‘What’s this?’ asked Jane. ‘Take Five,’ said Dave.
He squeezed her knee but kept his gaze
stage right, on the saxophonist
whose solo was just taking flight.
The music here is avant-garde,
thought Dave, a mix of jazz, punk rock,
brass bands and barbershop quartets,
so Jane is sure to be impressed.
The kitchen fuses Japanese
and Mexican cuisines; instead
of salted nuts, the finger food’s
wasabi balls and chilli sticks.
What’s not to like? Our date tonight
will be the greatest Valentine’s
I’ve ever planned. I’ll melt Jane’s heart
and then she’ll melt into my arms.
But later, as he waited at
the hospital, Dave realised
the inadvertent part he’d played
in ruining their perfect date.
He hadn’t seen her pointing to
the bowl of bright green balls and fire
red sticks until it was too late.
‘Take five,’ he’d said.
And so she had.
© Helen Lewis 2011