We change for the people we love, become different things. But Andrew becomes a new person
|Florence believes that one exists.|
Date after date, guy after guy. She knew it sounded bad but Flo didn’t, couldn't connect with any of them. Not without a lack of trying. Every date she would go on, she could hear something that her mother used to say ring through her ears, ‘You can’t force love, because it is the most natural thing in the world’. If love was such a natural thing, why could she not find it?
Florence signed herself up to one of those matchmaker sites, thinking that some coded algorithm could help her find her soulmate. She knew it was stupid and she wondered if the app was the problem, maybe the matchmaker was simply broken. No matter what Florence believed, she still decided to take the next date.
That's how she stumbled under that night's catch. Andrew Parker was his name, age thirty, a lawyer. Flicking through his photos she learned that he was about six feet tall, with fluffy beach blonde hair with deep green eyes. His chin wore some light blonde stubble and she knew by his smile that he once had braces. He likes dogs and was an avid hiker. Not her particular type but, nowadays she was open to anything.
When the site matched a girl named Florence Carter to him, Andrew was eager. He knew her deal, 5,7 and a half, dyed her hair brunette last September because she felt that the blonde never truly suited her. Her eyes were dark, always reminding him of a luscious dark chocolate bar. Besides the color, he felt calm when he looked into them, they brought him a sense of peace. Andrew knew now what he would order and where he would take her because this time, he was sure Andrew Parker was the one of her.
He arrived at the restaurant first, learning from the past that she enjoyed a lively environment with colours dripping all over the walls and comfort being found in the design. She loved plant life, Andre picked Chloe's for tonight because it fit that love, it reminded him of her.
Florence wore her floral yellow dress, short with a straight neckline and small puffy sleeves. Her hair was pulled back into a loose bun, her curtain bangs left hanging around her face. She didn’t immediately notice him, although he did. He couldn’t help but stare at her, he would do it for the rest of his life if that was necessary. A waiter brought her to the table, he stood up to greet her for almost the hundredth time.
“Hi, Andrew?” She asked him, a simple question but only if Florence knew the irony of such a greeting.
“Yeah, hello. You must be Florence then unless I’ve been catfished,” He laughed and she joined in, Andrew extended his hand for a shake because he knew she would prefer that.
He’d already asked for a drinks menu, in which she ordered her usual and he ordered a whisky. Andrew was being mindful of what he said, how he acted, he didn’t want to be a jerk, she hated jerks. He didn’t want to focus on himself because she heated people that were self-centred. So he chose against being himself, at all costs.
“Anything peak your interest?” He looked above his menu, seeing her adorable sense of concentration.
“Well I’m a vegetarian, turns out this place has almost completely vegetarian options. I don’t know how I’ve never been here!” She smiled, he smiled too because well, he knew that.
“I’m a vegetarian too! I love this place, it’s pretty unknown and I like how peaceful it is. Although I’m just waiting for some influencer to post about it and then I won’t be able to book a table for months..” He groaned, relating to her.
“My favourite restaurant had that happen to it! I haven’t been there since because it’s so crowded..” She explained, that he knew about that too.
They decided on food, ordering more drinks and allowing the conversation to flow. Maybe this time he’d gotten it right.
“So, you're a midwife? Do you enjoy your job?” He asked, twirling his spaghetti on his fork to collect it up.
“I do, you meet the most amazing people and learn their stories. Plus, the job is amazing, you get to bring new life into the world every day. Being a part of something so magical is so rewarding.” She explained, sipping her usual beverage of white wine.
“Would you ever want kids yourself?” Andrew questioned her.
“Oh yes, definitely. When you see people with their babies every day, you always wish that that was you. You just can’t help it..” She smiled, he smiled back, he wanted kids too. Only with her.
He knew that she was it for him, that he was perfect for her in any shape or form. In truth, nobody knew Flo as he did. Nobody else knew exactly how she liked her coffee or the full history of her brother's relationship.
Florence believed that the man in front of her was ticking all her boxes. He dressed smart, in a crisp white shirt with black trousers. He shared her interests, he had a good job and was a family man. But most importantly, she really felt something for him. When they spoke, Florence felt like she had known him for years.
They ordered dessert, shared a cheesecake and ordered another round of drinks. Florence didn’t want the night to end, wishing she could sit there for hours. Although eventually the night had to end and the waiter informed them that it was closing time. The hours they’d spent sitting there, learning about each other, felt like minutes.
The streets were chilled and bare of people, although it was summer, the nights still provided a wintery breeze. Neither bringing a jacket with them, Andrew suggested heading to the streets only open place while they waited for a taxi. The heat of O’Connell’s bar was very much needed as the pair stepped inside the bar, although Florence knew the place all too well. She couldn’t help but smirk upon arrival, remembering the date she’d once had here, Andrew noticed.
“What's so funny?” He said with a smile, knowing full well that they’d been here together once before.
“I once went on a date with this guy.” She explained as they sat at a table, “He said he was vegan and then ordered a beer. I knew he was a liar then, but karma caught up with him when he spilled the glass all over himself. I thought it was very funny. His name was James I think, I never heard from him again, thankfully.” She giggled, Andrew, cracking a fake smile while trying not to cringe at that memory.
The date lasted another two hours as the pair allowed the conversation to flow and laughter always seemed to follow. They shared a taxi home, dropping Florance off first.
“I really, really enjoyed myself tonight, Andrew.” She smiled in the back of the car.
“So did I. We should definitely get together again, I’ll call you.” He smiled back as she climbed out of the car and unlocked her front door.
The temptation was there to kiss her but he didn’t want to rush it. Maybe next time, if there's a next time. But he liked being Andrew Robison, he wanted to be this big lawyer guy who likes dogs and hiking. Although if Florence didn’t, he would change again. He would become who she wanted. That's what mattered.
Andrew was one, Bill Nolan, a brown-haired accountant with blue eyes and a crooked smile. He was one Carl Steward, a dirty blonde six-foot accountant with two cats. He was once Jamie Smith, an average-sized vegan with dark black hair and blue eyes. Andrew could be anyone he wanted to be, anyone Florence wanted. When he first matched with her on Tinder, it was like love at first sight. He knew it sounded crazy but Andrew would become Sam, John, Chris, Eddie, anyone for her. This time he knows he got it right, Andrew was the winning man.
Because that's the upside to shapeshifting, the girl is gonna have to fall for one of the people you become, you just gotta figure out what her type of love is.