2.25 P.M. I am in a team meeting at work.
The entire office team are listening to Martin’s lecture on some dull and meaningless statistics that he has produced.
We are all giving each other awkward looks. Martin is letting out soft little moans when pointing to his graphs.
Rob from IT leans across and whispers ‘I think his ‘stat pack’ is arousing him!’
Try to stifle giggle.
I can understand why Martin has no luck on the dating front.
2.40 P.M. Martin is still droning on.
Listening to his dreary monotone voice is making my eyelids feel heavy.
2.58 P.M. ‘Roxy are you still with us?’ says Martin, making me jolt in my seat. I must have nodded off. The team are smirking at me.
Wipe away sleep dribble from the corner of my mouth, straighten my blouse and sit upright in seat.
3.00 P.M. The meeting has ended.
Totter back to desk in my new cheap, but fashionable, high heels.
Shaz has been urging me to increase my stiletto size for some time. She thinks this is where I have been going wrong on the dating front all these years.
So far this new shoe dating strategy has left me with ankles coated in blisters, throbbing feet, a nasty bruise on my thigh, after losing my balance in the office earlier, and no dates!
Groan at calendar. I am supposed to be going to another meeting three floors away.
How is a girl like me supposed cover that sort of ground in shoes that feel like stilts?
Get distracted and check phone.
I have three missed calls from Great Aunt Vera’s nursing home.
Is this bad news? She seemed fine at the weekend.
She will not be happy if she passes away before tomorrow’s perm appointment.
Great Aunt Vera’s regular perm is something she looks forward to, along with Bingo, Downton, gossiping and hearing the family say they are leaving after a visit.
‘Roxy’ she said to me, the other week. ‘When my time is up…’
‘Lets not talk about sad stuff Aunt Vera’ I said, placing my hand on her arm.
‘I do hope it is after Ken (her beloved mobile hairdresser) has done my hair.’
3.05 P.M. Make call at desk to Great Aunt Vera’s nursing home.
My hand is trembling and my heart is pounding.
‘Hi, I have had three missed calls from this number and I am worried something has happened to my Great Aunt’ I say to the male voice, at the end of the phone.
‘Oh’ says the voice. ‘Who is your Great Aunt?’ he asks.
‘Vera Brown’ I say.
There must be a crossed line as I am sure I can hear someone whispering ‘we should be so lucky!’
‘Hello, your Aunt is fit and well. Is it Roxy?’ asks the voice.
‘Oh yes, thank god I was so worried’ I gasp.
‘Trust me there is nothing wrong with that….erm….I mean her’ says the voice.
‘Do you know what she wanted?’ I ask, wondering why she would call me.
‘She wants to talk to you. Hang on I will see if I can wheel her in’ says the voice.
The phone goes silent and I try to calm my racing heart
3.06 P.M. I can hear Great Aunt Vera arguing with whoever is pushing her to the phone.
‘ROXY!’ she barks down the phone, making me hold the receiver away from my ear.
‘Hello Aunt Vera’ I say.
‘I have called you three times. What on earth have you been doing?’ she shrieks, making me wonder whether she has her hearing aid turned on.
‘I am at work’ I say.
‘Nonsense!’ says Great Aunt Vera. ‘Now listen to me, you need to come up here ASAP’.
‘I am at work, I can’t just leave’ I say, watching Martin return to the desk.
‘Tell your boss an elderly relative needs you urgently’ says Great Aunt Vera.
‘I will talk to my boss’ I say, giving Martin a smile and a little wave.
‘Tell him I am knocking at the pearly gates and you want to say a few last words’ says Great Aunt Vera.
3.45 P.M. Just hobbling into the nursing home.
In view of the pain I am in with my heels I am looking longingly at the row of wheelchairs lined up by the door.
I must not complain as I managed to avoid that meeting three floors down.
Luckily Shaz was on hand to collect the kids for me.
I totter into the Day Room to see Great Aunt Vera sat with Jake, the handsome man I met on Sunday in this very room. He was helping his Grandfather, Donald, settle into his new nursing home.
‘ROXY!’ barks Great Aunt Vera as I make my way over to them.
‘He is going to take you out to dinner’ she says using her walking stick to point at Jake.
‘What?’ is all I can mutter.
‘You need a man and this one is free’ says Great Aunt Vera.
‘But…’ is all I can say. Words have failed me.
‘Roxy the family are concerned that you are still unmarried’ says Great Aunt Vera, shaking her stick at me.
‘Really?’ I query.
‘Roxy don’t argue with me. Now off you both go as I need a lie down before Bingo’ she croaks.
Jake and I watch as Great Aunt Vera clicks her fingers and a young female nursing assistant pushes her out of the Day Room.
Jake and I stand facing each other. Neither of us knows what to say next.
Hmmm this is awkward.
3.47 P.M. ‘Does your Great Aunt set up all your dates?’ asks Jake, breaking the silence.
I feel my face reddening.
‘Listen, if you don’t want to go out for dinner I won’t mind’ says Jake.
‘Its ok’ I say quickly. ‘I just need to sort out childcare’.
‘Oh’ he looks shocked. ‘You have kids?’
‘Yes three’ I say, reaching for my phone.
‘Three?‘ he sounds surprised.
I nod. It is clear my matchmaker has not filled him in on my details.
‘I have never been out with anyone who has kids’ he says, taking a small step back and running his hand through his shiny black hair.
‘You haven’t lived then’ I say giving him a cheeky smile.
‘Are they good kids?’ he asks.
‘Angels’ I say texting Shaz to find out when she can babysit and ignoring the series of texts from Matilda, my teenage daughter, telling me how much she hates her life, hates school, hates her friends, hates her family and hates her parents.
3.58 P.M. Hobbling out of the nursing home and cursing Shaz as my feet are killing me.
‘Nice heels’ says Jake. I grimace.
4.05 P.M. We are stood on the steps of the nursing home.
Jake is now looking pale and is shifting his weight from foot to foot. I am sensing he is a bit shocked at my revelation about the kids.
‘So, I will see you Friday night at the pizza place in town?’ he asks.
‘Yes it will be fun’ I say, giving him a smile.
‘Are you divorced then from your children’s father?’ he asks, scratching his head.
‘I never married’ I say.
‘Oh’ he murmurs.
‘Either of them’ I say as the faces of Jon and Rob flash into my brain.
‘So there is more than one ex?’ he asks, raising his eyebrows.
‘Yes – one is now gay and the other left me for a barmaid’ I say, letting out a sigh. I am breaking new dating territory by revealing this sort of stuff pre first date.
Jake’s mouth is open and his eyes have stopped blinking.
I think he is going to enjoy dating me.