Gordon's Breakfast - 19
"I think it's about now that I hit the wall and become stuck. It's also when I start having this debate with myself where you tell yourself that the stunning brunette on the table across from you is just another stunning brunette. I should explain that very quickly before I dig myself into a world of trouble. You see, what you do is tell yourself this so you don't feel so bad when you can't find the nerve to get up and walk across and say something to the stunning brunette, who is after all just another stunning brunette. Does that makes any sense?"
"I'm trying to work out if I am in fact a stunning brunette, or just another stunning brunette? That's the confusing bit," Larissa says playfully.
"Right now you're a stunning brunette, but stunning brunette or not getting up and walking over to you is akin to being asked to go over the top and charge into a hail of machine gun lead. I mean that sounds more attractive, and achievable, than walking to your table.
"Adam by this stage has had enough and is threatening me with getting up and walking over himself if I don't do something soon. I think I only just escape Adam getting up and saying 'my mate really fancies you', as it would have felt ironic and post modern to do that to him whilst feeling like ritual humiliation to me."
"But you still failed to move didn't you? I think by now Charlotte and I might head off down the river."
"You're walking away from me?"
"I am you had better think fast. You have to get from there to here, so what do you do next?"
"Good question, I sit there for a few seconds and am totally floored that you'd done it until Adam pulled on my arm, dragged me up and told me we were on a mission. So off we went walking behind you. You were doing that thing girls do together in twos, arms linked, occasionally leaning shoulder to shoulder, swerving left and right every now and again, and ambling, slowly, which makes it hard for guys who happen to be following along behind you, as we just don't do that slow motion almost without purpose walk very well. It just doesn't work for us. We're directional and, of course, we walk faster. If we hadn't have been following you we would have been half a mile down river by this time. Sure, we were aimless in our own way, just with more speed and go faster stripes storming on to nowhere.
"So we're behind you, a respectable ten feet or so and I'm now thinking that Adam's idea was incredibly stupid as although, as Adam put it, we had a fine view of both yours and Charlotte's behind there was no obvious way that conversation could naturally develop from there. While it mostly seems quite difficult to get up from the table and walk across to someone it seems slightly more impossible when you're moving as it seems to require a more complex intervention. We started to speculate where you might be heading - the Tate seemed a good guess - it's that kind of day."
"Charlotte and I of course being the kind of super smart girls that we are, know that those two guys from the café are walking behind us."
"And how do you react to that?"
"Oh we're being very giggly in a teenage kind of way. Following girls is after all the kind of thing that teenage boys like to do. I think we maybe encouraging you as Charlotte looks over her shoulder a couple of times to see that you're still there. Actually by this stage we're kind of surprised that you haven't started to speak."
"You're right, we've been pretty poor up to this point, but we know with Black Friars Bridge approaching fast something had to be done. Its like suddenly there's this ticking clock and whatever happened I had to come up with a really stupid idea before you reached the steps to the bridge. Then it hit me. I thought I had come up with the best stupid idea in the world."
"Are we talking Nobel Prize quality for stupid improvised techniques for meeting girls?" Larissa asks.
"Absolutely this is the best. We're talking sagacity free zone and just about anything sounds stunningly brilliant. I think its proper name is in fact total desperation. I'd like to think this was an incredible British trait, but deep down I worry it's a global guy thing.
"This is what I do. I shove Adam and tell him to run after me. Adam came straight back and told me that 'I was so gay it wasn't true', which caused me to just shove him harder making him stumble and then I started to run."
"So it's kiss chase we're talking here?"
"You know more or less - without the kissing. Only problem was that as soon as I start running, and having left that temporary common sense free zone, I realise I only have half a plan and I think with every slowmo step I take my plan starts to reduce in the amount of sense it makes at a steady pace. So after about half a dozen steps I start thinking that if something didn't happen very soon I would have no plan left at all. I don't want to exactly crash into you I just want to make sure you notice me as I come hurtling past, but at the last moment I swerve to avoid some little kid who was obviously out to bring down a random adult, like some Ewok tripping a Storm trooper, and I brush your arm about the same time that Adam comes from behind and smashes into me and knocks me crashing to the ground down more or less at your feet. Mission pretty much accomplished."
"So you're at my feet?"
"I'm at your feet."
"But now you have to say something, that's the hard bit isn't it? What's your first line?"
"Okay so I'm lying in a pile with Adam on the floor and I say 'I don't do this all that often' and you laugh, which is a good sign."
"Okay so I laugh, I've already decided I like the look of you and I say 'I thought you looked like you were in need of practice'."
"That's a pretty damn cool comeback."
"Why thank you. I think as you're on the floor I'm going to ask you if you need a hand."
"You're a forward kind of girl. I'm of course going to say yes, it would be rude not to. So I take your hand and I try not to pull too hard. As I come up I'm very close to you and I think that's when it really happens. What do you think?"
"I think that's a good story."
"Yeah, I think it is too."
"Do you think it would have been different it we had met like that before?"
I smile at this, it's a perfect opportunity to tell her how dissimilar I think it would have been and how differently it would have played out, but I don't think it would have, I mean I don't know, but some how its all too easy to say it would have been different.
"No, I'm pretty sure I would have still vomited over your shoes."
"I think you're right," Larissa says laughing, "I think you would have done so as well."