Those are my favourite sweets. I would eat them until my teeth rote. Unfortunately it is also the less pleasant feeling I have been left after today's lunch with Mr Smile.
It is the first time I saw him dressed casually and he looked just as nice and charming as ever. He called me at one on the dot. He was waiting for me on the corner of the street, outside work. He had come into town just to take me for lunch, took the time off his manic packing to meet yours truly. This was a good sign.
As I approached he was chatting with one of his now ex-colleagues, she says hi but look surprised to see me there, meeting up with him. We went to a French boulangerie and we chatted, about everything, anything, just chatted. We then got to the stage where we needed to say what needed to be said.
Mr Smile: "It's a shame we only got to know each other so late.
- I know, I wanted to chat to you longer sometimes but I was aware of the gossip "queens" in the office.
- I have kind of been in a non-relationship mode in the last year and just didn't... I guess that's too much information... But if you are ever thinking of visiting Kenya or Malaysia, let me know... "
Unfortunately, far too soon, I have to go back to work and so we walk back towards his ex-office, my work.
I choose a quieter street where I think there might be less of our colleagues around. I feel very aware that I am near work and not somewhere relaxing and romantic. We pass another one of his ex-colleague. She has always been very quiet, doesn't talk much, but that look and that smile mean a hundred words.
The next street is deserted. We stop, unsure what to say, what to do next. We look at each other and smile. Slowly we reach out for each other... and kiss. A small kiss. More like a peck. "Never mind". Never mind, such a long wait and only a small peck so late in the game. But then we try again, this time it is slightly longer, still soft and too short for my taste, but again I feel too close to work to be comfortable and this is all I can manage. Hardly the romantic kiss I had dreamt off and it leaves on my lips two very opposite tastes. A sweet one, longing for more. More of his lips, more of his eyes, more of his smile. But also a bitter one, one of knowing that no matter what, this is the first and last kiss from Mr Smile. Despite promises of catching up in many months to give me back my book, or in two years, which is how long he thinks it will take him to be fluent in French, we both know that in fact we will probably never meet again. We will be friends on Facebook and send each other a nice little note every few months but probably never meet again.
Sweet and Sour, my favourite sweets indeed.