The trick is to get there ten minutes early, but make sure you don’t look annoyed when she breezes in twenty minutes late. It gave me time to make sure the restaurant hadn’t lost the booking and to check the wine list in case she wasn’t sure what to order. It also gave me ample time to practice my nonchalant look in the reflection from the window. The longer I waited, the more practice I’d need.
Another trick is to ignore any buzzing and chirping noises from your phone. The last thing I wanted was to have my nose or my ear buried in a chunk of plastic when she came through the door.
That’s why I was sitting there for two hours before I saw her text telling me it wasn’t me, it was her.
I took the bus home.