“You set me up on a blind date?” I asked Chloe in disbelief, stopping midway in packing my stuff out of her place.
She shrugged. “I think you’re going to have a lot of fun with Mitch.”
I narrowed my eyes. “You say that like I’m going.”
“Oh, hell yeah, you are,” Janet chimed in.
I rolled my eyes, returning to stacking books in a box. “This is too weird guys. I haven’t been on a date in a long time,” I whined.
“Then it’ll be good practise for when you go out with Eric,” Janet wriggled her brows. “I hear he’s the bomb. Well, I saw too.”
I dropped my hands and tilted my head at Chloe. “Tell me you didn’t Facebook stalk him.”
“Barely,” Chloe mumbled. “I got some pictures but no information.”
“I guess he doesn’t Facebook,” Janet added.
I laughed. “I don’t even know the guy you’re setting me up with.”
“He’s a good guy. From my work. And he seems like someone you’d like,” Chloe said.
“Do you not know me at all?”
“Even if practise goes fantastic,” Janet began, “he might be the one.”
She whispered the last line like it was a big secret. In all honesty, I can’t imagine someone being ‘the one’ after Daniel. When after I thought he was ‘the one’, when in actuality he’s not even messaging his used-to-be-one. We were both stubborn after our little tiff but I sure as hell wasn’t going to initiate a conversation. Like, don’t get mad at me and expect me to say something. Then again, maybe he was hoping for this conclusion. Whatever. Daniel and I are done, but I want us to be done on a good note, I’ve established that before, what I didn’t account for was he’s silent treatment. How do I get us to end on a good note when I refuse to speak first, and he hasn’t spoken yet?
Adam is a whole other deal.
“Bet you he didn’t tell his girlfriend,” Janet said as she was driving us to my apartment while the moving van followed behind us. I was in the passenger seat, and Chloe sat in the back.
“Fiancé,” I corrected.
“Didn’t he say she was fine with him coming down to see you?” Chloe asked.
“Would you be fine if your soon-to-be-husband was going to the opposite coast to visit a girl you’d never met?” Janet asked.
“It only sounds sleazy when you say it,” Chloe said.
“Nah-uh. It only sounds sleazy because it is sleazy. I know I wouldn’t want Stanley all up in some girl I never even met.”
I clicked my tongue on the roof of my mouth and made a smacking sound. “He’s not going to be ‘all up in me’.”
“If you ask me, sounds like someone’s trying to get some booty.”
I smacked Janet on her arm and laughed. “No he’s not!”
“Well, how’d you say he asked her?” Chloe wondered, leaning in with a smile from remnants of Janet’s joke.
“He told me he told her right there and then and she said it was okay.” They both sucked in a breath of air and said, ‘Oooo…’ like they’d just wash someone stub their toe against a coffee table. My eyes flickered between the two. “What?”
“Have you ever heard of a woman in the history of the world that made a decision like that instantly?” Janet asked. “It didn’t even sound like they talked about it. Which is a big no-no.”
“It is?” I asked.
Chloe nodded. “Yup. It’s a tell-tale. If it doesn’t seem like they took some time to talk about it, chances are, he never said anything.”
I leaned back in my seat, sighing with exhaustion. “Fuck me,” I breathed.
“We should open our own investigation agency,” Chloe suggested to Janet.
Janet chuckled. “Yeah, you be Sherlock and I’ll be What’s-up-bitch!”
We laughed as we drove to my new home, coming up with more names for their fake-agency as I silently pondered about Adam. I wonder if there was a way to find out if he was telling the truth or not. What if I ask his fiancé? Or is that just lighting unnecessary fire?
“Phew,” Janet wiped her forehead. “We are sweating up in here! We’re going to need a drink after this.”
“A drink?” Chloe asked. “Try forty.”
“Thanks for helping out guys.”
“No problem,” Janet said, side-hugging me. “So, what colour are you going to paint the walls?”
A deep voice popped into the conversation, saying, “Oh, no, you can’t paint it white.” We turned to the doorway where Eric stood. Of course, in another tank. It was a hot afternoon after all. “It’s too boring.”
I grinned, the typical heat of L.A. not doing anything to help my red face. “I guess I’m boring then.”
He leaned sideways against the doorway, one leg bent and the other straight as a column. “I beg to differ,” he tilted his head and bit his lip.
I couldn’t help myself, I grinned wider. At least I could blame my ever-growing red face on the weather.
“So, what are you doing here?” I asked.
“Well—” he walked inwards— “I want to give you this.” He handed me a small bag of sugar. “You know, doing the neighbourly thing and all.”
I chuckled, furrowing my brows. “Well, thanks, I’m always in need of sugar.”
He quickly appraised me in my floral dress and then dropped his eyes to the floor, stroking his bottom lip with his thumb as a smile began to brew. I quickly shot a wide-eyed look to Janet and she and Chloe snickered.
Eric looked up, all in his sweaty glory. “I’m here with ulterior motives as well.”
He nodded, staring directly into my eyes. “I still haven’t gotten that number.”
“Oh,” I breathed. Red-face alert! “Umm, yeah sure.” It’s the least I could do after the sugar.
“I’ll see you around then,” he said, after we exchanged numbers.
I nodded. “Yeah.”
It wasn’t until he left that I realised I was holding my breath. Chloe and Janet, especially Janet since it was the first time she ever met him, harpooned me with questions and I was thrilled to talk about Eric even more.
Mitch was a nice guy, but that’s all there was to him. He had the driest humour I’d ever known, and every joke he made, or I made to him, fell flat. I think we were both just hoping to go home by this point.
He took me out to dinner first. Check it: when the bill came he said, ‘Let’s join forces.’ Join forces? Do I look like Luke Skywalker? Is this an unseen prequel to Star Wars? I thought it was a joke, so I laughed, but he just stared at me and then a half-second later a smile creeped in. See what I mean by our jokes not landing? I wasn’t even bothered by having to pay, it was how he said it. Even if it wasn’t a joke, throw me a bone here.
After we ‘joined forces’ we took a cab ride. Halfway to my place we stopped and decided to walk the rest of the way. The walk was better. Much better. Besides his fascination with magic and the fact that he considers himself a warlock, it was, at the most, somewhat enjoyable.
“So this is me,” I smiled, digging my hands into the pockets of my dress and looking up at my building.
“Yeah,” he smiled.
It was quiet. He was eyeing the building before his eyes suggestively drifted to me. Like, no, I’m not inviting you up. Then, it all came together. I thought we had a mediocre time and he was on the same page, which means he must’ve been putting up with it just so he could have sex.
“So…” he rolled back and forth on the balls of his feet.
“Tonight was nice,” I threw in.
“Yeah, it was,” he stepped closer.
I gulped loudly. I think he thought it cute and an incentive because he smiled and leaned down. I lifted my chin, ready for my first kiss after being single. I’m not counting Mark here.
He pushed his dry lips onto mine and they practically exfoliated me. I let it slide as a once-off once he got further into it. Our kisses turned open mouth and he fitted his wine-induced tongue into my mouth. Deeper and deeper and deeper and—OH!
I gagged and started coughing uncontrollably. He pulled back and watched me dry heave, hunched over with my hand over my mouth. Did I just…did I just choke on his tongue!?
“Are—are you okay?” he asked, baffled.
No! “I’m fine,” I nodded. “I have to go—” I coughed twice— “thank you for tonight.” Last cough.
He left as soon as I started unlocking the door to the building. I waddled my way inside and rested, sideways, onto the mail boxes. That was a crazy experience I will never forget. How long was his tongue!? I’m mortified. Did he think it was sexy? God I hope he didn’t.
“Rough night?” Eric popped out of nowhere.
“Fuck!” I jumped, nearly through the ceiling.
He burst out laughing. Oh, God, even his laugh was sexy. “Sorry. Just checking the mail.”
“Yeah, me too.” I began to open my locked pigeon hole, in the meantime, as I avoided his gaze, I wiped away whatever remnants of lover-boy’s saliva that was on my face, putting strained effort and concentration on not dry heaving again.
We both entered the elevator the same time, in his hands, some letters, in mine, none.
“Oh, I almost forgot—” he shoved his free hand into his pocket and pulled out a match book— “so I wanted to take you out on a date and I was wondering if you wanted to come to this club on the weekend?”
He handed the match book over to me. I barely read it before looking up. “Cool.” He’s taking me to a club for a date? Either way, after my blind date I’m wondering if I even want to get thrusted into the dating scene again. So far, it doesn’t look pretty.
“No, I work there,” he explained. “Afterwards, I was thinking a dinner? Or a movie? Maybe both?”
“Oh,” I smiled. That sounded better. “Yeah, sure.” I never pegged him as a club promoter, but it made sense now, it’s believable.
“Alright, then,” he grinned, sending my heart into a fit of butterflies. He was insanely hot. My blind date shouldn’t deter me from going out with Eric, but it’s still worrisome.
The elevator stopped on my level. “So, I’ll see you.”
He nodded. “Yeah. I’ll see you.”
“Yeah,” I waved back as I walked away.
Once I reached my apartment, I took a second look back as the elevator doors were closing and found him angling his head to get a better look of me. Then he threw in a wave. “Goodnight!”
The doors closed before I could answer. I giggled, shaking my head.