It’s another random and long ongoing tale! Some may say I should finish one before I start another but yo, this is how I roll! Mainly cos I couldn’t be bothered to write the other one right now.
I originally wrote this in the before time – the date in question happened last year – but, as I had started telling this saga here before (and cos I read this and thought it was alright) I reckoned I might as well publish it. I want to state: I mean no offence to my datee here. Awkwardness was due to me. He was a nice guy who I just ultimately wasn’t interested in in that way.
Well I did it. I went on a date. A rather awkward date but that was to be expected. And hey, it wasn’t terrible.
Our original plan had been to meet at the cinema just before the film, however, B texted and asked whether I could meet him for a drink first. I really wasn’t sure about this – I’d thought that he might suggest going for a drink after but before? According to my friends and family: before is better. Gets it over and done with, it’s got a clear time limit and then at the end you can just go. I hadn’t thought of any of these things but, on reflection, I agreed.
And so we met 45 minutes before the film. I know that’s not long but hey; one drink (cos how early can I eat dinner, huh?) I’d driven there and as I opened my car door my phone bleeped: a text from him. He was already there. Fighting the sudden urge to leap in my car and keep driving until there was no more Britain to drive on, I headed toward the cinema. There he was. He looked… strangely red around the eyes. Like he’d been crying. I don’t know why – I wasn’t that late (two minutes tops).
He hugged me. Previous statements have declared how I feel about physical contact so I need say no more on that front.
He’d never been to that area before and so I suggested a bar. He offered to buy drinks – a coke for me, a pint for him. Pleasant but stilted conversation ensued. As we moved to sit at a table he decided to do a ‘cheers’-clink move with his glass. Sadly I had just leaned down to sip through my straw, half way through that sip I realised why he was shoving his glass at me and quickly tapped mine on his. I didn’t quite twig that some coke had just entered my mouth, the movement whipped the straw out of my mouth and the coke followed. I spluttered and dribbled awkwardly.
As I listened to him speak I began to feel awful. He told me about his life – his family back down south and his upcoming visit for his nephew’s birthday. There was a whole life there with just one gap: a gap for a girlfriend to slot into. I felt like I could see a path I would never take, it would never be me in that gap – it was all there before me but I knew, even then, that I just wasn’t interested in dating him.And no, it probably was no great loss to him, I’m sure he had no trouble finding dates. But it was the strangest sensation of seeing little snippets of a whole life laid out like a patchwork quilt with a square missing. I’m sure it’s just my overactive imagination but in that moment I really felt like I’d Seen Something. I don’t know. Just my own guilt talking really.
Part two will follow shortly (this got long. Like, seriously long. But I swear it’ll just be two parts).