booklover231: I can’t wait to see you tomorrow.
readinglady36: Me neither! I can’t believe it’s finally happening!
booklover231: I know, right? Haha.
booklover231: But it will be good to see my lady in the flesh at last.
booklover231: That came across creepier than I’d intended.
readinglady36: I hope that’s not a sign of things to come. 😉
booklover231: I promise I’m not super creepy.
readinglady36: Guess we’ll find out tomorrow for sure. 🙂
booklover 231: Guess so. 🙂
readinglady36: Alright, I think I’m gonna go to bed. I’ll be dreaming of you. 😉
booklover231: Haha, same here.
readinglady36: Good night!
booklover231: Good night.
Aaron logged off with a smile. He hadn’t really been a fan of internet dating before. Why sit around chatting on computers when you could just meet people in person and hit it off? That’s how he’d done it since high school and it had worked out just fine. But recently, things hadn’t been going well for him. He had some lingering scars to deal with and bitter memories to wash away. Aaron could no longer bring himself to ask women out. His co-worker Dave had suggested creating an online profile. Despite his initial hesitation, Aaron went through with it and, after a few awkward pickup attempts and a series of rejections, he finally found her.
Jessica was grinning at the screen. She couldn’t believe that she had found someone so perfect for her in the vast sea of perverts and weirdos that seemed to populate the internet. She hadn’t really been lucky in love, and was still reeling from a bad relationship. Internet dating was just the solution she needed. Initial results were predictable, of course. She was careful not to post a picture online, so as to weed out the really shady guys, but it didn’t get rid of them all. When he had messaged her a simple ‘Hello’ instead of the lewd introductions she was used to, it was a pleasant surprised. She decided to take a chance on this stranger, and it had worked out quite well.
Aaron was nervous. He had tried to focus on work the whole day, but he couldn’t. It was the night of his first date and he felt like a high schooler all over again. It was a feeling he hadn’t had in quite some time. Of course, the last time he had, he’d expected the relationship to last forever. He would have to be careful not to burden himself with expectations this time.
Jessica went through her little mental checklist. Everything had to be just right for the evening. She almost wanted to pinch herself. At last, after a long patch of darkness, she’d found a sliver of light. It had been a long courtship, and he loved her for who she was rather than her looks. In fact, they’d both agreed not to exchange pictures. It would be more romantic that way. Keep the mystery alive. She smiled and wondered what he looked like. She’d find out soon enough.
Aaron fidgeted in his seat. As planned, he was waiting at the cafe in a beige shirt with a small orange tulip tucked into the breast pocket. He was early. He hoped she would be on time. He drank another glassful of water, trying to drown out his nerves.
Jessica paid her cab fare and waved off the change, almost running into the cafe. She was wearing a little black dress and her hair was loose, with a blue barrette clipped to one side. That was how he would recognize her. She kept an eye out for the orange tulip. She saw it almost immediately. She stopped cold.
Aaron looked up at every patron that walked in. Soon enough, she walked in. The black dress and the blue barrette. Aaron’s face fell. He was going to need something stronger than water.
Neither of them had ever expected to run into each other again after the divorce.