It was February 14th 2002, and I was sitting at my desk in White City, staring at my computer screen, and eating a soggy bagel, courtesy of the BBC canteen. I had just had the pleasure of brushing hands with Jeremy Clarkson in the canteen, as we both reached for the same bagel in the chiller cabinet. Now a conversation was going on behind me about the best film directors of all time. I slightly quivered in my seat, dreading my boss turning to me and asking me for my opinion on this. She did ask me, and I went bright red, and then muttered something about Top Gear.
I slumped in my chair, feeling embarrassed and uncultured, when suddenly, an email pinged into my inbox from Tom, which just simply said 'x'. I was all a-flutter. Although we had spent the last two years building an extraordinary friendship, Tom had just single-handedly taken things onto a whole new level. It was Valentine's Day and he had sent me one single kiss by email. He really does love me! To me this was far more romantic than being sent flowers, chocolates or being whisked off to Paris, and so I promptly sent him a 'x' right back.
I then had fleeting moments of paranoia that perhaps I had read too much into it, or that his hand had slipped on the keyboard and the email was an accident. My paranoia was shortlived, because moments later he wrote back listing five of my favourite restaurants, asked me to choose one, and said he was taking me out.
I called through to my boss 'Platonic Tom has asked me out on a date, AND it's Valentine's day!'
Written for Josie's writing workshop