A misunderstanding at Club Eclectic

‘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

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