Miserable old trout

Miserable old trout

Strolling along the river, enjoying the sun on her chest, the rest of her body covered, deliberately protected from the sun, she grins at an elderly woman riding a bicycle heading towards her. A woman she’s often spotted riding through the village.

 

As she’s about to greet her, the woman of seventy-plus blurts: “What do you think you’re laughing at?” Huffing, she pedals faster.

 

Bewildered, she mutters, a little louder than under her breath: “You miserable old trout!” She keeps her gaze on the woman, turning her head to follow her, and notices a man merely meters behind her. She promptly returns her body to face forward again, picking up her speed while feeling her entire body ignite in flames.

 

“That’s my neighbour,” she hears a male’s voice behind her, low and dark, as dark as the bark of the tree in the near distance, “and she couldn’t be any more bloody miserable.” The voice is now beside her.

 

She turns to look up at his face, dressed in black jeans, black t-shirt, dark brown hiking boots and brown sunglasses, only just able to see his eyes through the glass. A healthy mid-forties, she would guess. “No one was supposed to hear that!” She laughs, touching her cheek, feeling its warmth. Actually, she wants to hurl herself into the River Thames that’s meters away, and swim as far away from this man as possible.

 

He smiles, revealing perfectly white teeth that stand against deeply tanned, glowing skin. “You never know who’s following you… That accent is definitely not from around here. Let me guess – Durban?”

 

Most improbable, she thinks. “How long have you been following me exactly?”

 

“What a lucky guess!” He pushes his sunglasses on top of his head, blinking hazel eyes at her.

 

“Are you always this lucky?”

 

“Ooh, I could take that in so many ways. So, what brings you to Windsor?”

 

She laughs. “I don’t have the time right now to explain.”

 

“Sounds ominous. Now I desperately need to know.”

 

“You have no idea…”

 

“Do you have any idea how much a woman of mystery gets my imagination running wild.” He moves in closer, removes her sunglasses from off her face. “Damn I love being right!” He places the sunglasses into her hand, not removing his eyes from hers.

 

She tightly grasps the glasses, looking down at them and then back into his smiling eyes. “What was that about?”

 

“Needed to know if your eyes are as beautiful as my wild imagination allowed…”

 

She shook her head, trying not to laugh or redden any more.

 

“Have dinner with me tonight.”

 

She splutters. “I can’t,” she says, and wonders if she could, would she.

 

“Boyfriend? No, don’t tell me, worse – husband?”

 

“Neither…”

 

“Ah don’t go home with a stranger after only moments of talking with them? Come on, you’ve encountered my trout of a neighbour. I could properly introduce you, should you so wish.”

 

Glancing across at his watch, tight on his right wrist, she laughs. “I’ve got to go; I’m late.”

 

“Okay, I’ll make a deal with you. I’ll be here same time tomorrow, and if you feel that bit more comfortable you may then agree to dine with me. All my friends exclaim I’m Master Chef material, by the way.”

 

She grins; thanking him, she tells him she’ll see what happens tomorrow, and almost jogs off along the canal.

 

“See you tomorrow,” he calls after her. “Alistair looks forward to seeing you again…”

 

 

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