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If only...... (standard:romance, 1077 words)
Author: EarlAdded: Mar 28 2001Views/Reads: 4239/2521Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
A visit to a bank takes the person in the story back to his old college days and a girl he used to know. If only....

He stood in the queue, idly looking at the other customers waiting in
line for a position to be free, and gleaning as much entertainment as 
possible from the racks of leaflets advertising loans, mortgages and 
other services in which he currently had no interest whatsoever. 

He had felt a little trepidation at approaching the bank, but he needed
some cash and it was the nearest available. 

Fifteen years ago, as a poor and impoverished student, he had dated a
girl who worked here as a teller, a wasp waisted girl with beautiful 
dark flowing hair named Fiona Bingley. She had been only sixteen at the 
time, the same age as his little sister, and very, very beautiful. He, 
being a worldly wise undergrad had courted her for six months, always 
the gentleman, but with a unrequitieted longing that kept him awake at 
nights. She was just too beautiful, too innocent for him to even 
consider anything other than a platonic relationship. 

They had parted company, at his instigation when he met a more mature
girl at a party whose name he couldn’t remember, but  Fiona had stayed 
with him to that day, an image of times past, when life was (in memory 
at least) purely a thing to be enjoyed and before the pressures of 
mortgages, marriage, children and career had laid  their hefty burden 
on him. He had thought wistfully about her, and the stage of his life 
she embodied, many times in the intervening years. If only....... 

The queue shifted forward two places as two tellers became free at once.
He was next in line. 

He wondered where Fiona was now. A beautiful woman like that (she would
be thirtyish by now) wouldn’t be alone for long. She was, most likely, 
married to a wealthy stockbroker from Solihull, with all of the 
attendant trappings, and would probably enjoy a very well deserved last 
laugh at his thoughts. 

He looked around the bank. It was when they were dating that he last
came in here but it was pretty much as he remembered it. A glass wall 
for the tellers down one side, shelves for writing on the other and, at 
the far end, a plain but secure wall with the manager’s office door, 
complete with the manager’s name on a brass plate. 

He froze with surprise, and looked again at the name on the plate. 

It said “Miss F. Bingley”. A buzzer sounded to call him forward. He
walked trance-like to the available teller. 

“I’d like to see Miss Bingley please”, he heard himself say. 

“Yes sir, what name is it?” came the reply with a smile, and he heard
himself say his name. The teller conferred with a colleague and he was 
directed to a seat by her office door. 

“Miss Bingley is occupied at the moment, but would be happy to see you
if you’ll wait” 

As he waited, the stupidity of his actions hit him. He thought about his
thickening waist line and thinning hair. Why should any woman with her 
innate beauty have anything other than passing interest in him for 
anything other than old times sake. She was a Bank Manager, who, even 
with his fancy university education, had done better than him. Her 
salary would probably outstrip his by a generous margin and what if she 
was married. Many professional women use their maiden name in business 
after all. 

He realised that he had made a stupid mistake and cursed his
impetuousity. He should just get up and leave but the teller was 
looking at him. Did his inner turmoil disturb his intended calm 
exterior to that extent? Surely not, all he has to do was to stand and 
walk out........... but why should he? 

Exactly, why should he? She could hardly bear a grudge after all of the
years. It was a long time ago and he could always apologise, humbly if 
necessary,  He started to form a conversation in his mind. 

“Hello, Fi, I was just passing and I thought I’d look in. It’s good to
see you after all the years, how’s things..........” and she wouldn’t 

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