The phone rang but before it could ring a second time, I lunged in its direction to answer the call I had been waiting for all day.
‘I am here, – in front of your house I hope’. He said with a subtle voice.
‘Ok, will be out in a minute’, I replied. I prayed he hadn’t read the nervousness in my voice as I hurried to join him. On my way out the door, I took a last glance in the mirror and heaped a heavy sigh, ‘Calm down Maggi’ I told myself and rushed out.
‘hmmm, you look very beautiful tonight’ he quipped as he unabashedly examined my contours and outfit. I had donned my favorite pair of blue jeans and a beaded cream top, complete with a pair of nude flats. I had very light make up on and though I was nervous, I was wearing confidence too. I could feel his glare on every ounce of my body but I managed to utter some words in reciprocation.
‘Thank you. You look gorgeous yourself….’ Barely did I finish my sentence when the door to the passenger side swung open, he held it with one hand and with the other, ushered me in. It was the first time I remembered a guy opened the door for me and I felt like a princess. He was clad in sleek jeans and a plain white tee, a navy blazer with a clean fit-to-size sneaker. He accessorized his clean-shaven face with a flat cap.
It was 7pm, the time we had fixed for the date after I took him up on his offer. From the house, he was the sublime gentleman; not just with opening doors before me, but checking in between conversations if I was comfortable. The drive to the restaurant couldn’t be any more pleasant. We had an easy flowing conversation like we knew ourselves for a long time. Heck, we had known each other for a long time, only, not in this intimate sense.
I met him a few months back, when I walked into the Five Guys restaurant to have my first burger. He was the manager on duty and the cashier who took my order; a dialogue stemmed from my revelation that it was the first time I was trying the “best burger” in America as it had been dubbed. My next visits were short but filled with chit-chats here and there. We became good acquaintances who seemed to enjoy short conversations with each other whenever we could. But on one of such visits, we didn’t just chit-chat; we had a good and thoughtful conversation that clearly couldn’t be finished while he worked. So he gave me his number and asked that I call him; normally, I would have disposed of it but figured I might need the distraction sometime and kept it. I liked him enough to want to talk some more, so I called him three days later and here we were, on our way to the date.
He planned for us to dine at a Cuban restaurant after I told him I had never had Cuban food. Unfortunately, arriving at the restaurant, it was closed for renovations. He was disappointed and it was understandable. To be a good sport, I suggested other venues I was comfortable going to. We drove around a few minutes and finally decided on the Olive Garden.
Dinner was wonderful and it wasn’t even the food. It was the way he went about the evening, it was as though I could see through him. His appetite for food and the fine things in life and how free he felt with me, spoon-feeding me in public. We talked over dinner and the conversation was the regular boy-meets – girl-first-date conversations. Our likes, aspirations, families, cultures and stories. He was pretty straight forward and unapologetic about his views on life and other things, which was very refreshing to see in a man.
One of those views was pre-marital sex which he didn’t think was wrong as long as both parties agreed to it and he thought religion was overrated. My view was different from his and we spent a good time on the topic, with him trying to convince me to see things his way and I vice versa. It was a civil discussion with no angst or misgivings.
He asked me to a movie after dinner, to which I agreed. He had been sweet, caring and doting all evening and I wasn’t ready to leave him just yet. ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ was the movie, and for such a late showing, it was packed. We sat at the last but one row in the back to the left. As usual, it was freezing cold in the hall. He noticed me shivering and gave me his jacket, holding me in a tight embrace. The cold seemed to vanish instantly. The warmth radiating from his body coupled with his scent, drew me in deeper and I cradled even closer. It felt good and safe just sitting there, wrapped in his arms.
Assuden, half-way through the movie, in a very soothing voice he asked ‘can I?’
‘Sure’ I replied, not fully understanding what he meant. Before I could process the question further, he launched forward and his lips were against mine. In no time, I grasped what was going on and I leaned in and indulged him. It was a hot, steamy and passionate kiss. Best one I have had yet.
A few hours later, he dropped me home. We both had a great time, evident on his demand for a second date, to which I gladly accepted. He walked me to the door, hugged me so tightly I didn’t want to let go, and kissed me again. He promised to call once he got home, which he did.
It was Sunday evening and I had waited all day for his call, I had anticipated this second date all weekend long. My anxiety gradually dissipated as time went by and by night-time; it dawned on me I had just been stood up, for the first time in my life.
It turned out I would be waiting for days and weeks on end for an explanation from him, detailing why he stood me up which never came. I tried to stop myself from contacting him severally but eventually caved to the temptation. So I sent him a text pretending to check on him but he never replied.
Six weeks passed before I walked in to the Five Guys restaurant to get a burger and there he was. The manager on duty and available cashier who took my order, – yet again. I became nervous and could only hope he didn’t think I came to shove myself in his face but at the very least; he would apologize and explain himself, an explanation I wasn’t sure I fancied anymore.
He didn’t even look me in the face as he took my order. He was very civil and cold at the same time. I was just another customer and he was just doing his job. He never said a word and I stood aghast for what felt like a lifetime. With whatever dignity I had left, I collected my order when it was ready and ran for my car.
It was a befuddled ride home. Like most girls, I had already planned so many adventures for our third and fourth dates. But how was that to ever be if he never showed up for the second?