Archive for May 26th, 2011

26th May
written by amber

Jessie Goes On a Date

Among the mistakes I’ve made in my life, this was a big one. If I were a less mature person, I’d blame my friends, but I know it was my own choice. True, they’ve been bugging me non-stop about Jonah. They continue to go to the bar where I met him, even though I won’t go with them. None of them know my past with the guy, my school-girl crush on him for so many years, the cruel way he rejected me in high school. They think I’m a stuck-up, prejudiced girl who won’t give a handicapped fellow a chance. They claim they’d date him themselves if they didn’t have boyfriends.

I don’t have a boyfriend. I had a relationship while I was in university that’s going to take me a long time to recover from, but my friends don’t know about that. I’m not ready to date again, but it began to seem that the only way to get them off my back was to go on a date with someone other than Jonah.

I picked the safest man I could think of, a co-worker at the town’s Recreation Department who has always been friendly to me in a brotherly, not a flirty, kind of way. He’s a bit younger than me, he works at the same place as I do, he knew the date was just to prove to my friends that I do go on dates. He’s always traipsing through the department with one or another pretty girl in tow. I thought I was safe.

Boy, was I wrong.

Steven was a perfect gentleman, taking me out to a far nicer restaurant than I’d expected, insisting on paying for everything himself, even though I’d asked him on the date, inviting me for a walk down by the river after we ate, before the blues band was due to start at the club he’d suggested. And that’s when the confession came – he’s had the hots for me ever since I started working for the town, he never thought he had a chance with me, he was thrilled to discover that I wanted to start a relationship. I protested that I’d told him the date was a smokescreen, but he said he intuited my true motive. He could see how lonely I am. He was going to save me.

Then he lunged at me, bumbling me into a clumsy embrace, bringing his lips perilously near to mine. I leapt back, almost falling into the river. Keeping out of his arms’ reach, I marched back towards his car, not sure if I’d let him drive me home or if I’d call a taxi. I told him as firmly as possible that all I would permit between us was friendship, the way we’d been before, and if he tried to push it further, the friendship would end and the work environment would become very uncomfortable.

“Okay, okay, Jessie, I get it,” he said, but his eyes were still twinkling with unextinguished hope and I swear he had one hand behind his back, fingers crossed.

Now things are uncomfortable as hell at work, I have one more secret to keep from my friends and they are still extolling the virtues of Jonah to me.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012.  Stories must be a minimum of 200 words.  Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.