Lisa took a last check of her make up in the car mirror and decided on one more touch up of her lipstick, she ran her fingers quickly through her dark wavy hair and grabbed her bag from the passenger’s seat.
After locking the car door, Lisa started walking briskly to the cinema. She had never been on a date that had been set up before; she had always let nature take its course, in a nightclub or on a night out, but as her friends reminded her often that none of those had worked out very well for her. She always went for the same type, the bad boy type, the love you and leave you type, the cheat on you and leave you broken hearted type. Her friends insisted she joined a dating App and demanded to pick her date. They had chosen David, a Mathematics teacher, thirty three years old, pleasant looking. “Steady” Lisa had argued.
“That’s exactly what you need at twenty nine, someone who wants a mature relationship, not a player”. Lisa had reluctantly agreed.
She checked her watch, she was ten minutes early, perfect, she didn’t like being late, she thought it rude. She glanced at all the people milling around outside the cinema. “Lisa?” David was already waiting. He held out his hand for her to shake. “I’m David, you look lovely” he said, looking at her outfit and smiling. She had chosen a summer patterned dress and cute flat pumps.
“Shall we go in? What would you like to see?” David was remembering his mother’s instructions, complement her on her outfit, tick, let her choose the film, tick, keep smiling to look friendly, tick. She was very pretty, the prettiest woman he had been out on a date with, when she had contacted him on the App he had been very excited and she was just as beautiful in real life. He hoped he wasn’t a disappointment to her; his mother had picked his profile picture and insisted that it was a very good likeness. He had been on several dates from the App but for some reason the women he met never wanted a second date. This time he was determined to make it work.
“I’m not sure, any films you particularly fancy?” Lisa replied. He seemed nice she thought, polite, smiley, not her usual type but that was probably a good thing.
“How about a comedy?” David asked.
“Perfect” she replied giving him an encouraging smile. “How about I get the snacks?” she rummaged in the bag for her purse. David looked horrified.
“Oh no they cost a fortune here, I` ve brought some with me” David opened his bag to reveal assorted popcorn, sweets and chocolates. He smiled to himself as she looked in the bag. I bet that has impressed her, he was glad his mother had packed such a lovely range of treats.
Lisa was a little alarmed. There was nothing worse than a mean man counting every penny. She decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, he had brought a lovey selection and maybe he was just sensible.
They were shown to their seats and David opened his treat bag and told her to help herself, he laughed in all the right places, had good manners, checked she was okay and enjoying the film so Lisa began to relax.
David went through his checklist in his head; he had done everything his mother had told him so far, what was next? After the film finished he was to ask her for a drink or a coffee, the cinema had a lovely lounge bar. What did she tell him were the topics of conversation? He ran through them quickly in his mind, her job, family, travel and then some funny anecdotes about his teaching. He had practiced these in front of his mother; she had selected the best four.
“Do you fancy a drink or a coffee there is a lovely lounge here?”
“Yes, that sounds great.”
Lisa was pleased with the way the date was going, okay so he is not amazingly gorgeous, but he` s not bad looking, he seems kind and genuine and maybe given time she could see herself falling for him” Lisa smiled to herself, maybe her friends had been right all along.
The lounge bar was indeed lovely and fairly quiet as it was a Thursday night.
“Coffee or something stronger?”
“Oooh could I have a small dry white wine please?” Lisa thought one small one would be fine and it would help relax her.
David placed the drink in front of her bracing himself to start with his topics of conversation, right, first her job.
“So Lisa what line of work are you in?”
“Nothing exciting, I work in an office, how about you, teaching these days must be difficult? I bet you have got some tales to tell”.
David paused he was a bit thrown; he was going to do the topics first then his anecdotes, that’s what his mum had told him to do. Now she had asked should he do the antidotes now and then go back to the other topics of conversation? Yes that seemed like a good idea, he would do that.
“………….. so I told him next time you visit a farm I suggest you leave your Maths book at home!”
Lisa laughed David was funny and sweet.
David had now exhausted his topics of conversation and things were going well. His mum said to check for three things to tell if she liked him, did she laugh at his anecdotes? Yes. Did she lean in to talk to him? Yes, and was she looking at her phone or watch repeatedly? No. According to his mother that meant she liked him and he could ask her for another date.
“Do you fancy coming around and I will cook you dinner on Wednesday next week?” David enquired tentatively.
Lisa smiled that sounded lovely, he liked her. She paused briefly to think if she had any plans for Wednesday.
“My mum will help me cook it, but then she will go into the other room while we eat and chat.”
Lucy`s heart sank “Does your mum live with you?” she enquired with trepidation.
“Yes, well strictly speaking I live with her, I`m still at home”.
“Er, I` m quite busy next week, maybe I will give you a ring to arrange something the week after”. Lisa rose to her feet and checked her watch “Look at the time. I must go, thank you for a lovely date.” She kissed him briefly on the cheek and walked out quickly.
David sat alone, his hands tightly gripped his glass, he recognised the all too familiar signs, he wouldn’t see her again, she didn’t want a second date. His mother was going to be so disappointed, but he had followed her every instruction. He wished he knew what he was doing wrong.