I had never been on a blind date before, and honestly I scoffed at it the first time my best friend brought him up to me.
“So, Haley,” Jane said it slowly, so I knew something was up, “I have this friend.” I shook my head. She was always trying to set me up with these guys she knew. I always laughed it off. But, she kept bringing them up. “His name is Todd, he graduated last year, he’s tall enough for heels, he has the cutest dog, he owns a sports store across town…” She kept listing things. I nodded every now and then. I brushed a piece of chip from my jeans. A milkshake sounds good. I can get one on the way home from…
“Haley, are you even listening to me?” I jerked my head back to Jane.
“Yeah, I was completely listening. Cute dog. Tall. Owns some store…” I laughed. “Okay, so you caught me. I zoned out.” Jane rolled her eyes. “What distracted you so badly?” I smirked, “Take a guess.”
“Were you thinking about getting a milkshake?” I busted out laughing, she knew me way to well, but 8 years of friendship would do that to you. She rolled her eyes and shoved my shoulder playfully. “You’re horrible!” I smiled, at least I’d gotten her mind off Tim, or Tyler, or Todd, whatever his name is. We finished eating out lunch, paid, and headed to the parking lot.
“Haley!” She stopped mid-step and grabbed my arm.
“Oh my word, what,” I nearly tripped trying to catch my balance.
“Todd! I didn’t finish telling you!” A grin covered her face and I caved.
“Okay, fine,” I rolled my eyes, “tell me about this magnificent Todd.” Sarcasm oozed from my voice, but she didn’t seem to notice.
“So, he is so smart! Funny, totally your type!” She was so excited, I tried not to laugh. “I told him all about you, and you have a date on Thursday!” I jerked my head up at the last part. She did not just say that, I had to have heard wrong.
“I’m sorry,” I brushed the hair from my face and scrunched my nose. “Did you just say that I – me – Haley Ann Jones – has a date on Thursday?” I was in complete disbelief.
“Yes!” She sounded beyond proud of herself. The smirk on her face told me there was more to it. “And, I already told him how excited you were and that you couldn’t wait to meet him.” I was obviously in shock. “And,” she continued with a twinkle in her eye, “I set up a reservation at that cute Italian place by Target!”
I remember being livid and threatening to just not show up. She returned my threat with one of her own. Let’s just say you can’t be friends for eight years without gaining SOME blackmail on each other. But, here I was. Dressed in my favorite black lace dress, some cute red wedges -she did say he was tall- and a long sparkling necklace, I had even curled my hair. I may not want to be on this date, but at least I look good.
I opened the door and the smell of bread and pasta made my mouth water. I am so ready to eat. I didn’t know what he looked like, Jane forbade me from looking him up and refused to show me a picture. “It’s supposed to be a BLIND date, Hales. Emphasis on BLIND.” I should have just looked him up. I walked up to the hostess stand.
“Do you have a reservation with us tonight, ma’am?” The kid, probably still in high school, asked me.
“Yea. It should be under Todd.” At least that’s what I think Jane said. He looked through his list and nodded. Grabbing two menus he swept his arm toward the tables behind him.
“Right this way.”
I followed the kid to a table in a quiet corner away from the majority of the people there. I guess this Todd was running late. Strike one. I glanced at my phone as I sat down. Nothing. I rolled my eyes and ordered a glass of wine. A few minutes passed and I checked my phone again. I already knew what I wanted to order. Where was he? Finally, I noticed a man walk up to the host stand and the kid pointed toward me in my little corner. I sat a little straighter as the guy walked closer. He was very handsome. At least Jane knows my type. He walked straight up to me, nearly out of breathe.
“Haley?” I nodded.
“You must be Todd.” He smiled, showing off his dimples. Oh my.
“Yea, that’s me,” he slid into the seat across from me and ordered a beer for himself. Then he faced me again. Those dimples. “I must apologize,” he began, “I lost track of time and by the time I realized it was time for me to leave, I hadn’t so much as put on socks.”
“I’m not saying its a strike against you, but usually when people are going to be late somewhere they tell whoever they are meeting.” I couldn’t just let it go, I had to give the guy a hard time. He grinned and laughed.
“You’re absolutely right. And I was in such a hurry to get here that I left my phone sitting on my bed.” He held up his hands as if to prove his story. “On the positive side, you’ve got my complete attention for as long as you’ll let me give it tonight.” He winked. My face flushed. What the heck is this? I’m not the blushing girl on a date.