She came out of nowhere; an unprecedented vision of loveliness over the cheese and ham rolls.
The name rolled off my tongue like the sweetest of honey, her dark eyes locking with mine as I reached out to grab the final egg mayonnaise bap.
"Oh I'm sorry!" I mumbled apologetically as my hand brushed against hers in the basket. "You take this one, I'm fine with a cheese baguette." I wasn't sure why I'd said that, the fact that I haven't eaten cheese since I was around five years old on account of my distinct hatred for the stuff should have prevented those words from tumbling out.
But they didn't..
I just wanted Suraya to take the egg one, I wanted her to be grateful, perhaps I even wanted her to feel a little indebted to me.
Suraya flicked her long black hair over her shoulder and smiled warmly at me, I watched in silence as her hand gripped the sandwich and imagined what it would feel like to have those perfect delicate fingers touching me.
The thought made me quiver.
"How long are you going to keep this up?" James asked me as I slid into a seat beside him at our usual table in the staff canteen, "why don't you just ask her out?"
I stared in distaste at the food in front of me, wondering why I hadn't said ham.
It would have been so easy just to say ham wouldn't it?
But no, I had to say cheese, I had to back myself into a corner and purchase the one item of food that I truly abhor.
A cheese bloody sandwich.
"Are you listening to me?" James prodded me in the ribs and I rolled my eyes heavenwards. Actually I wasn't listening to him, I was a million miles away from here - on a deserted desert island somewhere with the sand between my toes, the wind between my hair, Suraya between my thighs
To my horror I suddenly realised that the thought was turning me hard and I was growing distinctly uncomfortable beneath the table as the little beggar stood to attention.
"Look here's your chance." James mumbled quietly, breadcrumbs slipping from his mouth as he spoke.
"What?" I looked up and saw her there in front of me, her long ebony hair cascading down her back like a sheer dark waterfall.
This is all I need.
"It's Rick isn't it?" Her voice was like music, soft and tinkling like a whole choir of angels.
This really wasn't helping.
Spontaneously I reached out to take a bite out of my cheese sandwich, my mouth closing down on the end of the baguette and filling with the vile flavour of the filling, like grated feet slapped between two slices of bread.
I could feel James staring incredulously at me but what else could I do? I took another bite and another until I was certain that I would throw up right then and there all over her pretty silver sandals.
"I just wanted to say thanks for letting me have that egg one, I really appreciated it." Suraya muttered uncertainly. She appeared rather aghast at my ignorance and I grinned up at her, my lips smeared with the hateful substance.
At least the soldier had stood down by now though, the taste of solidified sour milk putting an end to his misadventure quick smart.
I wiped my mouth on the back of my hand and began nodding at Suraya, still enchanted by her indisputable beauty, still in awe of her. Again, James' elbow connected viciously with my rib cage and the shock made me choke on a particularly large piece of cheese which evidently hadn't been through the grater.
This was just perfect. After all these months of admiring her from over the rows canned soup in aisle 6 or from behind the rotisserie chicken on the delicatessen and now, now she finally comes over to talk to me and I completely humiliate myself.
As if ignoring her to stuff my face with my lunch wasn't bad enough, or the trail of creamy liquid trickling from the corner of my mouth where it hadn't yet congealedbut then I have to go and bloody choke myself to death.
"Are you okay?" Suraya looked terrified as I turned purple before her and yet still, even in the very grip of impending death, I found myself thinking about what it would be like to kiss her.
Even as I gasped and wheezed and clutched melodramatically at my throat I was staring at her soft, heart shaped mouth longingly. Praying over and over again not that I would get through this, not that I would survivejust that I would one day know what it felt like to have those warm, wet lips pressed down on my own.
And suddenly, spontaneously my fantasy became a reality. I was lying on the floor, feeling the final vestiges of virtual unconsciousness ebb away from me and I could sense those hot, sweet tasting lips on mine. At first I think it's an attempt at resuscitation but then suddenly I felt the tip of her tongue slide slowly and sensuously into my mouth, tasting distinctly of egg mayonnaise.
Instinctively I snaked my arms around her neck, pulling her down on top of me and pushing my cheese coated tongue into her mouth, melting into a moment of sheer bliss.
It was only then that I allowed my eyes to flicker open and saw Suraya standing over me, looking down in disgust and surprise amongst the rows of onlookers who had gathered around to watch me slip back to life.
My eyes trailed over her face, her mouth was wide open and horror began slowly dawning upon me as James ran a huge hand over the back of his mouth and rocked back on his heels.
"Glad you're alright, mate." He said loudly, before reaching out to take a huge bite of his egg mayonnaise sandwich.