“This is just fuckin’ sad.”
“Yes, it is,” Roxy agreed.
Eggsy was getting that gleam in his eye that Roxy was beginning to recognise as -
“C’mon, he’s just been sittin’ there alone for forty fuckin’ minutes! What if they’re already in the restaurant, waitin’ to attack-“
She interrupted him with a hard shove to the shoulder. “This is supposed to be recon, Eggsy. Do you understand what that means?”
Eggsy stayed silent for the moment, merely crossing his arms and valiantly suppressing a pout. He pointedly avoids looking her in the eye. “You at least have a cover with him. You get to play his niece while he makes you tea and shit.”
Roxy narrowed her eyes. “Well Eggsy, correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to recall you saying,” she adopted her best (though not actually very good) impression of her friend, “‘fuck no Merlin, I ain’t pretendin’ to be his fuckin’ nephew, the lying would do my head in and be weird as shit’.”
“I don’t fuckin’ know, that was four fuckin’ months ago! How was I to know-”
“You wouldn't have known, Eggsy,” she interrupted, “That it would be four months and that he still wouldn't remember anything and that he would also be the centre of what appears to be far too many violent, but random, events.”
He slumped over, seemingly defeated. “I know, I know. Fucker’s not even Galahad no more and he still attracts danger.” He scrubbed at his eyes, looking tired. “Your impression of me is shit, by the way.”
Eggsy leaned forward, mashing his face against the dashboard of his car. “I know I can’t really make out his face or nothin’, but he looks pretty damn lonely Rox.”
Roxy sighed, glancing at the time. It had nearly been an hour. She sighed. “This is against my better judgement but –“
Eggsy immediately perked up. “But?”
“But I think you should go in. I’ll be on the lookout for anything strange outside, you handle the inside. Alright?”
Eggsy positively beamed and moved to leave the vehicle. “You’re fuckin’ aces Rox-e-lot.”
It had been forty minutes and Harry had somehow filled up on complimentary bread, waiting for someone that more than likely was not going to show up.
He sighed and pretended to look busy by looking at his mobile phone, refreshing his texts for what was surely the millionth time. He opened up the “new message” screen, as if to send yet another seemingly important but assuredly fake message.
Akwjteofiwjgfokagjvpoawigjdkasfgjaoegrjioaewpgjaokjfeoiew, he tapped out on his phone with feigned purpose.
From out the corner of his eye he could see his waiter standing nearby. He could tell that he was tossing up whether or not to offer him more bread or perhaps another Guinness to accompany the empty glass in his hand.
Tjwok5tpkesajgkoerprqtresgjdslkgjlkrew0ojklgndfslkk, he continued to write. He pointedly added a full stop to the end of his gibberish (because even gibberish needed punctuation), before placing his phone down and signalling for the waiter to approach him. This is the last time I go on a blind date, he thought.
His waiter looked a mix of sheepish and sympathetic and Harry hoped he didn't look as pathetic as he was beginning to feel. Harry gave his best indifferent smile.
“I’d like to order an entree now, if that’s alrigh – “
“Sorry babe,” a hurried voice interrupted and before Harry could even blink, the voice was suddenly whispering in his ear - “Whoever stood you up is a fuckin’ idiot.” And then the figure straightened up and continued on in a deliberately normal seeming manner. “Swear down, it rains just a tiny bit and s’like everybody forgets how the fuck to drive.”
Harry had no idea of who the young man was.
The young man before him looked impeccable in his bespoke navy suit and crisp white shirt. He sported thick-rimmed tortoiseshell wayfarer glasses, which rather complimented his green-blue eyes. His hair was that pleasant colour in-between brown and blond.
The words unfairly handsome sprung to Harry's mind.
He openly stared at him, at a loss for words for how to respond. Did I know him from before?
"I know it's no excuse," the younger man said abruptly, as he took the seat across from Harry. With a tilt of his head, he fixed Harry with a look. A look that Harry was beginning to interpret as just go with it, bruv.
Harry frowned, unsure why his thoughts assumed the man would end his sentences with 'bruv.'
"I'll do all the washing for a week, I promise,” the stranger added.
Harry paused. It wasn’t every day that a perfect stranger pretended to live with him AND offer to do his laundry. Unless that’s what I used to do before I forgot everything. "A month," Harry found himself re-negotiating with a confidence that belied his confusion.
"Alright," the man replied with a well-timed grumble, "A month it is." He shrugged to the waiter. “It’s a wonder that he stays with me, isn’t it?”
"You're very lucky that he waited for you," the waiter said blatantly, handing over another menu, "My girlfriend wouldn't have waited that long."
Harry's eyebrows rose, feeling an unfounded need to rise to the stranger's defence. Good lord, I must be lonely if I’m defending strangers. He shook his head. Just play along. “You hear that? 'Lucky', that's what you are.”
The younger man lowered the menu to look Harry in the eye. "The luckiest,” he responded, with a certainty Harry felt himself believing. He lifted the menu back up to read over it. “You didn’t fill up on bread again, did you babe?”
“I’ll come back in a few minutes,” the waiter said before taking his leave.
“M’name’s Eggsy,” the stranger mumbled, not looking up from his menu.
The statement was not nearly as helpful as Harry hoped it would be. “I’m Harry.”