He met her a while ago, where for years he had developed an on-again, of again attraction to her dependent on his mood, what she was wearing, what she said, or how much he’d had to drink.
The last time they met he realised how great she was, even though deep down he knew if things went up a level, it wouldn’t last.
She invited him over to his house in what felt like a final stab. She’d given him a get out clause of the date that was not a date by suggesting inviting some others from their shared friend network. He had said he was happy it just being the two of them, she was unsure what that meant.
Both had been unlucky in relationships and in some ways it felt like a last ditch attempt to find someone who they got on with.
With her red hair and average figure she was not the most feminine of girls, but she was intelligent, funny and in many ways went out of her way to make a man satisfied.
This was no exception, he could not help being impressed that she had made a meal from scratch, taking into account his veggie diet and his low spice tolerance.
He was a kind of funny looking man, he had a couple of barely noticeable scars, but he did look after himself. She was quite impressed that he had turned up smartly dressed – he had come straight from work, but it looked like he had made extra effort to look well presented.
“I hope it’s not too spicy, I normally put a few spoons in, but knowing you I thought I better just put in a pinch.”
He gave a smile. The food was delicious and he looked at her and thought ‘maybe’. He could not really recall what they talked about over food, but he was self-conscious about talking with his mouth full and she worried that she had not cooked enough.
“I was going to make a cake, but did not know what you would like. I can make one now if you want?”
He didn’t know if she was being serious or taking the piss. “Could you make a Victoria sponge, with cream in the middle and some fruit on top?”
She went over to a shelf filled with cookbooks and pulled one out.
Then she begun making the cake before his eyes. He was really surprised and impressed, ability to cook so confidently seemed a rare skill nowadays.
While she cooked they both indulged in their own styles of self-depreciating humour. She said how she was going to end up being a cat lady and he joked about going back to live with his parents again.
During the process he felt redundant so he began making origami flowers out of the paper used to line the baking tins.
While the cake baked in the oven they played video games. He saw the irony in the situation, years ago he would have loved a gamer girl, but in the last year had not really had time for playing video games.
They talked as they played, he talked about the races he was training for and his job, she talked about TV shows and her degree.
Both felt out of place on the others topics, but politely tried to blag through the conversation.
They both though the same thing “There would be loads of women/men who would be interest in a guy/girl like him/her, but he/she is not right for me”.
They talked, joked and ate the Victoria sponge while watching a film.
They both felt bored at times and there were awkward silences.
He left at 11:30, he had work tomorrow and she had exams to revise for.
There was a pleasant friendly hug on the door step as he left her to finish cleaning up and she let him go for the long drive home. There was no awkward kiss attempt, or escalation into going for something more, but to be honest they were both happy with that.
He thought “I wonder if her younger sister will be in next time”.
She thought “I wonder if he’ll bring his hot friend next time”.
And so they just stayed friends.