Dennis looked at the crowded room and sighed. This was going to be even longer than he had imagined. Sally was sitting with one of her girlfriends, chatting away animatedly. He was stuck with the rather serious young man who hadn’t quite explained what he was doing for a living. Or rather, he seemed to think he had explained, but to Dennis this could have been a foreign language.
When Sally had introduced them she had said, “Peter, you and Dennis will have a lot in common, Dennis was also in IT”. The problem was he’d been retired for almost 10 years now, and in that industry things changed so fast! Plus the fact that he had been a salesman and had never really understood it all technically was something he’d never explained to Sally.
When his wife had died of a stroke 8 months previously at first he had had an odd feeling of relief. Although she was a few years younger than he, she had let herself look so old. Flat shoes all the time, her hair now grey and cut short. Then he’d begun to feel lonely. Doing the controls over maintenance work and the garden service in the complex where he lived meant he only saw a few men now and then. His daughter and family, after the first few weeks, had gone back to their own busy lives, and just invited him over for Sunday lunch every week. Their friends had all really been hers, and now they invited him out only to meet a succession of their friends. All old women. He wasn’t that old, and they didn’t interest him at all. Yet they all seemed to have a good time together.
Sally had been a godsend. A cheerful young female voice over the phone at the managing agent. After a while it seemed that they were talking every day. He always flattering her, she enjoying the flattery. Then he suggested coffee. She said she could only met him in her lunch time, and what time was his. He’d told her he worked from home. But really none of the things he’d taken up had really panned out.
When they met, Sally had luckily had a warning from the girl who had been the agent previously, so she could control her face at how old he was. He must be as old as her father. The coffee and salad had been nice, and the on-going flattery and attention was pleasant, if a little unnerving coming from someone who could have been one of her father’s friends.
They met about once a week after that, he always insisting on buying her lunch. The other girls teased her and said nothing good could come of flirting with one of their clients.
This party, why had she invited him? He looked like a stick insect on the dance floor, he had no conversation with her friends. The truth was she hadn’t felt like going alone. Since the breakup two months ago she hadn’t met anyone new, and wasn’t sure she was ready. So as Dennis was tall, male and available she asked him, hoping it would be uncomplicated.
Martina, her friend said “Why did you bring grandpa? I had this wonderful guy lined up for you, and now how am I going to introduce you?”
“Easy silly, on the dance floor” replied Sally. She stood up, gave a sexy little wiggle and stalked off to dance.