We must stop meeting like this!

This is a story for the new year.
[The first time]

The first time I saw Naomi was a couple of weeks before Christmas. It was late afternoon and I was standing in for our receptionist Mary Blanchard who was having a wisdom tooth removed.

The whole place was a hive of activity getting orders shipped before the posting deadline.

She walked into reception wearing a grey and black herringbone three quarter length coat, black leggings and a pair of black L.K. Bennett ankle boots. Her long brown hair cascaded over her shoulders. Her makeup was flawless. Her eyes glistened in the chrismas tree lights.

“Can I help you?” I asked with my best receptionist smile.

“Yes. I have an appointment with a Mrs Jackson. My name is Naomi Winters.”

I pretended to look at a list on the desk. I knew that she was expected for a job interview.

“Ah yes. You are expected. Please take a seat while I call Ms Jackson.”

Naomi took a seat and picked up a magazine.

I picked up the phone and called HR.

“Ms Jackson, your appointment is here.”

“Yes I’ll tell her.”

“No that won’t be necessary,” I said into the phone.

I put the phone down and got up from the desk and walked over to Ms Winters.

“Ms Winters, Ms Jackson will be out in a minute or two. Can I get you I some tea or coffee?”

Naomi smiled back at me.

“I’m fine thank you.”

“Very well.”

I’d just sat down when Ms Jackson appeared and after smiling at me, took Naomi off for her interview.

[The second time]

At the end of the working day, I left the company and walked to the bus stop. My car was in for some minor damage to be repaired after I’d been ‘rear-ended’ a few weeks beforehand. I could have rented a car but it was just as easy to take the bus and the train for the few days that I’d be car-less.

The bus stop was a few hundred yards down the road. I was waiting for a No 281 bus to Twickenham Railway Station. Then I’d take the train to Virginia Water and it was a short walk to my home from the station.

I’d been standing at the stop for a little over five minutes when Ms Winters joined me.

“Hello,” I said.

“We meet again. How did your interview with Ms Jackson go?”

“Oh, hello. It went well. I think so anyway.”

“What position were you interviewing for?”

“PA to the boss, a Mr Raymond Milland.”

She smiled.

"I thought the name was familiar. That was the name of a Hollywood film star. Is he any relation?"

“Do you think you got it? And as far as I know, there is no direct relation between them.”

“I hope so. I’ve just split up from my boyfriend and had to get a new place to live. What with the deposit and a months rent in advance, I'm just about skint.”

“I’m sure you will get the role.”

Just then the bus arrived.

“Well, I hope to see you after Christmas then?” I said as I let her board it first.
 

[The third time]

I was relaxing at home on New Years Eve. I’d just finished the washing up from my evening meal when the front door bell rang.

With a sigh, I pulled off my rubber gloves and walked towards the front door.

My home on the outskirts of Virginia Water is not on the main road but a road used as a ‘rat run’ to avoid the traffic lights on the A30.

I opened the door and in an instant, I’d recognised the person standing there.

“Ms Winters. We meet again. What are you doing here?”

“He… Hello,” she answered in a bit of a stutter.

“Do I know you?”

“We have met before. Although I was dressed a little different the last time we met.”

“My car has broken down. There does not seem to be any mobile phone reception. Can I use your phone?”

“I understand. We are in a bit of a ‘not spot’ here. Please come in and you can use my phone.”

“Thank you.”

She stared at my face as she entered my home.

“I think I remember your face but I can’t remember where though.”

“No matter. Please follow me into the kitchen where the phone is.”

I smiled to myself as I walked into my kitchen. It had to happen sooner or later. This was as good a time as any

“What are you doing in this neck of the woods?”

“I was going to a friends in Bracknell to see in the new year.”

“I think that you might have to see it in here if your can’t be fixed.”

“Can’t you…. Oh shit.”

“What is it?”

“I remember where we met. You were the receptionist at the company where I went for an interview.”

“Guilty as charged.”

“But….”

“Yes I know. I’m a man and here you see me in my own home wearing women’s clothes. My guilty secret is out.”

To avoid any further embarrassment, I handed her the phone.

“Why don’t you make that call now.”

“Yes. I’d better do that.”

Five minutes later the bad news starting to sink in. Her breakdown cover was in her old boyfriends name and he’d cancelled it when they’d split up.

“Can’t you ring your friends in Bracknell and get them to come and pick you up?”

She shook her head.

“They don’t have a car and they live miles from the railway station.”

I just smiled.

“Can you take me?”

I smiled back at her expectant look.

“I’d love to. Even dressed like this I’d drive you if I had a car. Mine was in for repairs before Christmas and they are finding it hard to get a part. My garage is through there if you doubt me," I replied pointing at a door on the far side of the kitchen.

"Take a look and you will find it empty.”

Her shoulders visibly slumped.

“You could always walk to the station. It is only 10 minutes away. Otherwise, it looks like you are here until tomorrow. There is a spare room upstairs.”

“If you hadn’t noticed, it is pissing down out there. And there are hardly any streetlights around here.”

I smiled back.

“Well, why don’t you make yourself at home. Let me take your coat and them I’ll get you a drink.”

“Thank you. Do you have any Merlot?”

“I think I do,” I replied knowing full well that I had a bottle of a very nice Paulliac open on the counter behind her.

“What do I call you?” asked Naomi as I handed her a glass of wine.

“Emma.”

“That’s a nice name.”

“Thank you.”

After a refill Naomi began to relax.

 “Did you get the job?”

“Eh?”

“At the company where we first met.”

“Oh yes. I got the offer.”

“Did you accept?”

“Yes. The money is great. A lot better than my old job.”

I grinned back.

“Good. I will look forward to seeing you the day after tomorrow.”

“What’s the boss like? That old fart in HR was a bit evasive when I asked her.”

“He’s a great guy to work for,” I replied grinning.

Naomi looked at me a little suspiciously.

“What aren’t you telling me?”

I took a sip from my class of Merlot before replying.

“How do you feel about working for a boss who likes to wear women’s clothes and fancies you something rotten? From the moment you walked into reception actually. You looked so cute in that outfit.”

And before she could answer I added,

“And yes, Ms Jackson is a bit of an old fart but remember only I can say that because she’s my Mother.”

Naomi struggled but some of her wine came out her mouth and sprayed over the counter and the floor.

“I’m so sorry.”

“Don’t worry. It will clean up in the morning.”

“No. If you leave it to then, it will stain,” replied Naomi without thinking.

“Come on if we do it together then it will only take a minute.”
 
A few minutes later the mess was cleaned up and I poured her another glass of wine.

“You didn’t react when I said that I fancied you.”

“You don’t know me from Adam,” came her calm reply.

“Or Eve?”

That bought a smile from her.

“I don’t really care. I know enough to know that you will be a great PA and I’d like to get to know you a lot better.”
 
“I don’t know about dating the boss.”

I grinned.

“Well, marry me and that will be moot.”

“Are you asking me to marry you?”

“Yes I am. I knew the instant that you walked into my company that you were the one for me. And then you turn up on my doorstep and find out about my other side. That is either fate or we should stop meeting like this. So what do you say?”

“This is all a bit sudden isn’t it? What would have happened if I hadn’t turned up on your doorstep tonight?”

“I would have gotten to know you and then asked you out and eventually told you about the real me.”

“What if I say yes?”

“I give you a long kiss and then put you into a cab to take you home. I’ll get your car rescued tomorrow and if possible get it delivered to work on the second.”

“And if I say no?”

“Everything I just said apart from the kiss.”

After a moments thought she said,

“I’ve never met anyone like you.”

“Thank you for the compliment.”

“I’m not sure if it is a compliment.”

“Well, I consider it one anyway.”
 
The two of us stood in my kitchen waiting for someone to move. In the end, I did.

“How about I call you a cab?”

“Can you get one out here at this time of night?”

“Oh yes. I have an account with the local min-cab company.”

“Please.”

I called the company and got confirmation that a car would be here in 10 to 15 minutes.

“They hate short journeys on nights like this. Going to Twickenham is just what they want.”

“How do you know where I live?”

“It was on your acceptance letter.”

“Oh yes. I forgot.”

“Don’t worry, dressed like this, I’m no danger to anyone.”

A smile crossed her face.

“That is a nice dress though.”

“Thanks. I like to dress nicely when the opportunity arises.”

“I hope you don’t mind me asking but are you planning on… well you know?”

I let out a small laugh.

“That depends on you.”

“Me? How? Why?”

“If you say yes and we want to start a family then… possibly later. But it would be a joint decision.”

“No pressure then.”

“None at all. I’m not one of those who hate their male parts. God put it there to serve a purpose even if he messed up my mind.”

“You are strange you know.”

“Possibly. But it takes all sorts to make the world go round.”

Just then the phone rang juat the once and then stopped.

“The cab is here,” I said reaching to help her on with her coat.

“Are you really expecting an answer tonight?”

“It would be a nice end to one year and the start of a new one. One full of hope don’t you think?”

“I suppose so,”

I slipped out of my heels and into some flats, put on a coat and walked her to the taxi.

“Fourth Cross Road in Twickenham please,” I said to the driver as I opened the door for her to get in.

She sat in the back and smiled at me. Then she gripped my hand and said,

“Haven’t you forgotten something?”

“Eh?”

“My goodnight kiss silly.”

I kissed her goodnight and after closing the door, I watched the cab drive away into the dark night.
 
 
I was clearing up in the kitchen a little later when I heard the front door open. I ran into the hall as fast as my heels would let me.

There she was once again with a beaming smile on her face.

“Well my darling how was it this year?”

After she’d kissed me she said,

“Even after 6 years of marriage, I still get goose bumps when I let you kiss me in the taxi. I was crazy to say yes just like that.”

“But you don’t regret it?”

“I’m still here aren’t I? And we have two lovely children asleep upstairs. Regrets? None at all.”

“Well Mrs Milland, want to try to make another baby?”

“I thought you’d never ask," as she took my hand and we headed upstairs.

[The End]



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