A very short story about dating
He was waiting for her on the London Bridge looking handsome, just as she remembered from the conference they met. Klara didn’t close any business with him, though Paul still suggested drinks.
She said yes.
His wavy hazel hair was short, and she now noticed his lower teeth had some kind of caries with a culprit-tooth.
It put her on ease — there was something satisfying in the realization he wasn’t perfect.
But the eyes. Big green eyes under almost girl-like eyelashes piercing her throughout.
This was officially a non-date.
Klara still bought a new pair of pants and sprayed herself with J’adore, leaving mild vanilla notes behind. Vanilla was meant to remind men of their mother’s milk. Make them go nuts.
As they walked through the bridge, the sun made them glow like two happy pineapples.
Paul had so much to say: his previous jobs, playing poker, and tattoos he got in Bali…
They ordered beers at The Anchor, an old English pub in front of the Thames.
‘Let’s stay outside so that I can smoke like a chimney,’ Klara put her Heineken on top of a wooden barrel and reached for her menthol Vogues.
‘Smoking is disgusting,’ commented Paul and pulled out his own cigarettes.
‘I feel like leaving the town,’ she confided.
‘Oh me too. I cannot imagine to settle down yet.’
‘Me neither!’ she heard herself saying. ‘There are too many things to do — travel the world, make a movie…!’
‘Agreed! Funny though you say that, most girls freak out hearing it.’
‘Do you have a boyfriend…or something?’
It felt like the question had to burst out, after being held so bravely.
She drank to postpone the answer. Just a few seconds more.
‘I do…actually,’ she looked away, reaching for another Vogue.
There was a minute of silence while Paul took a drag and swallowed the gulp, following a boat on the river with his green eyes.
‘What’s his name?’ he asked, finally looking at her.
‘Giovanni,’ said Klara.
‘Ah,’ Paul grinned, ‘Gio from Italy’.
Into that a text beeped on his phone. He picked it up and typed back.
‘Do you have something later?’ He asked Klara apologetically, ‘I need to be somewhere at seven.’
‘I do,’ she hurried with an answer. Then she hesitated: ‘Do you have a date?’
‘Who is it?’
‘Some girl,’ he smirked, ‘from Spain.’
‘Where will you take her?’
‘Well, I’ll try to get her drunk first and then hopefully to my place!’
Long live honesty!
‘She’s cute, but …’ he leaned over the barrel. ‘I don’t wanna sound like a dick and probably I will, but… nobody says no to me.’
‘I am looking for something serious, it just never works.’
‘Like this girl, I met three weeks ago: she was a female version of me. We got along, went for a road trip. She made me laugh so much! I thought: god, I want to marry this girl… Then one day I wake up and there’s no connection, you know?’
‘Nothing. So I break up with her. It’s sometimes difficult, but I manage to do it in the end…’
Leave before they get to know you, cheat before they beat you to it. Just don’t get hurt… hey boy, that’s MY recipe.
She kept silent and took a sip.
‘They just don’t make me stay on my tiptoes, you know?’
Paul’s feathers spread out, throwing a shadow on the Thames below them.
Your game is older than Rome. And yet, maybe you’re not bragging.
I probably wouldn’t say no to you either.
Which… is annoying.
‘I dropped my last relationship because the sex wasn’t good… But then one misses other things with the next person. It’s a vicious circle,’ scored Klara and puffed from her Vogue.
‘Though I’ve never done online dating,’ she continued eying his phone. ‘It’s the doom of this society.’
‘Why?’ Paul lifted his eyebrows.
‘When I listen to my girlfriends, their Tinder stories scare me. People swipe left and right through faces like it’s a video game. Is the grass always greener on the other side? How green is it these days? We’re talking hundreds of available green lawns over our own garden fence!’
‘I think things have changed…’ Paul shrugged, ‘and we live more lives than we used to. I believe we should meet as many people as possible. Experience different interactions.’
This boy is stealing my lines again.
‘Uh oh, but then, people are almost incapable of being happy with what they have. They don’t water their own grass.’
Am I just defending monogamy right now?
Paul stayed quiet.
‘True,’ he slowly nodded. ‘People play with their phones non-stop. There is barely some real interaction.’
Right, boy. You surely know how it feels to get practically interviewed, while you’re watching your date swipe away for the next date.
This game requires some balls.
‘How old are you?’ He dared.
‘Thirty-two,’ she took a sip, ‘you?’
‘Twenty-five?’ Klara slowly echoed.
‘I grew up quick,’ objected Paul. ‘I was raised in Paris, then moved to Singapore where I learned English…’
She stared at her bag moving the zip around. Her smile was becoming high-maintenance.
‘Anyway, I always look for girls who are over 27 or so …’ he dissented.
Girls over 27…
‘You can’t tell these days how old people are,’ murmured Klara and downed the rest of her beer.
A blink of text on his phone again.
‘I should be at Tate Modern in five. Is that cool?’ he asked hastily looking at his screen.
‘Sure thing. Gotta go too.’
Thank god this was a non-date.
But of course.
When she walked back through the bridge, the wind was making her hair a mess.
Her boyfriend Gio was at home.
‘You look really good,’ he commented over a salad as he glanced at her new trousers. ‘How was your day?’
‘Pretty tiring,’ Klara opened the fridge and poured herself a glass of Merlot.
She hugged him from behind, having a sip. He let her lean on his back and kept mixing the salad, humming a melody.
Paul is now on another short-run date rummaging some girl’s mental health, while I have my REAL boyfriend next to me.
She took a sip.
Who’s the winner now, huh?
She cuddled up to him somewhat harder.