The dinner was going well between Teddy and Jane. They had met on Tinder and a period of general idle talk led to them agreeing to meet. He came wearing a dry cleaned pink shirt with a nice pair of trousers to match that made him look like a traditional gentleman and she arrived in a beautiful blue dress which covered her in grace. They had split a bottle of white wine and their meals were finished.
Teddy finished his half chicken and Jane finished her ribs, both of them using their hands to deliver the final blow. They both agreed that how the other person eats their food with their hands would not affect how they judged the date.
“How about dessert?” Teddy asked, wiping his fingers with the complimentary serviette.
Jane was also wiping her hands, “I like the sound of dessert, how about sticky toffee pudding… if they do it… to share”
“Great… how about the pub afterwards? If you want to of course?” Teddy laughed
“How about your place?” she replied.
Teddy’s face was fixed with a grin.
“Not a problem. I’ll get the waiter”
Teddy raised his hand to gain the waiter’s attention when his phone went off. He looked at his phone on the table and saw it was his older sister Sarah calling him.
The waiter came over, “Yes, sir”
Teddy answered his phone and replied to the waiter “Sticky toffee pudding, to share please”
Sarah shouted on the phone “Teddy… where the fuck are you?”
“Oh fuck” Teddy sighed as the waiter took the plates and walked away. Jane sat there bemused at the beginning of the exchange that he was having
“Teddy, who’s that?” Jane asked. She leant over the table to listen attentively to the call.
“Hi Sarah, I’m on a date, what is it?” Teddy asked
“Who’s Sarah?” Jane asked
Sarah spoke, “Mum’s in the hospital, you need to come home now. She’s had a heart attack”
“What!?! I’ll be right there. Give me a couple hours.” And he hung up the phone
“Sorry, Jane… this has been great but I need to go”
“Where’s that waiter gone?!” Teddy stood up, “My mum’s gone into hospital. I need to go see her. She’s just had a heart attack, I’m going to pay the bill and cancel that dessert. Sorry about this”
Jane sat back. “I don’t believe you.”
“You didn’t want to take me to yours and you arranged a friend of yours, probably an ex, to come up with this bullshit story.”
“What the fuck is wrong with you you crazy bitch?”
Tom, worked up in a sweat, grabbed his jacket and left the restaurant. The waiter came back with the sticky toffee pudding to Jane
“Madam, where’s the person you were having dinner with?”
“He can die for all I care” she replied and she pulled her phone out and checked her Instagram
Teddy ran to the nearest underground station and started his journey home. He had to run home, grab a spare pair of underwear and then buy a train ticket. The journey home was a few stops. He went from Chancery Lane to Oxford Circus, before changing to the Victoria line to Brixton. He paid for his ticket on his phone with the good internet that Oxford Circus had provided him with before carrying on his journey.
“Thank God for apps” he thought to himself as he got off at Stockwell. He rushed through the barriers and began running down the road to his flat.
He entered and grabbed a few things
“Shit shit shit shit, I need toothbrush” and he went into his toilet, “and I need some underwear”
He jumped over the free weights that were next to his bed and flung open the smallest draw in his chest of drawers, containing his underwear, and watched it fall onto the floor.
“For fuck’s sake, any will do” grabbing any of the shorts he could find.
He viewed his phone and saw a missed call from Sarah with a voicemail text and then a text off his sister
He read the text message: “What time will you get here? They don’t know if she’s going to live”
He swiped the missed call and called her back. It went to voicemail. He left a message
“I just saw your text, I’ll be there in an hour and a half, is she at the hospital by the train station, I’m going to Waterloo now.”
He ran out of his flat as he hung up his phone. He had just exited his flat before he checked his pockets.
“Where’s my keys? Ah fuck. Don’t tell me I’ve left them inside.”
He kept searching his pockets and then began smacking, jiggling and shaking his body to look for them
“Where’s my Oyster?”
He took his coat off to get a better view of his clothes
“It’s not here…. Ah fuck it. Waterloo ain’t far from here”
Teddy started running down the street, jogging as fast as he could to reach the station. Adrenaline had taken him over
A young couple left Stockwell station holding hands. They were laughing, heading back to their apartment when he noticed something near the right turn on the exit. He broke their hand connection and grabbed the small blue plastic he saw.
“Look… an Oyster! Let’s see how much is on it!”
Before she could get a word in, he was at the ticket machine checking the Oyster.
“It’s unregistered and has £5 on it. You know what you do now don’t you?”
He looked at her with a big grin as he pressed ‘Refund Oyster’
She smiled back and said “Aren’t you smart?” as the £10 left the machine in coins.
“So that’s £5 in travel and £5 the cost of the Oyster itself?” she asked
“And that’s now £10 for us! Fuck the person who’s lost this. That’s their own fault. Shall we get a round in the pub my dear?”
“As long as it’s on ‘them’, whoever they are”
“But of course mon amour, it’s on the unlucky bastard.”
They both laughed as they changed direction to the left side of the station exit and began walking towards Vauxhall. They noticed a man in smart clothes running past them at great pace as they came out.
He looked at her as the man went off into the distance and said, “I wonder where the fuck he’s running off to like that?”