I have been on match.com now for ages and haven’t been on a single date. That is by choice. I just don’t fancy sitting in a restaurant or pub with a stranger making small talk. I would rather meet somebody the old-fashioned way, but for that I would actually need to leave the house. Yesterday I had coffee with a friend of mine and she convinced me to go on this date with a guy she knows. I agreed to meet him for dinner at a pub on Saturday night.
During the day on Saturday I was really nervous. My gut instinct was telling me to cancel. We were meant to meet at seven o’clock and he knew what I looked like as he had apparently checked my Facebook profile. I started getting ready about five. I had a bath and shaved my legs, not sure why I was making the effort, but it was making me feel better about myself as well. I got to the pub early and chose a table in the corner. I can’t stand sitting too close to other people. I had a diet coke whilst I was waiting. I wanted to keep a clear head.
At exactly seven o’clock a guy was approaching my table. He was tall, with brown hair and blue eyes. He looked very handsome and I could actually feel butterflies in my stomach.
‘Hi, are you Natalie? I am Tom,’ he stuck out his hand to greet me.
‘Hi, yes I am Natalie. Nice to meet you.’ He sat down opposite me. The waiter came over with the menu. I decided to have a small glass of wine and Tom had a pint of Lager. Whilst we were waiting for the food we started chatting about our lives. He told me that he was a builder and worked on a building site in London during the week, but came back to Somerset every weekend to visit his parents. I thought that was so sweet that he cared so much about his parents. I felt like this was a dream. A guy that good looking on a date with me.
Eventually after about forty minutes the food arrived. We had just started eating when we could hear raised voices coming from the bar area. I looked up as I was facing the bar and could see three police men in uniform and one man without, holding up his badge to the pub Landlord. To my great surprise the men started walking in our direction. They came closer and when they approached the table one of the uniformed policeman got his handcuffs out and said: ‘Tom Salter, I am arresting you on suspicion of the selling and possession of illegal substances. Anything you say now may be used against you…’ I was speechless. I felt faint. What was going on. Everything went blurry and the voices I could hear sounded like I was under water. The non-uniformed policeman put his hands on my shoulder. ‘Miss, are you ok? I am Detective Inspector Atkins. Sorry to ruin your evening. Do you know this man well?’ It took me a few seconds to find my voice.
‘Hello. I am Natalie Chadwick and no I don’t know this man well. It’s our first date.’ I looked from the DI to Tom in disbelief. I felt so embarrassed. ‘Are you sure you got the right man?’, I asked the DI.
‘Oh yes we are very sure. We have enough evidence to put him away for quite some time.’ He then turned to Tom: ‘You won’t be going on any dates my friend in a long time.’ Tom then looked at me: ‘I still want to see you though.’ I turned my head away. Does he honestly think I want to go out with him after all this, plus he will be in prison for a while. The policemen took Tom away and I was left there by myself. I didn’t feel like eating anymore. I asked for the bill, paid and left. When I got to the car and rang my friend: ‘Thanks for setting me up with a drug dealer. A great friend you are.’
‘What? What the hell are you talking about?’ So, I told her about my evening. In the end, we both started laughing. That was a lucky escape for me, but I don’t think I will be going on any dates for a while now.