It’d been a while since Ronnie had been on a date and the nerves had begun to kick in. He’d been talking to Ashley for quite a while online and more recently via text. She was a single mother who was easy going and most importantly, she seemed to like him.
He didn’t mind that she had a kid but they made him nervous. He’d cross that bridge if he came to it.
A coffee date was the norm, giving each party the opportunity to exit stage left if they didn’t like what they saw. Ashley had suggested a pub lunch. He took that as a good sign.
He’d been ready for nearly an hour; he didn’t like leaving things to chance. It was nearly time to set off. He was taking the car; it was probably a good idea not to drink on a first date. Not that he got drunk but he could say stupid things after a couple of pints. Not worth the risk.
Just as he was about to leave his phone buzzed.
His heart sunk, he’d been here before. Just about to go on a date and the girl called it off. He’d heard all the excuses now.
I’m really sorry Ronnie but my babysitter hasn’t turned up.
He typed in his reply.
No problem, I understand.
He headed upstairs to get changed out of his good clothes. He was going to slob in front of the telly in his pyjamas for the rest of the day.
His phone buzzed again.
I’m really, really sorry. I was so looking forward to it.
“Ok, I take the hint. No need to rub it in.” He thought.
So was I. Maybe some other time?
He didn’t even want to suggest another date, he didn’t want to prolong the agony.
I know this is cheeky and feel free to tell me to get lost but would you mind if I brought Charlie along? I’ve been looking forward to today so much and he is really well behaved. I promise that you’ll love him. No problem if you don’t want to, I’ll understand.
His heart jumped, she really did want to meet him.
Of course it’s ok. I’ll look forward to meeting him.
What’s the worst that could happen?
He turned up early as planned and got himself a pint of Coke. He was onto his second pint by the time they turned up.
She was as beautiful as her pictures suggested; another relief and he gave her a peck on the cheek. Charlie stood out his hand for Ronnie to shake.
“Sorry, we’re late. I got here as quick as I could but I wasn’t expecting to have to get him ready and bring him along.”
“No problem, what would you like to drink?”
“I’ll get them, it’s the least I can do,” said Ashley.
“Don’t be daft, what do you want?”
“Half of Coke please, for both of us if you don’t mind.”
Ronnie went to the bar and got the Cokes including another one for himself.
They chatted as they read the menus and ordered their food. Ronnie and Ashley were getting on well and Charlie played quietly on Ashley’s phone.
“Sorry, do you mind keeping an eye on Charlie whilst I nip to the loo? Should have gone before I came out but it was such a rush.”
“No problem.” What’s the worst that could happen?
As Ashley left Ronnie and Charlie shared a nervous smile. “What are you playing?”
“A game.” Charlie was engrossed with the phone.
“Is it any good?”
Ronnie decided not to pursue it.
The three pints of Coke were starting to take effect and not only did he need to go to the loo himself but he also had a build up of wind. He thought he could get away with a little burp.
Charlie laughed. “Do it again.”
A connection. Ronnie burped again.
More laughter. “Again.”
Ronnie burped again. He didn’t have many skills but burping was one of them.
Charlie was howling with laughter now. “Again, again.”
Ronnie was on a roll and started burping a tune. A couple on the next table smirked as he did.
He saw Ashley returning from the toilet and decided to go for a grand finale and let out a really loud belch.
He couldn’t stop it but he knew what was coming.
The expected howls of laughter turned to cries of horror.
The burp wasn’t a burp it was a long stream of vomit.
It covered Charlie.
The date was over.
He asked for the bill.
If you enjoyed this story, you may enjoy some of Alan Parkinson’s novels available on Amazon.