“Welcome to another episode of Love is Blind. I’m Kevin Bloom, your host, and moderator. And I’m still not related to Orlando.” Kevin waited a few seconds while the live studio audience chuckled.

“Tonight I’ll be talking with Blake and Miranda about their blind date last night. And in the second half of the show, we’ll bring Beatrice and Janice back after their second date, and find out how that went. But now, please welcome Blake Litton and Miranda Shambo.” Kevin led the audience in applause, as Blake and Miranda walked onto the set, holding hands. Kevin rose to greet them, giving each a peremptory hug and a smile. After they were seated again, he opened the dialogue.

“I noticed you two holding hands on the way in. Seems like maybe it went pretty well last night. But let’s start with preparations. Miranda, tell us how you felt getting ready to meet Blake for the first time.”

Miranda’s long, black curls bounced as looked at Blake, then back to Kevin. “To be honest with you, Kevin, I was thinking the whole idea was pretty sketchy.”

“Why was that, Miranda?” Kevin asked.

“I wondered about the whole idea of meeting in a pub, Kevin. Did that mean Blake was a big drinker? Or maybe he was too cheap to go to a nice restaurant on our blind date?”

Kevin interrupted her before she could go on. “Just to remind you, Miranda, the show paid for the first date. But please, continue.”

“OK, so maybe the show is too cheap to pick a nice restaurant.” That brought laughter from the audience. Kevin gave her a fake look of affront, then smiled.

“Then I wondered what Blake might think of me. Would he consider me a lush for accepting a blind date in a pub?”

Kevin stepped in again, turning to Blake. “What did you think about this, as you were getting ready for the blind date with Miranda?”

Blake gave Miranda a look of strong affection, then turned to face the camera. Then he remembered he was supposed to ignore the camera and turned to Kevin.

“I was thinking maybe I should have asked you to give us a better option. But I thought the casual atmosphere might be nice. And I do like a good brew.”

“And yet, both of you decided to go with the choice we gave you. Why was that, Blake, for you?”

“I checked out the Rustlers Roost. People praised their burgers on Yelp. Besides, it has a country feel to it, and I do like Country and Western music. I was hoping Miranda did, as well.”

Before Kevin could say anything, Miranda piped up with “That’s what I did! I checked them out online, noticed 12 different kinds of burgers, and a mechanical bull. So I thought ‘what the heck’?”

Kevin nodded. “What did you do to get ready, Blake?”

“I laid out my best western shirt, jeans, and boots. Then I took out my cell phone to call the studio to ask for a different venue after all.” Blake turned to Miranda.

“I got my hair done, and my nails. Then, when I looked in the mirror, I wondered if I looked too nice for a pub. I picked up the phone to ask the studio to cancel. I entered the number for KBZT, held my finger over the button to call, and stopped. There are usually some good-looking cowboys at a western pub. So if the blind date didn’t work out, I might have options.”

Miranda looked at Blake. “I worried about facing rejection on national television. But I signed up for this, so I continued getting ready.”

“I have to tell both of you,” Kevin offered, “your reactions are not unusual. No matter where we send a couple on their first blind date, they always have doubts.”

Then he turned to face the camera. As the host of the show, he was expected to look at the camera at certain times. “We’ll be back after these commercial messages.”

After the break, Kevin started with Blake this time. “I know they played your kind of music, Blake. Did you dance?”

“Not at first.” He gave Miranda an admiring look. “At first I was blown away to see that Miranda looked even more beautiful in person than her picture. I thought the photo might have been an old one, or something she photoshopped.”

“Listen to the man,” Miranda shook her head, blushing slightly. “I was the one who was surprised the most. I’ve been on two blind dates before. Guys always share a picture that looks way better than they do in real life. But Blake showed up, tall, dark, and more handsome than his picture.”

“That’s a good thing, right? You were both expecting someone less attractive than the picture you saw, yet you were surprised.”

“I have to admit,” Kevin shook his head. “We talk about how unimportant looks are, and that’s absolutely true. But I was hoping for someone I could enjoy looking at.”

“It said something to me,” Miranda added. “It said this man was honest, maybe even humble. Not vain, and not trying to pull a fast one.”

“After you were both pleasantly surprised by the looks of your date, what then?” Kevin looked at Blake, who answered first.

“We ordered dinner. Then we decided to ride the mechanical bull before eating.”

“Wise choice.”

“As far as food goes, it was,” Blake admitted. “I thought I knew what I was doing, but I was so wrong. I lasted less than 6 seconds. They only got to crank the speed up one notch before I fell off.”

“What did you think of Blake then, Miranda?”

“Respect, Kevin, tons of respect. Not only did he get on the bull and make a fool of himself, showing me how confident he was, but when he fell off he came up laughing.”

“That’s not the best part of the story, Kevin,” Blake jumped in. “Tell him the rest of it, Mandy.”

Kevin thought “Holding hands, pet nicknames … I think this blind date went well.” What he said was “Please, Mandy, tell us the rest of the story.”

Miranda hugged Blake’s arm to her body, smiled at him, then turned to face Kevin. “Not much to tell, really. I took a turn on the bull too, then we ate.”

“She’s too modest,” Blake interrupted. “Or being too nice to me. She went 12.2 seconds, and only fell off when they got one notch below the fastest speed. I was so proud of her.” That earned him another smile and look from Miranda.

After the next commercial break, Kevin launched into questions about their food.

“You’ve got to love a man who washes down a big hamburger and French fries with a longneck beer.”

“No dainty eater this one, Kevin. She tucked into that burger like she hadn’t eaten in days.” That earned a glare from Miranda. And a blush.

“You said something earlier about dancing, Blake. Not at first.”

“That’s right. It was the bull, then the burgers. After that Mandy played a mean game of darts, beating me to 301.”

“The first time, Blakey. You beat me in the second game.”

“And she won the third.”

Miranda ignored Kevin and the camera, staring at Blake with stars in her eyes. “Then we finally danced.”

“They played ‘I hope you dance.’”

“A live band played, Kevin. They did a beautiful cover of Lee Ann Womack’s song.”

“So we danced. A long, slow dance.”

“And that’s when I knew, Kevin. When he held me close, but gently, and we danced.”

“Knew what, Miranda?” asked Kevin.

“Knew I had to go on another date with this lovely man.”

August 27, 2020 21:19

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