There was a lull in proceedings at work, so Niall checked his phone again. The usual process; check to see if there were any messages and missed calls then check Facebook, Twitter and Instagram notifications. That was standard practice.
However, recently there was a third instalment to the process. You see, Niall had been single for several months now since his last long-term relationship ended. He’d spent just over six years with his ex, Vikki, but they’d grown apart over time. The breakup had been on good terms and they’d remained friends; although it was more like acquaintances lately as she’d managed to find herself a new boyfriend reasonably quickly.
While Niall was certainly happy for her, it triggered his need to move on too. Unfortunately for him, going out and meeting a nice woman wasn’t as simple as it’d once proven to be. The last time he went out on the pull, Niall was in his early twenties. He’d met Vikki at twenty-three and had since turned thirty while they’d been apart and it turned out that all of his old haunts were still filled with people the same age he’d been the last time he was single if not younger. Not only weren’t they interested in him, but the feeling was mutual. While there were plenty of attractive girls, they had very little substance. At least that was how it seemed.
That was where the third instalment to the process of checking his phone had come in. He’d joined a popular dating website called catchmeacatch.com a number of weeks back and had come into contact with a number of women in the process. The prospect of one or two really excited him, a few seemed alright and then there were the others who were either obvious time wasters or he just messaged because it broke the day up.
He was delighted to see that ladybelle89 had sent him a reply. Her real name was Kelly and she was a real stunner judging by her photos. He always felt wary about contacting the truly gorgeous women as they rarely responded. Niall wasn’t an obviously handsome man in his own opinion. He wasn’t hideous either. He sat somewhere in the “inoffensive” category. That didn’t hold much weight with the gorgeous women. They all claimed to want a good guy with tonnes of personality, a description that summed Niall up perfectly, but what they really craved was a guy who had muscles upon muscles and accompanying pretty boy looks.
That wasn’t Niall. He’d never been muscular nor a pretty boy. Niall stood at five feet and ten inches with light brown hair that he wore in a standard short back and sides and would perhaps gel into a spiky style if he felt the need. His mint green eyes shone with intelligence and he was rarely seen without a smile on a pair of lips that were only slightly on the thick side while a quite small and indented nose sat above. He was quite bookish and always relied on his personality to woo women rather than his appearance. It had worked well for him in the days where you had to meet women face to face and have an actual conversation. On C-MAC (as catchmeacatch.com was affectionately known by its users), it was too easy for people to weigh up whether they liked what they saw first and then duly respond or ignore. In the case of the gorgeous women it was the latter nine times out of ten, even if they were no more gorgeous than the women he used to get back in his younger days.
Niall laughed to himself as he read Kelly’s witty and flirty response to his previous message. So far, so good.
“Niall, what are you doing,” came the familiar voice of the line manager; Brian. Niall jumped slightly as he was brought back to reality.
“Nothing, Brian. I was ju…”
“Exactly; nothing! You’re not getting paid to do nothing”.
“I just finished the last set so I thought I’d have a quick glance at my messages before the next one”.
“Is that right? So you couldn’t have gone and helped Carl or something?”
Niall wanted to protest as to why he should increase his own workload in order to decrease somebody else’s yet still only get paid the same, but he knew Brian would only have gotten irked by such a question so he remained quiet and shrugged his shoulders.
“I just wanted to take a minute. I’ll go and help him now,” Niall said dejectedly.
“You might get away with slacking when Rob’s on, but I won’t stand for it”.
“Okay, Brian,” Niall said with a touch of attitude that wasn’t easy to detect, but Brian knew it was there and he shot Niall a knowing and reproving glance.
“Lunch is in half an hour. Do all your texting and shit like that then”.
Niall said no more and wandered off to go and help the useless Carl, all the while dreaming up what witty response he could give to Kelly’s message.
When 4:30pm arrived, Niall couldn’t have beaten a hastier retreat. He downed tools, gathered up his belongings and practically ran for his car. He’d managed to respond to Kelly on his lunchbreak and had felt the vibration in his pocket since suggesting he’d had some kind of response. He climbed into his car and took a look at his phone while the engine warmed up and demisters cleared the condensation from the windscreen.
He sifted through the usual array of social media notifications before getting to Kelly’s response. It forced him to smile yet again. The conversation was going extremely well and he could feel the sexual tension building between them. Perhaps this would result in an actual meeting. Those had been few and far between thus far. It seemed most on C-MAC were happy to talk, but meeting was always a little out of their capabilities.
He recalled the first date he’d been on off the back of C-MAC; an Irish girl named Ronagh. Her photos suggested she was quite the looker and she’d certainly come across as being intelligent; not to mention sexually insatiable. He’d only been using the site a week or so at that point and it seemed like awful good luck that he should stumble across such a prize so quickly.
That feeling of immense fortune passed within just a couple of minutes of meeting her. The photos hadn’t so much lied as been economical with the truth. She looked like the photos had suggested, but in a much less flattering light. He became quickly aware of why she never had her mouth open on photos as her teeth were a mess; an instant no-no for Niall. He didn’t expect perfect teeth, but Ronagh’s were totally unacceptable.
She was certainly very intelligent and definitely as sexually insatiable as she’d suggested; making frequent comments about them going back to her place and screwing. He toyed with the idea; figuring that a good lay might be a decent confidence booster given as it’d been a long while since he’d had any action, but he simply couldn’t get over that he wasn’t attracted to her. The fact she was a heavy drug user really put him off too. He couldn’t bring himself to want to have sex with her, even for the sake of sport.
He knew he’d hurt her feelings when he dropped her off later that evening and declined her offer of sex, especially as he’d always been well into the sex talk while they’d been messaging. He couldn’t bring himself to do it; knowing he wouldn’t be able to forgive himself for it. They spoke only sporadically after that and then soon lost contact altogether. That really didn’t bother him!
Another clever response to Kelly was typed out and sent before Niall checked his mirrors and began to slowly drive away out of the car park, but not before Bluetooth connecting his phone to the stereo and getting the music on nice and loud.
At home that night, Niall sat alone in his room with some trite nonsense on the TV that he was hardly paying attention to. After the breakup with Vikki, Niall moved back in with his parents until he was in the financial position to find a place of his own. The plus points of his current situation were the cheap board and the fact that all his meals were made and clothes washed by his loving and attentive mother. The drawbacks were that he was back to sleeping in a single bed and the house was very rarely empty, which meant that entertaining women was a virtual impossibility.
The messages had continued between him and Kelly. He’d also been messaging a couple of others, but Kelly was the object of his utmost attention. He’d brazenly asked the question as to whether she was attracted to him and he was delighted to read in response that she wouldn’t have been talking to him the way she was if not. That made his mind up for him. He had to try and take this to the next level.
The message about whether she would like to meet up was sent and he awaited her response with baited breath. His phone buzzed numerous times with messages from various people, but none of them the person he wanted a message from. He started to get frustrated and decided to play on his console awhile in order to help take his mind off it, but it only worked up to a point. He’d asked women to meet him before only for them to disappear as soon as he did. Lightning was striking again it seemed. Oh well, at least it was Thursday. Only one more day in work and it was weekend. Likely yet another meet up with the lads and getting steaming drunk.
He checked the time and it was getting on for midnight. Time for bed. Niall turned off his console and got himself ready for a night of sleep. He checked his phone and looked at the messages that he’d ignored in the meantime. As he looked, the phone buzzed again. Another message. The top of the screen read “New message from Ladybelle89 on catchmeacatch.com”.
Niall felt his pulse quicken. She’d finally responded, but he wasn’t sure he wanted to read it now that she had. What if it was a knockback? Better to find out either way, Niall thought.
He opened the message and broke into an immediate grin. The message read “About time u asked. Where u takin me n when? x”. He messaged back immediately and responded “How about this Saturday? I can head over your way if you want and we can just go for a drink and get to know one another? x”. Her response was almost immediate. “We should exchange numbers. It’ll be much easier. Ur idea sounds great by the way. Can’t wait to meet u x”.
The smile on Niall’s face was broad and cheery. He’d scored a date with a super-hot girl on C-MAC. Maybe the site wasn’t as bad as he’d first thought.
TO BE CONTINUED
Title image from Shine Aloud.