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The Dating Chronicles

The Encounter

October 1, 2018

The restaurant had dim lighting, but Mitch recognized her from forty feet away.  He hadn’t seen her in two years, and there she sat with another man engaged in giggly chatter.

From across the room, he studied them.  She looked much better now than before.  Her hair was stylish and her clothes were fashionable.  As he struggled to maintain the mood at his own table, he recalled their breakup and how she begged him to reconsider his decision to leave her.  She had stood in the door of their apartment to prevent him from leaving, but he had pushed out of the way. Her last words had been, “I’ll never love another man.”

For the first time, as he sat staring at her profile, he felt ashamed of his behavior.  As he stole looks in between bites, he began to consciously compare himself with the handsome stranger.  The more he watched, the angrier he became. His date was beginning to sense his discomfort.  He faked a smile when she gave him a quizzical look, because he was no longer listening to her chatter.  He had lost his appetite and his interest in the conversation.

Perspiration began to break out on his face as he fought to look indifferent.  His insides turned to jelly, when he caught a glimpse of the stranger putting a ring on his ex-wife’s hand.  She kissed him and he began to feel sick as he watched them rise to leave with their arms around each other.

Suddenly, without warning, he found himself standing and then running.  He moved to the door as she tried to depart, but her look, which was void of surprise, stopped him cold. He groped for words, but none came out, as she walked past him as if she didn’t know him.

When he returned to his table, his date was gone.


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