… with that he turned, walked up the steps, across the bridge and out of sight.
I got into my car and started the journey home. After about 10 minutes I then started my rapid decent hurtling to Fatal Flaw #69,318,478 – I rang him.
“Hi, just wanted to make sure you got on the train OK” I bleat.
“Yeah, I got on fine” says the Pancake Man
“Ok then, well, er…bye”
I got home and reeled off a text
” I really enjoyed tonight, if you ever want to come to my town, I’ll be more than happy to be your tour guide :-)”
I waited for a reply, none came.
I waited for him to let me know he got home ok, nothing…
Saturday night turned into Sunday morning, still nothing. Sunday turned into Monday…then Tuesday.
I was surprised to say the least and a whole plethora of explanations coursed through my brain.
What if he died?
What if he lost his phone?
What if he was just playing me and got a free dinner out of it?
What if he…
I gave in. I text him.
“Hi Stephanie, yeah I’m fine, thanks. I left my phone on the train, I’m using my old one. Sorry for the late response.”
Oh thank the Lord, he hadn’t died and I wasn’t going to miss his funeral!
Now, this is where I plummeted to Fatal Flaw #2 ,336,564,254.
You see, I was so into this guy and so confused by the whole was-he-flirting-with-me-or-not issue that I began to scour Google for any advice I could lay my eyes on about how to Get The Guy.
I decided to go with Tease Him With Texts. ‘Let him know you like him, pique his interest, tease him but don’t come on too strong. Men have an innate desire to chase but still want the independent woman, be a tease but not a desperate doormat.”
Seriously, how on earth was I supposed to play this?
I was really out of practice. I realised I haven’t dated, actually done the flirting and dating thing for YEARS and, remembering his good-looks, I felt I was out of my depth too.
Flirting was a lot easier a few years ago, especially pre-Child. And it was all more confusing because I didn’t know if he was interested in me romantically. He’d spent our evening together telling me HOW he flirts and talks to women because, I was asking him a bunch of questions for RESEARCH wasn’t I. I had no idea if he was ACTUALLY flirting with me.
What if he did fancy me but thinks I don’t fancy him? Should I just tell him?
What if he doesn’t fancy me – I make a complete idiot of myself looking like a desperate Cougar. Oh, oh, oh, none of this feels very natural but, I wade in. I chose one of the suggestions and fired off another text to him:
“I had this VERY interesting dream last night…”
Immediately, he responded:
“Oh really, what about??”
Ok, his interest was piqued, jolly good this was going to plan.
“you remember that bar we were in where we sat on the sofa together”
The website stated to use the ‘…’ to allow the guy to get intrigued so I wrote:
“Well, I dreamt that we were talking and I kept staring at your mouth, wondering what it would be like if I let you kiss me…”
I hold my breath…
“haha, you ‘let’ me kiss you?”
I was right, he thinks I’m an idiot, a sad and desperate Cougar and now he was making fun of me.
Oh God oh God oh God oh God oh God oh God – God help me!
“Hey cheeky” I text back, “what are you implying?”
“Well, that you put that it was YOU who LET me kiss you” he wrote. In truth, I was still no clearer but, I was even more embarrassed. I could not understand what he meant, what he thought of me and I was sinking rapidly, trying to grab hold of any shred of dignity I could find.
(Somewhere in the far distance of my brain, I hear the sound of a train slowing down.)
“er, well it was a dream” I replied.
(the sound becomes a loud clang as the train’s gears starts the un-linking process.)
“anyway, I have to go now, Child isn’t well” I flounder, and wait.
“ok” came the response, finally.
A couple of hours later I ring him, “I just want to clear the air about that text this morning.”
“Oh, don’t worry about it I was only joking” he says quietly.
“What? Joking about what exactly”, I thought frantically, “which aspect was he joking about, for pity’s sake!!”
” Well I just wanted to explain, I mean I feel a bit embarrassed about it” I say.
“Look, I can’t talk now”, he tells me. “I’m at the doctors. I’ll call you when I get home”
(I hear the train’s buffers clunk and clank as the couplers are made to move.)
He doesn’t call.
(The carriages finally disengage and I see, in my mind’s eye, the Pancake Man train pull away and pick up speed as it makes its way along the track, leaving me inert in a strange place and in complete and utter confusion.)