Livia and Darren were having dinner at an Indian restaurant. The ambiance was friendly and cozy. She wondered what Simone would say if she knew that she was having dinner with Darren. It was Simone who told her that she wasn’t his type.
Don’t read more into this dinner, she chided herself. Just relax and enjoy his company and the food. She looked over at him and caught him watching her. That made her nervous and excited at the same time. “This is a very nice place,” she said just for something to say.
“Yes, it is. I’ve been here a couple of times. The food is exceptional.”
She wondered if he had brought Judi here too. “I’ve always like Indian food. Have you ever been to that part of the world?”
“Asia? No. I’ve been to Europe, though.”
“Where in Europe?”
“Italy and Greece.”
“I’ve always wanted to visit those two countries. What was it like being there?”
“When I was in Italy, I visited Rome. It was a treat to be driving down the avenue and suddenly see the Coliseum. The hotel where I stayed offered tours of Rome, Florence and Pisa. I did a lot of sightseeing on my own as well. I ate at the local restaurants. Most of them were family run. The people were very friendly. I had a great time. In Greece, I stayed in Athens and visited Olympia the city where the Olympics originated.”
“There’s so much History in those places.”
“Yes, there is.”
“What other places would you like to visit?”
“Turkey, Spain, Kenya and Japan. What about you?”
“I love sun and sand, so I would love to visit St. Kitts, Grenada and Barbados.”
He smiled. “My maternal grandmother was from Barbados. I visited there when I was a kid so I don’t remember it much.”
“Do you still have family there?”
“Yes. Uncles, Aunts and cousins. I keep in touch with them through Facebook and the occasional phone call.”
“Do you think you’ll visit them one of these days?”
“Yes. I think I will. It would be nice to see the place now that I’m older and appreciate it more.”
No doubt he was going to take Judi with him. The thought distressed her and she tried to push it out of her mind. She wasn’t going to let anything spoil her evening. “What else do you like to do besides travel?”
“Working out at the gym, jogging, playing Squash and reading.”
She could see why he was so fit. Perhaps, she should consider joining the same gym. “What have you read lately?”
“I read Disco Orange. It’s a true story about a night-club owner who ends up on death row.”
“Sounds very interesting. I just finished reading a romance novel called, The Wickless Candle. I finished it within two days. It was so good, I couldn’t put it down. I’m a big fan of romances set in the Victorian times.”
“Speaking of romances, I’m very surprised that you don’t have a man in your life.”
“Why are you surprised?”
“You’re a very sexy woman, Livia. Many men would jump at the chance to be with you.”
Not you, though she thought. Look on the bright side. At least he thinks you’re sexy.
Before she could reply, the waitress arrived with their orders. The food smelled and looked really, really good. Her mouth watered and she dug in, savoring the taste.
He watched and smiled. “I told you the food was exceptional. That’s why I chose here. I brought my parents here a few times and they love it too.”
“What about Judi?” She couldn’t resist asking. “Does she love coming here too?”
“She’s never been here.”
“Oh.” Livia was surprised. “How come?”
“She’s not keen on Indian food.”
“It can be too spicy for some people. I love my food loaded with flavor.”
They talked about all sorts of things as they ate. After dinner, they went for a walk along the Thames. It was a lovely night. They stopped after a while and stood, facing the Thames. She wished the night would last forever. She still couldn’t believe that she was here with him after just having dinner with him. She turned to look at him and found him watching her.
“Thanks for dinner,” She said. “And this. I’ve never come here at night. It’s so beautiful with all the lights.”
“Yes, it is,” he agreed. “Livia, Judi and I are going to MNKY HSE on Friday. It would be nice if you could join us.”
The idea of spending an evening with him and his girlfriend didn’t appeal to her. “Wouldn’t it be awkward?” she asked.
“Why would it be?” he asked. “What could be awkward about Judi and I having a night out with a friend?”
She lowered her eyes, so that he wouldn’t see the disappointment on her face. At least they were friends now and not just old neighbors. “I don’t know…”
“Please. It would mean a lot to me if you come.”
He looked so earnest and so darn irresistible with those gorgeous eyes of his. She relented. “All right. I’ll come.”
He smiled. “Thank you. I’ll call you during the week to arrange the time when we can come by and pick you up. It will be a night of dinner and dancing. You’ll have a great time, I promise.”
They stayed there by the Thames for a long time and then, he took her home.
Source: Absolutely London;