He caught her eye and for those seconds they were locked together, she waited patiently at least she tried to, she even sat and waited but in the end she left, she turned around and could just make him out in the shadow of the door, the light behind him was not that bright. It was him though.
She walked away, and down the steps, the long street ahead of her. There behind her in the distance was she being called, maybe her imagination or maybe not. She turned but could only see a shadow. Yet she was sure there was a voice.
“Stop please stop” that’s what she thought she heard, the footsteps soft steps but running, getting closer and closer, she picked up her step as did the stranger, she could hear the running.
Was it a stranger, in her heart she knew or hoped she knew, she waited and could see the shadow getting close, she knew it was a he from the lines of his body. He had slowed down and stood there “please wait” he said quietly.
Soon they were close to each other, they looked at each other, it seemed for ages no words were exchanged between them. He smiled at her and extended his right hand to shake hers, she was shaking, this is what she wanted and now here he is in front of her and she is shaking and what to do, she asked herself, I feel like a fool.
She could not believe it, he smiled “hello, I wondered if you heard me” he said so quietly, “hello I wasn’t sure if I had heard you”she replied. It was him, this wasn’t a dream he stood there in front of her.
“Perhaps you would like a coffee or maybe a meal, I apologise I must seem very forward to you” he asked, “no thats all right” she answered. She wanted to say so much more but was tongue tied, she had waited and waited and he was here, what to do, accept his invitation.
“Would you care for a meal, sorry I am very hungry its hard to have a proper meal doing what I do, snacks and one gets sick of them very quickly” he told her. “I don’t know anywhere around here, maybe there is somewhere to eat, I am not sure” she heard herself answer him but felt she was in a dream. He seemed nervous too, surely not but he was. “Would you like it if we looked for somewhere to eat, you may prefer not to it’s up to you” he said, his eyes suddenly looked sad, “no I would very much like to” she told him and could not believe she had just said that.
All of a sudden she heard voices and running, until they were close to them “there you are” this short man with deep voice asked, “we have been searching for you, excuse me but he has to go” he said abruptly to her, this horrible looking man. The sad eyes turned to her, as though pleading to go with him “come on you need to leave now” said this nasty short man.
“All I seem to say is sorry” said he with sad eyes that penetrated her, as he looked into her eyes and thats all she could see his eyes his eyes that said everything she needed to know, he took a notebook from his pocket appeared to write something down, as he took her hand to shake it she felt he had handed her something, the paper the piece of paper?
He took her face in his hands and kissed her, whispered “sorry, call me please call me, I’ll wait to hear from you, please do call me”, as the gruff man kept bidding him to go “come on, no time no more time, we have to move fast” he said as he hurried away into the mist, like fog but not fog as she remembered as a young girl. The mist of the City that fell at night, the cold mist.
She watched him leave, he turned several times and waved, put his hand to his ear to signal “call me”. She concentrated hard on his shadow until no more, he was gone. Gone into the night, gone forever?
She thought of his face and his eyes, their eyes said so much, said more than they had spoken. A couple rushed past her, as she remained there at the bottom of the steps looking into the distance. It was real she told herself, yes its was.
As she stood under the Street light she remembered, “the piece of paper”, she opened her right hand there it laid, the piece of paper he placed in her hand and clenched it close as the aggressive little man appeared to rush him.
“call me, don’t forget, please call” next to his words he had written, the number his phone number, her heart jumped and tears ran down her face, the warm tears on her damp cold cheeks and she finally smiled , she held the piece of paper close to her heart. More people were rushing by busily chatting, all she could think of was him as she held the piece of paper so tightly.
She must ring. Can she, could she, would she, did she?
No other person could sing this song as Ella could. Whenever I think of my beautiful and historic City, London, I think of this song.