All Eric’s thoughts turned to Avika. He wondered what she was doing right now. He half smiled as he thought of how prickly she was. He wasn’t sure why he was thinking of her – she was way out of his league. But it bugged him that she knew of his reputation with women.

He didn’t want to think what she would make of his scams but there was no way she would ever find that out, so he need not worry, he reckoned. It was only the woman herself that bothered him … he’d have liked to invite her out.

He decided he would have to seek the advice of his sister on how to treat a woman the right way. He grinned to himself. Yes, he’d like to invite her out for a meal and just talk to her about anything and everything. She didn’t look the type who you could take straight to bed, and then be gone in the morning before she even woke up.

After a while he slammed his book shut. He downed his brandy and thought he might as well take a stroll down Stanley Street. All these thoughts of Avika were turning him on. He might be able to pick up a woman down there. Eric walked around for a while. He saw a few people he knew so waved and shared a few words with some of them.

After a while he began to feel hungry and found himself standing right outside The Two Olives. He’d eaten here before and enjoyed their food. He decided to go in, and had just been shown to a table – when he came face to face with Avika.

“Hello! What a surprise,” he said. Avika and another young woman were seated opposite him.

“I was just telling my friend how you came to my rescue last night,” she said and smiled at him. “Fancy running into you here, of all places.”

“My …er … office,” – he was about to say ‘flat’ – “is nearby, so I thought I’d grab something before going home.”

“Where do you live?” she asked.

“Mount Pleasant.” His parents lived there.

“Are you on your own?” Avika looked around as if a woman was going to appear out of nowhere.

“Yes,” he answered. “I’m all alone.”

“Why don’t you come join us?”

When he was sitting down Avika said, “This is my best friend from school. Eric meet Betty.”

“Nice to meet you, Eric,” Betty smiled.

“Likewise,” Eric said, and the three of them then passed a pleasant evening. Eric found them good company and they all laughed and chatted easily together.

“We live in Walmer Heights,” Betty said when it was time to leave. “It’s not far from Mount Pleasant, so we can take you home.”

“Oh, I wouldn’t want to put you out,” Eric said. He was looking forward to going straight home and into bed. He had enjoyed the evening very much.

Still, Eric hesitated.

“It’s no trouble,” Betty said. “I haven’t been drinking.” She patted her stomach. It was then that Eric realized she was pregnant.

“Well, if you’re sure,” he said.

“Of course we’re sure. Hop into the back seat and we’ll be on our way.” She yawned. “I’d better get my beauty sleep or else I’m very cranky in the morning,” she laughed. “I have to do the early shift.”

“Are you a nurse or something?” Eric asked.

“Yeah, something like that,” Betty said and winked at her friend. Eric didn’t notice because he was climbing into the back seat of the car.


Tell us what you think: What is Eric realising about his social life, and women, since meeting Avika?