Droplets of rain struck my coat and dripped away, joining the puddle at my feet. I hugged myself as I stood underneath the lampost on the corner of the quiet street, waiting. Sighing, I checked my watch again. She was ten minutes late, which wouldn’t have been an issue if the coffee shop wasn’t closed and if it wasn’t pouring.
Eventually, the headlights of a car shone into my eyes as it parked across the street. Then I got a text.
I hurried toward the car, anxious and nervous to meet her. As I neared, she stepped out and took a long drag of her cigarette. Her hair was longer than it was in the pictures of her online profile, and the dark locks were draped loosely over her shoulders.
“Hey, how are you,” she asked nonchalantly, ignoring the rain.
“I’m okay. Wet.”
“I’m sorry for making you wait,” she said.
I shrugged, feigning indifference.
After some deliberation between us, and despite my hesitation to get into strangers’ cars, I climbed into the passenger seat beside her. The stench of cigarettes and cologne consumed me. She took one last drag of her cigarette before flicking it out of the window and shifting the car into gear. We drove a couple of blocks to another shop, which was also closing.
Desperate for a place to hang out, and despite my reluctance to invite strangers into my home, we were soon walking through the halls of my apartment building. She carried a case of beer and her backpack, and I fiddled with my keys in my pocket. I figured that my roommates would notice if something had happened to me in the living room.
The second we entered my apartment, I went to my room to change. The layers underneath my raincoat had become soaked not from the rain, but from my nervous sweat. When I returned to the living area, I found her already at home, sprawled out on my couch. I took a seat across from her, perched on the edge of my seat.
She passed me a bottle of liquid courage, which I graciously accepted. First dates are the worst. I didn’t even know if this constituted as a first date.
Was she having fun? Did she like me? Did she want to just be friends? Did she want to see me again?
My anxious thoughts were interrupted when she said she had just gotten out of a nearly two-year relationship.
I supposed dating was no longer on the table.
© 2019 Vic Romero
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
My grandma was reunited with my grandpa this morning. I’m glad they’re together again on Valentine’s Day, but I also miss them. I feel really sad…I emailed my grandma last weekend…I sent her a photo of me and my friends at a basketball game. She never knew how to email me back though so when my aunt was with my grandma, my aunt would reply to the emails I send my grandma. It was sweet…I’m going to miss that.
But since my grandpa’s death a little less than a year ago, my grandma has been heartbroken. She missed him dearly…they were married for fifty…I’m not even sure…fifty plus years. We celebrated their fiftieth anniversary when I was maybe eleven, or even younger than that. But anyway, she really missed him and it’s nice that they’re back together again. They’re lifelong partners and…it’s beautiful. I hope one day I’ll have a lifelong partner like my grandparents had.
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone xo
RIP grandma and grandpa xoxox