Starting Point: Write about a third date
Initial thoughts: My first thought before starting this task, was on a pairing from a story I’ve been working on for a really long time. It’s actually a novel that I’ve considered as my next NaNoWriMo, just because it’s something that I really need to get out, once and for all, without going back and changing things. But, anyway, this is the third date between two characters: Lucy ( a Barmaid) and Richard (a Solicitor). It’s fair to say, this won’t be a conventional third date….
[From Lucy’s P.O.V.]
You know when you’re on a date, and everything is going really well, but all of a sudden you remember that you have to tell the other person something. And that something is something that you don’t particularly want to tell them, because you know, this is only a third date, and you don’t know him that well. I mean, Richard is a really nice guy, and I mean a really times a million, kind of nice guy. He’s the kind of guy that you’d take home to your mother, if she was alive. And that your Dad wouldn’t want to shoot, if he wasn’t in prison. And you’d trust him with your sister, if you had one. But nice guys like that, I don’t think that they like to hear stuff like I need to tell him. I know that he’d do the right thing, but is that how I want things to pan out? Probably not.
I realise that I’ve been playing around with my spaghetti for five minutes, and even though he’s been talking non-stop, I don’t think I’ve heard a word that Richard has said. I look at him, and half listen. He’s talking about Margaret Thatcher. I think. Politics has never been that interesting. I know she’s the Prime Minister and whatnot, but yeah, that’s about it. I wonder to myself if I look bored. I try to smile, but the nerves get the better of me, and I hate to think what kind of irksome face I am actually pulling, so I force my cheek muscles back down again. The waiter comes over, and offers us some more wine, but to be fair, the first glass was probably more than I should have accepted, and fortunately Richard turns it down, apparently he has a big meeting in the morning.
“Oh right, the business?” I said, genuinely smiling, but really thankful of an opportunity to change the subject, “Did you finalise that contract, deal-thing that you were talking about?”
Richard can tell that I don’t really understand the business side of things. He smiles, and looks at me, “You know what? All I’ve done is talk since we sat down. Are you okay? You seem….distant.”
“Oh, yeah, I’m…I’m absolutely fine. I just…” I nearly blurt it out, and just say it, but the words won’t form in my mouth, “I’m just feeling a bit under the weather, that’s all.” Okay, so it wasn’t entirely a lie, I wasn’t feeling too good. But seriously, why is it so hard to just tell him? Tell him. Tell him. Tell him. I looked up, and realised that Richard was looking at me. “Oh god.” I wanted to die, “I just said that out loud, didn’t I?”
“Pretty much. Tell me what?” He said, slowly and I could tell he was getting nervous.
“I…okay, I’m just going to say it….I’m pregnant.” And that is the die-hard way of ending a third date with a hot guy, who is way too nice for you. Or so I thought, because actually Richard’s face looked a lot more “chilled” than I was expecting it to. “You heard what I just said right?”
“Oh yeah, I definitely heard you.” He coughed nervously, and wiped his mouth with an over-sized napkin, “Well, of all the third dates I’ve ever had…all two of them. This has to be the most interesting.”
“Two? You’ve only ever had two third dates? Two? Really?” I think about that for a little while, wondering how that is even possible, and realise that he’s looking at me, “Okay, not the point. But, for the record, is that good interesting, bad interesting or somewhat mediocre?”
“Just interesting. Are you sure?”
“Of course I’m sure. I took a million test things, and sure enough they all popped up the same way. And then the doctor confirmed it. so, yeah, I’m 100% certain.”
“That is pretty certain.” His calmness makes me nervous. When I was thirteen, a girl in the year above got herself pregnant by one of the boys in the Upper Sixth. She’d gone around telling everyone that she was going to drop out of school, and that her and her amazingly perfect older boyfriend were going to get a Council House and he’d get a job, whilst she raised their baby. Of course, it didn’t turn out like that. He freaked out, dumped her and the next thing we knew, his entire family had moved to the other side of the country. Coincidence, maybe. But, it didn’t really make me feel confident about telling Richard, who also happened to be my older boyfriend. “And are you gonna…”
“I don’t know.” I interrupt, knowing exactly what he wants to ask, “I wanted to see what you thought about it.”
He nods slightly, and smiles, “I think that it’s your choice. And if you wanna keep it, then I’ll stand by you. But, if you don’t, I can sort it out…”
“Wow. That really isn’t the response that I was expecting.”
“What were you expecting.”
“Okay, so I had two scenarios. First, you freak out. You then accuse me of sleeping around. You of course dump me on the spot, which leads to an enormous and very loud, public argument that involves the management throwing us out and banning us from returning for life. I then become a single mother, who is a terrible parent and ends up leaving her kid on the doorstep of some church. You, unable to hide the guilt of dumping said love-child, top yourself by jumping off a really high bridge.”
Richard laughs, “And the second, hopefully not so crazy scenario?”
“Ah, the romantic scenario. You assure me that I am going to keep it. Then you start arranging this huge elaborate wedding, in a big castle, in Scotland, in front of a thousand guests….”
“A thousand?” Richard snorts.
“Hey, this is my scenario. But, your parents don’t particularly like me, so they refuse to come. Fifteen years time, my kid hates me because I’m a terrible mother. You hate me because I ruined your career, and I float down the canal with a nice big bottle of Vodka.”
“Wow. You watch too much Dynasty.”
“I know. It’s an illness.”