As foretold, Captain S was in contact soon enough and a day and time to meet was set.
On D-Day, my dear mother Mrs Lucas was more nervous than I. She critiqued my choice of outfit (because a lady must wear a dress), insisted on my wearing of jewellery (because the ice around my neck will surely score me some brownie points) and waited OUTSIDE (in full view of everyone) for the Captain’s arrival.
Some background about the Captain:
He is a handful of years older than I, of exceptionally good breeding and is, well, a man in uniform.
But. That was it. That was all I knew of him. The last time I conversed with him was when I was eight years old. Not like that would have left very much of an impression on the sort of person he was, let alone thoughts of ‘oh I must continue to make your acquaintance and yes I can safely say we will date in the future and it will be most splendid.’
This meeting only materialised based solely on the fact that I was single, he was single and so quite obviously this meant a set up was in order. (Note: Don’t do this especially if there are no commonalities/ mutual interests/ no inclination toward dating at all.)
Despite all this, this meet up was still going to take place. The Captain arrived promptly at 6.30 in the evening and was most cordial when he saw my mother waiting with me, not letting me close the car door without first saying a cringeworthy ‘have fun~~~’
I apologised profusely for her behaviour but for the Captain, it was like water off a duck’s back. He did not have a plan, although before he did ask my preferred cuisine. We found ourselves in a crowded sushi/udon establishment. After making our orders, conversation seemed very formal and no nonsense, perhaps some generic questions about work and family.
What we did have extended conversation on was… current affairs. My biggest takeaway from that evening was on the most pressing matters affecting the world at the time. Not what I expected to be having in addition to tempura udon and chirashi don, but all in all, a most tolerable experience.
Following this, we piled back into the vehicle and found ourselves… at an ice cream parlour. It was at this moment where I felt like I was an eight year old again, and the protective brother had taken us out for dessert. The ice cream was pretty nice, but I really wanted to go home.
Upon arriving back at my home, I thanked him, he thanked me, and that was it.
I never saw him again.
That very evening Mother excitedly asked about the night’s events and much to her dismay (like she did not know that it wasn’t going to be all rainbows and unicorns), it was not a successful set up. She sighed and chastised me for my lack of enthusiasm and effort, throwing an unforeseen sucker punch of ‘this wouldn’t have happened if…’
I shut the door to my room.