To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.
Kirsty had no idea why Monica insisted on the annual event. Christmas was a busy time as it was. Monica’s dinner party obsession had started in the third year at uni, just after she’d met Daniel. Now Dr. Reynold-Bowles. It was Kirsty’s little joke to rearrange the order of the last few letters on any card or gift-tag she ever gave to Dan. The post-graduate dinner parties had been a great way of meeting people, but now, two decades later everybody was married, with children. Everyone, that was, except for Kirsty.
Monica will have invited some other outrageous single friend and wear herself ragged playing speed dating cupid all ruddy night. Kirsty decided as she gathered up her skirt to manage the step up, this would be the last year. What all couples failed to realise is that being single is fun. It isn’t a substitute or disease, it is a status that needs no appeasement. She wasn’t worried, she didn’t want children anyway, so she had a good decade left to find Mr Right and enjoy her amazing life along the way. Kirsty was a firm believer it in happening when she wasn’t looking. Love would creep up on her, when she least expected it to… like a mugger she thought, smiling to herself and catching the driver’s eye in the mirror. He smiled back.
‘Anywhere special?’ he asked pleasantly.
Kirsty looked down at her skirt and pearl embellished jacket, ‘Yes, fancy dress.’ she chuckled to herself.
‘Oh.’ the cabbie replied uncertainly.
Kirsty rolled her eyes, ‘it’s my friend’s annual dinner party, she fancies her chances as cupid!’
‘You don’t sound keen.’
‘Don’t get me wrong. It’s sweet and all, but honestly I don’t know where she finds them. There are two types of single in my book, those that want to be and those that have no choice. She dips into the pool of no choice a lot, I think they are her mother’s friends sons or something. Never my type. It’s painful.’
The cabbie laughs ‘so why do you go?’
Kirsty stared out the window at the snow and thinks about that question. ‘I don’t really know.’ she says honestly, as no answer sprung to mind.
‘Well the roads are bad tonight, so your prayers may just be answered.’
Kirsty didn’t feel comfortable talking to cab drivers, she preferred silent journeys where she could think about things and get lost in the dark world behind the window. Tonight she was being treated to a snowstorm brewing. She felt as if she was inside a snow globe.
She murmured a noise of agreement and hoped the driver would take that as the end of the conversation.
He did for a few miles and then he piped up again, telling her his name was Ian that he was divorced and had no children. He told her about famous people he’d had in the back of his taxi when he was working in London. How he had moved up here for the quiet life. How that was just a myth he thought now. He asked Kirsty so many questions that she was oblivious to how personal they were getting.
It was half an hour into her ride when the roads began to get really slippery and Ian stopped talking to give his driving his full concentration.
Ten minutes later he was outside the snow globe desperately trying to dig them out of a snow drift.
‘It doesn’t look like I will be going any further.’ he told Kirsty, ‘I can call for a 4 by 4 taxi or something. I would wait with you.’
‘No it’s okay.’ Kirsty replied. ‘Do you think you can get us out?’
Ian was back in the cab explaining that the road ahead was far too treacherous to manage and that he had no choice but to turn back before the snow fell any heavier. He apologised, rather unnecessarily as Kirsty hadn’t wanted to go to the dinner party anyway and explained that she was his last passenger. Ian seemed eager to get them back safely, he didn’t chat much on their way home.
Kirsty thought a lot about fate and men and Christmas, she even dosed off at one point and woke up to a dull pain in her forehead from leaning against cold glass.
When she got out of the taxi, Ian refused to take any money for the fare. He claimed not reaching ones destination made it devoid. Seeing his full face now Kirsty realised how attractive it was.
She went in and made herself a hot chocolate in her favourite big mug and collapsed on the sofa. Sometime later she was about to get up and get changed when the phone rang.
‘Hi…. it’s Ian, your taxi driver.’
‘Oh hello,’ Kirsty replied her eyes darting around the room for anything she may have forgotten.
‘I hope you don’t mind, I took a look at the dispatch records and found your number.’
Silence on the line, he went on.
‘It seems a shame that you’re all dressed up with nowhere to go and wondered if you maybe… fancied popping out… for a drink or something-it-doesn’t-matter-if-you-have-got-changed-or-if-you-don’t-want-to go…’
Poor Ian, Kirsty thought, he sounds so nervous.
‘Yes’ she replied needing to put him out of his misery quickly. ‘Yes.’
She hummed to herself as she brushed and re-styled her hair. What was it she always said? Love will happen when you’re not looking. Love would creep up on her, when she least expected it to. Well calling a taxi earlier on she had never imagined. Not in her wildest dreams.
This is un-edited – posted in a hurry – I will come back and tidy it up soon. Taxi/ Cab & tenses…