Diana rushed into the house and made a beeline for the bathroom. Another hot date, oh who was she kidding. Tonight would be the fourth night in a row that she had been out. Sounded great, she was the envy of the girls at work, but if they knew the truth they would probably look at her with pity in their eyes, and that she could not accept.

Being single just wasn’t her anymore. She was tired of being on her own, no one to make future plans with, to hold her hand when out shopping, to help carry the bags of groceries. (That was important, given how the supermarket staff packed grocery bags these days).

The longing just got worse and the list got longer. But hey, what did it matter, at least on her own she had her sanity, which was more than what would be said for some of her friends, trapped in loveless marriages and partnerships. Unfortunately some people stayed together from habit and often kept closing their dreams down to fit in with the box they had created for themselves. And anyway, this could be the night; her Knight in Shining Armour could be waiting to greet her. Yep, never give up hope.

On this more positive note, she launched herself into the shower and sang tunelessly about being a woman, laughed as she remembered last night and decided life wasn’t so bad after all.

With all the preparation for getting there, Diana was a few minutes late. She parked the car and walked inside the hotel foyer. This was one of her favourite places, it felt and smelt wonderful, she relaxed instantly. Even if he didn’t turn up, she knew she was safe and could have a drink without being hit on. She settled into an armchair, placed a banana on the table and prepared to wait. The banana was the calling card, and later when she got hungry she could eat it.

While waiting, Diana recalled some of the evenings she had, had and thanked her friends for setting her up for Dating Online. It had been a hoot, some of the people were really nice, others……. Well they say there is someone for everyone. Some wrote poetry or verse about themselves, many included pictures. Unfortunately some of those guys hadn’t had their photos taken for some years, others thought you would like to see all the goods in one sitting, so that kind of could be off putting, especially if you couldn’t get a good look at what was on offer.

Her introduction had been short and sweet, better that way; too much information could put them off. And besides, she really didn’t know what to say. How did you package up mid forties, grandmother, independent and looking for a great time without sounding like a hooker or desperate?

The waiter arrived and offered to get her a drink. She smiled up at him and said she’d have her usual thanks and looked away, nice eyes she thought as she looked around the room wondering if this guy would turn up. Funny she hadn’t noticed how nice the waiter was, must have been here every night this week since she had taken the plunge to meet up with her contacts from Dating Online. Usually the waiters were young enough to be her sons, but this one was rather mature looking.

Diana wasn’t sure how she would know him, he didn’t have a photo on his page, but he sounded really rather nice, worked for a hotel chain overseeing the staff so sometimes didn’t have sociable hours and this had made meeting people difficult. But he had settled here in Auckland and was taking over the managing of a small hotel.

“Your favourite drink” she heard a deep familiar voice and looked up to see her waiter standing in front of her, minus his apron and holding a rose. “Sorry I’m late, one of my staff has been sick all week and I’ve been covering for him.” Diana looked up and smiled, if this worked out she could skip grocery shopping and eating in could have a whole new meaning.

Alone again, not this time!