"Mum this is pathetic. I Think I can organise my own social life." Alex was annoyed. His mother had been nagging him about talking to the girl who worked in the dry cleaners for three weeks.
"Look love, you're a very sweet lad but you need a bit of a kick up the backside. You're 24. You got to pull you're finger out and get a girlfriend! Clara is such a nice girl. She's so polite and very pretty." Alex knew she just wasn't going to leave it alone.
"Why don't you take your suit in to be cleaned? You'll soon get chatting and you'll see what a lovely girl she is."
"Ok Mum, I'll do it, you're starting to do my bloody head in." Alex got up from the sofa, went upstairs to his room, stuffed his creased and slightly smelly navy blue suit into a carrier bag and made his way out of the front door.
As he wandered down the road, his head bowed and shoulders hunched, like a small boy given a clip round the ear, Alex wandered what the hell he was doing.
He had worked in the bank for two years. In his daily contact with the general public, he'd never once looked up from the desk for longer than a few seconds let alone flirted with any attractive girls. When a girl came in to order a new paying in book, or to pay their credit card bill, he'd just do the bare minimum to be civil. His confidence had always been quite low, the prominent scar on his chin had always made sure of that.
It was a warm saturday afternoon. Parents were with children, on their way to the park. Dog walkers and noisy teenagers were out in force. Alex crossed the road and made his way down the high street. He could see the big clock tower in the distance, it was nearly 1.30. He thought about lunch and getting home to watch the football, and how his heart really wasn't in this.
He passed the chemists and the grotty looking charity shop, the weird little bookshop that looked frozen in time. When he got to the dry cleaners there was noone there. The slightly lopsided sign in the window read "back at 2pm."
Alex rolled his eyes and let out an irritated huff. He was thinking of a quick in and out. Drop off the suit, see what this Clara looked like. If she was fit maybe come back another time, if she was a bit of a moose forget the whole thing.
He wondered what to do with himself for half an hour. He turned around and clocked the little coffee shop. He crossed the road and went and got a coffee and a sandwich. He found a bench in view of the dry cleaners and opened his sandwich.
After burning his tongue on the coffee and leaving half of the stale cheese sandwich, he looked at his watch. it was 1.45. Alex couldn't work out whether it was the sandwich or the coffee but his stomach felt funny. He finally realised it was nerves.
Finally 2pm arrived. He waited another five minutes and felt himself getting annoyed as the girl still hadn't come back. Eventually he saw a girl approaching with a bunch of keys. It was Clara.