It had been six months since Rose had become single and she thought now is the time to try internet dating. Okay, this can't be that hard, she said to herself with a hopeful smile. She filled out the dating profile, loaded a photo and instantly virtual kisses and emails from admirers came rolling in. Some she had to admit looked more like mug shots you would see on a criminal lineup selection. So many messages came in but to be honest it was more like a fish feeding frenzy in a cesspool of lost souls. Lots of similar profiles read I like to keep fit, go to the gym 5 times a week, jump out of planes, run marathons, looking for my princess and love weekends away. Then you see the photo and it looks more like a mug shot in a police lineup.
So many of the men's profiles said they worked from home and as one of their hobbies they enjoyed to give massages and wanted a passionate woman. The thought of some of these creepy looking guys rubbing their hands together in glee at the thought of getting their slimy hands on their internet date made Rose shudder in disgust. On looking at most of the 'I have my own business profiles' Rose thought they more than likely didn't work at all but spent endless hours watching porn and trolling dating sites.
Okay, maybe she was being way too negative. The world is made up of all types of people and needs but this was beginning to feel like a minefield of truth or dare!. After a week an email arrived and on reading the profile and seeing the photo she had to admit this one had potential. His name was Steven. He wrote how he worked in the legal and banking profession, had interests in real estate and agriculture. Enjoyed good food, wine and holidays away. He was 52 years of age and had 4 children under the age of 13. The four children thing was a bit daunting. She felt a headache coming on at the thought. Her own children had well and truly grown up. Now was Rose's chance to enjoy the freedom. She took a deep breath and thought well at least he appeared to have a job, so she rattled off a short bio of herself and they arranged to meet for a coffee that coming Saturday.
It was a bright sunny Saturday morning. She rose with excitement in anticipation of her coffee date. After showering, she took extra care dressing and off she went.
Rose walked towards the chosen Cafe for her meeting. She could see a rather tall distinguished grey haired man, sitting at a small metal table outside in the sun. He looked up and his light blue eyes widened and sparkled on seeing Rose. He rose quickly and introduced himself. 'Hi Rose?
'Yes' Rose answered with a smile.
'What a pleasure to meet you and my god you are stunning in person' replied Steven reaching out to grab her hand in a welcome shake.
'Thanks, you look good too' replied Rose. She could feel her face turning red. Phew! thank god he looks okay she thought to herself. They both sat down.
'Would you like a coffee and something to eat?' asked Steven. 'Oh a coffee would be great thank you'. Rose watched as Steven rose and went inside the shop to order. He was tall, probably around 193cms with rather strong thick legs covered in curly blonde hairs. She also noticed he was wearing shorts and an old shirt that had a frayed collar. In fact, he didn't appear to have put a lot of thought into his clothing. Rose let the thought pass as it was a morning meeting and most people at the cafe were casually dressed.
'Well, this is very nice to sit here with such a lovely lady. Believe me, these dates can sometimes be quite disappointing' Steven said as he sat down.
'Really, to be honest, this is my first meeting so I can't trade war stories with you, do tell me yours'. Rose remarked with a nervous smile.
'Well so many are nothing like their photos believe me and quite a few women are much older too'. Steven replied with an exaggerated laugh.
He went on to say he worked as an Investment banker/Senior Corporate Lawyer. He had created a company to help Farmers in need especially Farmers that commit suicide and leave their Wives and kids to pick up the pieces, which was totally voluntary he said. He also mentioned he just started up a property group, and additional to all this he was finalising a deal on becoming a Swiss Bank Representative in Sydney. Rose was a little gobsmacked.
'How on earth do you have the time for all that?' Rose blurted out dramatically.
'I have to admit I have certain skills that I have learnt along the way. It's all about reading a person and knowing what their needs and weaknesses are. I'm very good at making people do what I want, while making them feel it was their idea' replied Steven with a smug look.
'Steven, does that mean you know what I'm all about?' Rose replied with a laugh, thinking this guy is a bit too sure of himself.
Rose wondered how he had the time for internet dating if he is such a busy business man. It didn't quite fit. You would never have known he had a background in these areas by the state of his clothes. They were faded and frayed. But then again, you can't always depict a person's financial situation by their clothes she reminded herself.
Steven continued on mentioning that his four children lived with him every second week. He also had a nanny that was presently away on holiday for a month. He was finding it quite a challenge for him juggling working, kids and their myriad of before and after school activities. Wow, this guy is really something if he can do all this, thought Rose.
He went on to say how his ex-wife was a litigation lawyer and was doing all she could to ruin his life any chance she had. That she didn't want to be with him but also didn't want him to be with anyone else.
'So tell me about you?' Steven asked politely.
Rose was reluctant to say much. Her life felt so dull and normal in comparison. She rattled off a short spiel about being a sole parent for 16 years with two grown-up teenagers.
'What about your parents Rose, what do they do?' Steven prodded.
'My family is complicated like most today, both my parents have been married and divorced 3 times each. Now that story would take way too long in this first meeting and I really wouldn't want to bore you'.
'Oh my, I reassure you Rose, that it sounds like it would be far from boring' Steven said with a laugh. 'What type of work does your father do, or has he retired?' he continued with a look of genuine interest.
Well, the fact that Steven sounded like a well to do man and Rose didn't want to sound like a poorly single mother she decided to disclose that her father actually owned a Resort in the Whitsundays.
'Wow! that sounds amazing, lucky you! Do you go up there often?' asked Steven with a keen interest now unmistakably gleaming from in his eyes...