Doomed Date Diaries by Bethany Quinn
'You've got a beard,' I said.
'Yes,' he said.
'Is it itchy?' I said.
'Sometimes,' he said.
'Do you ever find things living in it?' I said. It was more of a joke really.
He thought about it for a moment. 'Not recently,' he said.
'Uh-huh,' I said.
Trevor was a tap dance instructor, but he didn't exactly look like one. Not the way I'd pictured him anyway. For a start- I don't remember Fred Astaire having a goatee. I was also a smidge disappointed that he hadn't turned up wearing a top hat and tails- and didn't snap his fingers at the barman and order champagne or a Martini with a green olive in it. He had a cranberry juice and some cheese and onion crisps instead. My 1920s fuelled, black and white film fantasy was falling apart at the seams and I'd barely sat down.
I get this a lot. I'm notoriously bad at guessing what people will be like in the flesh. I'm a dreamer. Always have been. In my over-active, rose-tinted mind, Trevor should have been brought up in Paris before moving to New York as a teenager to be taught by one of the last remaining greats of tap- Sore Toes Murphy. In his nineties now and almost blind but still as light on his feet as an angel. The old man and his young student would tippety-tap, tippety-tap, tippety-tippety-tippety-tap away on the rooftops of Harlem to the applause of the locals, hanging out of their windows in the sultry heat of summer.
Oh dear. See what I mean? I get completely carried away.
Trevor was actually from Brighton where his mother managed a small hotel that was dog friendly and had distant sea views- if you were willing to view them from the top of a wardrobe or swinging precariously from a light fitting.
In lots of ways I preferred my version. Maybe that's why I'm still single?
Despite the face furniture, Trevor seemed like a nice enough guy. The way he incessantly drummed his fingers on the table was only vaguely annoying now, but I could see it being a major stumbling block in the future. Not that we had a future. Apparently I wasn't what he had imagined either.
'I thought you'd be taller,' he said.
'No,' I said.
'Oh,' he said.
And we left it at that.