During the day, at work, we texted each other confirming where to meet. I live and work in west London; he lives east but works somewhere central so it made sense to meet there. He seemed a bit worried about me coming all the way into town, but I wasn’t at all bothered. I can get into central London pretty quickly and I like it. Plus, I’m from the country, so I don’t think I’ll ever take TFL for granted or complain about having to sit on the tube for a bit while it whizzes me across town.
So he said “are you sure, I don’t want to make you come too far?”.
I said “oh no, it’s easy for me to get into town.” Then I thought I’d crank up the sexual tension a notch and “And isn’t the point of this to ‘come too far’, eventually?”.
A minute later I sent another one saying “(that was an attempt at a sex pun)”.
He didn’t reply for the next 20 minutes, and suddenly I felt wracked with regret about the sex pun. I sent another one saying “sorry if my sex pun has made things awkward. It seemed like a good idea at the time”.
I then had to drive to an old people’s home, where I was meeting a colleague to do a workshop, to try and promote our service to older adults.
An hour or so later, we were in the middle of a relaxation exercise when my phone chimed. I should’ve had it on silent.
Oh, I hope that’s the Whippersnapper!
He then did exactly the same as me; he suggested a pub, then said “I think we will find ourselves in a good position!”.
I didn’t reply because I was in the middle of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, and then I had to drive somewhere else for a meeting. When I came out at 5pm, he’d sent me another message saying “Hey sorry about that pun that was probably too much!” and then “Are you busy at work? We could always reschedule if tonight isn’t good?”.
I replied straight away saying I’d loved his pun, and it was funny my pun self-consciousness became contagious.
I raced home in the car, because for some reason, I’d suggested a time to meet that was a bit optimistic. I got stuck in traffic and kept saying “oh god! COME ON!” every five minutes, thinking of all the makeup I needed to apply before racing back out to the tube.
I got home and decided to wear an old Maximo Park t-shirt I’d found the other day, because our first messages to each other were about Maximo Park, instead of my usual, Official First Date top. I did my makeup and shot out.
I got to Westminster tube about ten minutes late. He texted me saying he was waiting by a pillar by some stairs. There are several exits at that station that all lead to different places, so I assumed it would be madness to wait another other than inside. However, after a couple of laps inside, where he was nowhere to be seen, I ventured out of one of the exits.
There he was!
He was looking in the opposite direction, so I gently touched his arm.
“Are you Whippersnapper? I’m Dater Analysis!” I said. He turned and looked at me. He looked exactly as I’d expected. He looked lovely and handsome. We hugged. He had a big, sunny face and glasses that really suited him, and he was wearing a smart shirt and trousers that turned out to be work clothes.
“I’ve been working round here for two years and I’ve only just realised Big Ben is right there!” He said.
I said something about Westminster station being really futuristic inside.
The pub we planned to go to was full, so we went to a different one nearby, planning to go to the original pub later, when it had quitened down.
We went up to the bar of the pub that did have space, and waited to get served. He had one of the new, plastic five pound notes. I hadn’t seen one yet (this was a few weeks ago now). He gave it to me to look at.
“Wow!” I said. I felt quite at ease with him already.
We laughed about the sex puns from earlier. He got served, and we both ordered glasses of the same white wine. We found a table in a room at the back.
We sat down. We talked about our jobs. I really enjoy the fact his job is data analysis! Like my blog! He told me a bit about what he does.
I thought back to the data analysis from my degree, and asked if he does statistical tests.
“You know, like chi square? anova? t-tests?” I explained what they were. It seemed that his data analysis was a different thing though.
Oh god, stop talking about stats!
“No, but they sound cool!” He said enthusiastically.
“I don’t know about statistics being cool.” I disagreed. A group of people on the side of the room cheered. “Oh, they obviously like stats!”
He said he was thinking about going to Uni to study English, as he was bored of his job.
“I’m having an existential crisis!” He laughed. “Is that how you pronounce it? Existential?”
I found that incredibly endearing.
I talked about being a therapist and he seemed impressed. He mentioned his friend who gets depressed but I didn’t feel like I had to put my Work Hat on.
We talked about music quite a lot. He seemed to really like my Maximo Park t-shirt. He said “I remember when their first album came out, and everyone at school really liked it!”
I smiled and looked down at the table. “I was in my final year at Uni when it came out.”. We both laughed. We spent ages talking about other bands from around that time.
I got a second round of drinks in. We talked about politics. We seemed to agree on a lot.
This is going really well!
We talked about where we were from. I said I thought I had a bit of a Westcountry accent.
“Oh yeah, you do a bit!” He said. I liked the fact that he was generally really lovely, but not afraid to gently take the piss.
We got so settled in this pub, we never got round to moving over to the one we’d originally planned to go to.
While he was at the bar getting the third round of drinks, I texted my friend: “Enjoying the Whippersnapper”.
It occurred to me that all I’d had to eat all day was a packet of cheese and onion hula hoops and a Mr Kipling apple pie at the old people’s home. This was due a combination of being too busy at work, and being too excited to eat.
My memories of the night start to get a bit hazier.
I remember looking at him across the table and thinking I definitely hoped we kissed at the end of the night.
I sent another text to my friend from the toilets: “I love him”.
Earlier, he had told me he needed to leave about 10pm.
“How are we doing for time? Do you have time for one more?” I asked, after our third drinks. It was about 9.30pm. He not only said yes to another drink, but then suggested another one after that.
I remember us walking back to Westminster tube together. As we approached the station, I thought about how much I wanted us to kiss before we parted ways.
“Shall we have a little kiss before we go inside?” I suggested.
I’m not sure if it was emasculating that I was being so pro-active in this area.
I don’t remember much about the kiss, except that I had my hands on his waist, that it was definitely nice, and I think he said “I’ve been wanting to do that all night.”
Apparently, we then went into the station and spent another ten minutes or so kissing and talking. Apparently we were talking about how well the date had gone, and he kept thinking he needed to go, but he didn’t want to stop kissing me. I don’t remember any of this.
According to my phone, I sent him a message on the way home, saying “you’re really hot”.
I remember getting off the tube at Hammersmith. And being surprised, as I don’t live there. But I did used to work there.
I waited for another train to get back on. I started to feel slightly unwell.
I got off the tube at nearly my stop, and was discreetly sick in the corner of the platform.
Somehow I got home.
I remember sitting on the edge of my bed, naked, about to put on my t-shirt to sleep in.
He sent me a text saying “I kind of want you right now…”.
But I didn’t read it until the morning, because at that exact moment, I was sick on my feet. I mournfully mopped the sick off my feet with my t-shirt, and passed out.