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Story Of The Week

A Different Kind Of Ending

by Tricia Smokes

My blind date began as an adventurous experiment.  I had never met a blind date I liked.  Therefore, I dressed without enthusiasm and was beginning the third chapter of an interesting novel when my matchmaking friend Liz came to my door, bubbling with her usual effervescence.  “Mark and Bill are waiting in the car,” she said.   I was glumly pulling on my coat when a thought seized my mind.  What if I like him and he doesn’t like me?

Outside, I walked stiffly towards the car overcome by my sudden apprehension.  Liz opened the back door, while I clumsily crawled in.  The occupant in the back seat spoke only after she finished the introduction.  “So, you’re Maria,” he said with no hint of enthusiasm.

I heard myself say, “Yep,” and suddenly I was so nervous I was shaking.  He was absolutely gorgeous.

As the car began to move through the streets, I stole a glance at Bill.  His profile revealed keen features, and his complexion was like coffee with just a touch of cream.  He turned to look at me.  His brown eyes were clear and sparkling.  He smiled and I thought of Sidney Poitier’s regality.  He began to ease me into casual conversation.  He was all man with a man’s aura, and suddenly I felt intimidated, clumsy and unqualified.

Then it happened, as it always does when I’m nervous.  Getting out of the car, I caught my heel in the hem of my dress and would have fell face-first had Bill not been quick.  More than once during the evening, I managed to stammer and scramble the English language miserably while trying to answer his questions about myself. 

As the evening was drawing to a close, I awkwardly knocked over his drink…right into his lap!  Trying rapidly to rectify my awful wrong, I snapped up a napkin and was about to begin dabbing at his lap.  My hand was in mid-air when I realized what I was about to do.  Despite his reassurance and warm smile, I felt like an absolute idiot.  However, the real embarrassment came at the end of the evening when as he was saying a very polite goodnight at my door, I was overcome with a sudden attack of hiccups.

“I’m (hic) awfully sorry (hic) about this,” I said, nervously as I fumbled for my door keys.

 “Nothing to be sorry about,” he said gallantly.  “You look cute with the hiccups,” which I viewed as an attempt to make me feel better.

I knew this had been the kind of date he would later share with his friends and laugh.  I had been pompous enough to believe that the only opinion that was important was mine.  And there I stood, groping through my purse, not even able to find my own keys.  When I finally found them, I opened the door and tried to slip quickly inside without a backward glance.  I had never been so embarrassed in all my life.

However, he moved a little closer and took both my hands in his.  “Do you think we can try this again?  Sometimes blind dates don’t come off too smoothly.  What do you say we try next week with both eyes open, and without chaperones?   I’ll bring a lap tray.”

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