First dates can be terrifying, and this one was no exception. The tension was intensified by the fact that it was only their second time meeting in person. She was all over the place that day, feeling anxious about everything. What would she wear? What if he didn’t like her after all? Should she act cool, or dive right into her crazy and goofy nature?
Alice had not been on a date in ages. Some part of her had actually given up on love, concluding that it was for the birds. But this guy seemed different because on their first encounter she felt lovestruck, and this was rather unusual.
The nervousness that she was feeling was intensified when she got into a matatu headed for Town, and they found a serious snarl-up a few minutes after. She tried to console herself by the fact that the matatu would overlap and force itself in between little spaces, and that within no time she would be there. You see, she always had time anxiety. She made sure to always be on time, but somehow she had spent hours looking in the mirror, changing outfits, and perfecting her makeup. She really thought this guy was attractive, and she wanted to make a good impression. She took out her Sunday best on a Friday. No more ‘saving that dress.’ This was a special occasion.
Alice arrived at the restaurant thirty minutes late. The guy had called her at exactly 3 pm asking where she was. He had arrived. They met at a common landmark and then walked towards the restaurant. They settled on a spot in the middle of the restaurant, seeing as the place was full. Alice secretly wanted to go to a different branch where they could sit at a booth or something, but she chose to be quiet about it. Again, this was her chance to ‘prove herself worthy’ and she thought that being quiet and complacent would earn her the marks.
As they settled down, the waiter came and the guy ordered coffee. First, she was surprised because she thought it was a lunch date, and after he ordered a small black coffee she couldn’t order that steak which she had been eyeing for months. They started talking, or rather, he started talking. The guy went on and on about his life. His childhood, his experiences, traumas, and life stories. The thing is, Alice was pretty talkative as well, and she had so much to say, but when it came to this guy, there was no way she could interrupt him because his sentences had no pauses. He talked a lot, and fast.
Alice gave him the benefit of doubt because it was their first date, and perhaps it was the way in which he responded to his adrenaline rush. It was evident that he was nervous as well. He didn’t maintain eye contact, and he kept smiling shyly. But again, it was their first date so she excused him for it.
The date was supposed to last three hours. Alice was attending a concert later on and she needed to go back home and dress up for that. But an hour and a half down the line, she was exhausted. She realised that she hadn’t even been paying attention to him because it was all too much to take in.
The thing is, this guy didn’t act like that when they were texting. He gave her space and time to express herself. It was only when they spoke over the phone or in-person that he went on and on about himself.
Three weeks later the guy asked her out on a second date. She wasn’t really that excited about it, but then again her friend encouraged her to go on the date. Even if it wouldn’t turn to something beyond friendship she would definitely learn something from him. So she agreed.
Alice had a hangover after a heavy night. She wanted to relax but she couldn’t turn him down a second time so she went. She got to the restaurant five minutes after he did. She didn’t feel like ordering anything so she just ordered a glass of juice, and so did the guy. As soon as she told him that she had a hangover, he started telling her his experience. He went on and on about how he and his father drink together, his favourite drink, his first time drinking and just a whole load of other stories about himself.
At one point he said something and then paused for her to respond, but since she wasn’t really listening she just laughed and said yes. Then he repeated himself and said that she looked beautiful. He instantly knew that she hadn’t been listening, but they both brushed it off with a smile. Deep down, Alice knew that she would be laughing about this for ages.
By the end of this date, Alice was exhausted. The minute he asked if they could leave, she felt relieved, and now, she had made up her mind about this guy. He told her he would call to set up the next date.
She got home and waited two days before she sent him a text to say that she didn’t think it would work. Now, she had an added pet peeve to her list: guys who talk too much about themselves.
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