Engine on. Lights on. Drive. This was interesting. The road was well and truly iced over and the car began to slip across the road when turning corners. It was strangely thrilling and comical at the same time, watching Matt try to counter-steer ferociously around the corners.
“So, this is the Marina,” he suddenly announced as we were driving along the waterfront.
“Oh, right,” I replied. What was I supposed to say? My mum did that, just announce things out of the blue. I was never sure what to say then either. “Cool.”
“Yeah, it looks really good. That’s what I like about Cam’s, everything’s so close…” I didn’t say anything. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I replied, too quickly.
“… Have you had a good evening?”
“The best.” I just didn’t know what to say. Simple sentences were best.
Ellie Goulding was still playing, so I turned to the thing I knew how to do best. I started to sing. I could see Matt smiling out of the corner of my eye. Starry Eyed. I didn’t know many of the words, but I knew the tune so I was just sort of ‘uhh’-ing along and then singing the chorus. It was comical, but what was I supposed to do? And then he put on Your Song. I loved this song, so naturally, singing was compulsory here. Only gently, but singing nonetheless. To my complete and utter surprise, he began to sing along with me. He was actually quite good. This made me smile as I sung, I really began to relax and not feel like and complete and utter freak for just singing to myself in this genuinely good looking guy who seemed to genuinely like me. As we whizzed along the A370 through Hewish back to my house, we discussed how much we like the Moulin Rouge version. Then he got personal…
“So, I’m going up to London tomorrow to do a recording session for my Mum’s Christmas present.”
“She’s got cancer, and this will be our last Christmas as a family.”
Whoa. Bombshell. What was I supposed to say to that? I just left it for a moment, encouraging him to keep talking.
“So, for Christmas, I’m making her a mix-tape of all of her favourite songs with professional backing tracks and everything. But I’m going to be singing them.”
“Wow. That’s. That’s really, really cool.” For some reason, I had to try my hardest not to choke up. I could feel it coming. I don’t think it was specifically that his mum had cancer, but it was the fact that he was doing something so thoughtful for her that really showed me the kind of person he was. And there I knew. I could feel myself falling for this guy whom I’d known all of a couple of hours. And I was worried.
He smiled at me, as though I had said just the right thing. I thought I’d been a little insensitive, but hey, maybe I’d won a little bit too. As we were driving through Congresbury, he took hold of my hand and put it on his thigh. This time it wasn’t a surprise, or weird. I was ready. I felt comfortable. I left my hand there, and then squeezed gently at his thigh, to show to him that I was okay, that this was okay and I that, actually, I do like his after all. Well, at least, that was the intention, in my own, strange little way.
Driving up the A38, I thought I’d leave it to him to work out the way back home. I wasn’t sure that I was ready for it all to end just yet. He remembered the turning to Ladymead Lane, but then drove straight past the turning to the Doctors Surgery. We were talking, so I left it for a minute, until he finally said;
“I’ve driven past it, haven’t I?”
“Yeah,” I said with a smile, “It was just back there.”
“It’s fine,” I said, reassuringly, “I only live just down there.”
“Yeah, but I don’t want your parents to see the car in case your Dad comes out with a double barrelled shotgun and goes postal or something.”
“It’ll be fine, honestly.”
“No, I’ll just loop round.”
“No, just pull into the Primary School car park. Nobody’ll be around.”
As he kept driving cautiously down Pudding Pie Lane, I pointed out the car park and he pulled in. We sat for a moment. I was looking out the front windscreen, unsure of what to do now. I could feel his eyes on me though. I turned to face him.
“Thank you so much for tonight. It’s been amazing.”
“I had a great time too.”
I panicked, still not knowing what to do, but felt I had earned permissions for a hug at least, I leant forward and wrapped my arms around his neck, smothering my face in his shoulder. He smelt so good. We stayed there for what seemed like a really long time, but he didn’t let go. When I finally felt it was time to relax my grip, he let his arms slide and then and took hold of my chin.
Oh god. He wasn’t. He was. He was. Shit. SHIT. SHIT! He kissed me. He kissed me, and kissed me and kissed me. I had never been kissed before and didn’t know what to do. But I went with it. He kissed me for quite some time, and then let go.
“I have to go,” I said.
I got out of the car and froze. Just for a second. I began to walk away, looking back to see him watching me walk out of the car park. I beamed to myself all the way home. I felt like the Bakers wife, but at the same time, I felt like I was never going to see him again.