Paper and Ink, Series

Non-First Date (1)

By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:

Of all the first dates I have been on, none has ever turned out quite this way. I met you on a non-remarkable day as I was going about minding my business. I noticed the spark of interest in your eyes but I wasn’t looking to get into something so I stayed as far away from you as I could, until somehow the world shrank and I ended up back in your orbit. One month, two, three up to eight. I wasn’t counting but you were.

That first day that I seriously talked to you started out un-remarkably too. I was delivering something to your offices and I walked in while you were in a meeting. Our eyes met and suddenly I was nervous. I said, “hi” and left.

Later that day, you texted me. Hi. Can I buy you a drink sometime? I thought about it and said, Sure. My response paved the way for nonstop texting and talking. At first it was just about work, the day and so forth. Later on you revealed that you admired me and had done so for a while.

I still wasn’t looking for anything and so I determined to see you, have my drink and then ignore you. You picked a day the next week for the drink and I was amazed that someone had it so planned out in advance.

The night before the date, you texted and asked to see me that night too. You were hanging with friends and wanted me there. I told you I was tired and would see you the next day. The day of the date arrived and we went back and forth about the time. Eventually we agreed to meet at 7.

You asked to pick me up for the date but I instead said I would meet you there. I showed up and it was nothing like a first date is meant to be.

You surprised me with a group date, me and you and about 5 people too many. I had been worried about communication and if we would have things to talk about but that made it much easier. We had a good time and at the end of the night got a chance to talk. You were attentive and I lost myself in the idea of your attention on a regular basis.

That night, you dropped me off and we texted some more. You told me how it had been a lovely time and I agreed. We talked about the guy that gave me a hug that got you jealous; I told you he was just a friend. You joked that if I hugged friends like that maybe you needed a special hug. I said probably not ’cause I knew that you wanted to hold me tight and squeeze me.

I still wanted to be just friends because your intensity scared me. The way you looked at me like you could see secrets beneath my skin, the way you ordered me a new drink when my old one was getting finished, the way you held my gaze when you smiled and made sure I knew I had your attention.

All these scared me off and yet drew me in.

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