First Date

She couldn’t stop thinking about him, so there was only one thing to do: go out with someone new, of course.
They agreed to meet at 7pm. She knew even before she met him that she wouldn’t like him. It wouldn’t matter how smart or charming or how handsome he was, she just knew. Simply because he wasn’t him.
She didn’t want to seem as though she was trying too hard, when in fact she didn’t care at all.

The problem with first dates is that every word you say, what drink you order (Scotch or a martini?), the buttons left unbuttoned on your blouse, even the way you look at him- every single thing takes on a particular, subliminal meaning.

But she was the type of girl who wore perfume and her favorite heels to run out for milk. It didn’t matter where she was going. That’s just who she was. So if she just happened to look a certain way, it had absolutely nothing to do with him.

She arrived at 6:48 and ordered a glass of Bordeaux. At 7:02 he walked in. She looked up from her phone. He was taller than she’d expected. He was wearing a suit jacket, a crisp white shirt and dark jeans.

He smiled as he walked toward her.

Why had she agreed to this? If he knew she was out with another man, she wondered, would he be upset?

“Wow. You’re even prettier in person,” he said.
She got up from her chair to greet him. “Thank you.”
They discussed their children and her recent trip to San Antonio (one of her favorite cities) and his job on Capitol Hill. The conversation and wine flowed easily. He was witty and charming.

He even made her laugh. She found herself smiling.

And even though he wasn’t him, the thought occurred to her that maybe, just maybe, she could enjoy spending time with someone else.

She had warned him she needed to leave early, but somehow 8:37pm turned into 10:49. She needed to be up early the next day.

“I really should go,” she said.

“But you haven’t even finished your drink.”

He smiled at her. His eyes were the perfect shade of blue.

She smiled back.

She knew she needed to go.

Finally he walked her to her car.

The moon was full.

“I’d really like to see you again,” he said.

“I’ll text you,” she said.

How did this happen? She should have stayed home.

As she drove home, she received a message. She looked down at her phone. “I’d like to see you again. Any chance you’re free Friday night?”
Suddenly she felt guilty. She hadn’t expected to be interested in anyone else. This wasn’t supposed to happen.

This was only meant to be a distraction from another night spent sitting home alone, thinking about him, with an empty ache in her chest,  waiting for him to finally make up his mind.

She thought about all of the nights spent in his bed. All of the nights they stayed up talking and making love. His hands all over her body. The way he kissed her. How could he just throw that all away?

As she lay in bed that night, the rain poured down outside her window.

The next morning she checked her phone again. No missed calls.

She had been thinking about him. But he hadn’t been thinking of her. Even so, she decided to give him one more week. Maybe he would figure it all out and realize he really did want to be with her. Or maybe she would finally decide to walk away for good.

Just then she received a text: “Looking forward to seeing you.”  

It had finally stopped raining. She needed to get dressed. She didn’t want to be late for work.

She looked out her window. The sky was slate blue. And she was indecisive.

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