“Hello, er…I’m meeting somebody here. Is there a Tim here?” I said, trying to keep my hands steady by burning the purse strap into my palms.
“Oh, no, I’m sorry, Miss. Would you like to take a seat at the bar until he arrives?” The host gestured to a lonely bar with a few stray couples and a man in a business suit.
“That sounds lovely. Thank you.”
It was a mistake to wear heels, so as soon as I had wedged myself on a bar stool, I slid them off.
“You have nice feet.”
My eyes rolled. Was this a line? “Uh, thanks, I guess.”
“What? You’re not freaked out by a stranger complimenting your feet. You must be a keeper.”
Oh God, Oh God, what do I do now? “Thanks, but no thanks. I’m meeting someone and I need to be…er…alone. Thanks.” That wasn’t that hard, huh?
How did he know? “Actually…” But there was no escape. I could walk out the restaurant and never meet Tim or I could sit here and listen to Sir Creeps-A-Lot. “Yes, I’m nervous.”
“Oh, a pretty thing like you should have no problem.”
What did that even mean? Hold it together, Jessica. It’s nearly 8pm. He’ll be here soon. I looked up, smiled and batted my eyelashes for no good reason. Maybe I’d use that again in life and I was practicing on this middle-aged skeezebag. Then again, maybe I’d end up with this guy, so what if he liked feet? I liked feet too. In a utilitarian way, of course, not in a sexual way. Hairy toes, no thank you!
“I’m Tim, by the way.”
What? My Tim? No, must be a coincidence. I should tell him I’m someone else. Anyone else. “Hi, I’m Mary. Nice to meet you.”
“I’m waiting for someone too. A girl named Jessica, but I’m not sure if she’s gonna show.”
This is the last time I let Mary set me up. I can’t believe this guy. This is the kind of guy that would take me home, tie me up, jerk off and then chop me up into tiny pieces. He was so generic looking like a model in a photo frame, but not gorgeous, just plain and boring and oh my God, he’s looking into my eyes.
I closed my eyes and wish Tim away, but he’s still there when I open them.
“What are you thinking about, Mary?”
I’m thinking you are a murderer, Tim. “I’m thinking I’ve been stood up and I should be on my way. I’m sorry. It was nice meeting you.” No regrets, I rushed to the door, past the host and realized I’d forgotten my shoes at the bar.
No regrets. I waved for a cab like my hand’s on fire. Please stop, please stop!
A cab pulled over, but there’s a passenger silhouetted in the back. “Do you mind sharing?”
Oh, hello there? Blonde, fit and with the bluest eyes I’ve ever seen. They are cerulean blue. The are the blue of nail polish, Hollywood movie stars but not in real life people that just happen to be offering you a cab to share.
I don’t answer, I just get in, because my feet are cold.
“22 East Second Street.”
The man’s blue eyes stare at me like at any moment he’ll need to be revived. “You live there to?”
Maybe coincidences aren’t that bad.