Day 32 of 365 Days of Writing Prompts: Write a bad blind date.
Shannon: “Lance,” I questioned the guy sitting alone, since his face matched the picture my friend had showed me earlier.
“Yes,” he got up to shake my hand. “You must be Ellie,” he stated and I nodded. “I hope you’re ready for the greatest date of your life,” he said as he pulled out my chair.
“We are just having dinner. Isn’t that a little cocky.” I felt the need to call him out, hoping he was joking.
“Dinner with me,” he flashed his teeth as he opened his menu. “Plus Mindy tells me you don’t get out much, so this should be a real treat for you.”
Ok, those were fighting words. “Excuse me, but do you think you’re doing me a favor by eating with me,” I questioned, baffled.
“No, I’m the lucky one here,” he spoke sarcastically.
Jeez he was coming on strong even though we’d just met. I tried to think back to what I could have said that made him act so awful as the waitress came around. “Are you ready to order,” she asked.
“Yes,” he responded, knowing I hadn’t even opened the menu yet. I tried to scan it quickly, but I needed more than one quick read, because each dish was very complicated.
“And for you,” the waitress questioned my silence.
I felt too much pressure to come up with one on the spot. “What do you recommend?”
“Just get her the house salad,” he ordered for me.
“No,” I argued immediately.
“Come on,” he rolled his eyes, impatiently.
“I’d like to leave,” I picked up my purse aggressively. “Have a great dinner Lance. Oh,” I paused, “And this was the worst date of my life by the way.” It felt amazing to walk away.
Erin: “Hello, I’m Lil,” I shook the hand of the short man I recognized from my friend’s text. He had dark hair and the darkest brown eyes I have ever seen.
“I’m Ronald,” he scanned his eyes to the handshake and immediately sat down in his own chair.
“Nice to meet you,” I offered.
“Yeah,” was his only response, so I took a drink of the water in front of me to slightly block my face from him.
He buried his face in his menu.
I picked what I wanted and his noes was still buried. “What do you like to do,” I asked drinking more water.
“Play sports and watch them,” he shrugged getting back to his menu.
“I’ve never been that into sports,” I admitted. “What else do you like to do?”
“Have you ever tried sports?”
“This would be easier if you played,” he stilled had those dark brown eyes glued to the menu. They had actually not met mine the entire date.
“Well I don’t,” I gave up on trying.
The waitress came to the table and he ordered his salmon with seven adjustments to make the meal fit his liking. I picked a last-minute salad as what I initially wanted clearly would not meet his expectations. “There is a lot of sugar in that vinaigrette,” he pointed out.
“Darn,” I breathed out reminding myself that he was not worth it.
“Playing sports is a good way to stay in shape,” he offered some unsolicited advice.
“I suppose it is,” I agreed.
“You should go to the gym with me,” was his second date offer and our food was not even on the table.
“So, you think I need to work out,” I asked?
“It wouldn’t hurt,” the sag in his eyes while he looked to my stomach proved he was not joking around.
“I need to leave. I don’t need this type of energy in my life. Try to enjoy your bland ass fish,” I stood up.
“I’m not paying for you if your cutting out,” he complained.
“This will cover it,” I threw a $100 bill on the table. While he didn’t deserve the extra money, I figured that amount of money coming from a homely woman put on this planet to please his eyes was something he could stand to see.
We have surpassed a month!!!
I turned the worn, familiar pages of “Romeo and Juliet” in the cheerfully crowded Cafe, a tranquil blood rose resting on my table. From my lonely seat I watched the barista, an attractive young woman with sky blue skin spotted with glistening scales, crafting some fancy beverage for a squat man. Her long, tangled cobalt hair was pinned back to let her work; but it struggled to be free, a rebel strand having fallen beside her ethereal face. Startlingly large pupils and a necklace made of living corals and bright shells rounded out the alien appearance of the naiad.
When she glanced in my direction I hastily took a sip of scalding chai to hide my stare. Peering around the inviting and cozy shop I watched a small cluster of students silently speaking to each other over an oversized ern of navitasis, an invisible dome field glittering around them in the bioluminescent lighting. All along the ceiling vines twisted and curled, sprouting tiny flowers that emitted a stunning fluorescence; it was a very clever trick of someone with flora-element magick.
Ignoring the rest of the bustle I dove back into my favorite book with fervor. The world melted away as the words flew off the pages, wrapping me in the melancholy tale of love. Careful not to drip on the precious old book I took a few more sips of sweet chai, letting the aroma add to my stupor.
I was so out of it that he had to clear his throat obtrusively to bring me back to reality. Smiling shyly he cocked his head adorably to the side and spoke in a low tone, “You’re Lilian?” As he stood there, hands awkwardly in his jeans pockets waiting for my answer I could almost see the sweat on his brow.
After a few calming breaths to settle my own nerves I smiled politely back and subtly corrected him, “Lily, you can just call me Lily, Riley.” His appearance matched mine in effort; jeans with a throw-on shirt that showed off our best features and a touch of hair product for good measure. Suddenly realizing my blind date was waiting for me to ask him to sit, uncomfortably standing in the middle of a busy café, I blurted out, “Please have a seat, Riley,” with another respectful smile.
As he scraped the chair across the time-worn flooring I winced and he must’ve taken that as a clue to how this was going. Leaning forward so he could be heard above the din, he whispered, “I guess you think this is gonna work out, huh?” There was a pitiful look in his eyes, whether he meant it to be there or not will remain a mystery.
But that look sucked me in and I chuckled dryly. “No, no, Riley, it’s not you,” when I saw the look of incredulity flash across his features I reached out to take his hand. Sighing I spoke through a defeated smirk, “Look, I just moved back after being out in the mortal world learning about botany and spell magicks. My little sister said one of her friends had a really nice friend named Riley that she wanted to set up.” This was not news to Riley, who tugged his hand back gently. I paused to think before launching back in, “You just weren’t what I was expecting. Uhm,” I groaned in frustration.
“Look, Lily, I’m sorry I’m not some hot guy. I’m just a dork who also spent way too long in the mortal world,” with that he got up to leave but turned at the hurt in my eyes. As he sat back in the metal chair, glaring down at the blood rose I rolled my eyes at my own mistakes.
I waited until he looked up before speaking again, “I was expecting a chick, I’m really sorry for wasting your time, Riley.” As the truth sank in, he blushed fiercely. Laughing at myself I added, “I don’t quite know how my little sister never used a pronoun when searching for the right girl. I really am sorry.” The sincerity in my voice seemed to help him recover and he relaxed, dropping his shoulders and leaning back comfortably.
When he laughed I knew he was alright, “Wow, well, I gotta say that I’ve never been on a date with a lesbian.” Smiling jovially, Riley sighed, “I guess I never really had a chance with you.”
I chuckled through my reply, “No, not really. But, look, maybe we can be friends if we can get past the awkward first impressions?” As I said that he nodded and I exhaled, “Great, le’me buy you a coffee. How do you take it?”
We’d been talking for an hour about our experiences in the mortal world, and how we’d just missed meeting since I was living with my parents instead of at the outpost while I was out there, when he took the conversation in another direction. Sighing, he fiddled idly with his watch and he spoke without meeting my eye, “So, your left eye is white while your right is green, but you’re right-handed. How does that work?”
One thing you have to understand about us Briarwood folk is that we have magickal abilities, like the shop owner who can make plants grow, and that we are each connected to one of the eleven elements: light, water, ice, weather, metal, darkness, fire, earth, fauna, air and flora. A witch or warlock’s element starts to develop at a very young age and, by the time we’re ten, one of our irises changes to reflect that element; whichever our dominant side is. Occasionally people are born with abilities that behave differently.
Another thing is that our magickal towns, like Briarwood, are also safe havens for other magickal creatures from the mortal world. We protect and accept any magickal person or creature who requests entry.
“Well, uh,” I stumbled over the profoundly personal question before raising an eyebrow and staring into the dregs of my third chai. When I looked up an apology hung off Riley’s lips but I cut him off before he could begin, “My mother fell for a mortal. I guess that’s a bit of a cliché but it’s true. She stayed at the outpost through high school like I did.” Sipping at the last bit of my tea I cleared my throat and continued solemnly, “She was gonna renounce magick; she had the ceremony lined up and everything when she found out she was pregnant with me. Obviously she didn’t give it up but my magick was severely tainted by the lack of use she had for it while pregnant.”
I smiled a bit, holding back the tears that occasionally came with recounting the harrowing decision my mom had to make. But Riley just reached his hand across the hold mine gentlemanly. When he opened his mouth I heard a rival to my tale, “My parents were both dark but, obviously,” he pointed to his strikingly white right eye that didn’t match the warm caramel of his left, “that didn’t get passed on. They kicked me out of my house when I was five and sent me to the orphan’s house.” It was his turn to hold back the waterworks as he eyes gleamed, “That’s how I met your little sister and Nola, the best friend I’m going to have a stern chat with,” he laughed at the last part.
I held a hand up, speaking a simple incantation and my mug floated swiftly to the counter. The naiad barista winked suggestively when she saw the note requesting a refill before hurrying to brew more. When she slid the steaming, sweet-smelling beverage before me I gathered the change for a refill. “On the house, sweetheart,” she trilled, winking again before strutting back to the counter.
Turning back to Riley he was smirking smugly. He whistled, obviously impressed, before continuing with our chat, “But, you know, having an attachment to two elements isn’t unheard of. Perhaps your mother passed some of her physical magickal abilities on to you. Your sister seems pretty ordinary,” he nearly cursed the word, “in my humble opinion.” There was more to this Riley guy than I’d originally given him credit for; he wasn’t just a stuck-up goodie, goodie. And there was a brain behind the wavy oak hair.
As I checked my watch I nearly spat the mouth of spicy liquid on my favorite book, “Oh, shoot! I’m gonna be late to the founders meeting. Riley, it was a pleasure to meet you.” I stood up, Riley mirroring me courteously. Smiling genuinely I added, “We should hang out again soon. We have a lot in common, you and I. We could learn a lot from each other. Ta!”
I sprinted from the tiny café into a torrential downpour, taking out my sacred metal and quartz wand to perform a relatively modest umbrella spell and sloshed down Mainstreet toward Founder’s Street. When I turned the corner a few minutes later, a firefly streetlight raining down on me and reflecting in the growing pools, I stared up the hill. Sitting a little to the side was the house my family would always own; Heart Mansion. In it my sister was going to get an earful about my bad blind date.
February 1st Earth Standard Time
“So, um…what you want to talk about?” Alex shifted awkwardly in his chair, the cushions angled the wrong way. Casandra sat on the other end of the other end of table disinterested, her head pressed up against the air compressed window. A shimmering ocean of silver armada ships orbiting above the storm swirling earth. Alex looked out the window as well, silent. “Um…if you want to be quite that’s cool too.” A white vortex on the globe of earth thundered mutely.
A twisted metal corpse of Tranquility station peaked past the arching globe of earth, box like ships flying around the wreckage like flies to dead meat. Casandra turned away. A thousand smaller fleas descended from the orbiting space ships that were better off as shipping containers. The whirling sound of tracks broke the monotony of despair. A server bot, a small LDL TV glowed with a simplistic face made from aqua blue lines. It wore a tacky red and white suit and black tie with its legs cut off with tank treads instead. “Hello! I am Ronny! I will be your server today for this romantic evening.” Ronny pulled out a pen and paper out of its coat jacket. “What would you two love birds like to drink?”
“I’m sorry, maybe I’m not in the best mood to go out.” Casandra stood up and walked out towards the restaurant door. She waved goodbye before Alex could sputter a word.
Alex sighed. “I guess I’ll have a coffee then.”
Ronny chirped, scribbling down the order and flashed a big authentic smile with it’s LDL TV screen. “Sure thing! I hope you have a wonderful day!” It wheeled away towards the kitchen and slid the paper through to the kitchen.
“Thanks…” Alex deadpanned.
Created to Write:
Nikki was told he’d be there at 6:30pm. She waited outside the restaurant, which her friends picked out. After fifteen minutes, she walked inside, to get out of the cold. The waitress brought her to her seat and Nikki looked over the menu briefly.
She then took out her phone and looked at the picture. Jacey said this guy was into science, and his picture is decent. But he’s late, which brings him down on the first impression.
She keeps checking the entrance for him. The waitress understands and keeps Nikki’s water full. When it is 6:55pm, he walks in. He looks around for a little, then asks a waitress. She points to Nikki and he turns to walk over. Scanning the tables quickly, he realizes there is only one with a girl alone.
“Hi, Derek, right?” Nikki says, standing up.
“Uhhh…” Derek stares at her, hesitantly taking her offered hand, “Nikki?”
Nikki nods, trying to smile. But she’s having a hard time keeping, “you are late,” from coming out.
“Ah.” Derek sits down. Nikki sits too. He looks a little nervous, or shocked.
“So, my friends said you like science,” Nikki says, trying to start a conversation.
“Yeah… I’m majoring in Bio,” Derek says, trying to focus on the menu.
When he doesn’t ask her anything, Nikki points out, “I’m majoring in Chemistry.”
“You’re in college?” Derek asks.
“…Yes,” Nikki looks at her own menu, peeking glances at him. She sighs, then puts her menu down, “Is something bothering you?”
Derek looks up, “Huh? No. No no, nothing’s bothering me.”
“Really? Because you’re tense,” Nikki states.
Derek looks behind her, then sighs. “Okay, I’m just… I’m a little surprised, that’s all.”
“Well, my friends told me about you, and how you like science too, and stuff…” he rambles. “But, in hindsight,” he chuckles, “they forgot to show me your picture.”
Nikki stares at him for a second. “…What does that have to do with anything?”
Derek freezes. “Umm… Nothing, I just didn’t-”
“Does my skin color bother you?” Nikki asks.
“Are you surprised I’m in college?” Nikki asks.
“Wait, I never meant-”
“It doesn’t matter what you meant, it still offends me,” Nikki points out.
Derek sighs, “Okay, okay, I’m sorry. I just… I’ve never done this before.”
“Just… you know…” Derek motions to her, then to him.
Nikki’s eyes darken at what he’s implying. “Never had a date with a black woman?” she guesses.
“Exactly,” Derek breathes, thinking she understands, “it’s just, it’s awkward right? I mean, you were probably expecting more someone like you.”
Nikki sighs, “Well…” She takes out her phone and shows him his picture.
His face drains like he saw a ghost, “Ohh….”
Nikki stands, putting on her jacket, “On that note…” She picks up her purse, “Flourine, Uranium, Carbon, Potassium, Oxygen, and Flourine molecule, to you Derek.”
“…What does that mean?” he gulps.
Nikki smiles, “You’d know if you were in chemistry. Look up a periodic table.” She then walks out the doors, texting her friends.
‘Date was a racist. Going home early -N’
Not long after, her phone chimes.
‘I am sooooo sorry Kee. I knew him from friend of friend. -Jacey’
Nikki sighs to herself, then types, ‘not your fault. -N’
‘Come over. I’ll get a movie in. No guys until tomorrow. -Jacey’
Nikki smiles, then sends a diamond emoji, her way of saying she’s all for it.
(Had to look at a periodic table for her comeback. I don’t have it memorized like she does.)