Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Opening Gambit by Steve Goodlad

They say that first impressions count, that within the first seven seconds of meeting, two people can decide if they like one another or not. The opening line works like repulsion or attraction.

I wanted to say something noble and precise, something magnanimous, charming and memorable. An opening shot bursting with clear headed decisiveness, a line she would record in her diary on a page all its own, then days later tear out and burn, but never be able to forget. It had to be original, with wit, intelligence and endearment. It would render her speechless, no one would ever have been so kind, so giving or sincere. Everyone else in the pub would pale into insignificance because no one had ever spoken to her like that before. She would surrender to the intrigue, be desperate to learn more. Of course, she would accept a drink, of course she would like to sit and talk. Later she would dance and I would whisper into her ear and she would laugh like it was the best joke ever. 

We would talk until closing time and she would wonder until the last minute if I was going to ask to see her again? Would I ask for her phone number? Would we embrace? Kiss? God, I’d be so sophisticated, what with my taste in wine, my choice of fine dining establishments that I’d tantalise her with for future dates.

In years to come, after years of marriage, she’d tell her proud Grandchildren all about our romance, that opening line and how it swept her off her feet. How she knew when she looked into my eyes and I spoke, that we’d be together forever.

She was beautiful, this had to work. I stepped into her space. “Come here often?” I asked.

© Steve Goodlad


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