Poser! Another one! Every single time! Actually, not completely true. Then, it happened, like magic. His face popped up. Just like that. The smile. Genuine. Those eyes. Same as before. Simone studied his face. She had seen more handsome. And some more striking. She didn’t care. At all. Insignificant. Interesting guy. Jon was back! She clicked the chat. And quickly typed ‘Hi Jon’.
Well, it’s a start.
Simone sat back. And waited. Patiently. And hopeful. Quite the combination. Then came the message. His considered reply, ‘Simone, Hi’
Well, it’s a start.
She couldn’t judge. So laughed. Genuinely. Like before. Start to finish. In the last chat. A couple of weeks ago. Then he just disappeared. But his profile remained. So Simone waited. And chatted. Barely.
To men. And to women. The latter more stimulating. The former much less engaging. Joyce was very sharp. Mum’s favourite, too. And attractive. Very. Then… nothing. She was gone. Took Simone by surprise. She was actually quite gutted. Joyce was really cool. Better than Bob. No contest. None.
‘My angel!’. Bob’s first words. No doubt his routine. It didn’t get any better. Simone couldn’t even pretend. She was polite. Overly so? Probably. Hint sent. Hint not received. Because Bob carried on. His topless picture meaning nothing. Simone then messaged him. “I’m sorry, Bob”. He waited. Pause. She continued. And was polite. She let him down. “I don’t think we click”.
Bob got the message. So did Simone. Rude picture. Genitalia. Oh dear. Her instincts validated. Then Bob was gone. This time, by Simone’s click. An increasingly familiar occurrence.
Definitely not Joyce. Or Jon. Disappointing. And annoying. Lockdown online dating. Mum found it entertaining. Simone was not as amused. Her experience was typical. She considered deleting. Getting rid. Permanently. But no. She stopped herself. Words came to her. “Just a little bit longer!” And so it proved. Jon was back.
She remembered. Genuine. Interesting guy. Not a poser. With an awkward charm. Welcome relief from the pretenders. So she eagerly chatted. It was chilled. And fun. Enjoyable. Time flew. Like last time. Then Mum’s phone rang. And Simone took it upstairs.
She sat back down. Her immediate focus. The chat. Jon.
Still there. A new message. A few minutes old. Jon was asking her out. Or was going to. Before he disappeared. Simone thought. Hard. But briefly. An idea came! She got a bottle. Half filled with red wine. And took a photo. Posted through chat. To Jon. Received. Jon typed. A picture arrived. A dark beer can. It was from a website. Simone could forgive that 🤣. Video date made. New experience. Unique. Thanks, lockdown.
The morning came. Mum’s mocking had subsided. And she was very distracted. Looking outside the window. Examining the area. Missing life. Greatly. Simone observed. And felt guilty. She volunteered to cancel. Mum declined and went upstairs. Singing as she left. Simone adored her. Most did. Gloria.
Simone noticed. Her mobile rang. But she ignored it. As she had always done. Whenever hecalled her. Just this guy. They met. Once. A date. It started well. But something was off. So she ended it early. He seemed to understand. Then started calling. Weeks later. Regularly. Mostly ignored. She answered once. Told him to stop. Or she’d report the calls. She planned to anyway. And now reminded…
Clock check. Now. Simone sat. It was time. The video app ready. Simone was a proactive person. So made the call. Jon answered it. And smiled. Warmly. Simone, too. Maybe more relieved. Jon sounded nervous. But it was surprisingly endearing. The video date commenced. Very good time. Constant conversation. Laughter. And open. It flew by. They learned a lot. About all manner of things. Simone’s changing hair colour. Jon’s skipping rope. Red wine. Beer. Rubbish TV. Working from home. And Simone’s trouser mishap. You had to be there 🤷♀️
Simone had to go. Jon did, too. Team meeting. Work. Or something. Simone wasn’t concerned. She wanted date two. She knew that Jon agreed. So they made plans. Same again Friday. Done deal. Except…
Thursday happened. During the applause. Simone on the walkway.. Mum inside the front door. She saw the dog first. Looking over the wall. With a leash. Thick fur. Beautiful. Simone melted. She then remembered. The owner was new. He had just moved in. And they hadn’t met. “Hello there, I’m-“. Simone stopped. Frozen. Stood there. Hand out stretched. She couldn’t believe it. Her new neighbour was Jon!
In front of her. Mere meters away. Next door. Disbelief! Right there. Quite noticeably tall. And deceptively good looking. His smile the main constant.
They personally reintroduced themselves. Simone’s hand lowered. Social distancing. Remember! They spoke. Again. And laughed. Mum went inside. Simone caught her smiling. The dog made excited noises. His name was Sandy. Matches his fur. Very nice. Cute.
An idea. A new one. This time from Jon. That they take a walk. Have date two now. Good plan. Spontaneous. Big positive. They exchanged numbers. Jon crossed the road. Sandy went along with him. Simone shut the door. Jon called her. She answered. Continuing. She walked. Onto the pavement. Staying on her side.
They walked opposite each other. In the same direction. Down the road. Keeping distance. Frustrating. Big time. Sandy in town. They reach the junction. The end of the road. And they both stopped. Simone looked surprised. Hardly hidden. Stunned. Possibly horrified. Across the road. The person clearly seen. The most unwelcome man now. Whom she met previously. It was him!…