He’s running late. Or maybe my watch is fast. Why did mother have to set me up on a blind date? I’m not interested in a boyfriend, I don‘t have time for one with all my extracurricular activities and girlfriends. Maybe she suspects.
There’s the door! What will I say to him? I hope he doesn’t want to go out – unless it’s a movie, then we won’t have to talk. Ugh. I reach up and touch my hair, then decide I don’t care how I look, not for him. Without looking through the peephole, I swing the door wide, and I am momentarily frozen. He’s gorgeous!
“Are you Sarah?” he asks. I think I nod. He reaches for my hand and introduces himself as David.
I clumsily gesture him into our living room and onto the couch, where I sit beside him in Daddy’s armchair, stupidly looking around as if I’ve never seen my own house. He attempts small talk about school, the sports I play, “Your mom was telling me how great a shortstop you are,” and the construction of the new stadium in our town. “I don’t understand why we’re spending so many tax dollars on such a grand stadium – we don’t even have a football team! This has to be some sort of ploy to attract one, or maybe they’re hoping to be chosen to host the Special Olympics. I’ve heard it brings in a lot of revenue.” He’s a pretty good conversationalist, considering I’m still staring at the paintings and sculptures my mom has all over the wall and shelves above his blond head. Why can’t I look at him? This is silly. I force my eyes to move down to his face, where they’re attracted to his full lips. I watch them move, answering with, “Yeah,” and, “Really?” whenever I notice a small pause. Something in my chest does a tight flip-flop when I chance a glance to his big, chocolate brown eyes. The Clark Kent-style glasses he wears should detract from them, but instead magnify their depths.
This isn’t happening. I’m not attracted to him. I like girls. I’ve always liked girls. I think it almost as a little mantra. I like girls. I like girls. My stomach is tightening with the knowledge I’m trying to resist. Suddenly, though, I’m broken out of my stupor by his voice mentioning the loss of the Cubs last night. I hear him say, “The Cubs will never make it to the play-offs if they continue with such lousy performances.” My blood boils. If there’s one thing about which I’m passionate, it’s the Cubs, and the way most of their fans are fair-weather.
I launch into a tirade about the depth of the talent we have this year, the great coaching skills, and the lack of support the rookies have from fans. “Everyone should show up and support the team! The half-empty stadium is largely responsible for the occasional bad games, and the mismanagement of the team is lowering the morale of the players. If someone who was passionate about the Cubs went into the dressing room with confidence and positive energy, we wouldn‘t have ‘lousy performances.’” I feel my face flush and my body tense, and I know David’s looking at me with surprise and interest because of the sudden outburst. I try to calm myself so I may argue rationally about the Cubs’ chance for a playoff season, when he reaches over to pat my leg in an effort to pacify me.
The contact sends heat up my thigh and makes me tingle slightly, causing a new warmth to spread to my other limbs. I jump up, knocking his hand from me, and march to the door, opening it.
The meaning is clear to him, so he slowly rises and straightens his jacket – which I realize I never offered to take from him – before walking through the door without so much as a backward glance. It takes a minute for me to register that the door’s still open. I close it and sink onto the glass surface of the coffee table, wondering where to file this new information about myself and what it means.