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  • Writer's picturesophie sherwin


two police officers
Police walking

I remember my mum telling me that you should always ensure you are wearing clean, nice underwear as you never know who you are going to meet. Okay, I actually think that was more tailored to my brothers who thought turning their underwear inside out was as good as clean! And I am also sure that statement is in case you got run over and paramedics had to cut your jeans off, you would not want to be in the middle of the road with grey, granny pants that have holes in and skid marks up the back, but then again, if you had just been run over would you be worried about your knickers??

Hmmm interesting…

Right back to my story which has nothing to do with underwear! It is a tale of ‘you never know who you are going to meet’.

This story starts off rather horribly (I mean, it is not THAT bad but it does suck, then gets better, then sucks again, then you can make up your mind)….Argh…Sophie…get on with it….

So, I decide one beautiful, sunny day to go for a bike ride, I wanted to recreate happiness and freedom I felt when I went biking with my family. I jump on a Boris bike (for those of you who don’t know what they are – they are the red Santander bikes in London you can hire). I am flying around London like speedy Gonzales on wheels until I get a little tired so I decide to find somewhere I can park it. I stop at a rack which has some spaces but then I spy someone with a familiar box, from the Hummingbird Bakery. I wanted to reward my hard work, so I decide to go find cake with the bike. I stop near the bakery but want to dump my bike, so I get my phone out to look to see where the nearest bike rack is. I am looking at my screen when all of a sudden, this figure comes out of nowhere on a bike, grabs my phone and cycles off. I shout, ‘YOU FUCKER’ and start off after him until I notice a second guy on a bike and realise there are 2 of them but only one of me, so I think better of it, and stop.

I get off my bike turn around and I hear the words;

“Do you need to call the police?” I look up and there is a dark haired, brown eyed, shortish man with a boy beard holding out his phone.

“Thanks, but there is not a lot of point, they will never be caught”.

His smile turns into a frown.

“I really hate that attitude, the police should do what they do best, solve crimes”.

I want to say, “calm down love, since when do police solve crimes?” but I think better of it, instead I just impersonate a fish and open my mouth with no words coming out, until eventually words are formed;

“I agree and yes please” I say and hold out my hand. He dials 999 waits until it has been answered and hands it over. I explain I need the police and give them a description of what happened and find myself getting quite teary, I think from the shock. I say thank you, after being told they are on their way and will be there as quickly as possible and hang up. I hand over the phone and notice his eyes, very kind eyes, almost too kind….

“Thanks, they’re on their way”.

“Yeah, I heard…” His eyes seem to be penetrating my soul until I hear,

“I’m a policeman by the way”.

“Oh, well good job you were there then, are you undercover?”

He laughs with a mouthful of very crooked teeth,

“No, day off”

“Ah” I say “Fate I guess, well thanks again” I pause with the realisation I am still standing with the bike, not sure where I can go and leave it as I don’t have a map. He must have seen my vacant look:

“Are you okay by the way, sorry, I should have asked”.

“Yeah - thanks, this is not actually my first rodeo..” He looks at me blankly.

“I mean, I have had my phone stolen twice before” He just continues to penetrate my soul.

“I am quite street smart….usually”

He raises and eyebrow and grins “This happens a lot, especially around here. I am sure you are pretty smart”.

I blush a little “yeahhhh, ummm, I need to dump this bike somewhere but obviously I can’t find out where, can you please - “

“Look…sure, sorry I should have asked”.

“No worries”.

He fumbles around on his phone and I stand there hoping this would all hurry up as I want to wipe my phone remotely, just in case it was not stolen for parts or the handset but for my information. And yes of course it is password protected BUT at the moment he took it, it was open.

After a few minutes he tells me the nearest bike rack is about 5 minutes away and explains where it is. I thank him again and he asks if I would like him to wait until the police arrive.

I guess I am still in shock and all sensibility has been stolen along with my phone so I agree. He smiles to expose more teeth so I grin nervously back.

We stand and chat for about 10 minutes until I see a police car come up, two female officers get out and relief sweeps over me.

I am taken aside by one of the officers and he is taken by the other. They are super nice, take all the details down and I spend the time trying to convince her I am ‘street smart’, not sure why the need to do that but hey ho.

When they have gathered all their information, they leave. Cop (I shall call him) turns to me,

“Are you okay now?”

“Yeah, I guess so. Thanks again for your help”

There is an awkward pause, he looks down at this feet, when he looks back up he catches my eye “Please take my number and call me sometime?”.

I shoot him a look “How can I take your number? I don’t have a phone”.

He bashfully laughs “Oh yes…sorry…can I take your number?”

Clearly, along with my stolen sensibility and phone, my ‘mandar’ (radar of decent men) was taken too. He was not my type at all but probably, due to his kindness and I was still in shock clearly, I gave him my number, as you never know - after the crime do I find love?

He smiles like a sugar addict being shown a lifetime supply of chocolate, thanks me and walks off.

crime scene tape
A Little dramatic for my crime scene but still...

Adrenaline starts to wear off so I walk the 5 minutes with the bike rack, leave it and go to the nearest coffee shop to wipe my phone on my laptop.

I order a peppermint tea as I think I need something sweet, sit down and get my laptop out. I go to wipe my phone but they want a code which is going to be texted to me. What the fuck? How do they think we can give a code without our phone? There is no other option to get through this ‘security’ so I go on the web chat. I explain the situation and the person says they will text me a code to read to them and I explain again I cannot do that as I do not have my phone. The person tells me there is nothing they can do until I get a new handset and sim card to get the code. Alternatively, I can call the helpline….again, as calmly as I can, ask them how I am supposed to call if I don’t have a phone? A Mexican standoff ensues and I have no choice but to back down and end the chat.

I put my laptop away and head to my nearest store to get a new sim card and I have a spare handset at home, so hopefully I can get up and running and get that bloody handset wiped.

Later that day, I stand in my living room with my old/new handset beeping away not really paying attention to my messages when one catches my eye. I open it and it reads “Hi, it’s Brian here, from earlier. Your ‘night in shining amor’ winking emoji. Free next week for a drink?”

Oh good lord, strike one, he can’t even spell!


Part two next week

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