John sat in the bar. Would she ever come?
No, he decided. Of course she wouldn’t. Why did they actually bother to arrange the date if they weren’t going to come? Because she was cheating the system, wasn’t she? If John had accepted a date on one day then he wouldn’t accept any more – no way. But John knew her way, she would ask for dates from loads of guys and then only keep the date with the best one.
“Um, Hi… Is that John?”
It was her. He couldn’t help but be pleased, he knew that what he had just been thinking about was his own ridiculous defence mechanism, but at the same time he also smiled to himself – maybe he was the best one. He didn’t even entertain the phrase that momentarily drifted in, “the best of a bunch of losers”, no way he thought. He was the best.
“Yeah,” John said, “Hi”.
They kissed on the cheek, reaching across the table. John for a second worried about her necklace draping in the candle flame. It’s her necklace, I’m sure she knows about it.
Kate sat down at the table. Was he going to be another loser? She was done with that. Or was she? She had dated some guys who had looked exciting, or had thought they were exciting, but all they wanted to talk about was themselves, and really how exciting can a chef be? For “dangerous” read “self-centered”, she had said to herself, and decided to go the other way for a while. I hope he’s not too interested in me though, those guys are so wet, and I’m bored of me, that’s the point.
A ridiculously dressed woman walked past the table, John’s head turned and Kate thought, “maybe this can work”, and she didn’t even hate herself for it. Bad expectations of Prince Charming were her problem. She kept having to remind herself – Prince Charming was a bell end.
“Do you actually like dating?”
“No Kate, I don’t.”
“So why do you do it?”
“Same reason you do. I want to be going out with somebody.”
“So let’s just cut the crap and be together.”
“What does that mean Kate?”
“Well you would stop bothering to use my name, I’ll just assume it’s me you at talking to. Just think about your last relationship, like that”
“Last but one, not the last one, the last one was bad all the way through.”
Kate laughs, John reciprocates.
There is a pause while they both try and find their bearings.
John speaks first, “So have we been to bed together already in this make believe world?”
“Of course,” says Kate, “it’s been lovely so far, but it’s time for something more exciting.”
“That’s some pressure, can’t we just have been going out for ages but finally be having it off for the first time, that’s exciting anyway isn’t it?”
“Do we have to be having the same fantasy?”
“No, I guess not, but if they don’t line up, how will we know if we’re both being kept happy?”
“Would we have to talk about it?” said Kate.
“Well only as long as we thought the other one was interested in listening. Right now I think that seems easy. Let’s not keep any pressure on keeping that going.”
“So you think it would be ok to talk about what we both want before it happens? And you are a man?”
“Oh yeah, the most manly kind of man in my opinion is one who isn’t insecure about asking what a woman wants.”
“That sounds like crap to me.”
“Well it’s not supposed to be. I just suddenly found you being much more direct with me than I was expecting at this stage in the date and so I kind of reciprocated to keep up. I don’t think I had time to come up with anything sly, I think that was probably my real thought on it.”
“Ok,” said Kate, “I think… I think, I think this could work.”
“Good,” said John, “it’s so crazy it might just.”