No Tidy Way To Eat A Cream Cake

No Tidy Way To Eat A Cream Cake.
by Angharad

Copyright © 2012 Angharad
All Rights Reserved.

image courtesy of The Guardian

It wasn’t my fault, the trains were running late for my connection. I’d struggled with my heavy case which despite the wheels on it, weighed a ton. The day was colder than it should have been, but then railway stations are cold places at the best of times.

He saw me struggling and helped me enter the snack-bar, holding the door as I hauled my case through after me. The place was heaving and there were only two seats left and that meant sharing a table.

“Cuppa?” he asked and I nodded. “I’ll get ’em, you grab those two seats.”

Why does this always happen to me? If I wanted company, the place would be deserted, because I wanted to be by myself, I got Jim’ll fixit buying me a cuppa. Mind you in a few months time, I might have been more interested in him than I am now–got a lot on mind at the minute.

“There you are, luv, he placed a cuppa and a cream cake in front of me.” I reached into my bag for my purse, but he shook his head. “Nah, that’s alright, luv–have this on me.”

I blushed and stammered a protest. “Don’t tell me you’re a student,” he said.

“How did you guess?” I asked then realised the ragged hemmed jeans, trainers and duffel coat might have given me away, not to mention the text book protruding from the top of my bag–my handbag that is.

He smiled a warm smile the white teeth regular and well cared for against the sun tan of his face. His dark eyes twinkled. “Particle Physics for Dummies?” he quipped looking at the book.

“Yeah, that’s me, a particle dummy.”

“Sure,” he said, meaning the opposite. “Are you one of his, you know the hippy guy who’s always on telly?”

“You mean Brian Cox?” I asked, although hippy wasn’t a word either he or I would understand. Brian Cox being the professor of Particle Physics at Manchester.

“That’s the guy.”

“Yeah, he’s my professor.”

“Is he a nice guy?”

“Yes, yes he is,” I’d met him about three times when he’d helped me with a personal matter, he’d been okay then or his secretary had, she did most of it.

“He seems like it on telly, ’cept he’s always knocking religion.”

“God doesn’t fit in his map of the universe,” I answered, Cox was outspoken about his views on fairytales as he deemed religion.

“What about yours–does he fit in yours?”

“Physics is my subject not religion, sorry, I don’t have an opinion.” I copped out, given my experience of life so far I tended to agree with my prof.

“Ah, a diplomat in scientist’s clothing,” there was that lovely smile again and my tummy was doing things it shouldn’t.

“So, you going home?” he asked.

“Yeah, got all my dirty laundry,” I tapped my case as I lied, I wasn’t going home but that was none of his business.

“I thought that was only boys?” he commented and I blushed.

“Maybe I’m a boy in disguise,” I said quietly and he roared with laughter.

“Bloody good disguise then.”

I sipped my tea, it wasn’t too good, but after university tea, I could drink almost any hot brown fluid into which a drop or two of milk had been added. Then I picked up the cake and bit on it. Cream ejected everywhere–up my nose, down my chin and onto the table.

If I hadn’t already been blushing, I’d certainly have now. Putting the cake down as he chuckled at my messy effort to eat it elegantly, I pulled a tissue out of my sleeve and began wiping my face.

Still laughing gently, he shook his head. “I bought that one deliberately because I knew it was booby trapped.”

I looked at him in horror, then realised he was joking. He’d scoffed his cake down in three or four bites, then he was bigger than I, with presumably a bigger gob, and he was a bloke. I’m not.

“Permit me,” he said picking up the paper serviette, he’d brought with the cakes, he wiped some cream which was still on my cheeks and nose, despite my own attempt to remove it. “There, that’s got it.”

I ate the rest of the cake with a degree of trepidation, but there were no further mass migrations of solid cow juice. I looked at my fellow diner again, he was about thirty and well tanned, dark hair sparkling dark eyes, broad shoulders and no sign of a beer belly. Too old for me, I’m twenty one, but might have been nice to know–I don’t have that many friends, even fewer since I went to uni, but that should change next year, I hope.

I finished my cake and tea just as they announced my train. “Thank you for my tea and cake, but that’s my train,” I said smiling.

“Let me get your case,” he offered and before I could refuse he was towing it out of the door and on to the platform.

The train arrived and people got off and I went to grab my case, “Let me,” he insisted and I stood back whereupon he lifted it onto the carriage as if it was half the weight I’d been struggling with.

“There, safely stowed.”

“Thank you,” I blushed and pecked him on the cheek.

“Anytime,” he replied and hopped off the train. He stood on the platform waving as we drew out and I blushed and waved back. I blushed even deeper when I sat and down and thought that was probably the first time he’s been kissed by a boy and enjoyed it. I leant back and checked my letter of admission. Yep, this time tomorrow, I should be sorting out the little anomaly which has been such a bane for the past twenty years. Yep, this time tomorrow I should be in surgery and I sighed with almost audible relief, “At last.”

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This story is 1058 words long.