LEEDS – An atmospheric coffee shop recently played host to a two hour rendezvous that cannot confidently be described as romantic in nature.
Coconut Café in Hyde Park is often chosen as a venue for first dates for its continental atmosphere and excellent coffee.
For Jay Hammond and Lucy Muldoon, however, the intimate surroundings set the scene for an evening of arbitrary interaction that left both parties unclear as to the nature of their newly formed relationship.
“We had a pretty nice time,” said Hammond, 22, after the date had ended. “I don’t think we need to start calling it ‘this’ or ‘that’ at this stage – we’re just enjoying each other’s company.”
He paused before adding: “What?”
Muldoon was also equivocal about the form and content of the event, which had been initiated at her suggestion the week before. “I just asked Jay if he fancied going for a coffee sometime and he said that sounded good,” Ms Muldoon, 23, explained. “I perhaps could have made it a little clearer what I meant by that – maybe a ‘drink’ rather than just a coffee – but I didn’t want to seem too keen. Besides, we had a nice chat, so that’s something to be getting on with I suppose.”
The indefinable liaison began at just after 7pm on Tuesday when the couple met and awkwardly hugged outside the Hyde Park coffee shop. Once inside the pair spent a slightly fraught fifteen seconds choosing their respective drinks, which they then agreed to pay for separately.
According to nearby customers, the couple’s conversation over the ensuing two hours was pitched somewhere between flirty banter and friendly chat. It is also believed that the exchange was occasionally rescued from the brink of silence by a number of clumsy questions about family, friends and pets.
“I couldn’t say for sure what just happened,” said shop owner Jordana Appleton after the pair had said goodbye outside and walked off in different directions. “From what I overheard, there did seem to be a little bit of sexual tension.”
Appleton added: “But then, it might just have been tension.”
Hammond and Muldoon apparently have vague plans to meet up again following their arguably successful encounter. “We had a good chat about music, it turns out she’s really into bands like Mogwai and Sigur Ros,” said Hammond. “I asked her if she wanted to go and see a gig with me next week but it turned out she is already going with her friends, so I think we’re going to meet up in there or something.”
“Should be a good gig,” he concluded.