May The Best Team Win – Episode 06

Gerard Fay © Four members of the Smarty Pints pub quiz team Illustration: Gerard Fay

Dawn went and got another round and they all settled down to see how they could do on the final questions.

In the end, they were fairly happy with their performance.

“Time for the results,” Brad announced. He read them out in reverse order.

“The top two teams, once again, are the Smarty Pints and the Master Minds. In second place…”

Brad paused and everyone held their breath.

“It’s the Smarty Pints with one hundred and forty-eight.”

Graham groaned. Dawn put her head in her hands.

“Not again!”

“The winners, with an impressive one hundred and fifty points, are the Master Minds.”

There was a burst of applause.

“Never mind. You all played very well.” Neil had an encouraging smile on his face. “Next time we’ll do it!”

Rachel couldn’t help but smile back.

Bless him, he was a nice man, and at least the two-point defeat meant that her own lapse hadn’t cost them the win.

“Bad luck.” Priscilla walked over, a look of smug satisfaction on her face. “You’ll have to do better if you want to defeat us!”

“Congratulations, Priscilla.”

Rachel wondered how Neil could be so charitable.

“It really was bad luck.”

Ewan came up behind her.

“I was sure you’d beat us. It won’t be long. We need to stay on our toes.”

He winked at Rachel, then headed to the bar.

That was kind, she thought, her eyes following him.

Ewan was a divorcé, as she was. She wondered if they had anything else in common.

They’d chatted occasionally at the pub or when they’d bumped into each other, but she didn’t know him well.

He’d always been friendly, and he was rather attractive, she thought, with his short blond hair and roguish blue eyes.

Rachel hadn’t been on any dates in the 10 years since her divorce.

At first she hadn’t wanted to, and then she’d had Sophie to consider.

Lately, however, she’d been feeling a little lonely.

Perhaps she was finally ready to move on. If Sophie was dating, why shouldn’t she take the plunge?

The possibility filled her with terror and excitement in equal measure.

She looked over again at Ewan. He was laughing with Brad.

She hesitated. Of course, he probably wouldn’t be interested in her. Come to that, she wasn’t even sure how she felt about him.

It couldn’t hurt to talk to the man, could it? After all, if nothing came of it, so what?

She felt Neil’s eyes on her. She blushed, hoping he couldn’t read her thoughts.

Then, before she could change her mind, she downed her drink, got to her feet and made her way across the room towards Ewan.

To be continued…