I haven’t given much thought today but I did spend some time dwindling on it last night. Apart from that – nothing! I guess I don’t get many customers asking me out for coffee, well, none at all apart from the one. But I don’t quite see how much further a coffee can go forth between us.
Being on the till to cover for a volunteer as he has his timely cigarette breaks, I saw come through the door was – yet again – the mysterious man. He smiled and said hi to me and I did the same back. He looked through the comics again and slowly but assuredly came up with another pile for £20. I gave to him for £15. He thanked and headed to the exit. Just then the volunteer returned to the till and I got off it.
He got to the door once I got off and suddenly took one step aside to the graphic design section. I was going to go up to him and ask if anything caught his eye there, but without warning, he turned around and walked straight up to me. He asked in a rapid line of succession: “Do you want to have lunch together? Have you already had lunch? Are you allowed a lunch break now?” Amazed at such proposals in such thrust, I responded “Ok. Yeah, I’m allowed a lunch break.”
I opened the staff door and asked the manager who was standing behind if it was possible to have a lunch now. A surprised look drew on John’s face and he replied, “Yeah.” It was the first lunch break I had whilst being there excluding the time I was forced to have lunch when I was doing Asda as well. In the next few weeks, things were going to look up from then on but I didn’t anticipate it but I had an inkling.
It was cloudy that day if I remembered correctly. We walked down Bloomsbury Street and took a left into New Oxford Street. He asked me whether I smoked but I said no, and then we went inside Costa. We found a brown standalone sofa, an oval-shaped coffee table and an elongated brown sofa. I told him to sit down and asked what he wanted. He refused but he could see that I wouldn’t take no for an answer. He requested to have medium black coffee and so I ordered the same for myself. Once two cups of medium-sized coffee were produced, I had the next challenge of balancing it on the tray to where it was to settle it down to.
We sat down and the mysterious guy introduced himself as “John”. My first thought – dear God! The show must go on! I then introduced myself. He noted how surprised he was at how it wasn’t really busy especially during lunch hours. He said he worked in Bush House in Aldwych and the first image to come up was this obscured business building stuck in-between other buildings lining Kingsway. He showed me an image of Bush House and I was still none the wiser on the whereabouts. What I did notice was that when he looked it up, he had pressed the back of his hand against my knee. When he looked down, he had noticed that we both shared similar styled shoes. We both had brown canvas shoes with white stripes running on the side. Then I joked that I definitely was not stalking him to his workplace, which he jokily done an action of me at his workplace window peeping in.
We then proceeded on to many topics such as books and I recommended “Clockwork Orange”. Then I said that I thought that the film was filmed in Richmond which I was hugely mistaken after he looked it up on his iPhone 4S. Then we started to talk about films. I told him I still had many films to watch but I couldn’t really find the time to do so. The first one being a documentary “Objectified”, “the film that Bill Murray was in” and the other being original “The Wicker Man”. He looked up Objectified and I even I didn’t know what the film was about.
He brushed his hand against mine (hmmm…) and remarked that they were cold. I responded that it was really cold and held his hand with my right hand to show that it was cold. He then said I should set my hands underneath my legs while I’m sitting on the “Captain Kirk” chair behind the till. He demonstrated and rocked side to side with a smile and eyes lids going up to create somewhat of a cute charm.
Then we talked about Comic Mart but didn’t come up to me as he saw my friend come up. Tim was the one I asked to come with me to Comic Mart. I was checking out the cards of a seller until Tim popped up. Tim had to leave early as he had to visit a friend up north; nevertheless it was a nice gesture for him to still come. I tried to think back to the Mart but I couldn’t picture John anywhere at all. Then I just told him that I had to go get my last payslip from McDonalds tomorrow.
It was approaching 2pm and it was time for John to make a move. He had already finished his coffee by then so I had to make a move on mine. In one swift swoop, I drank the bitter coffee in one go. And then it hit me. I leaned to the side on the armrest and could feel every bit of me numbing up. Literally every bit of my body felt numb while a tingling sensation coursed its way around my body. My entire body was starting to heat up. I shot up and then he asked for my number. I gave it to him and then he said he’ll text me later.
Exiting out the shop, we said goodbye to each other. I gave the eerily long gaze back to him. I did something very out of the blue and ran into the archway into the passage two shops next to Costa going back to the shop. Once inside, John had asked me to go on the till. I noticed I was shaking considerably but the sensations felt were all gone.
Then I received a text from John at 14:44:
Thanks again for the coffee and the chat. I’ve woken up now! It was lovely! Have a good afternoon! Jon xxHe eventually got me to come out to him a week later and we were together for a year, but we wanted different things from the relationship so I walked. It took a lot out of me so I left Oxfam for a bit, changed my number and didn’t speak to any of my friends for the next few months.
I bumped into Jon in Foyles bookshop on Charing Cross Road 8 months later and have since remained as good friends, and still go to geek fairs and conventions together. He was actually the person that suggested that I get into blogging but it wasn't until I met Ed that I decided to go for it.