A Most Unusual Date

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A kind gesture and a charitable act promises an evening with a difference – but would it be enough to keep her interest?

I think Dee, the boss’s secretary, would be the perfect woman for you. All the men seem to fall for her, but so far no one’s managed a second date,” Rosa said. “In fact I’m not sure she’s even been out with anyone.”

“There is something about her,” admitted Pete the maintenance man. He’d noticed her on her very first day. She’d given him a nervous smile and he’d shown her where she needed to go. “But I don’t suppose she’d give me a second glance.”

“Don’t belittle yourself,” replied Rosa sharply. “You’ve got a lot to offer.” Pete studied his tool bag. His late wife had said something similar, but that was many years ago now.

Rosa, the company receptionist, had a soft spot for Pete because he was one of the few people in the firm who was always cheerful. When everyone was moaning about hours being cut, he was rejoicing in having more free time. Or when they weren’t given a pay rise, he said he was thankful they still had their jobs.

“I did hear her saying she was fed up of being asked out on the same old dates,” continued Rosa. “You know the sort of thing? Fancy a drink? Do you want to see a film? Maybe if you offered her something original, you might be in with a chance?”

“Do you really think so?” Pete asked as he selected a screw-driver and got to work. It had been years since he’d had the courage to ask a lady out. He wasn’t sure he could do that again and yet, he was tired of feeling lonely.

Well, there’s only one way to find out.

Pete wracked his brains, but realised he didn’t know Dee well enough to know what might appeal to her. He was just about to give up when Rosa had another little word with him.

“I understand she’s free on Wednesday evening,” she whispered but, just at that moment, Dee appeared to borrow the office guillotine.

“Wednesday evening?” repeated Dee. “I’m looking for something to do then. What’s going on?”

Rosa looked at Pete who stood with his mouth open and his tongue tied. “Pete was wondering if you fancied going out with him,” Rosa said, not wanting him to miss this golden opportunity.

“Actually,” began Pete “I’m giving blood straight after work on Wednesday and I don’t suppose you’d fancy that for a first date.” He gave a little laugh and then added. “You can’t say it’s not original.”

“I’ve never given blood,” admitted Dee. “Maybe my blood could help someone. Do I have to make an appointment?”

“It’s probably best if you do.”

“I’ll give them a call. What time is your appointment?” she asked.

“Six,” Pete said. “It takes about half an hour altogether.”

Dee disappeared and Rosa glared at Pete. “Couldn’t you have cancelled your appointment?” she hissed.

“Giving blood’s important to me,” Pete said in his defence. He remembered how his wife had needed a blood transfusion.

Well, it would have been the ultimate sacrifice then, wouldn’t it?

“I still wouldn’t know where to take her. I have given it some thought, believe me, but I really don’t know her well enough to know what she’d like. It’s not easy asking for a date at my age.”

“Nonsense!” scoffed Rosa. “You’re only a few years older than me. You’re in your prime.”

“I wonder if Dee would agree?” he said voicing his concerns.

“You’re never going to get to know her well enough at this rate,” muttered Rosa as she grabbed a pile of filing and left Pete to fix her flickering light. Dee returned with the guillotine. Rosa smiled but continued filing with her back to them. Pete was under her desk fixing something.

“I’ve given the blood people a call but I can’t get an appointment until 6.45pm. Do you mind waiting for me?”

“Certainly not,” Pete said in surprise, almost knocking his head on the desk. “They encourage you to stay for a hot drink afterwards. I’ll be fine.”

“Any tips?” she asked. “I’ve never done anything like this before.”

“They get you to drink plenty of water beforehand but I always have a quick snack when I finish work so I won’t feel light headed.”

“That’s a date, then!” Dee said smiling as she left the room.

“Did you hear that?” Pete asked Rosa.

“I did,” she laughed. “And I thought you’d blown it.”

It was a beautiful evening on Wednesday. Pete met Dee at the staff entrance and walked to the village hall where the mobile Blood Donation clinic had been set up.

As they got closer to the hall, Pete was aware of Dee slowing down.

“Is everything okay?” he asked.

“I know this must sound silly and naïve, but it’s just dawned on me that they’ll use a needle and I hate needles.”

“I tell you what,” Pete said as he stopped and looked into her pretty green eyes, “Shall I ask if I can hold your other hand? Maybe I can take your mind off what they’re actually doing?”

“Would you?” Her eyes lit up. “That would be so kind.”

However, when they got to the clinic it was very busy and the nurse in charge thought Pete would be in the way.

“Star struck lovers!” muttered the nurse as she turned away. Pete and Dee looked at each other and smiled awkwardly. “I tell you what,” said the nurse. “I can tweak the schedule so you’re sitting in chairs next to each other – no touching, mind!”

“Thank you,” Pete said. “We’d really appreciate that.”

“You might need to wait a bit longer,” continued the nurse. “But I’ll see what I can do. No getting down on your knees to propose or anything silly like that, promise?”

Pete winked at Dee. “Not tonight,” he agreed.

It was gone 7.30pm before they were told to sit down for 10 minutes. A volunteer made them a hot drink and helped them book their next appointments.

While Dee was sipping her coffee, Pete picked up a roll of stickers from the table. One said ‘Be nice to me, I gave blood today.” He peeled it off and stuck it on his jacket and then reached for another roll.

“Here,” he said and gently placed a sticker on her collar. It read ‘You’ve done something amazing today – given blood, given life’.

“I feel I should have done this many years ago. I’m such a wimp.”

“Nonsense,” Pete said quickly. “Although things are always easier when there’s someone to hold your hand.”


“Well,” Pete said “We’ve just had a coffee and we’re not allowed alcohol for twenty-four hours. Are you hungry?”

“Not really,” admitted Dee. “I took your advice and had some sandwiches as I finished work.”

“It’s a lovely evening,” began Pete. “We could go for a walk?” Dee looked down at her business suit and kitten heels.

“If we go to the park, there’s a proper path. It’s not far, and you won’t get muddy.”


“Hold on,” Pete said as they passed a corner store. He returned a few minutes later with a small loaf. “For the ducks,” he announced with a grin.

They fed the ducks and had a go on the swings. By the time the sun was setting and they were strolling out of the park, they were holding hands as naturally as if they’d done this for years.

“I’d ask you back for a coffee,” began Dee, “But my kettle’s broken.”

“There’s a café round the corner that’s open late,” Pete suggested. “Bring the kettle in tomorrow and I’ll take a look?”

“I’m sorry,” Dee yawned. “I didn’t sleep well last night. I was worrying about giving blood.”

“No problem,” Pete said, surprised that she too hadn’t slept well; he’d been so nervous about their ‘date’. “So long as I’m not boring you.”

Dee let out a genuine chuckle. “I can’t believe how much we have in common: reading, jazz, dancing, walking,” she admitted. “I feel as though I’ve known you all my life.”

“I didn’t get much sleep last night, either,” Pete said with a grin. “I thought I’d really have to be something I’m not, when we were together, but it’s been great. I feel I can relax and be me.”

“Rosa’s always singing your praises,” Dee told him. “She says you can fix anything,” Then she added quietly, “Even broken hearts! Maybe she’s right?”

“We can’t give blood again for another few months,” began Pete, “but I’d like to take you out again before then.”

“That would be lovely, but I’d rather it didn’t involve needles.”

“Oh, and I was going to suggest we donated bone marrow next!” he teased. Dee hesitated and smiled as she heard him laugh.

“You had me then! For a moment I thought you were serious.”

“I’m too old to donate bone marrow. You have to be under forty, I think.”

“I’ve really enjoyed this evening,” Dee said. “It’s been lovely to have your company and to feel we’ve done something worthwhile.”

Gently she reached over and kissed him lightly on the cheek. “See you at work tomorrow.”


The following day Rosa couldn’t contain herself; she was bursting to know how Pete had got on.

“Have you got a second date?” she asked.

“Not exactly,” he admitted.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Rosa asked. “Either you have, or you haven’t.”

“We’ve booked up to give blood again, does that count?”

“You haven’t got an ounce of romance in you, Peter Thorn!”

“Actually, I’m full of romance,” Pete told her. “I got up especially early this morning and bought a single red rose – blood red of course, from the florists, and placed it on her desk.”

“Well, that’s more like it,” Rosa said. “I was beginning to despair.”

“And,” began Pete with a silly grin, “if we continue to get on as well as we did last night, I know exactly where I’ll pop the question.”

“Now you’re racing ahead,” warned Rosa. “Don’t go and frighten her off by being too keen.”

“But I am keen,” Pete admitted. “I’ve always liked her since that very first day.”

Just then they became aware of Dee standing in the doorway. They didn’t know how long she’d been there.

“Sorry to interrupt,” she said awkwardly and turned to Pete. “Thank you for the rose. It’s beautiful.”

“My pleasure.”

“I’ve had an email about giving blood, and it says they’re looking for volunteers to serve refreshments and generally help. There’s a short meeting after work today…if you’re free? It’s at the village hall again.”

“That sounds like a very worthwhile cause. Dinner afterwards perhaps?”

“Perfect,” replied Dee with a smile as she turned and left the room.

“Does it count if she asked me for a second date, not the other way around?” he asked Rosa.

A second date’s a second date – although you’d better make sure it’s a really romantic meal.

“Not the staff canteen, then?” Pete asked. Rosa’s face was a picture – until she saw his grin.

Read more romantic short stories:

Read Susan’s Secret, Behind Closed Doors, The Right Choice, plus many more in our archives.

Georgia Grieve