Stella was having what you might call a stressy day. Her daughter’s car had packed up, so Stella was driving her around hither and yon, having completely gotten out of the habit of being chauffeur. At the same time she had her own To Do List to accomplish. On top of this she has several major deadlines coming up, personal and professional, which involve loads of work and organisation. And she’s also about to move, so her place is stacked to the roof with packing cartons. She's a busy woman.
Anyway, her mobile rang. She was going to ignore it, too much to do, but quickly glanced at who was calling - Paul. Oh Paul! A potential date with whom she’d been in serious-ish, normal cyber conversation for a few evenings, chat that had culminated in a bit of flirty banter a couple of nights ago during which he said he’d get in touch by phone to arrange a date. They hadn’t talked the evening before because he’d been at his friend’s stag do.
Her: Hi Paul.
Him: Hi Stella.
Her: Nice to hear from you. Have you recovered?
Him: Er? What? Yes, I suppose I have. Are you busy or can we have a chat?
Her: Well, I am busy, but for you, I can always make myself very, very unbusy. (I can almost hear that cheeky, sexy voice she puts on…) What exactly do you have in mind, hun? (I know, I know – hun – I’ll have to speak to her about that…)
Him: We need to talk about a time.
Her: Hehe! For you - any time!
Him: Er… OK. Thank you. When would be convenient?
Her: That depends on what you want to do, where you want to do it and how much time it might take.
Him: Sorry? I want to come round to your place, of course.
Her: Oh now, hey! I think you may be getting a little ahead of yourself there, don’t you? I’m not saying it’s completely out of the question, maybe, one day, but for the first time it’s not something I’d planned on.
Him: What? There’s got to be a first time. I can understand your not wanting to do it, but the sooner we start the better. You don’t have to put yourself out - tidy and clean will do.
Her: Oh dear. I think you have misunderstood me entirely. I’m not that kind of woman. I’d love to go for a coffee with you or maybe even dinner, but anything else at the moment is out of the question. Really. I’m sorry if I made you think otherwise.
Him: Stella, do you know who you are talking to?
Her: Yes, of course I do. Paul.
Him: Yes, Paul. Paul Barrington? The lettings agent? I’ve got some new tenants I need to show round…
Paul Barrington. The lettings agent. Last time she’d seen him at the agency he’d had a cold and was busy snotting it up into a tissue. 65 if he’s a day, 17 stone if he’s a pound. Probably never been on an internet dating website in his life.
Just how many Pauls does she have in that smart phone of hers?