After our initial meeting, I had some banal text conversations with Abacus that don’t warrant even typing out. It was the kind of boring chit chat you have with strangers at a party and almost exclusively work related. He had mentioned that he would be in London on a Sunday. I had to move some things from home to London that day and knew it was going to be a day full of admin between driving in and out of London and moving all of the stuff. I agreed to see Abacus at some point though. On Saturday he texted me.
Hey hows things? Just chilling watching the England match. Do you think you will be free tomorrow after you have moved your stuff?
His grammar immediately annoyed me. I honestly had gone off of the idea of meeting up based purely on the boringness of his texts. I wrote back, trying to be as vague as possible.
Hey, watching the match in a pub as well. Not sure what time I’ll be finished moving, can I text you tomorrow afternoon?
Later he replied.
Great result, yeah let me know when you’re free. I’m meeting a friend in London first so I can meet you after. I’ll let you know what time.
Surely he should have asked me what time I wanted to meet, as that would just be the polite thing to do. Regardless, my inclination towards keeping to our vague plans to meet up was rapidly dropping.
The next day he texted me in the morning.
Hey how the moving going? I can get to Euston at 3pm then I can get to you from there is that ok?
Annoyed again with grammar, but annoyed even more that it wasn’t even midday and he was already making demands of what my schedule was. I thought it was universally known that moving is quite the process and to expect a London to home and back visit with packing and unpacking by three in the afternoon was just ridiculous. I wrote him back shortly after.
I haven’t actually gone home to get my stuff yet, as I’m not planning to be at home until 3, and even then with all the moving itself I’m not expecting to finish until about 7 or 8, so I’m not sure what time you were thinking, but I thought you meant later than 3
He wrote back immediately.
Oh yeah sorry it was meant to be later but my friend can’t meet up now. So I can do earlier. That’s fine though I have things to do here. I’ll come down about 7/8 let me know when you’re getting back. I don’t mind helping you move stuff if there’s a lot.
Lad Boy was helping me move because he had a car. I frowned. ‘How awkward of a first date would that be?’ I said after reading the text aloud to him.
‘This guy sounds pretty odd. He’s only known you for like three minutes and he wants to help you move? I’ve known you for three years and I don’t even want to help you.’
‘It’s okay, I know you’re just coming because you want to see my mum.’
‘Love your mum. She’s hilarious.’
‘Ugh, so now he’s only coming to London to see me? I seriously don’t even want to go out anymore. I’m literally exhausted.’
‘We haven’t even gotten your stuff yet!’
‘I know, but thinking about it is making me tired.’
‘You are so lazy.’
‘That’s why I brought you, so that I don’t have to carry anything.’
‘Yeah, thanks for that.’
‘We should get some road beers.’
‘Roadies! Not a bad shout.’
‘It’s definitely a bad shout.’
‘Yeah.’ Lad Boy said, sadly.
I texted Abacus back.
I’ll let you know how we’re getting on once we leave my house. I have a shocking amount of stuff, but I think my friend and I might be able to manage. Thanks though, will let you know if we need a hand.
‘This guy is so weird.’ I said, putting my phone down.
‘Then why are you meeting up with him?’
‘Out of curiosity.’
‘God I hope no one ever goes on a date with me out of curiosity for how much of a freak I am.’
‘I mean I don’t even really know this guy. He could be a complete freak and is now inviting himself into my flat to move all of my stuff.’
‘Maybe he wants to rob you.’
‘Maybe.’ I shrugged. ‘Ughh. I don’t want to.’
‘Well let’s see how long this takes.’ I said.
It took ages. Between sitting down with my mum for a meal, playing with Alex von Banterquith (my dog), and loading all of my stuff into Lad Boy’s car … it was looking like an eight o’clock return to London. In the sitting room with Alex and my mum, my phone vibrated. I picked it up, it was Abacus.
17:11 I can get to [tube stop nearest to my flat] for about 7 is that ok?
‘No, it is not.’ I replied aloud.
‘Tell him to fuck off.’ Lad Boy suggested.
I rolled my eyes. ‘Why did I agree to this?’ I wrote him back.
Probably not. We are still at my house and there’s typically a bit of traffic getting back into London. Getting out of London was terrible as well, so we’re running behind. I’m really sorry that things are so hectic and all over the place, but I will have a better idea of timing once we get back to London.
His response made it sound like I was potentially annoying him as well to the point where perhaps he wouldn’t show, but knowing how things typically go for me, there’d be no such luck.
Ok can you give me a good estimate then when you know because I have quite a long trip there and back so the earlier I know the better I can plan, cya
‘Cya?’ I repeated after reading the text aloud.
‘Douche.’ Lad Boy said.
‘No! I think the guy just wants to know what time to meet you.’
‘Can’t he just chill out?’
‘Just tell him you don’t want to see him.’
‘Well, I mean I said probably 7 or 8 so to say you’re going to arrive right at 7 is just annoying. I’m just annoyed.’
‘Really? Couldn’t tell.’
‘I guess we should get going if we’re going to be back for 8.’ I said eventually.
Once into the car, I exhaled in exasperation and wrote Abacus back.
I will let you know as soon as I know what time. Like I said, traffic is probably going to be a factor, but hopefully it won’t be too much of a hold up. If it’s too late for you tonight, we could always meet up next week.
My phone rang. ‘Oh no.’ I said, rolling my eyes and showing Lad Boy the phone. He laughed. ‘Hello?’ I answered.
‘Hi, it’s [his name].’
I know, I have caller id. ‘Hi.’
‘I don’t mind if it’s a bit late, but I’m travelling quite far so just want to be able to plan.’
‘Where are you coming from?’
What?! ‘Oh really? Why so far.’
‘That’s where I live.’
This can never work. ‘Oh. Ok. Well, like I said, I should be back by 8.’
‘Great, I’ll meet you then.’
‘Okay, bye.’ I hung up. ‘He lives in Milton Keynes.’ I said to Lad Boy.
‘That is a long way to travel.’
‘This will never work.’
‘Distance is the least of your worries. It will never work because he hangs out in Abacus.’
We made it back in good time and after we had unloaded all of my possessions and said goodbye I texted Abacus to let him know where to meet me and such.
I couldn’t have been less excited about the date. When I saw him I went to kiss him on the cheek hello. He clearly was going for the mouth, but I leaned further away so that it awkwardly ended on the cheek.
When in the pub, we sat and talked about work, life and how he wanted to move back to London. He wasn’t terrible company, but it became apparent that we had absolutely nothing in common quite quickly. Aside from our enjoyment of alcohol. He bought the first round, but determined to keep things even I bought the second round.
As I returned to the table we began talking about holidays. ‘I’d like to go to Greece, to some of the smaller islands. Maybe do a sailing trip around some of them.’
‘I really want to go back to Ibiza.’ He said. ‘I went with a load of mates last year and it was mental.’
‘I’m not crazy about places that just cater to what they think tourists want. I want to go and see something cultural when I travel. If I want to just go on the piss I’ll go to Abacus.’ I said, smiling.
He laughed. ‘Fair enough.’
To his credit, he wasn’t bad company, I just didn’t see where there could be a sustainability to the kind of conversation we were having – that is, a very superficial one. Eventually the burden of the amount of work moving-wise I had left to do was weighing heavily on my mind. ‘I should really go, I have a lot of unpacking to do.’
‘I can help you if you like.’
Absolutely not. It was almost eleven on a Sunday night, there was no way I was inviting this random to help unpack my belongings. ‘That’s alright, it’s just boring stuff like bedding.’
‘I could definitely help you put your bed together.’
Internally I cringed. ‘Yeah … I’m alright. But this has been really fun.’
‘I agree, we should do it again.’
‘Definitely.’ I lied.
As we walked outside he stopped awkwardly on the corner, standing just a bit too close to me. ‘Do you know how to get back alright?’ I asked.
‘Not really, no.’
I pulled my phone out and started showing him a tube map and where he had to go. He leaned in next to me, and as I pretended to concentrate on the map, I could feel him just staring at me. I took a step away from him so I could point him towards the nearest tube station, but more importantly so he was away from me.
‘This has been really nice. Good to see you again.’ I said. He stepped towards me and leaned in to kiss me. I gave him a quick peck on the lips and then said. ‘Well, bye.’
‘Bye.’ He said, slightly confused.
I walked away, triumphant in my escape. My heart froze though as I heard him say ‘Oh, [my name],’ just steps behind me. I turned around, probably with a slight cringe on my face. ‘Just one more thing.’ He leaned in and stuck his tongue in my mouth.
I can’t remember if my eyes were squinted closed or if I just kept them open in order to keep a neutral expression and avoid an obvious grimace on my face. It was one of the most cringe worthy moments of my life. I pulled away and said the first thing that came to mind. ‘Thanks.’ I paused awkwardly for a moment. ‘Well, bye.’ I walked away with a bit more urgency this time.
I made it back to my flat and felt a twinge of guilt for being a bit of an arse to Abacus all day. I got my phone out and texted him.
Thanks for the drinks, it was nice to see you again. Hope you make it home safe.
He wrote back immediately.
I’m on the train now, so it’s all good. Thanks for being good company yahh. Speak soon.
Confused as to whether ‘yahh’ was a nod to how I spoke or what, but either way, I wasn’t about to respond.
Two days later he texted again.
How’s things been? I have an appraisal at work tomorrow.
I read the text. I wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted me to say to that. “I’ll call the newspapers”? It was the most boring information of news I had ever heard. I responded with equally boring information.
Good luck with that. Was at a seminar all day which was quite boring.
He must have gotten the hint, because we haven’t spoken a word to each other since.
After the disastrous date with Abacus, I wondered whether or not I should just blow Frenchie off completely as well.
I eventually decided to try my luck once more with men I had met in Abacus and agreed to go out with Frenchie, as I already knew that he was a decent kisser, but that’s for next time.