Late Again

‘You’re late!’
‘I know,’ he said, pulling back a seat and smiling at me. As if that would work.

‘You’re always late,’ I said.
‘I know,’ he said as he sat down facing me – the smile remained on his face, undeterred.

‘I’ve eaten already,’ lied.
‘Oh,’ he said. ‘Do you mind if I order?’
‘You can do what you want, I said. We’re over.’

He continued to grin in a way that suggested that he did not believe I was being serious. How I hated that smile.

‘I’m being serious,’ I said, ‘I’m sick of waiting in restaurants, in bars, outside cinemas and theatres. I want to date someone who owns a watch.’
‘I own a watch,’ he said, demonstrating so and still smiling.
‘Then I want to date someone who can tell the time.’

I stood up.
‘Goodbye,’ I said.

‘I’ll just change the timestamp,’ he said.
‘What?’ I’d had enough of his crap.
‘On my arrival time. I can do that.’
‘You’re making no sense,’ I said and walked away, hoping never to see him again.

As I stormed out I could see his reflection in the glass of the front door. As I grasped the handle, he took out his phone and tapped its surface.

‘You’re late!’
‘No I’m not,’ he said, pulling back a seat and smiling at me. As if that would work.

‘Oh,’ I said checking my watch, ‘That’s weird. I could have sworn you were twenty minutes late. I was going to tell you off!’

I felt like a fool.

‘I know,’ he said as he sat down facing me. He had a lovely smile. How could I even think about being angry at him?

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David Baillie is a freelance writer and artist. Born almost thirty years ago in Scotland, he now lives and works in the East End of London.

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