Gambit

The girl in the park was clearly upset. I wanted to go over there and ask what was wrong. I realised two problems – possibly more.

Firstly I was a stranger and maybe a stranger talking to her was the last thing she wanted.

Secondly she was gorgeous. Her hair was a little wild around her and she wore quirky hippy-ish clothing. I stopped myself because I knew that had she been fatter or older or had I had a girlfriend, I would have walked by. So I asked myself whether I should go up to her.

Could I go over their? It seemed wrong when the thought of a date was so high in my mind. Could I start a casual conversation?

How would I do this? Cheesy lines came to the front of my mind – none would do and by this point my motives were not exactly honourable.

It was worth a try. I was walking that way anyway. As I got closer I saw she was clutching her mobile.

“Bastard,” she said.

I found myself feeling animosity toward the unknown message-sender. Next to her was a book I recognised. It was a way into the the conversation.

“Being a bastard is almost his job by now.”

“What,” she said rubbing her eyes.

I pointed to the book.

“Not that,” she said, “my boyfriend. He dumped me in a text.”

“Bastard,” I said.

She smiled gingerly, “I’m Sally.”

“Lee,” I said.

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