Chapter one, The Bar
Ben sat there, staring into his half full glass of Guinness. He looked over to his phone and activated the screen. Seeing just his blank homepage, he raised his glass to his lips and took a large mouthful of the black and bitter liquid. As he finished swallowing and the liquid poured down his throat, his phone vibrated on the old oak topped bar as the screen lit up and displayed a message.
"Sorry Ben, I can't make it tonight. I had to stay late at work."
"Again?" He thought to himself. "If she doesn't want to meet me, just say!"
"That glass is looking kinda empty there bud, want a refill?" Asked the bartender with a smile.
"No thanks, I was going to finish this and go home, she's not coming." Ben replied, sighing heavily.
"Sorry to here that, clearly she wasn't right for you mate."
Ben looked up and smiled at the bartender.
"Maybe not, Oh well, maybe next time." Ben replied.
As the bartender walked over to one end of the bar, Ben looked around the ageing pub. It was busy but not packed. After the recent pandemic, some people were still afraid of catching the dreaded virus. As he continued looking around the room, his eyes fell upon a young lady at the end of the bar. She was staring at her phone and crying. Ben was a kind, gentle and caring person and he hated seeing other people hurt or upset. So, he picked his phone up off the bar, lifted his leather jacket off the back of the bar stool, and walked over to the girl.
"Hiya, are you alright? I noticed you looked upset and a little lonely over here on your own." Ben said to her,
The girl looked up and turned her gaze into his eyes.
"Fucking hell, she's Gorgeous!" Ben thought. This girl had hazel eyes, was a brunette (his favourite apart from gingers) with shoulder length, slightly wavy hair.
She had a dark green cardigan, with a navy tee shirt underneath. She wore a thin silver necklace with a charm hanging down. Ben was about to look a little lower and then stopped himself so he didn't appear too creepy.
"Oh, hello. yes thank you, I'll be okay." this girl sighed as she spoke to him. Her accent suggested she didn't come far from where they were, maybe a little further south.
"If you don't mind me asking, why are you here on your own?" Ben asked, genuinely curious as to why this seemingly stunning girl was sat all alone and not surrounded by over eager, and somewhat creepy men.
"I wasn't supposed to be here on my own, I have, or rather, was supposed to have a date, but he's been a complete dick and stood me up, again!" she said, raising her glass of water to her lips and taking a mouthful. Ben stood there for a second, processing what she'd just said to him.
"You'll never believe this, but same here. I arrived here thinking that this girl was going to show up, but I should have known better. This is the third time she's cancelled on me." Ben replied, still shocked that anyone would stand up anyone who looked like this.
"Seriously?" said the girl as she looked at him questioningly. "what is with people nowadays? Do they just think that messaging people is enough?" she asked whilst picking up her glass.
"they must do." replied ben "It's not right or fair."
"too right it's not."
"I'm Ben, by the way." he extended his hand.
"Emily." she said smiling and accepting his offer of a handshake "Gosh, it's been ages since I've done that." she continued. Ben couldn't help but let out a small chuckle.
"I know, that pandemic was no joke." Ben said. Suddenly, an idea came into his head.
"Weird question, but have you eaten yet?" Ben asked.
"No, I was planning on having dinner here with my date, before he decided not to show up." She replied. "Why do you ask?"
"Well you see, I'm in the same boat, so to speak, I was also planning on eating here, so I made a reservation. Seems a shame to let it go to waste, doesn't it?"
"What are you suggesting?" asked Emily who was definitely curious.
"We both got stood up, yes? Well, why don't we have dinner together? It's their loss at the end of the day."
Emily sat there for a moment, contemplating the suggestion, then she said...
"You know what, you're right, their loss. I'd like that." Suddenly starting to brighten up. Ben was really intrigued by Emily and wanted to get to know her a little better, she had the looks, that much was certain. However, he wanted to find out if she had the personality to go with it, of course he hoped she did.
Over the course of the evening they ate and drank, all the while talking and finding out about each other. He learned that Emily was 22, a junior assistant to a manager at a local accounting firm, enjoyed travelling and the occasional spontaneous adventure. That last one pleased Ben. He had an idea for a potential day out with her, if she was up to it. Ben was a fully licenced private pilot, with access to his own small plane that he borrowed on occasion. He decided to potentially surprise her with this so he kept that one quiet. They finished their meal and headed back to the bar, just as last orders were being called. After a final drink, ben decided to take a risk.
"I'm glad I got stood up Emily, I'll be honest with you. I don't think I would have had half as good a time with that other girl as I've had with you." Ben said to Emily, smiling.
"Me to Ben, I wasn't sure about this evening to start with. But I'm glad it happened." She smiled at him.
"Sooo..." Ben began. "Do you fancy doing this again sometime soon?" Ben asked. He was genuinely nervous as to what she might say.
"Absolutely, on one condition." She replied.
Emily leant over to his ear and whispered, "Don't stand me up." and gave him a quick kiss on his cheek.
Ben felt like time had suddenly stopped when her lips came into contact with his cheek.
But suddenly snapped out of it a few seconds later, when the bartender announced to him that they were closing in a few minutes.
They exchanged numbers and took a selfie together to commemorate the fantastic evening.
They headed outside and hugged one another goodbye and headed to their cars.
A few minutes later when ben got home, he looked at his phone and read the text from Emily.
"I had a great time tonight, thank you for rescuing this evening, see you soon. Goodnight xx"
He typed out his reply.
"I had a great time too, I'm glad it happened. See you soon. Sleep well xx"
Ben got out the car, locked the door and went inside his house and headed straight for his bed. Completely unable to believe the nights events. He recalled them all as he drifted off to sleep, thinking of Emily.
The End of Chapter one.
Chapter 2 Coming soon.