Angela stepped into the restaurant, her nerves amplified by the general noise. She took a slow breath and smiled, the excitement was building as each second past. She scanned the crowd looking for Derrick, she had seen a photo of him, one that was a smidge blurry, but he had seemed attractive enough and Jessica had vetted him, she had good taste after all. Angela spotted him standing off to the side slightly, leaning against the bar. “Derrick?”
“It’s nice to meet you”
He leaned in for a quick hug and Angela gave it. So far things were going well, he had no immediate signs that anything was wrong with him. She was a little disappointed that she didn’t feel that instant moment of knowing that he was the one, but then that was all just in fairy tales after all. His picture hadn’t done him justice, he was tall and quite handsome, with thick black hair. He wore a grey suit, Angela wasn’t too sure about it, but it looked like it was expensive. They chatted for a few moments before a waitress appeared and lead them to their table. As they walked Angela made a quick calculation as to what she thought of him. He was attractive and polite so far, but that could easily be an act. Only time would tell.
Dinner seemed to be going well, as well as it could, but Angela wasn’t really feeling it. He had all the right pieces, he was kind, he had a stable job, he was attractive, but they all just didn’t quite add together for her. She chatted with him, eating her food and sipping her glass of water, she never drank on a first date, and as the night went on it became clearer and clearer, they could never be anything more than friends. Though she got the impression that Derrick was thinking the same, she didn’t want to say anything, just in case. He seemed nice but she had met some nice guys who turned into assholes as soon as they knew they weren’t going to get laid.
Angela noticed him towards the end of the meal, sitting by himself at the bar. He seemed so confident, just sitting there with his drink. He didn’t look like he was waiting for anyone, he didn’t take out his phone or look at his watch. He glanced in her direction, their eyes met for a brief second but in that second she felt it, and she knew. He was the man for her. She tried to keep her full attention on Derrick, but it was difficult with the man she was meant to meet a mere thirty feet away from her. As dinner wound down neither ordered coffee or dessert. Angela wanted to go to the man, talk to him, but she couldn’t bring herself to do it, not like this, not while she was out with another man. They split the bill, though Derrick had tried to insist he pay, Angela wouldn’t allow it, neither of them did the asking really, so it only seemed fair to split it.
Outside the restaurant they said their goodbyes, Derrick offering her a lift home if she wanted, and Angela reassuring him it was fine, she would make her own way. He leaned in and kissed her gently on the cheek and there it was, her confirmation. Both of them knew it wasn’t going to go anywhere. Well at least that saved her an awkward text or phone call. Angela turned and started to walk, she was halfway down the road before she stopped and turned back.
The man was still sitting at the bar, a drink in front of him looking content. Angela sat down beside him and ordered herself a rum and coke. The man glanced at her as she sat down but said nothing. Angela sipped her drink when it came, she paid no attention to the man beside her, though she longed to stare into his eyes. She just enjoyed the silence and the drink. When she was finished she stood from the bar and put on her jacket, the man slightly turned towards her then, “would you like another?” She paused for a second, jacket half on, “Sure, why not.” She shrugged off her jacket and sat down again.
The conversation started flowing smoothly and the longer they talked the more sure Angela became that she was right. He was the man for her and she the woman for him. They talked for what seemed like minutes and hours all at once until finally their drinks were gone and the restaurant was closing. They stood outside, still chatting. After a few moments of hemming and hawing, Angela agreed to his offer of walking her home. After all it wasn’t that far to go and, Angela was thrilled to learn, he lived only a few minutes walk from her place. It was like the universe was trying to throw them together, but they kept just missing each other.
They stood outside her door, neither wanting to be the first to leave, the conversation was still flowing smoothly. Eventually Angela smiled up at him, “I had a really nice time.”
“Me too, we should do it again soon.”
And just like that they had their first official date. It was agreed, dinner next Monday night. He leaned in and they kissed. Tentatively at first until they’re kissing passionately and Angela pulls herself away, feeling slightly breathless and disappointed as she steps inside and closes the door behind herself. She can hear him walking away now and is tempted to open the door and invite him in but she holds off. There will be plenty of time for that later. Angela takes off her shoes and goes into the kitchen, there she grabs a glass of water and drinks it slowly, replaying the evening in her mind.
Angela was looking forward to Monday, she knew it would be their first real date, and the last first date she would ever go on. Sure she had that thought before, but this time she knew it was real. She could feel it down in her very bones. She knew he was different from the three other men who had tricked her into thinking that. Angela shook her head, no, she wouldn’t think of them, they had already been taken care of and all that unpleasantness was over. It was time to look forward and focus on her future, after all she had finally found Mr. Right.