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The Dating Chronicles

The Dinner

April 9, 2019

John put down the phone slowly as he sighed in relief.  He had just broken another date with Mary.  He abhorred deceit, but his feelings left him no choice.  He enjoyed Mary.  But he loved Connie.  This was the third time he pretended to be down in his back and he flinched with guilt as he recalled the disappointment in Mary’s voice.  He regretted to have to wait until the last minute to call Mary, but Connie’s schedule at the hospital prevented her from planning much in advance.  She had just phoned to say that she could make it over.

His stomach fluttered wild with excitement as he imagined her and the way she would walk through his door.  He had prepared the perfect dinner for a perfect evening.  And as the aroma filled the air, he thought briefly of how he had never cooked for Mary.  But he knew, as his father had taught him that some women required more than others.

He thought of Mary and how hurt she’d be.  But she never made him feel the way Connie did.  Her quiet and nonchalant manner was a sharp contrast to Connie’s bubbly worldliness.  He had not told Connie of his long-time involvement with Mary, for fear of scaring her off.  In the few short weeks since he’d known her, she had made a vast difference in his life and he marveled at the transformation.  No longer did he work until the wee hours of the morning or smoke by the pack.  He could now be seen jogging in the park at the break of dawn and the cigarette habit no longer plagued him.

An hour later the doorbell rang as he checked the dinner table for last minute perfection.  As he approached the door, he braced himself for what he knew would be a live entrance.  Connie was always full of surprises.  But instead of Connie, there stood Mary laden down with an armload of back remedies shouting the word “surprise.”  As he stood there gaping with his mouth open, the phone rang, and he was grateful for the distraction.  He stammered wordlessly, as he moved quickly to grab the phone.  It was Connie calling to say she’d be late.  As he heard Mary close the door and start toward the kitchen, his heart fell.  After a moment of silence, he told Connie in a “sick” whisper that his back had started hurting badly and he’d have to postpone the evening.

He ended up sharing the evening and his elaborate dinner with Mary after all, but his mind was on Connie.

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