Tweet First Date, last week, and I promised I'd post a "deleted scene" since I found myself torn between two endings while writing the flash. I threw open the voting to the Twitterati and I got more votes for the so-called "unhappy ending", but for those who wanted a happy ending, here it is. I haven't posted the rest of the flash for the sake of brevity, but due to the way I split the flash into chunks, you can pick it up from the original story. Hopefully this will grant even more of an insight into my writing process.
I work up the courage to call Parker. His phone rings for what feels like an eternity, before I'm put through to voicemail. I hang up, knowing my voice will crack and betray my disappointment if I try to leave a message. I look out of the window, keen to face away from everyone in case they see me welling up. I think of going home, and I picture Tex greeting me at the door and wagging his tail when I give him a cuddle.
I look up and notice the food critic watching me. He smiles, and the warmth reaches his eyes. He looks so much like my Ben. Same twinkling brown eyes, same dimples. I can't stop myself from smiling back. He slips his notebook and pen into a battered briefcase, and walks over to my table. He gestures to the empty seat opposite me, and asks if he can join me. I sneak a glance at my phone. Parker is now almost an hour and a half late, and there is still no word from him. Normally I would say no, but I'm grateful for the company. I nod, and the critic sits down.
It turns out his name is Richard, and I was right - he is a food critic for the Post. He likes Johnny Cash and the plays of Oscar Wilde, and he speaks very good French and very poor Spanish. We spent two hours talking about everything and nothing. As he insists on paying the bill, I realise I still haven't heard from Parker, although I no longer care. Richard gives me his number, and walks me to my car. He kisses my hand as we say goodbye. I'm still smiling as I drive away.