I sit there for a few minutes trying to suppress my anger as my mind is racing and trying to process what just went down. I’m yanked out of my trance when the group of girls sitting behind me starts laughing and talking about guys and their lives. I look across the patio and see another couple on a date. The woman is spoon-feeding her date a taste of her meal and they’re smiling. At the table in front of me two guys are leaning into one another with their hands on the table, one resting his hand on the others.
I so badly want to get up and show all of them the text and tell them that they’re all wasting their time. But instead I sit there holding back the tears. Who was I to put my curse upon other’s happy lives? I had to get out of there.
On my walk home I can’t fight the tears any longer. I put my sunglasses on and hid my emotions behind the thin Ray Ban veil. If anyone were paying attention they would have been able to see the wet streaks lining my cheeks.
It isn’t until I get home that I realize I had been squeezing my keys so hard I broke skin. I go into the washroom and wash away the blood.
I quickly recheck the POF message thread between Nick and I to make sure I know the place we are to meet at in 20 minutes. Nick’s a lawyer and he has a great profile. His pics are of him in a tight bathing suit that show off his tanned, muscular body. I look at his pics again and get excited because I find his subtle smile engaging, as his upper lip curls a bit on the right side. It’s sly and charming.
However, the second I meet up with him I get a weird feeling that he has taken one look at me and decided that he wasn’t into me. We shake hands, say hello, and proceeded into 7 West Café. We are seated on the third floor patio and we each order a drink. We begin some casual small talk, which quickly becomes more of an interrogation. Nick asks me what I do, how long I’ve been doing it, where I went to school, and what I plan to do with my future. I oblige his questions but feel that he is obviously one of those guys. So, I answer honestly, throwing in a few self-deprecating jokes to try to keep the mood light, even though I feel like I’m reciting my bloody resume. Nick excuses himself and goes to the washroom.
When he gets back we continue chatting but it feels forced. Stupidly, I order another drink and he doesn’t. I should have been more intuitive to the signals that Nick just wanted to end the date. We talk about his plans for the evening, and being a Friday night, he’s going to some bar with friends. We get the bill and both put down a $20 and wait for our change. He goes to the washroom again. As I’m waiting for him to get back a large group of girls are seated at the table behind me.
And then my cell goes off. It’s a text from Nick that reads: “I ran into an old friend downstairs and I should really catch up. Have a good night.”
Seriously!? I’m in shock, this asshole just ditched our date. He didn’t even have the guts to come back and finish the date in person!
I text him back: “how dare u just leave me sitting here. Ur a coward. What a horrible thing to do.”
He text back: “I think horrible is a harsh way to put it.”
The waitress came back with both of our change and put it on the table.
I continued to text Nick. “Who raised u! u know what u did is wrong.”
“r date was pretty much over anyway. Have a good night.”
“ur an asshole! FYI I’m taking you’re change, mother fucker!
I dry my hands and wash my face. I lie on my bed and look out my window at all the people lounging on the pool patio on the mezzanine 10 floors below. They all seem happy and relaxed. They’re basking in the setting sun and also in the fulfillment they get from the love in their lives. No one appears unhappy and no one seems alone.
I turn away from the window and think about how this kind of bad date used to just make me laugh, and how differently I seem to be internalizing it nowadays. Why does this shit keep happening to me? I really don’t know how much longer I can endure.