It was a truly spectacular day on Sydney Harbour. The Opera House Foreshore was a flurry of activity. Mark watched the Manly Ferry dock at Circular Quay, and ordered himself a glass of wine. ‘Beautiful isn’t it mate?’ Mark was in a compete state of day dreaming when the waiter spoke again. ‘The Harbour, it’s lovely isn’t it? I never tire of this view’. Mark apologised and thanked the waiter. ‘Yes, it most certainly is’.
Mark enjoyed people watching. Mark’s father was a pilot before he retired, and his mother used to take him to the airport to see his dad off before a long haul flight. He missed his dad when he was on a job, as he could be gone for days. Before heading back to the car park, he and his mother would sit and drink a chocolate milkshake together and watch all the activity going on in the terminal. Today, the harbour reminded him of that terminal.
A stern looking lady hurriedly scurried past yelling into her bedazzled phone. She was blissfully unaware that everyone was staring at her with their mouths wide open. Going off her side of the conversation, her other half might end up sleeping on the lounge tonight.
There was a small group of high school girls milling around outside the bar. They were whispering and giggling to each other about some boy one of them had a crush on. A warm smile made its way across Mark’s face as he remembered Emma at that age.
A small boy stood by the water with his mother gazing across the Quay towards the huge cruise ship docked at The Overseas Passenger Terminal. The little boys sweet face was filled with wonder at the sight of the magnificent ship. The ship was pulling away from the dock, heading out on its voyage with excited passengers visible on all the decks. The little boy waved as the ships captain sounded the horn.
Lynette was running late. This was their first official date, and Mark started to feel very nervous. He hoped the wine would quickly settle his nerves. The bar was starting to fill up with people in business suits. They had agreed to meet at The Opera Bar after Mark finished work, as Lynette was meeting some girlfriends for dinner in the city at eight.
It suddenly dawned on Mark that this was where he had proposed to Penny. He remembered it like it was only yesterday. It had been a balmy summer night, and Penny was getting eaten alive by mozzies.
Just as Mark began to get down on one knee, Penny swatted one away and accidentally slapped Mark square in the face, before he somehow managed to produce the huge rock from his shirt pocket. They both laughed about it for days. Mark’s memories of Penny were interrupted by Lynette approaching the bar. She quickly recognised Mark from his profile pic and headed towards him.
Lynette looked absolutely stunning in her red dress. It hugged her figure perfectly and showed off her great legs. She gave Mark a little soft peck on the cheek and took her seat across from him at the table. Lynette ordered a glass of bubbly. It was clear that she was slightly nervous too.
Mark wasn’t entirely sure he if he was truly ready to start dating again. The break up with Penny hit Mark hard. Penny had moved on with Damien, so it was high time he tried to do the same.
Lynette was just as easy to talk to in person, as she was over the phone. After another glass of wine, Mark started to relax and enjoy the date just as the cruise ship sailed out of sight, but not before one last blast of the horn.
Unpublished Work (c) Hayley Walsh 2020