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Open Features: A D-I-Y Marriage - Part 3

Cyril, desperate to find a wife, arranges to meet Miss Muriel Embling, a nurse.

Brian Lockett continues his story concerning a man who must marry to further his career.

“How are things, Muriel?” asked Mr Lawson as he discarded his operating gown.

“Fine,” said Muriel Embling, helping him into his jacket.

“Went well this morning, don’t you think?” He was always like this. Didn’t want to appear stand-offish, but really had no small talk to speak of.

“Apart from the - what was it? - Bartok. Not my favourite background music.”

“Ah, yes, I’d forgotten you prefer Ella Fitzgerald.”

“Louis Armstrong,” corrected Muriel.

“Right. Let’s make it Louis next week, shall we? I don’t want to be selfish.”

“You are kind, Mr Lawson. I’ll remember to bring a CD in. See you on Wednesday, then?”

“Wednesday it is.”

Then he was gone. A brilliant surgeon, she reminded herself, but hopeless unless he had a scalpel in his hand. Now she had to check the theatre for the 10.30 patient.

At home that evening she lingered over her solitary coffee and thought about her life. She was thirty-eight and had been senior theatre nurse at The Royal General for the last eight years. Was this to continue until she retired, she wondered. Her bright blue eyes, naturally blond hair and trim figure still attracted attention and there had been no shortage of offers. But, sadly, not of the right kind. A nurse’s uniform had a special attraction for some types of men, but they were not the type of men she was looking for. Those had already been taken and she was not into affairs. As she got up with a sigh to tackle the dishes the phone rang.

“Miss Muriel Embling?”

“Yes?”

“My name is Snaps and I would like to meet you.”

“Well, Mr Whateveryournameis, you’ve got the wrong number, so I’m telling you now that I shall shortly be hanging up.”

“Executive Match,” said the caller quickly. “You signed up with Executive Match, right?”

Muriel hesitated. She had heard nothing from Executive Match for ages and had concluded they had given up on her, because she had rejected as ‘unsuitable’ the men they had pointed in her direction.

“Who do you say you are?”

“Snaps, Cyril Snaps. I’ve only recently signed up and I’m contacting you straightaway because there’s not a lot of time.”

“Not a lot of time for what?”

“Miss Embling, can we meet to talk about all this? I don’t think we can make much progress over the phone. What about lunch at The Riverside Bar tomorrow? I have never been there myself, but a colleague recommends it.”

“You don’t waste any time, do you, Mr Snaps. Give me a second.”

She covered the mouthpiece and stared into space. She was free. This man sounded educated, if a little pushy. Why not?

“OK,” she said. “I like an early lunch. 12.30. Will that be OK?”

“Fine,” said Cyril. “I’ll be at a table with a glass of tomato juice.”


To be continued tomorrow.

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