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The Island 18: A Chance Encounter
Wednesday 28th March 2012Jacqui Draper and Craig Wilmott sat opposite one another in Newport’s Pizza Hut. They had just seen A Woman in Black (or in Jacqui’s case some of it; she was a wimp about scary films and had spent a lot of this one with her face buried in Craig’s shoulder.) For a few moments they ate hungrily and in silence. Then Craig said:
‘Oh I meant to tell you, I saw that bloke last week.’
‘Which bloke?’ said Jacqui?
‘The one we met on New Year’s Eve. You know – the one your mate Jade had the hots for. What was his name?’
Jacqui put down her knife and fork and stared at her boyfriend. ‘You mean the blonde one that I didn’t like?’
‘I didn’t know you didn’t like him, but I think he was blonde. Anyway – I saw him last week. I was having a pint in The Village Inn and in he walked. Came right up and started chatting. I hadn’t the faintest idea who he was but then he reminded me about The Liquid Lounge and Jade. Seemed like quite a nice bloke actually.’
‘Nice bloke!’ Jacqui almost choked on her mouthful of pizza. ‘Do you know what he….’ She stopped abruptly. Jade had sworn her to secrecy and she wasn’t sure now how to act in her friend’s best interests. She decided to be circumspect.
‘I mean, do you know where he’s living?’ she asked.
‘Not a clue. Why?’
‘Well, it’s just that I know Jade would really like to see him again and she….and she lost his mobile number.’ Jacqui took another mouthful of pizza and chewed for a while before asking casually:
‘Did you get his number?’
‘Yeah, I think so.’ Craig wiped his mouth with the back of his hand, pulled his phone out of its holder (recycled sail-cloth by Paul Newell) and scrolled through his contacts. ‘Here it is. Carl – that’s what his name is. The number is 07…hang on. Why does Jade want to contact him? She’s not some sort of bunny-boiler is she?’
‘No of course not- you know Jade’s not like that.’ Jacqui had her own phone out now. ‘What is it?’
Once she had the number safely in her phone, Jacqui turned back to her pizza and ate with a vengeance. The evening had taken a turn that she had not anticipated. She could not wait to get home and phone Jade. She’d just have to plead a headache in order lose Craig.