He thought the first date had been a success. They’d both liked the film and Shelley said she’d love to do it again some time. So Al suggested dinner. Lovely. Greek? She said it was her favourite. That went well too. They shared the mixed platter and lingered over baklava and inky coffee. He hoped Goldy would like her as much as he did.

After another film he invited her back to his flat, around the corner. First impressions—a homely place, well lived in. Shelley settled on the couch while Al boiled the kettle. Everything, seemed to be going nicely. No time like the present, then. He scooped up Goldy and started towards the lounge room. Before he reached the door there was a mad scramble, a sneeze like a cannon blast and Shelley, sounding like her mouth was full of porridge now. ‘I didn’t know you had a cat.’

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