Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Stranger Things Have Happened...

OD and I have been "in a relationship" for more than 18 months now. It even says so on Facebook- so it must be real. A couple of days before I agreed to meet him in Edinburgh, I began to panic. We hadn't discussed overnight arrangements. He was getting the train up, arriving at 6 pm. Obviously he was staying overnight. But where?

I certainly didn't want him staying over. Surely he wouldn't expect to. But being totally neurotic, I didn't feel I could just ask him. And if he didn't have anywhere else to go, I couldn't very well leave him on the streets. Could I ? It was Edinburgh in winter. There was snow on the ground. So- I geared up to tell him to find his own bed for the night. But I also changed the sheets in the spare room. Just in case.

And then, I realized that I hadn't booked somewhere for dinner. It's surprisingly difficult to get a reservation in Edinburgh on a Saturday night. After some frantic texting, he ended up booking a table. Now, a man managing to book a table in a restaurant should not be a huge achievement- but my last significant relationship had been with a pathologically shy guy. So, someone taking charge, was really attractive. Amidst the texts was one that alleviated the anxiety levels.

OD: Will check into my hotel and meet you at 1830.

He'd booked a hotel! Hurrah!

I put on my glad rags. I'd never met a strange man in a hotel lobby before so I was a teensy bit anxious. But he was sitting there, waiting. And he was wearing a pale green jacket. Yikes!

After a brief hello,  I suggested we walk out and grab a taxi to our next destination.I sauntered out, making awkward chit chat, trying to come across as worldly and nonchalant. I promptly slipped and landed on my arse.

The hotel was on Carlton Hill, so there was a fairly steep descent to Leith Walk. Despite wearing sensible flat boots, the slimy slushy snow and my natural clumsiness had collectively sabotaged me. Luckily nothing but my pride was hurt.

To cut a long story short, we carried on to the restaurant. The conversation was occasionally stilted. At a much later date, when we discussed it, he'd felt like he was lecturing a junior trainee ( which is what I am), and I thought I was being interviewed. The folded arms, defensive body language. It wasn't good. I managed to order a truly disgusting meal- but forced it down. After all, falling on your arse is a major strike.

It should have ended with an awkward good night, and never seeing each other again.

Instead, we ended up in a bar. With a giant statue of an angel. Yes- an angel, God's messenger with outstretched arms and an admirable wing span. We had a couple of drinks.  I flirted a little. And then he said..."God, you're so young..but stranger things have happened..".

And there, in the Cameo Bar, under the shadow of a very large celestial being, we kissed.

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