Dates of Our Lives: Summer fling in the bin

Hello all and sundry. The dreaded time has approached. I am about to sit my finals.

I will forgive you for assuming that the only romantic interest I’ve had recently is my revision. And I will also nobly forgive everyone who assumed I had an admirer that one time I brought a bunch of flowers into college which triggered the rather embarrassing answer that I’d simply felt sad whilst at Tesco and thought these my brighten my room up. (I’m still waiting for an oxlove about that x)

No, no, to keep the blues of both 5th week and impending doom away I am treating you all to a tale of woe and despair at my expense.
I finally plucked up the courage to ask this guy out for a drink; we had met through a friend’s friend’s friend at a wrap party for a play many moons ago. It was in the depths of winter, and the party was in the depths of Cowley. Although the party was at 11pm, it had been dark since 2pm and all was still. The smattering of snow, heaped up in corners and in flurries on the pavement glistened in the clear moonlight. The glitter of pedestrians’ Christmas jumpers could be seen, intermittently illuminated by the orange street lights. It was quite the scene.
Anyway, we had more recently become friends on Facebook and taking the bull by horns I shot him a message which was, luckily, received rather well.

We met up for drinks, but had unfortunately coincided with the end of the football and the pub was packed. As a nerdy student I naturally whipped out my notebook and began to take notes for an impending ethnographic study which would no doubt be both lauded and highly criticised in many an academic journal. Oxford Union talks and extremely high speaker fees were set to be my future. But I was stopped by the memory of early 2000s rom coms. To be seductive and pretty meant not to be clever. I put my glasses away and once again unclipped my hair, allowing it to tumble in cute but messy waves around my shoulders, which was odd, since my hair hadn’t been that long beforehand…

The pub was full of small children running and crawling around on the floor, not giving a merry fig to the football or the conversation. There were flustered mothers with an eye on the toddler wobbling over to the kitchen doors, and an ear on Auntie Jennie’s story about her friend who was robbed by her toyboy lover. There were uncles, and brothers, and sons, and probably some random men unaffiliated with a family unit who were passionately debating the beautiful game. There was an elderly couple who had just finished a walk complete with hiking boots, Matrix style sunglasses, and walking poles who, seemingly not from around here, regretted their choice of pub to stop off at. The barman took stock of this Renaissance masterpiece and, like, a character in The Office looked me directly in the eye and almost imperceptibly twitched.

This was not quite setting the right tone. However all went well and the time flew by resulting in us feeling somewhat jolted out of a reveries when we were politely asked to vacate the premises. We stopped off at our faithful little corner shop, picked up some tins with the intention of going back to my house to sit in the garden. We had 3 garden chairs, half a mowed lawn, two sheds (the landlord’s pet project) and a flat rugby ball. It was the wet dream of any Gardener’s World watcher.

However, when I opened the door I was confronted by my housemate who wanted to know all the gory details. I made some exaggerated expressions including winking, widening my eyes, flaring my nostrils and generally giving the appearance of having a spasm to warn her that the gory details was still here and the date ongoing. She didn’t get it. I sighed.

I then stepped aside so she could take him all in. And she seemed to. Now it was her turn to make some unusual facial expression. Her eyes went extremely wide, her nostrils flared, and her mouth formed a little ‘o’. In turn [redacted] made an audible gulp and tried to flee. Which I didn’t think was promising.

The only issue with that plan was that our front door is double locked which in and of itself wouldn’t be a problem. Except at the exact same moment he tried to flee, my other housemate arrived and opened up the door, thwacking him square in the face which caused a yowl of pain and some swearing.

All was chaos. One housemate trampled in, took stock of the carnage and apologised, the other froze, I went for a bag of peas whilst my assaulted date crouched on the floor hoping beyond hope, no doubt that no more injuries were about to be inflicted upon him.
After applying the frozen peas to his face we sat down in the living room. My housemate followed. Her ‘o’ was still in place. She joined us. An awkward silence ensued. She made some polite enquiries and fixed her stare at my date who did not meet her eye.

After a short while [redacted] made his excuses and left. I think it was probably the unblinking stare of my housemate and the slight edging ever closer to him on the sofa that put it off, but then again it could have been the physical assault. These things are so tricky to decode I find. As I shut the door on my failed summer fling, my housemate burst out:

“Isn’t he gawgus! Oh my god. I asked him out before but said no. I used to see him in the Bod all the time but I think he noticed I was following him so he stopped going which is a shame. Will you see him again?

I replied in the negative with a side order of shock to this more than a morsel of information.

She followed up with:

“Can I have his details or something, I did have him on Instagram but he blocked me…

I shook my head and cracked open the now lukewarm beers feeling that it really was a small world.


The names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this work have been altered to protect the identities of those involved. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.