Ok, look what I found lurking in the dark corner of my harddrive – a first chapter of a dating chicklit book I never finished. Ok, never wrote – all I have is a couple of chapters. Who wants to read another dating book, anyway?
This is not a true story. Ok, it is loosely based on some of the terrible experiences I’ve had dating a few years back. Thankfully it’s all behind me now, so I can just laugh at it…hope you do too.
“How could she do this…this…to me?” Matt slurred. The late hour and an unknown number of long island ice teas were taking their toll. “She was everything to me!”
“I am sure it was for the best,” I said once again.
Matt looked at me for a moment. I thought he was about to disagree, but instead he just hiccupped.
Great. As if the night could not get any worse.
“Well,” I said, “I really, really do need to go now. It was very nice…”
“All I ever wanted was to love her…eek…to come home to her…eek..to…to…aaahh!”
With that, Matt dissolved into a stream of hiccups and sobs. It was hard to imagine that this caricature was a well groomed businessman just a few hours ago. He slumped over the table, knocking over an empty glass and the check tray that has been quite suggestively brought by the waiter about half an hour ago. It was time to go.
“C’mon Matt, let’s get you a taxi, you’ve got to get some sleep,” I tried to pull him up by the elbow, but succeeded only in dragging him down to the floor.
He kneeled in a heap next to his chair, still sobbing. I bent down to try one more time to pick him up, when he suddenly threw up all over my shoes. Brand new, soft as butter, suede boots that I wore for the first time. I felt fury and nausea all at the same time. It was late on a school night, my date and my shoes were ruined, and I obviously had to pay the tab for both of us. I was done playing either the nice girl or the psychologist.
I marched over to the bar, where an icy cold waiter was cleaning up for the night.
“Excuse me” I said with forced calm, “could you please call two taxis, for me and my friend here?”
Ice Man gave me his most demeaning, sub-zero look as if to say “I am not here to clean up your mess, hun”. Then he looked over at where Matt was still worshipping his chair and must have realized that getting us both out of the joint was in his best interest.
“With pleasure” he said through clenched teeth, picked up the phone and punched in a number with a little too much force. I smiled my fakest smile and walked back to the table. Behind me, I could hear Ice Man trying to convince someone on the other end to deliver two cars to “Laika” as a special favour to him.
Matt was doing a little better. While I was gone, he managed to get himself back to the seat and was wiping his face and hands with the edge of the tablecloth. Oh well, at least the night was about to be over. My whole body ached from the sheer effort of the last hour. I could not wait to go home, take a long hot shower, climb into bed, and forget, forget this night all together.
“How are you feeling?” I asked, wondering why I still bothered.
“Much better, thanks” he sounded a little sobered up, and quite a bit ashamed. “Thank you for listening to me…you are very sweet”. He was looking down at the ruined tablecloth.
“Glad to help.” Instead of telling him that I was actually boiling with rage, I picked up the check from the floor, pulled a couple of bills from my purse, and put them under an empty glass.
“You really are…I mean it…” he looked up at me with his wet puppy eyes. Thankfully, Ice Man was suddenly beside us. Apparently, someone did owe him a favor, because two taxis were already outside, in less time that it would have taken the cops to respond. Very impressive.
“Thank you,” I said, realizing that it was the first truthful statement of the night.
“My pleasure,” Ice Man said, while grimacing to indicate otherwise.
Matt managed to get up on his own and put his arm around my shoulders. The torture was not yet over – apparently he expected me to drag him out into the street. It did not bother me as much as it should have, probably because our every step brought me closer to the shower. Outside, I gratefully sucked in a full breath of fresh air. After five hours in a smoky bar with an emotionally unstable drunk man, the sudden surge of oxygen made me lightheaded.
It must have had a similar effect on Matt. He slowly turned and brought his face close to mine, as if he suddenly saw me for the first time.
“You are a sweet girl,” he slurred again. The stench of vomit made me gag.
“Yeah, that’s just great…” Thankfully, the driver of the first cab came around and opened the door for us. I staggered two more steps, pushing Matt closer to the cab.
“Sweet…so sweet,” he kept muttering.
“Well, good night then,” I said.
Mentally I was already home, so it took me by surprise that instead of peacefully sinking into the back seat, Matt lunged at me. He grasped my head with both hands and attempted to swallow half of my face in presumably a goodnight kiss. I tried to scream in horror and protest, but he mistook my muffled squeals for groans of passion and thrust his tongue so far into my mouth, that for a moment I thought I was going to choke. Finally, I was able to shove him away and he hit the side of a cab.
“I love you, Nasty,” he seemed unfazed. “You are the best thing that ever happened to me”. He tried to reach for me, but lost his balance and fell back against the cab.
“It’s Nastia! Anastasia, you drunken idiot!” I screamed, finally losing it and shaking all over with anger and humiliation. “You are the worst date I’ve ever had!” I shoved him, hard, turned around and stormed to my cab.
“Carlisle and Burke, please” I said to my driver.
“Don’t you want me to follow your boyfriend?” the driver said, laughing. He must have witnessed the whole catastrophe.
“He is not my boyfriend!” I screamed. “Just drive, or I swear to God, I will lose it up in here so bad, they will never find your body!”
“Whatever, I am just trying to help,” the cabby looked offended, but drove off. Good. I was done being nice for the night.
I fell back against the filthy cushions and closed my eyes. My head was pounding and the only thought still running through it was, “How did I get myself into this mess?”