She recalled edging through the throng of people towards what seemed like the only available table and had found herself being jostled. “Oh, I’m sorry” Caroline had apologised. “I was going to sit here.”
“I’m sorry, so was I” he’d laughed apologetically looking every bit the amiable, gentle giant, but failing to conceal his disappointment.
Commanding , smartly dressed and somewhere around 6ft 3” had been her instant impression of him. It was always gratifying for her to be seen with taller men, it didn’t make her look so unusual, so freakish. “Could we share?” she said watching his brown eyes scan the restaurant for signs of any other vacant tables, yet seeing none he’d turned back to look at her and his stomach gurgled impatiently, embarrassment crumpling his face into an apologetic grimace.
“I think that’s settled then” she’d resolved with a friendly laugh and gestured her hand towards the seat in front of her. “I’m Caroline.” Tantalising aromas of fresh ground coffee, warmed croissants and full English breakfasts had also aroused her appetite.
“And I’m Bernard” he’d replied, his smile as utterly disarming as his physique was captivating.
She noticed him quickly avert his gaze from her snugly fitting jumper as she shrugged off her black, cashmere coat. A smile of secret pleasure had spread across her face and she raised a teasing eyebrow. “The strong brave bear” she mused as she placed her coat over the only other available chair at their table. She sat down, the vibration travelling along the metal tubular legs of the chair so that they wobbled like a percussion instrument. Bernard threw his coat over hers and sat opposite. “Sorry?” he responded, his eyebrows pinched together in puzzled curiosity at her obscure remark.
“Bernard, it means strong, brave bear. Sorry it’s a hobby of mine. I love to see whether people’s given names actually match their personalities!” she said, finding comfort in the gabble of words that spilled from her mouth, distracting her from dwelling on her rumpled composure.
“OK then, so what does Caroline mean?” Bernard challenged, rubbing his forehead as though massaging away a headache.
Caroline recalled laughing heartily at this question. “Most say manly!” she grimaced. “But one gave ‘Little and womanly’, which I prefer though it doesn’t quite match this 6ft reality does it?”
A bubble of laughter had caught Bernard off guard “No-one could accuse you of being manly or little, but as for womanly…” he’d let the words hang in the air.
MPA (416 words)
Wow I have been awarded Featured Writer yet again! Thank you so much!