
As it turned out he wasn’t there and the children were picked up by Mrs. Kincade-Smith, a middle aged woman who lived next door to the Moore’s.

The best part of two weeks had passed when as she was driving back to Mornington she remembered that she hadn’t placed her lonely hearts ad.
So the next morning after she had dropped the children at school she called The Shallowfield and Childean Chronicle and placed her ad which would also go in the Chronicles Sister Papers, the Downshire Journal, and the Finchbottom Flyer.
She had initially put it in for the following two weeks but she figured that being in three papers for two weeks if she didn’t get a nibble she never would.

It was three weeks later when Tim was sitting in the doctor’s surgery with Karen who had a bad cold which was aggravating her asthma.
She was happily playing games on Tim’s phone so he was reading a two week old copy of the Finchbottom Flyer.
It didn’t take long to consume most of its contents, the flyer was not a weighty tome, and then he found himself reading the lonely hearts column which always made him chuckle.
Sue: was looking for no strings fun.
Anna: WLTM a man of any age and at any location.
Maria: was broadminded.
Sam: was looking for a discreet man for casual meetings and
Jane: was interested in Adult fun.
Quite a lot of them liked to dress up but it wasn’t patently clear what that meant.
He wasn’t sure if they meant they liked to wear posh frocks, sexy underwear or a suit of armour.
He thought if he were looking for someone they were the ones to give a wide berth to, although he hadn’t read them because he intended to contact anyone he was just passing the time.
Not that he wouldn’t like to meet someone but he wasn’t sure that the personal ads was the way to go about it, not for a proper relationship anyway.
That was until he read:
“Pretty 30 something Divorcee, Mother of two,
Red hair, Hazel Eyes, medium build,
Who Loves going out and enjoys nights in,
WLTM fun, honest man / single Dad
With GSOH to fall head over heels in love with and who will mend my broken heart”
“I like the sound of you” he said to himself, he liked a red head.
There was a nice one he had seen outside the school, she was pretty when she didn’t have a “back of the chip shop queue face” on her.
Anyway he took out his pen and wrote down the details in case he wanted to pick up the phone later.

(Part 09)

Hannah had barely noticed the fact that she had received no feedback from her ad, as she had been really busy, between her delivery job and running over to Abbeyvale every spare minute to help her mum pack up the house, as she was moving to Dulcets Green over the Easter weekend.
So Valentine’s Day came and went and so did the rest of February, then March came and went and as the remainder of March ebbed away Easter came and went.

Two days after Tim had taken Karen to see the doctor she had a very severe asthma attack and had to spend a week in hospital.
Even when she had been discharged from hospital she suffered a number of minor attacks until they finally got her medication sorted so Tim was on tender hooks right through March and it wasn’t until Easter he finally felt he could relax.
It was during the Easter weekend when he was catching up with things that he found the note he had written in the Doctors surgery.
He read, smiled to himself and screwed it up into a ball and tossed it into the bin.
Five minutes later he retrieved the ball of paper unscrewed it and phoned the paper.
Obviously with it being the holiday weekend he only got the answerphone so he left his details.

With her mother safely moved into the Oak Dale retirement village, the week after Easter brought a little bit of peace and quiet and it also brought an email completely out of the blue.
The email took her completely by surprise as it was in response to her entry in the personal ads which had been so long in coming.
Hannah had long since written off the whole lonely heart thing as a folly, a foolish flirtation, the stuff of schoolgirl dreams.
But now she had a reply the one and only response.
In the email a meeting is brokered and several dates and locations are suggested, The Huntsman’s Lodge in Childean, The Woodcutters Arms in Shallowfield, the Red Lion in Pangmere or the Old Mill Inn in Mornington.
Ideally she would have preferred to have met in Childean, it being the furthest away in a town where she knew no one.
But as it was her first date for more years than she cared to remember she thought that several glasses of wine would be required so that ruled out any location she had to drive to, so she chose the Old Mill Inn because she could walk there in five minutes or get home in a similar time if required.

Tim Moore was also thankful he had only a short journey that evening because he had been required to work late at the brewery.
He would also have preferred to meet in Childean, away from prying eyes.
Siobhan Chapman, from two doors away at number one, was babysitting and was getting the children ready for bed.
So when he got back home from work that night he could quickly get showered and changed.

(Part 10)

At Hannah’s house she was having to get the children ready for bed as well as getting herself ready for her date as her babysitter, Tegan’s younger sister Victoria, wasn’t expected until 7.45.

They had made a date to have a drink at The Old Mill Inn at 8 o’clock and Tim was in the pub with ten minutes to spare.
He sat down at the bar and ordered a pint of Mornington Ale, and he was sitting on a bar stool and was halfway down his pint when his date appeared and as soon as their eyes met their hearts sank as the recognition spread across their faces.
Hannah remembered him from outside the school and how she thought he was a philanderer and he remembered the look on her face that could have stripped paint.
“Oh it’s you” Hannah said “From the school”
“Yes I’m Tim” he replied “Can I get you a drink?
She sat on the stool next to his and replied
“A large white wine please” she said to John Andrew behind the bar.
“I’m Hannah” she said
It was a nervous start to the evening as neither of them was what the other was hoping for.
But Tim kept remembering the wording of the ad and thought that the unknown person in print was worth him taking a risk, so why shouldn’t he give the flesh and blood woman behind the words a chance.
Hannah softened as well because she had found out from Ruby Legg that her initial impression of him was false so she thought she should soften her view of him, if only for the following couple of hours.

Where they were sitting they were in direct line of sight of the kitchen door and Hannah soon became aware of Lorraine’s face peering periodically through the round glass window.
“Shall we go and sit somewhere more comfortable?” she suggested
“Good idea” he said “I’ll just get us another drink”

Hannah chose a seat in a quiet corner well away from Lorraine’s prying eyes and they spent the next hour talking about their children, who had fortunately become friends.
As the alcohol began to take effect they relaxed and began to talk about life before family and after a further hour and a couple more drinks the conversation became more random.
“Ok” she said halfway down her fourth glass of wine “let’s talk about guilty secrets”
“That sounds dangerous” he said
“Who would be your secret fantasy lover?”
“Jessica Rabbit” he said instantly
“That was quick” Hannah said “are you sure?”
“Yes” he confirmed “Jessica Rabbit”
“Oh I’ll have to have a look at her” she said “as she googled Jessica Rabbitt on her phone”
Then after a couple of minutes she said
“She’s a cartoon”
“Well obviously she’s not a real Rabbit” he said defensively “I’m not a complete weirdo”
There was a split second of silence and then they both roared with laughter.

As Tim walked her home she put her arm through his almost subconsciously
“I’ve had a lovely evening” she said as they stepped into the close
“Me too” he agreed
“Perhaps we could go further afield next time” she suggested
“Would you like there to be a next time?”
“Yes I would” she said
“Why don’t you?”
“I would like it very much” he replied and kissed her cheek.

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