Thanks for all the words! I hope you enjoy the story you helped me craft!
As Tara heard the glass door jangle closed behind her, her eyes scanned the small Chinese restaurant. Chinese King was known for it’s ambiance, which is why Tara picked this place to meet Jason.
In fact, this whole meeting up was Tara’s idea in the first place. After hearing Lindsay’s scintillating tale replete with serendipity and sensational details, she went online and joined The One Dot Com for herself. After meeting spending hours chatting with a long line of losers, she found Jason.
And now here she was, waiting to meet Mr. Right #42 in a restaurant festooned with red velvet and ergonomically-minded booths. As she looked around for the handsome man dressed in a Carolina Blue shirt she was expecting to see, all she noticed were booths filled with couples, old and young. Tara slipped into the only empty booth, facing the door so she could see Jason when he walked in the door.
“May I bring you a menu, miss? And something to drink?”
“Yes, two please. And two waters.” She already knew that Jason only drank water…it was something they had in common.
After a few minutes, Tara’s nerves settled down and her mind began to wander. The conversation from the booth in front of her caught her attention.
Ooh boring, I’m not sure I want to know what they’re studying.
Another conversation caught her attention, but this time it came from behind her.
“It’s okay, we don’t have to have duck. Really, all I want is fried rice and an eggroll,” placated a calmer woman’s voice.
“No, it’s not all right. When I bring a lady to a restaurant, I want her to have the best.”
“I appreciate it, but there’s no reason to bring a torch and pitchfork.” There seemed to be a note of hesitation in the lady’s voice.
Tara’s listening was interrupted when she took notice of someone new walking into the restaurant. Nope, not a blue shirt, orange. He definitely shouldn’t be wearing that color…not flattering. Tara’s recognition that he wasn’t the one was confirmed has he held the door for a lady in a black dress and heels.
As Tara got back to listening to the fascinating conversation behind her, she realized that the tone had changed. They now were talking like old friends, laughing at each others jokes as if they were telling them about old, mutual acquaintances.
Though his date sounded genuinely amused, Tara couldn’t help but roll her eyes. Thankfully, the guy she was meeting was nothing like that man. No, Jason was thoughtful, well-spoken, and genuinely funny. Oh, and cute. But where is he? He’s 15 minutes late!
Tara missed the bulk of the woman’s story, but she got the gist of it, that she was telling about a recent prank she did at her office. This was followed by a whole string of similar childish pranks, as they each tried to one up each other. After one particular story, the man apparently conceded.
“Sassy!” cried mystery man. And then, almost under his breath, “I like that in a woman.” Though Tara couldn’t see them, she imagined that he was holding her hand in both of his as he said that. Gag. Though it does seem like these two are made for each other.
Just then, her purse began to bombinate. She reached in and grabbed out her phone, seeing “1 text from Lindsay” on the front display.
“How’s the date going? Do I need to call you with an emergency to get you out of it?”
Tara quickly snapped out her keyboard and tapped, “He’s apparently a no-show. I’m going to give him a few minutes. Sigh. I really thought he’d come.”
“Maybe he died in a car accident on the way or something? You’re way too cute and fun to pass up!”
“Don’t be so morbid! I’m not as irresistible as you make me sound.”
“Oh, no. You’re TOTALLY noodlicious!”
“Thanks for trying to cheer me up, but do you even know what that means?”
After Tara sent this last message, she glanced at her watch. I’ll wait 5 more minutes, and then I’m out of here.
Once again, the conversation from the booth behind her caught her attention.
“Sorry again for the kafuffle. I’m not usually this clumsy when I’m meeting an online friend for the first time.”
Tara strained her ears to hear what the girl had to say. After a few seconds, the girl mumbled, “Umm, I have to go meet up with a friend, but I had a good time, so here’s my number.”
As the girl walked out the door, Tara took the time to glance back at the man who was sitting behind her. Just as she suspected, he was wearing a Carolina blue shirt. He was Jason, accidentally meeting up with the wrong girl. I can’t think of a better way to find out the “man of my dreams” is really a dud.