"Sorry to be such a wimp.” Jason was deeply embarrassed, and took his hand away from Graeme's as soon as he could.
“There's nothing wimpy about grief, mate. We love someone, they become part of our life, and then …. Don't apologise. Listen, I know you have to go soon, and so do I, but I'm glad I met you. Would you like to have dinner or something with me? Not a pick-up, or for anything like that. Just for friendship.”
“Yes, I'd like that. But I work at nights mostly. It'll have to be lunch. I suppose I should get a mobile so I can keep in touch. But I never thought I'd meet so many people.”
“Ozzies are very friendly people. None of your English standoffishness here. If we like people we say so and if we don't, we make that clear too. Sometimes that offends.” Graeme's eyes were grave, but Jason could see the smile.
“Well, no one has been unkind to me, yet,” said Jason, only then thinking how nice that was.
“There are so many people so close together in England. It's like rats squeezed into a cage. They get ratty.” Graeme was grinning.
“Get away! That's a terrible pun!” Jason was grateful that Graeme wasn't being all serious, that he was making light of the situation. “Maybe I could get a prepaid mobile. But not right yet. I have no money.”
“Well, I can't come round tonight or tomorrow but I'll see you at The Lord Grey on Thursday evening.”