“Can I ask you a question?”
Um. Sure. Just make it quick, I’m on my way home to pack for my holiday. On second thoughts…
“How do you cycle in high heels?”
I’m wearing heels, sure. But these are sensible for me, a mere two inches, and they even have a wide base, and lace up.
“Er. I put them into the toe clips and away I go…”
He’s caught me when I’m leaving the council offices, and I have no real choice but to walk with him as we both depart, hopefully soon to go our separate ways.
In the 200 meters between the exit and my bike, I’ve found out he looks after his mother; he’s the youngest son; he used to do martial arts but never really got into that “athletics stuff”; he smokes; and he’s an Actor. Fleee! Another aspiring actor!
He hangs around my bike as I unchain it, and continues to talk at me. He tells me I’m striking, and I have a Good Energy; I’m a phoenix, a sign of rebirth; how he’s going through a rebirth himself at the moment; how he was a family man and that’s what ruined his acting career the first time, and how it consequently ruined his family life, although he’s a Good Father. How he now has an opportunity to make a new life.
I end up giving him my real name and phone number just to get rid of him.
He kisses me goodbye, on both cheeks. Then hugs me tight - argh! I’m English! I can barely touch friends, let alone strangers!
He tells me we have a lot to catch up on when I get back off holiday - the only time I got a chance to talk I hastily told him I was too busy for a drink tonight, and might not even be able to answer his texts because I was going away tomorrow. He suggests we start running together. Tells me he has a really good therapist who’s helping him to quit smoking.
He kisses me twice again, as I edge away. This time, the second is alarmingly close to my lips.
I get on the bike, hoping to be a lot less subtle about fleeing. He tells me he wants to watch me ride away.
He asks if I’m married, and I foolishly tell him the truth - I am not married. He says he hopes it will happen for me one day. Maybe he and I are destined, maybe he’s the one I’m waiting for, maybe if we got married we’d live happily ever after. I tell him I’m seeing someone, and he says he is too, but it’s just practice.
Then he kisses me twice again, the last very definitely aiming for my lips, which I sidestep at the last second, narrowly avoiding falling off my bike.
I cycle away as fast as I can, given I’m on the pavement next to the council building and there’s a traffic warden just itching to dish out some sort of penalty to me, despite the lack of car.
At the next junction, he catches up with me, and I have to ride in front of a car to get away.
I went straight home, and the first thing I did was wash my face. Three times.