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Drama Romance Funny

She’s doing her hair for the first time in months. She even broke out the bobby pins – new ones, not the ones rusting on the floor of her tiny bathroom – in an attempt to give those stray strands a little more purpose.

He’s shirtless in his bedroom checking out his body in the mirror behind his door. He’s gained some muscle in the past few months. He’s feeling especially great about himself. He even trimmed his beard a little shorter and neater. It was getting pretty itchy anyway.

She puts on mascara but it’s so chunky she has to wash most of it off. She has naturally pretty eyelashes but she wanted them to look perfect.

He sprays on some cologne he bought at Target. He recognized the brand name but he wasn’t exactly sure where from. It was on sale for $25. He likes the way it makes him smell.

She tries to push her breasts up a little inside her Victoria’s Secret bra. It helps. Now at least some cleavage will show under her floral sundress she bought two summers ago and never wore. She’s surprised it still fits when she tries it on.

He rolls a lint roller over his chinos and his chambray shirt. It takes 3 sheets to get it all cleaned. He uses a fourth just in case.

Her eyes well up as she looks at herself in the mirror, ready to go. She can’t cry. If she cries her makeup will run and then she’ll have to start all over.

He takes a deep breath through his nose as he laces his new sneakers. He holds it in a while and finally releases the air out of his mouth. Something his therapist taught him. It helps a little.

She texts her friend that she is leaving. Her friend is the one that set up this blind date. Her friend even picked the restaurant, somewhere with vegetarian options for her, meat options for him.

He texts his friend that he is leaving. His friend told him he had to meet this girl. They’d be perfect for each other, she told him. He begged her to show him pictures but she wouldn’t do it. She wouldn’t even give him the girl’s name, only a vague description: she’s the most perfect girl in any room, only she has no idea.

She gets in her car and sits there a while. The air conditioning blowing on her face and neck feels nice. What if the guy doesn’t like her? What if he sees her and immediately walks away? She wouldn’t blame him. She wonders if she should change out of her stupid sundress.

He takes one more glance at the mirror as he exits his apartment. He looks nice. He looks put together. He can’t help but smile as he makes his way to his car.

Her palms are sweating heavily on the steering wheel making it hard to grip. It’s not a long drive to the station, only a few minutes, but she is worried her hand might slip and she might crash. What would the guy think if she stood him up on the first date? She imagined him sitting there all alone drinking a glass of wine. She didn’t know what he looked like except for a vague description her friend gave her: he’s handsome and he knows it.

He gets to the train station in record time. He buys a ticket to Penn Station and waits on the platform. The train should be here any minute. Any minute. He thinks.

She uses an app on her phone to buy a ticket and check the train times. She had just missed the last train by a few minutes. She’s beating herself up for sitting in the car for so long. She texts her friend she might be a few minutes late. Train delay, she says. Her friend texts back with the eye roll emoji as if to say ‘train delay my ass’.

He puts in his headphones as he waits at the station. He shuffles a playlist of upbeat love songs, not his typical music choice but maybe he’ll learn something on the way to the restaurant. He looks around. There aren’t many people at the station. There’s a man with his sleeping son in his arms, petting his head and rocking him back and forth. There’s a pretty girl in a floral sundress, pacing nervously back and forth. There’s a young man yelling at his phone. There’s an old man sitting on a bench with a bundle of flowers in his aged hands.

She stares at her phone and tries not to pace too much, she does that when she’s nervous. She scrolls through her social media apps, bored but trying to pass the time. She looks back at the train app – 5 minutes to go – in 5 minutes she’ll be on her way.

The train finally comes and he steps into a car. He’s the only one from the platform to get into that particular car. For some reason he wishes that girl in the sundress had gotten in his car too. She was pleasant to look at.

She sits on the train and continues to fiddle with her phone. She wishes she had brought some headphones so she could at least listen to some music. It’s a quick ride into the city but it’s only a few minutes in and it has already felt like an hour.

He loves listening to music and looking out of the windows on the train. The world rushes by to the tempo of his song. He’s listening to something about a girl that finds love on a Tuesday in Los Angeles. He likes the idea of falling in love on a Tuesday, the most random day of the week to fall in love.

She looks around to make sure no one is looking and adjusts her breasts in her bra again. Her leg is bouncing, bouncing.

He scrolls through one of the social media apps on his phone and sees a picture of his ex-girlfriend. Suddenly he has a hard time breathing. The song in his headphones is about high school sweethearts who lost each other but then came back to each other years later. He changes the song and puts down his phone. The window is more interesting anyway.

The train finally reaches the station and she gets out. It’s not crowded for a Saturday night. She follows the little crowd there is up the steps and, eventually, out of the station.

He walks out of the station behind the girl in the sundress. He wants to talk to her. He wants to ask where she’s going. But he’s headed to a date, he would have to be an asshole to flirt with another girl on his way to a date. Maybe he used to be an asshole, but he’s trying not to be anymore.

She makes her way to the restaurant. It’s not far from the station, a longish walk but too close to take a car or the subway. Besides, it’s nice out and she likes to walk.

He follows the girl in the sundress. He doesn’t mean to, he’s not trying to be creepy, she just keeps going the same way he is going.

She’s getting closer to the restaurant and increasingly more nervous. She knows she isn’t pretty. The guy is going to take one look at her and regret agreeing to this date. This will be the last blind date he goes on, she knows it. It takes every ounce of her not to just turn around and go back home. She knows of a nice bar near here where she can sit alone and have a cocktail.

He walks to the other side of the street so it doesn’t seem like he’s following the girl. She seemed nervous and he wondered if it was because of him.

She stands outside of the restaurant where her friend said to meet the guy.

He sees the girl stop at the restaurant and stand outside.

She paces quickly back and forth, back and forth.

August 27, 2020 13:57

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1 comment

Josephine Nolan
13:41 Sep 08, 2020

Good story but the ending left me wondering. Did he go in, or was he distracted by the girl in the summer dress, thinking she was someone else? Did she go in or did her nerves get the better of her? Not sure about that. I think I would have liked a happy ending, but that might have been too obvious. Josephine Nolan

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