Due to lots of people showing interest on Sunday, I am now putting the third part of ‘Scrubbing Up’ on here, from my ‘Short Dates’ book ( a collection of short dating stories).
‘Can I help you?’ I said politely as I emerged from the cabinet slowly, trying to avoid hitting my head.
‘Please don’t stop on my account. I do like the look of those eclairs, though,’ he said in a deep American accent.
I was impressed by his demeanour, his voice and especially the way that he dressed. So handsome, yet casual and stylish but without a try-hard look. His teeth looked as if they were perfectly formed and his chin was chiselled in such a way that I could not help envisaging him coming behind the counter and kissing me with such vigour that we ended up falling through the glass and rolling around in a puddle of squashed baked goods.
He was extremely pleasant when he ordered his food and drink. We chatted comfortably as I prepared his coffee, joking about the strange noises coming from the percolator. My passing fancy was soon over and he was sat, reading a magazine at the table by the door. I had tried to sneak a peak at what he was reading but wasn’t quite able to tell from where I stood. Walking over to clean the nearby table, I tried to show an interest in what turned out to be a movie magazine.
‘Oh a movie fan, huh?’ I nodded as he put down his Empire magazine and smiled at me sweetly.
‘Such a movie geek, aren’t I?’ he replied as I swept past, putting my hand out to lean on a table. To my horror, when I put my hand out, I had leaned too far and missed the edge of it altogether. In a whirling mess, I fell suddenly to the floor. Smash! Crash! The crockery in my hands fell with me dramatically.
The next thing I knew he was on the floor patting me down and offering me a hand up. The look of concern on his face told me that I had probably injured myself. It also suggested that he seemed to care. A smile, which was a combination of awkwardness and strange satisfaction spread across my cheeks as I got up slowly, then realising that I had cut my left hand on a broken plate. His arm around my shoulders, as he pulled up a chair, was enough to distract me from the pain, momentarily.
He grabbed a clean napkin and quickly wrapped it around my wound, insisting that I raised my hand up while he called out to Mark, the baker, to bring him a first aid kit. I felt so well looked after as he replaced the napkin gently with a sterile dressing and took time to check my arm for other injuries. I asked him how he knew what to do and he told me that he was a doctor who had just moved to Cambridge to work in the hospital.
This just made him seem more dreamy. He had come to my rescue and seemed to be perfect in every way. I was a little smitten as I sat there drooling over him, whilst nursing my bleeding hand and bruised ego. It was good to have an excuse to get to know him better on what apparently was his only day off this week.