A Night At Covent Garden
by M. D. Zigo
(London, United Kingdom)
Love at Covent Garden
A Romance Story
(A Wonderful Night with Beautiful Molly, at Covent Garden in London)
I was standing in my bedroom when my phone rang. When I picked it up, I realised the incoming call was foreign- a US number.
''Hello, this's Danny, how can I help you?'' I asked.
''Hello Danny, this is Molly. I am calling from Texas, USA. You remember Molly, don't you? We met at Co-'
''vent Garden, yes, Covent Garden,'' I interrupted her. ''How can I forget you, Molly? How can I forget that wonderful late December evening at Covent Garden? I have waited for your call since we parted, even feared you will never call,'' I told her.
''Did you?'' She asked.
I chatted with this beautiful Texan for a long time. When finally she
dropped the call, memories flew back to me.
I had just arrived in London from Sweden, where I'd spent a few years studying. I was filled with an insatiable desire to explore London, this historic city. There was that powerful urge to visit those places that had been vividly described in our secondary and high school books, such as King Richard, Macbeth, King Lear, The Mayor of Casterbridge, Chaucer and those places such as Westminster City, Westminster Abbey, London Bridge, just to name a few.
''You will visit as many places as you can,'' a friend had told me. ''I suggest your first stop be Covent Garden. You will not regret it. It's one of the most popular tourist attractions. It's the only area of London licensed for street entertainment and performers from around the world. My man, it's a magnet for visitors to the city.''
My mind was made up, even before he completed his lecture. Thus, on a Friday evening, a few days before Christmas, I boarded bus 176 from Camberwell, south London- my destination Covent Garden.
At Elephant and Castle, a stunning young girl walked into the bus. She was so beautiful that all eyes unconsciously fell on her. She didn't sit down, although there were many seats that were unoccupied. Without actually noticing I was watching, I fixed my eyes on her!
I alighted at Leicester Square and looked for an information kiosk. There was none. I started walking into a nearby pizzeria.
It was at the entrance that I collided with the girl- the pretty one in the bus. Each of us apologised and then went together to the counter. She thought I wanted to buy something.
Also, I thought she wanted to buy something. While I waited for her to do so, she also waited for me to purchase something. Questioningly, the Customer Service Assistant looked at us.
I spoke first.
''Can you show me the way to Covent Garden, please?''
''Go outside, turn left and follow the street straight up,'' he immediately got rid of me and turned to the girl. He must have been disappointed, for she said simply ''never mind, I will follow him,'' and followed me.
She joined me outside and asked:
''Going to Covent Garden?''
''Yes! What about you?''
We walked in silence for a while.
''Ever been there before?''
''No. Have you?''
''No. Do you mind if we discover it together?''
''No. It would be fun, I think.''
Together, we walked off towards Covent Garden. The atmosphere was tussling and bussling enough. It was the best time of the day, and of the year, to visit.
The streets were beautifully decorated, and the garden had a 'Christmassy' atmosphere.
Thousands of visitors seemed to gravitate around the Garden, moving in and out of the strings of spacious restaurants, cafes, shops, that stretched out around, offering a choice of cuisine, arts and craft, from around the globe.
We walked along, as we decided to survey the area first.
We passed shops, cafes, restaurants, such as Accessovize, Maxwell's, Moonsoon, Jesire, The Bodyshop, Boots, Swarovski, Nine West, Disney, before we arrived in front of the Royal Opera House.
We moved on, passed Fred Perry, Nicole Farhi, Sunspel, then took a right turn to an open area, which housed more markets, including Ponti's Kitchen, and it attracted Molly.
''I am not yet ready for these, I am starving,'' she complained.
''Wow, I am also starving. Why, we can eat in this opened spacious restaurant,'' I suggested and Molly accepted.
We went there. From where we sat, we listened and even saw the hive of activities and the passing entertainment. Although the food was delicious, we didn't spend much time. Molly had shopping to do and she asked me to accompany her.
Unlike me, she was very prepared to do some good shopping. I happily followed her, helping her, even walking into and out of the dressing rooms and commenting about her outfits.
Although I met Molly just a few minutes ago, we were becoming very fond of each other. I helped her to purchase works of arts and crafts, spacious jewelleries, and clothes.
In one of the shops, we found more gift ideas than we could possibly ever need.
When we finished shopping, we went off and watched the streets entertainers. They were on the pedestrian paths between the stations and Covent Garden. We loved their costumes, as they were very impressive. One of the entertainers stationed around the Moonsoon shop had very long hands which he extended out to others, tapped people's head and as we walked by he nearly grabbed Molly's bottom. We laughed and threw some coins into his basket.
Our next plan was to watch a show at the Royal Opera House, but as we walked along, our attention was diverted to the sweet Christmas carouses that emanated from almost all directions. We looked around. There was a small group near Ponti's Kitchen, and I didn't believe it when Molly held my hand and almost dragged me there.
'Once in Royal David City' was singing. Only a small group had been there, but within seconds, hundreds of people had joined to watch and participate in the singing. One Carouse came after the other and the animation was wonderful.
We clapped and sang and swayed, and shouted, and danced, following the rhythm of our melodious songs. At the end we tipped the musician.
Molly and I hadn't noticed the fact that we were holding hands, as we walked away from Covent Garden. But when we arrived Leicester Square we did and we couldn't stop starring at each other and for a long time.
I wanted to say ''Molly, you are so beautiful, and I am falling in love with you!'' but I didn't.
Instead she said: ''I am from Texas, USA, and will be flying back tonight. I will miss you, Danny. I know I will. Let me have your number. I will call you, if you don't mind. I can't remember my number.''
''Of course I don't. Do call me.'' I said. Without thinking, I pulled her towards me and kissed her on the jaw- only on the jaw, just as bus 176 drove and stopped besides us.
We hopped into it, hand in hand.
As the bus sped away, towards Penge in South London, I knew I would live to remember that night, a night at Covent Garden- a wonderful night with beautiful Molly.