Cafe de Desiree

January 17, 2012

The Date

Filed under: relationships,story — desi83 @ 8:32 pm

“Hi,” he says awkwardly. “Hey, you,” she replies. “So, are you ready to go?” he asks, averting his eyes. “Yes, just let me grab my coat,” she says with a glum look on her face. He puts his hand on the small of her back as he opens the door to lead her out. They walk silently over to the passenger side of his car, his hand still on her back. He opens the door for her, and she begrudgingly says, “thank you,” as she sits in her seat. “You were late,” she comments. “I know. I’m sorry, I don’t know why I thought I could get here sooner,” he says weakly. “It was only five minutes, but still, we don’t have much time since I had to work late,” she responds, suddenly feeling remorseful for her harshness. “I know, it is these damned red lights. Once you get stuck at one, they all turn red on you. See?” he points out as they approach a red light. She rolls her eyes. They drive a couple of minutes longer in silence, and then he turns into the downtown square. “Man, I have no idea where I’m going to park,” he complains. “What about there?” she suggests. He passes the space, and she is agitated that he ignored her request. “There is a great spot, almost right in front of the bar,” he says excitedly. She rolls her eyes. “Those are handicapped spaces.” “Damn it!” he says, followed by his goofy laugh. She cringes. “There is a better one,” she points out. “Ah, good eye,” he responds happily. “Yes, thank you for finally listening to my suggestion,” she says, annoyed. “Yeah, yeah,” he replies. They pull into the spot, and they both get out of the car. He starts to hold her hand, but she quickly grabs his arm before he can, and they walk into the smoky bar arm in arm. “Wait, they have to check our id’s,” she says as the doorman quietly says, “Id’s please?” “Oh yeah, duh!” he says with a laugh. They show their id’s, and the doorman says, “thank you,”. “What do you want to drink?” he asks sweetly. “Um, well, I have two choices of gluten-free beer, so,let’s see…I’ll have an Estrella,” she says with an annoyed tone. He laughs, “I’m sorry, babe.” “Well, you certainly have a huge list to choose from, so what’ll it be?” she says resentfully. “I think I’ll have a Blue Moon. It’s been awhile,” he says cheerfully. “Hmmm, yes, that is a good choice,” she comments. They get their drinks, and he hands the bartender his card. “Where do you want to sit?” he asks. They look around, and there is only one place in the bar where two seats are available together. “I suppose right over there,” she points to it. “Yes, I suppose that is where we will have to sit, huh?” he laughs. They walk over to the two cushioned seats, separated by a small round table. They drink, and she notices that he is watching the television. Wow, this is going to be an awkward night, she thinks to herself. He laughs, “this is a great episode!” “I haven’t seen much of that show because I didn’t have cable when it used to come on,” she replies grimly. “You never watched to Chapelle Show? Oh, man, it is fucking hilarious!” he comments. “I didn’t say never, I just didn’t watch much of it. I liked him in Half-Baked,” she replies. “Yeah, that was a pretty good movie,” he responds. They drink their beers in silence for awhile. “So, how was work?” he asks. “It was long and boring,” she says. “Yeah, I bet, now that the holidays are over it is pretty dead there,” he responds. “How was your day?” she asks. “Well, you know, I did some laundry, I read some articles online, read a little bit of my book, and that’s about it,” he says. “Cool. How is your book going?” she asks. “It’s going okay. It’s moving along pretty quickly,” he replies. “That’s good. I’ve been reading Anna Karenina, finally. I’ve had it for the longest time, but I’ve been too intimidated by it to read it. Now that I am, I am finding to be a beautiful and sad book to read,” she adds. “Oh, yeah, you like that Russian literature. You liked War and Peace then, didn’t you?” he asks, obviously not interested in Russian literature. “I have not yet read it. I love Tolstoy’s short stories, though, so I definitely plan to read it after Anna Karenina,” she replies. “It’s just amazing how Tolstoy can capture human emotion. On one page, you feel connected to the poor wife whose husband had an affair, and you feel moved by the way she is packing and unpacking and repacking her and her children’s things. She obviously does not want to leave her husband, yet she feels so betrayed and heartbroken that she can’t stay. So she’s in this place that she can’t leave or stay at. Then on another page, you feel the husband’s pain. He has fallen out of love with his wife over time, so he has turned to another woman to take away his loneliness. He is ready to let his wife go for his sake and hers. Then when he enters her room, he is reminded why he does still love her when he sees her comfort one of their children. He is filled with appreciation and love for the wonderful mother and wife that she has been. I don’t know, you just have to read it to really understand what I mean,” she finishes, noticing that she has lost his attention. “Interesting,” he replies. That is his reply to everything. “Whatever, you think everything in the world is interesting. I don’t know why we can’t have a conversation,” she snaps. “I’m sorry that I don’t know anything about Russian literature!” he says nervously. “Fine, let’s talk about something else,” she suggests angrily, slowly losing hope for this night. She needed to have a fun night with her boyfriend with some beers and no stress. Yet, it is not fun, it is stressful and painfully awkward because they have come to this already. She grips her beer, suddenly feeling her whole body tense, and she begins nervously tapping her foot. She wants to run away from this place and never see it or him again. “So, apparently India is now polio-free,” he says after a long period of silence. She laughs. “Really, that is your big conversation-starter? India is polio-free?” “That was one of the headlines that I read today online,” he says defensively. “India is polio-free. Geez,” she mutters. “Well, it is a good thing that this is not a first date,” he says with a laugh. The tenseness in her body suddenly pushes her to stand up, and the anger can no longer be suppressed inside of her. “This is the worst date that I’ve ever been on in my life!” she shouts as she begins to walk away. “I’m sorry, I am just not in a talkative mood, I guess,” he apologizes. “Let’s just leave. This night is ruined,” she says gloomily. “Fine,” he says with his head down. He closes his tab, and they walk out with her walking briskly ahead of him with this crippling anger and resentment inside of her. They get to the car, and he is about to open the door for her. “We’re supposed to be married, and we can’t even keep a decent conversation going at my favorite bar?” she says staring straight at him. “I’m sorry,” he says in his defeated tone.

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