20 minutes since the last glance at his watch Dave nervously looked again. Damn! It had only been 2 minutes! How can time move so slowly?
The idea had seemed like such a good one when this had all begun, way back at the start of the year. Dave was 55 and had decided that this was the year he was going to sort himself out. 2009 was going to be the year that Big Dave was going to become David and settle down.
22 years in the Navy had added 32 years onto Dave’s cracked face and his hair was a long distant memory as was most of his liver. Over all though he had fared well, giving up smoking once they stopped issuing the Blue Liners had helped. It was nearly 10 years since his time had been up and he’d hung up his often soiled Petty Officer's uniform once and for good. Changing into a civilian suit had not been easy though and so he’d flown from job to job over the years without ever really fitting in. He’d done removals for a few years after setting the business up with his pay off from the forces but had wound up losing it. The decline had been swift when he lost his driving licence after he’d been discovered fast asleep at the wheel of his van on the hard shoulder of the M1 three times over the alcohol limit.
Dave had been married twice whilst in the Navy. The first wife left him when he got his soon to be second wife pregnant, which had come as a surprise because when he had met her in the Kebab shop on Union Street she had sworn blind she was on the pill. The second marriage had failed when she got pregnant again two years after Dave had secretly had a vasectomy and had spent two hours sat with a calendar and a calculator working out that he’d been in Gibraltar at the time of conception.
New Years Eve 2008 saw Dave sat in his local feeling miserable. All he had done with his life was throw it away, it was time to do something about it, it was time to act. He silently closed his eyes and made a decision about his Resolution.
By the end of January David had a new job as team leader at B&Q and had been sober since waking up naked on the war memorial on New Years Day. David had joined Grey Love, a brand new dating agency for single grave dodgers and had made a few contacts that were looking promising. It had all lead to this terrifying moment, this single most scary instant in his long and varied life.
Dave had had plenty of experience with women in his life but they had all been whilst out and about with mates from the Navy. All his encounters had begun whilst drunk and with plenty of back up and wing men to provide support. It had also been quite a few years now since that encounter with Southsea Susan under the pier on his retirement party, grief - had it really been that long?
Now he stood sober as a judge with an orange juice in his hand and the special blue shirt that he had agreed to wear with the red collar so that he could be easily recognised. Why it is that he’d had to do that he had no idea, after all he had supplied many photos of himself before now and in fact it was her who was the mystery. Not one photo had Tracey sent, not a single one though she had described herself as bubbly and loving cuddles so he had high hopes that she would be nice.
It was now six minutes past seven and they had arranged to meet at seven! David hated tardiness, a life in the Navy does that to you and now he was really sweating. Was she going to come? Had Tracey stood him up? What on Earth was he going to say any way, what small talk do you say when you have no Stella inside you?
Suddenly a high squawky voice piped up behind him – “David? Hello!”
David turned and looked at the vision in front of him. She was stunning, the years had been kind to her and her dress sense matched, and even her enormous chest seemed to still be in the general location of where it should be. Next to (and about a 2 feet below) the vision stood another woman. The second woman was almost as round as she was tall and her lank red bobbed hair had inch thick grey roots. David sighed, held his hand out to the vision’s friend and said hello.
“OOOOHH how did you guess it was me?” she giggled. David relaxed, memories of his years roaming the ports of the world came flooding back, and this was going to be OK. The pressure was off; David turned to catch the eye of the barman and ordered a Stella before turning to ask the ladies what they would like. Next year he would definitely settle down, no messing about he would just do it. This year though, Big Dave was was going to have fun.