As I’ve said before, I’ve never been much of a romantic but growing up I had always had this fantasy that one day someone I did not know, would come up to me and say, ‘It’s you’ (or something similar) and so basically just by looking at me he would realise that I was the girl of his dreams.
I was working as a cashier at Sainsbury’s at the time and one afternoon a little Spanish chap who bought a packet of salt and vinegar crisps and a can of Apple Tango, also declared his love to me.
Watching the Spanish Romeo being escorted out of the supermarket by one of the security guards, it suddenly occurred to me that there was a major flaw in my fantasy; normal people did not go around telling people that they did not know from Adam that they were in love with them, only creeps and weirdoes did this sort of thing.
As the supermarket closed that night and I made my way across the car park to the bus stop, I saw the little Spanish guy in the distance, standing by the exit. I guess it was sweet that he had waited out there for me for about five hours but it was also scary because it was dark and while I had been faffing around inside; looking for some change to buy a can of coke, everyone else had left the supermarket and now there was only us two left. The way I saw it there were three possibilities with this guy:
1- He was a loser with no life who could spare five hours of his Saturday night to stand around supermarket car parks
2- He was a sweetheart and a hopeless romantic who had seen past my spotty face and my greasy hair jammed in a ponytail and my very unflattering, nylon cashiers’ uniform and had fallen madly in love with me
3- He was a psychopath, about to kidnap me and hack me to pieces
I desperately felt around in my bag for anything that could be used against him in case he turned out to be the psychopath. He had already started walking towards me and so I grabbed the only thing that vaguely resembled a weapon, a biro which I held very tightly with the tip coming out of one side of my fist and imagined how I would stab him with it repeatedly (if he tried to attack me) Norman Bates style, eee eee.
As he got closer, I realised that there was also a fourth possibility with this guy,
4- He was a vampire slayer!
Or should I say I was hoping that was what he was because otherwise it meant that for no particular reason, while waiting outside for the love of his life to finish her shift, Prince Charming (feeling a little peckish) had decided that the best thing to snack on at this precise moment in time was what from the smell I would say, a bucketful of raw garlic.
‘Khello’ he said.
I think he was smiling but I can’t be sure as by then my eyes had started watering from the garlic fumes, making it hard for me to see.
‘Hello’ I said and started walking towards the bus stop, fast.
‘You no khave a car?’ He sounded like he was horrified even by the thought of me not having a car but I think it might have just been his accent that was making him sound that way.
‘You go wis bus?’
By the time we got to the bus stop, I was pretty much sure that this garlic muncher was quite harmless but it was still nice to see that there were other people at the bus stop as well.
Now at the time I used to smoke and one of my greatest pleasures was to get a can of coke from the machine and have that with a cigarette as I waited for my bus after I’d finished work.
I had taken out my cigarette and was looking for my lighter. ‘Not good for your mouth’ said the man who could wipe out an entire tribe of vampires with one breath, disapprovingly. I didn’t know exactly what he meant by that but in an effort to try and reduce the garlic fumes coming my way, I had already decided not to engage him in any more conversation than was necessary, so I didn’t ask. I put my cigarette back though and decided against lighting it because my bus was approaching and also because even though I was almost certain that garlic was not flammable, the air felt so thick with it at the time that I couldn’t help thinking, what if.
Long story short, it did not work out between me and the Vampire Slayer. Call me shallow but I have my standards and even though I appreciate a good party trick as much as the next person, I still can’t bring myself to date a man who can turn a French stick into garlic bread; simply by breathing on it.