A Lot to AskMature

                   My phone vibrates again, and I resist the urge to pull it out and answer. Allie walks ahead, her hips sashaying in her close fitting jeans and she seems to be in a hurry – either that or she’s not too keen of walking the streets of London with me.

                    “So,” I quicken my pace in an attempt to catch up with her, “Tell me a bit about the people that we’re meeting?”

                    “Oh,” she turns; a wicked smile on her face, “It’s just my sister and my Mum, really.”

                    “What?” I’m confused. I didn’t envisage myself meeting her parents quite as quickly as this, even in my little fantasies.

                    “I need you to do me a favour.” She stops short, her book bag swings and hits me in the leg, and I wince. Her voice is sincere and she looks me dead in the eye. I’m entranced by her cool blue orbs, and realign my grip on myself before I fall even deeper into the cliché.

                    “I’m not going to pretend to be your boyfriend if that’s what you want me to do,” I chuckle. But the laughter is cut off as a flash of disappointment flits across her features. “Wait,” I groan. “You don’t want me to pretend to date you, do you?”

                    “Erm it’s something like that,” she sighs, and continues walking. “But if you don’t want to, it’s fine. It’s a lot to ask of someone you’ve just picked up in a coffee shop, I suppose.”

                     There’s something – and I can’t for the life of me figure out what – that means I neglect to take the escape route she’s just offered me. “What do you want me to do?”

                    “Well I need you to pretend to be my fiancé.”
                    I laugh. But another look in her direction tells me she’s serious. I swallow; the familiar choking sensation back in my throat. I’ve picked up a head case, I think to myself, and I think about the irony behind that. I’ve never been too selective in my choice of women, and now it’s come back to bite me. My head and my mouth appear to act independently of one another, and she grins, a full smile that stretches the width of her face, as I say, “I can do that.”

                    “Really?” She’s hopeful, I can sense it, and I nod.


                    The next thing I know, she’s flung her arms around my neck, and her lips are upon mine. It takes me a few seconds to figure out what’s going on, before I feel my hands slide to the small of her back and my lips respond to her kiss. It’s broken a few moments later, and I know that my face is one of complete and utter shock. I was not expecting that. At all. But I’m certainly not complaining, either. I mean, pretending to be someone’s fiancé? I might as well get something out of it, I chuckle darkly to myself.

                    “You need to work on your kissing technique.” She remarks blithely, before striding ahead as if she just made an offhand comment about the weather.

                    I stand stock still, having never felt so insulted in my life.

                    “Excuse me?” I snarl. She whirls around, and sees me stood still she laughs, shrugging.

                    “Oh come on,” she giggles, “Don’t tell me you’ve never been criticised before?”

                    “Criticism is something that occurs in my life on a pretty frequent basis,” I remark, thinking of the contents of my inbox with a frown. “But I’ve never had anyone complain about my technique before.”

                    “How many girls have you kissed, then?” She questions, clearly amused by my irritation. I have half a mind to stop walking there, turn around and forget I even looked at this girl with her blasted books and quick mouth.

                    “How on earth am I meant to know that?”

                    “I’m shocked,” she laughs, rolling her eyes, and I find my feet moving to keep up with her; whatever stand I was making moments before clearly forgotten. “You strike me as the “let’s write about every intimate moment in my diary” type.”

                    My thoughts wander to the leather bound notebook in my bedside cabinet that details some of my less masculine thoughts. I shake my head. “Well you’re wrong,” I emanate defensiveness, only causing Allie to laugh all the more. “I don’t keep a diary.”

                    “Yeah,” she grins at me, “And my name’s not Allie Radin.”

                    I stop, confused. Her name isn’t Allie. But I decide not to tell her I’m onto her – and focus on the insulting blow she just delivered to my ego.

                    “What makes you think you’re such a good kisser yourself?”

                    “I never claimed to be a good kisser but I’m a hell of a lot better than you are.”

                    “I disagree.”

                    “Do you now?”

                    “Yes.” By now we’ve both stopped short, and I’m stood over her, my brow furrowed with irritation, a good head taller than her. “In fact, I have an idea. You know in science lessons at school they would always say you need to repeat an experiment to get more accurate results?”

                    “Yes…” she trails off, and then she realises where I’m going with this. She takes a step back and again, my ego takes a severe knocking once more. “Oh no you don’t,” she grins, “If you want to kiss me again you have to earn it.”

                    “Hey you’re the one who wants me to pretend to be your fiancé. If we don’t consummate it, it’s not going to count.”

                    She rolls her eyes.

                    “Why are men such pigs.”

                    Not sure if the question is rhetorical or not, or if it was simply a statement, I feel I have a duty to defend my gender. “Hey we’re not all pigs,” I protest, “We’re sexual beings, we can’t help it. You’re the one who’s blatantly using me for my body, getting me to pretend to be your fiancé and all,” I laugh at my own joke but she carries on walking as if she hasn’t heard me. “Why d’you need to pretend to your family we’re getting married, anyway? This is a question I realise I should have probably asked earlier.

                    “There was a family meal the other week; my sister announced she was pregnant so I told everyone I was engaged.” She says this as if it’s the most ordinary thing in the world.

                    “So what, you wanted to be in the spotlight?”

                    “No,” she snarls, and I feel like I’ve hit a sensitive spot. Must be careful, I’m walking on dangerous ground, I tell myself.

                    “You’re jealous?”

                    “It’s complicated.” She bites her lip and I can tell she doesn’t want to talk about it from the way her delicate features are scrunched up. It looks like she’s fighting back tears.

                    “Well if I’m to be your husband don’t you think I should know a bit more about you?”

                    She turns to me, and it’s clear she’s grateful for the reprieve. “What do you want to know?”

The End

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