“So where are we going? What are we doing? It is totally your choice and I am in your hands!” she danced around me under the streetlights, a smile hitting both cheeks, “you got me on a good day, so I am not stressed at all!” Good for her — doesn’t stop the slight panic that is working its way around me. “Oh I don’t really know. I usually plan these things before but I haven’t had a chance to look up anywhere or check reviews. I just want a pub meal. Something meaty, wings! Maybe wings?” This is not going to plan — not that I had a plan. Oh man, I really should have made a plan. Frantic I start flicking through local pub reviews on my phone. The cold air contrasts too much with my body temperature and I shiver.
Walking, talking, looking, Googling, I am a great multi-tasker but this is next level. Stop, just stop. I do just that and my abrupt stop goes unnoticed for a second, “Ah I am so sorry, I normally have a plan!” she back tracks that extra step and smiles again. She looks up at the traffic lights with an odd fascination in her eyes, I bury my head in my phone, where the hell am I going? Pointing up she mumbles, “there is a spiderweb in the light” but I don’t quite catch it, “sorry?” I reply, she points, “spiderweb, see?” — I should have made a plan, “uh let’s go down this street.”
We cross the road and head down to where I am praying there is a pub. The pavement is littered with yellow and orange leaves, each step a crunch that hits the walls of the surrounding buildings, bouncing back into my ears. Suddenly she darts forward, flicking her feet through the leaves, kicking them up around her ankles “Woosh! Woosh!” she says as she kicks, I laugh, “Good, I am not the only one then!”
“The only one who kicks leaves?”
She smiles, kicks a few more leaves, then falls back into step with me. She kicks off the conversation as easily as she kicked the leaves and I realise just how easy this all is. Conversation flows and my heart rate returns to a standard pace. Looking up the road I spot a group of people, pints and a glowing sign. Perhaps a plan wasn’t necessary at all.