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    Wombat Bill
  • Author
  • 1,426 Words

The Covids - 39. Free Press for All

Botany Street was well named because it had become a garden street over the years. There were easy care gardens growing mostly natives, others with roses and more exotic species requiring regular pruning, some with colourful annual plantings and those with bulbs in full bloom this month. Then there were the gardens with just a front lawn, some trimmed to within an inch of their lives and others that had not heard the sound of a mower since last summer. Of course, there was one front yard, and every neighbourhood has at least one, where the garden only grew old rusted cars with yawning bonnets, either jacked up on blocks or resting gently on deflated tyres.

Christine was genuinely enjoying the gardens while she counted down from her home at number 46 to her destination, number 24. There was a slight curve in the street midway and as she rounded the curve she could see the bike in the driveway but no one in attendance. She slowed, even stopped to admire the tulip display at number 38, but could only spend a limited amount of time admiring a garden before her presence would arouse suspicion. She thought ‘If he doesn’t come out soon, I might have to walk past then come back later. I wonder how far should I go? Maybe I should have come out earlier, he might be finished working on it and I’ve missed him! I’ll check if the bike looks clean. If it looks like he hasn’t washed it today then I can come back. But what if it’s cleaned and polished already. Oh well work that out later, if need be.’

As she approached number 24 she slowed to a snail’s pace and tried to look as casual as possible as she inspected the bike from the fence line. But from that distance she could not really determine the bikes condition. Without realising it she was drawn a little way up the driveway, appearing to admire the protea display. When she realised she was close to trespassing, she turned and walked away quickly. Then from behind she heard “I saw you admiring my bike, are you interested in Hondas?”

“What...um...ar...” she turned to see the man of her dreams actually talking to her. She had previously only seen him dressed in his leathers and safety helmet. Now she could see his handsome friendly face, with just a hint of a smile. Dressed in tight blue jeans and a plain white T shirt not quite reaching his jeans, he displayed a delicious glimpse of a tight, flat abdomen.

“...no not really...oh I mean yes sort of” she stammered. Then more calmly said, “You have a lovely garden.”

“So are you interested in my mum’s garden or my bike?”

Keep your cool Christine, don’t be too obvious’

“Oh, I was admiring these beautiful flowers, what are they called?”

“I think they’re called proteas, my mum just loves them, she says they are originally from South Africa. That’s about all I know about them.”

“Thanks, that’s interesting.”

“You’re welcome. Would you like some to take with you? I could get the secateurs from the garage and cut some for you. I’m sure my mum wouldn’t mind, she likes to share.”

‘Oh...I hope he likes to share as well’

“That would be lovely if it’s not too much bother.”

“No bother at all and while I get the cutters you can have a closer look at my bike if you’re interested.”

“Thanks, it does look big and powerful.”

‘Mmm...just like its owner.’

While he was rattling around in the garage Christine gave the bike a once over and tried to formulate an intelligent sounding question to ask.

“Sorry to be so long, I went to check with my mum and she is thrilled you like her garden. She gave me this bag so you can carry the flowers.”

“That’s so generous of her.”

‘I wonder if he’ll be as generous with his body...’

As he was cutting the flowers, Christine thought ‘This seems to be going well. I’ve already got his mum on side and I haven’t even met her, but need to work on him. The bike might be it. Damn, should have done some research on bikes...... don't want to sound like a total ditz.

“So why did you chose a Honda instead of another brand? Is it a loyalty thing, like some men are either Holden or Ford drivers?”

“Not really, it was just the best deal on offer at the time. Here’s your flowers, enjoy.”

“Thanks, and thank your mum for me as well.”

‘The bike things not going at all well.

“Would you like to sit on the bike?”

Would I ever....

“I’d love to, can you help me, don’t want to touch anything I shouldn’t.”

‘There’s so much I want to touch and none of it was made in Japan.’

“There you go.”

Christine sat upright and tried to reach the handlebars.”

“You have to lean forward to reach the handlebars. Keep as low as you can so you create less wind resistance.”

As she followed his instructions he said “My mum would chastise me if she knew how rude I’ve been. I haven’t even introduced myself. I’m Lucas.”

‘I know, but it wouldn’t do to let on’

“Pleased to meet you Lucas, I’m Christine, I live at number 46.”

“Yes, I’ve seen you in the garden sometimes when I ride by...”

‘And you never bothered to stop.’

“...but I’ve not seen you walking in the neighbourhood before.”

“Oh, it’s such a beautiful spring morning, so I’m taking in all the lovely gardens in our street.”

“That’s sounds like a nice way to spend a Saturday morning. How far are you going to walk?”

‘Oops, this is my destination, but I can’t say that.’

“Oh just a bit further then I’ll go back for coffee.”

“My mum’s got the coffee machine on now...”

‘Mmm the mum again, I hope he’s not just a mummy’s boy, but I can work with that if I have to. Might even work to my advantage if I get mum on side first.’

“...would you like to have coffee here? We have a garden out the back as well, I’m sure Mum would like you to see it. We usually have our coffee out there on such a warm day.”

‘Ok Mum, here I come, make me welcome. But I’ll make him beg first.’

“Oh, I couldn’t really, I’ve already taken up so much of your time and your mother’s generosity. I don’t want to impose any more.”

“It’s no imposition, it would be our pleasure. There’s only the two of us here, so it’s nice to have a visitor.”

‘Great, no dad or siblings to deal with, just have to win over mum and I’m in.’

“Well if you insist, I’d like that.”

‘Yes, that’s it, just say like, not I’d love to, that’s for later.’

“Good, you can leave your flowers on this table and I’ll take you around to the back deck from where you can see the garden.”

‘Yeay, I’d so like to do an air punch now!’

“Great, lead the way.”


“Daniel, lunch is nearly ready. Have you seen Christine, I thought she’d be back from her walk by now.”

“No, don’t know where she is.”

“I’m going now Mum, don’t want to be late for our first date.”

“Ok Kevin, but before you go; have you seen Christine, she’s been out all morning.”

“And I’ll bet she’ll be out all afternoon as well.”

“Why, did she call you?”

“No, but was she wearing those pink jeans and blue top with ‘Free Press for All’ on the back?”

“Yes, that’s what she had on at breakfast, why?”

“I saw a woman dressed like that go buy a bit earlier.”

“Couldn’t you recognise your own sister?”

“Not precisely, she was wearing a full-face safety helmet.”

“Why would she be wearing a safety helmet?”

“It’s compulsory when riding a motor bike.”

“A motor bike, she can’t drive a motor bike.”

“Maybe not, but Mr. Bikie from number 24 can; looks like we’re both on first dates.”

“Kevin what do you mean?” but he ignored his mother and headed for the door. “Kevin, Kevin...”

“Can’t stop now Mum, don’t want to keep Steve waiting, not a good way to start a first date.”

“But, I need to know about Christine.”

“Bye Mum, gotta go.” he called from the hallway.

“You little bugger!”

Copyright © 2020 Wombat Bill; All Rights Reserved.
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Sounds like Christine is half way there to getting her man, if she's riding with him on the bike. Good of Kevin to keep Mum guessing.

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