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The following week, I went on a lunch date with the Cafe Nero boy.

We met in the same place at the same time, on an equally sunny day.

Last week, I remembered ‘Elio’ as a cool arty type. I remembered a pleasantly foreign face and an insouciant charm.

This week – he seemed quite different.

This week he was still arty (a little too arty it seems), he was still foreign looking (perhaps a little too foreign) and he still had a certain sort of charm, but he certainly was not the stud I’d built him up to be.

Two minutes into my frothy cappuccino and the boy lanced into a full blown soliloquy. I mean it’s all very well to discuss inner feelings and cultural beliefs with someone, but this was only our second encounter after all.

It was all a little too much too soon, and quite frankly I wasn’t ready for it.

When ‘Elio’ asked me to talk to him in French, I became a little wary. When he said that my eyes were the colour of oak, I bolted. I’ve heard of eyes being described as windows to the soul, but  NEVER compared to a bog-standard English tree.

Shame, this meeting could have been a nice little histoire d’amour. Alas, I will just have to roll my oak coloured eyes and continue to search for Mr Right, (not at Cafe Nero mind you.)

Keen to catch a few rays at lunchtime today, I nipped out of the office and made a B-line for the sunny terrace at Cafe Nero. I sported my sunnies, positioned myself in full view of the sun and made a start on my new book. My latest read is a curious find that I  picked up in a dusty corner at my parents house.

The book’s unusual title and its dog eared appearance made it an oddly appealing choice. Little did I know that this haphazard decision, would have such a profound effect on my day’s lunch hour… The book is called ‘The Leopard‘ and is written by the Italian author Giueseppe di Lampedusa.

Just as I was turning to page 2, a big haired youth came bounding towards me:

I can’t believe you’re reading that book. Oh my God! It’s the best thing I’ve ever read in my life. Oh my God! You are so lucky!

Lucky? Huh! didn’t feel it. Not with this unwelcome guest grinning down at me and my book. Much to my dismay there was no way to escape. All the other tables were taken and I was only half way through my lunch. I simply couldn’t leave.

It turns out that this ‘life changing book’ which is set in Sicily – also happens to be the birthplace of my new big-haired friend. No wonder he was excitable.

As he sidled up closer and closer, I decided to give this foreign stranger a chance. On closer inspection he was quite good looking and I’d simply couldn’t burst his bubble of enthusiasm.

We discussed the book at great length – which was quite tricky for me (as I was still only on page 2) and then we went on to chat about art. Yep, no jokes, I talked to a boy I’d known for five minutes about art. How pretentious is that? It’s all the more embarrassing because everyone in the cafe was listening to every word we said.

In spite of my original suspicions, I began to enjoy myself. So when the stranger asked me for my name, I didn’t make one up. And when he asked for my number, I didn’t make that up either.

A few text messages have been exchanged and a rendez vous is set for tomorrow lunchtime.

Watch this space…