Beth was doing her routine tidy of the social lounge, wiping down all of the coffee tables and disposing of any of the rubbish ready for the residents visitors. They soon arrived filling the room with chatter and lifting everyone’s spirits. Beth who was stood to one side noted the tall young man who had come to see Rose. She couldn’t see his face as his back which was turned to her as Beth tidied Mrs Lloyd’s hair ,ready for her daughter coming. She kept one eye on him, he spun around and Beth’s jaw dropped to the floor! It WAS that Eddie! Her heart fluttered. Their eyes met and Eddie smiled his heart melting smile.

“Oh my goodness Beth from the church!” Beth beamed absolutely delighted that he’d remembered her.  “Hello again” Beth stated, eyes still shining. He continued “My Grandma has told me all about you, she loves your reading, it really means so much to her. Thank you!” He smiled warmly revealing his sparkling white teeth. Beth thanked him continuing to smile. “Sorry I haven’t been at the church for a while. Since Grandma has been here family life has been a bit muddled and chaotic.” He looked apologetically at her. Could he be having marriage troubles? Beth thought her heart sank a little but then quickly noted that he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring. Maybe he was divorced? Wow he really was gorgeous Beth thought and could feel herself blushing.

“What are you two love birds chatting about?” came a well spoken voice. It was Rose. Beth and Eddie glanced at each other laughing. “Sorry Grandma” Eddie gave her a warm hug. “Beth is a good girl “ she whispered in his ear “You two would make a nice couple”. It was rather a loud whisper and Beth had overheard every single word. They both flushed a shade of fuchsia.

Eddie seemed lovely, but was Beth ready for a new relationship. Technically, she was still in the old one. She made the bold yet rather foolish decision to let her heart rule her head and just go with the flow. Beth thought carefully, she wasn’t Harrison’s property but it made her shudder to think of the danger she was putting herself in. She thought carefully. “Maybe we could try to just take things slowly?” Eddie nodded in agreement.“How about dinner tomorrow night just as friends getting to know each other? Does 7pm suit you? Beth was overjoyed. That sounded wonderful ! They agreed on Italian at 7pm and swiftly exchanged numbers.

Beth felt a hint of guilt, Eddie knew nothing of Harrison. As far as he was concerned she was single. Then again they were going as new friends. She decided to say nothing, not yet anyway. The next day came around quickly and Beth was filled with vast excitement. Her shift flew and she had an hour-long shower, her thoughts filled with Eddie. What to wear? Everything reminded her of Harrison until she caught a glimpse of red material. Oh hang on a moment, she hadn’t worn that dress before, a red one shouldered dress from coast with a bow at the  shoulder. It skimmed just above her knee perfect! Beth carefully styled her hair and applied makeup. She beamed at her relaxed and more confident reflection in the mirror. Far from the miserable wretch she saw almost 2 weeks ago.

Dinner

The curly restaurant sign was familiar although Beth had never been inside before. Harrison said he wasn’t keen on Italian food and that was that. Eddie was like a breath of air in Beth’s life with his happy and vibrant personality. He looked gorgeous in his crisp white linen shirt  and thin black tie teamed with smart dark jeans. They greeted one another with a gentle kiss on the cheek

“You look stunning” Eddie whispered. Beth blushed, she wasn’t used to getting compliments. Her heart danced “Thanks you don’t look so bad yourself!”  she replied returning the compliment. The night was a blast, Beth had never laughed so much in one evening EVER and now her sides ached. They had much in common.

“Isn’t it a bit unprofessional that I’m out for dinner with a residents son?” Beth asked sipping at the sweet white wine, gazing at Eddie across the table. Eddie had a mischievous gleam in his eye. “Well at least my Mum approves! But yeah we’ll keep it subtle don’t worry.”  The conversation flowed like a dream, they were last to leave the restaurant. Beth wanted Eddie so badly, but things were complicated. They kissed each other gently and said a friendly fare well. It was Beth’s turn to be confident. “Do you like walking? have you done the woodland walk near here?” Eddie’s face lit up. “I love that walk! I use it to think as well as the church!” Beth nodded. “Great we should do it sometime” was her reply “How about Saturday? are you free” Eddie nodded enthusiastically. “Yeah sure”

It was set.

TO BE CONTINUED…….

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