The taxi stopped us at a large park busied with trees but not many people.
There were benches everywhere, "romantic" I thought, and then turned to look at Robert, who was already paying the driver and getting out of the car. I went to get out but Robert had caught my door, and opened it, I smiled, but secretly thought it was a lame romantic gesture. I got out, and felt him behind me, close the door and whisper in my ear.
"Are you hungry?" he said, his breathe at my ear. I actually was starving, I missed breakfast. It was either that or the train.
"Yeah, starved" I said, turning around. Looking and hoping to see some sort of restaurant. All I saw was Starbucks, and instantly thought how lame it was in there. Everyone thinking they're extra trendy because they're drinking ordinary coffee, from a place called Starbucks. Must instantly makes it cooler right? I frowned, watching people go in.
"Starbucks is the nearest" He huffed, obviously as unimpressed as me, "But I am hungry" he said, taking my hand before I could answer, dragging me into the busy cafe.
The cheerful waitress's face dropped when she saw Robert, she tried to act cool but failed miserably and I wasn't sure what Robert was doing, but he looked from me to her, every time she spoke as if for my approval or something. It wasn't helping her performance, she stuttered and her skin went an insane plum colour. We ordered coffee, cake and some sort of sandwiches. He was completely shocked by how much I ordered, I'm sure it wasn't about the bill, but I asked him anyway.
"How can you eat so much?" his eyes drifted to my body all the way down to my feet and back up again, I raised my eyebrows when he reached my face and replied
"Good metabolism." I said, taking off my jacket. His presence was doing strange things to my body temperature.
We ate and talked about random things for a while, I tried not to ask too many questions. but he didn't.
"What’s your favourite colour?" he asked, on a roll of 20 questions.
"Blue. No wait, purple. Or red?" I said, trying to think "No, all of them"
"Don't have one."
"You don't have one?"
"Nope" I said, shaking my head.
He asked me everything, right down to my favourite number. It’s seven. But I was getting impatient, it was my turn.
"If I googled you what would happen?"
"Don’t do that" he laughed, "I had no idea, I haven't actually thought of doing it. I doubt theatrics get that much press, but there is a forum for "Taming of the Shrew crew"."
I laughed, he said their name so casually, and it sounded strange.
"How old are you?" I asked, trying to make it sound casual and like I didn't care for the answer.
"2I this may" he answered just as casually. Oops 2I. Wonder what he'll think of me being seventeen.
"I'd say you’re about 17?" he said losing my train of thought, oh maybe not. He was smiling "you look older, but there is a certain sense of innocence about you. Do you have a problem with me being four years older?"
"Do you have a problem with me being four years younger?" I asked, hiding my worry with my coffee mug.
"No, of course not, you're very mature, and I'd like to get to know you better. You intrigue me"
"Only because I didn't know who you were" I smiled at the fact he wanted to get to know me” you want to know where I've been to not know who you are?"
"Well that's part of it, also because you seem to be unlike any girl I have met" he blushed for the first time, and smiled at me, waiting for my response. I was knocked out. I pulled my hair behind my ears and frowned.
"I don't know what to say. No-one-one has ever really--well really--" I couldn't finish what I was saying, I just stared at my carrot cake in frustrations and he started laughing.
When I looked up, he was smiling at me, then he turned and looked at the clock behind him, I followed his gaze, the clock said half six.
"Half six!!! Damn it, it's late...shit. I've missed my train home" I blurted standing up. "Robert. I need to ring my parents" he stood up and threw thirty pound in cash onto the table and hurried me out. The waitress was walking over to our table as we left.
"Would you like to borrow my phone? Give them a call? I have a spare room in my house if you would like to stay? - if you don't have anywhere else" he seemed really embarrassed for asking me to stay at his house, after meeting six and a half hours ago. I wanted to stay, which was strange for me. I had just met Robert, and however stupid it sounds I trusted him.
He smiled as I dialed. The phone rang twice before my mum answered
"Hi mumma...it's noo noo"
"Hi darling...are you still in london?" she sounded sleepy...it was hard to make sense of her words. Robert was behind me playing with my hair. I smiled at him as he kept his face close to mine, pulling faces and teasing me.
"yes mother I'm in london. I'm really sorry I met a friend, and we went to lunch and completely lost track of time. There's no way of me getting home tonight so she's letting me stay at hers, she's coming into bury tomorrow, so she'll give me a lift in and everything...sorry for not letting you know sooner.." I was genuinely sorry. I know how she worries.
"yes darling that's fine. just don't go to sleep too late...have a good day tomorrow...I love you"
"I love you too mum" I clicked off the phone, and reached up, wrapping my arms around Robert. His teasing had been a complete distraction, and without even trying to hold myself together I pulled myself closer to him, pressing my lips against his. It was electric, instantly his lips moved along with mine. He held me tightly around my waist lifting me so he didn't have to bend down, I pulled his face closer to me, unable to stop. But he pulled away slightly, pressing his nose into mine, and kissing me again. it was like nothing I'd ever done before, kissing a stranger, but I couldn't help but want him more. He set me down, before letting one hand glide up to my face, he pulled my hair out of my face. We were looking at each other for a long time and I was thinking of how crazy it was to feel this way about someone after only spending six and a half hours with them..
"This is crazy." I said breaking the silence " we met about seven hours ago" I laughed at how silly it was..
"feels like longer though" his eyes staring right at me..."Shall we go get some movies from blockbuster? Some classics, as you are the expert" he said, winking at me.
"yes..I am the expert" I said pulling away from him and seeing a black taxi.
Shouted loudly "taxi!" it stopped behind us, and beeped for us to turn around. We were holding hands as we got in, and Robert told him where we wanted to go. we sat in the back, and talked about the movies we'd get.
"so how come people who haven't even seen the show, are already crazy about you?" I asked, genuinely curious, because before today I had no idea who he was.
"oh there must be a few posters around or something...there look" he said, looking out of the window to a gigantic bill board with his picture on it. Next to it in italics was
"Robert Downham, as Petruchio"
"oh" was all I could say. He looked less impressive up there, airbrushed and posing. I watched it all the way to Blockbuster.
The car stopped and this time I gave the driver a Ten and got out before Robert could object. I waited outside as he got out. What on earth was I doing? This was so unlike me? It felt so strange but great at the same time.
We walked in, and a few people stared at Robert as if trying to figure out how they knew him. Some of them came over for an autograph. I felt awkward just standing there, so I walked off.
"i'll meet you by the classics" I said over my shoulder, I didn't think he heard me, huffing as I went. "it's seven at night people...go home and leave Robert with me."
I was looking through the sections of great classics...fingering each one as I went. The great escape...would he want to watch that? - why would it matter?
suddenly I could feel someone behind me, they stood close, either a perv or someone wanting a copy of the great escape. Suddenly there were hands around my waist. Cold, and moving across my stomach.
"I'm very, very sorry" he said, breathing into my face as I turned around throwing my arms around him.
"I keep forgetting you're fame...I hate it already and I've only been around it seven hours" I pushed my bottom lip out and flitted my eyelashes the way I used to when I didn't get my way.
"don't ever do that face..." he smiled pulling me closer " you might actually break my heart" I readjusted my arms and hit him in the head with the dvds, I had in my hand.
"ouch" He said, mocking my strength. I laughed and let him go."I have about six of my favourites." I waved them in his face "I'm going to pay, but you should find a few you like, because you might get bored"
"No it's ok. if I'm watching them with you, i'll be fine" he smiled and pulled my hand into his as we walked to the counter..
The guy behind the counter watched robert too eagerly as I paid for the dvds but Robert didn't seem to notice, he was watching me, fubble with my bag and the change and just the true mess that is my hand eye coordination.
"I'm truly the most clumsy person ever, i'll trip over or something when i'm supposed to be like..standing still. it's so embarrassing" I blushed.
"yes, I'm exactly the same, I'm such a mess with stage directions" he smiled, and I laughed holding his hand tighter and he called another taxi
Robert gave the driver his address and then started to fish through the bag of dvds I had got, he started reading the blurb of one of the dvds.
"why do you lke classics? He asked and I begun explaining how they're much more realistic. Even the ones about complete fantasy and they're always written better, and the acting is so much more realistic.
but he nodded and agreed with mostly everything I said, apart from the acting..
"that's really what I want to do..real acting...I did a film over in America that's probably my favourite piece of work. It's really low budget" he looked away embarrassed. "but I'll get you it, I bet you like it"
I nodded, and changed the subject...I wanted to see it, I knew I'd like it. just because he said I would.
We reached his home, it was gated and once we had got out of the taxi, he punched in a few digits and the gate swung open.
"fancy" I said mockingly, pulling his hand to me, dragging him towards me. He laughed. This was all so natural, the way we were with each other, already, acting as if we'd been together for years. we walked up to his doors, and I watched him fubble with some keys and he had many of them. I watched him, closely, his frown as he tried to remember which key was which, his face lighting up when he found the right one, and it slid into the key hole.