This Was Not A Date: After the Final Tulip

It’s been almost two full days. More information about the non-date date has come to my attention that you need to know, it’s only fair that you have the whole story. So take a journey with me, won’t you? If you need to get caught up before we move on, click here.

Now that you’re caught up, you’re probably wondering what’s up with that guy that pulled her aside, right? Well, I’ll get to that so sit tight. Let’s start with why we met up in the first place, basketball. She and I have only been friends for a short time, a lot of our conversations centering around basketball since both her favorite team and mine were still in the tournament. They both happened to play the same night, one the early game and one the late game Friday night. So would it be cool to meet up and watch the games? Sure. I mean, I was going to watch Florida State either way, it was just a matter of where. So she invited me to watch with her at Buffalo Wild Wings in Smyrna, a 30 minute drive from where I was. After stopping to pick up the tulips, I pushed the pedal to the metal so I wouldn’t miss much of the first half. I hastily pulled into a parking spot, decided to leave the tulips in the car and went inside. I found her sitting at a table near the bar. Good seats with a view of both games on television at the time. Once we hugged hello, I settled in, but soon realized I forgot my wallet in the car. I told her that, and as I went to retrieve it, she asked if the wallet thing was a trick so I could leave if I didn’t like her. You know, “Hey I forgot my wallet!” then I exit and never come back. I said, “what kind of guys do you go on dates with?” I would never do anything like that. Was that a signal this night would not go well? I don’t know.

I returned with the wallet. We went through the normal “get to know you” type questions, even following up on conversations we’d had in the previous few days. Important note to the reader: I’m not in relationships to play games. I know what I’m looking for and where I want to end up. This girl had enough going that I was interested in finding out more. And by “had enough going” I mean she was Asian. Ever since my trips to Vietnam, I’ve been slightly bent towards Asian women, and this girl is Thai. She had a great smile and little freckles under her eyes. I’m a sucker for freckles. She was kind and sometimes said my name when she talked to me, ie. “Uh oh, Florida State’s losing by four, Ben.” I found that flattering and disarming for some reason. I guess it’s true, people love hearing their own name spoken. Anyway, the night started off well. Then I ordered root beer.

She had a tall drink in front of her, not her first of the night, and not her last. I don’t drink alcohol, it’s not something I’ve ever enjoyed. I will, on occasion, do a shot or two but those occasions are rare and only with people I trust. Root beer was my drink of choice and the night went on. Our conversation slowly gave way to the basketball on television. I wasn’t concerned except that while our words decreased, her body language was in all caps. It was becoming more and more clear that something was not to her liking. We were sitting beside each other in order to face the projection screens, however she slowly shifted away and even rested her head in her hands, completely blocking her face. How am I supposed to have a conversation with that? She excused herself to the restroom a couple of times, I blamed it on the alcohol. The second time she took a potty break, she was gone for at least 20 minutes. I thought she left, the first embarrassing feeling of the night. Looking back, I wish she did leave. But she returned and the silence continued. It was so obvious that something was just not clicking when I tested my hunch. I asked her a few questions and without an ounce of thought, her answer was “no.” Ok, tell me you’re not having fun and let’s end it. Don’t just disengage and stop trying. Again, I don’t know what flipped her switch, but it was flipped and she was not the same person I sat down with earlier. We kept watching the games (I wasn’t about to leave when the Seminoles game was still on). Then the oddest thing happened. A guy approached her, talked quitely, then walked away.

It was like a movie script. And she played her part by excusing herself to chat with him for about 5 minutes at his table. I was very much taken off guard. Honestly, I didn’t know how to react but adrenaline began coursing through my veins as I wrote the rest of the script in my head. Looking back, I’m unsure if I was more confused by the guy for doing that, or angry at her for leaving our table to chat with him at his. I had zero confidence after that, feeling like everyone there was in on a joke and the joke was me. I’m so glad the English language has words for guys like him and girls like her. I used the time we spent not talking to brush up on these words. Maybe I should’ve stopped being a Christian for a few minutes and let both of them have a piece of my mind. I would’ve if someone had a camera… and an escape route, I mean who knows, he could’ve had a knife to overcompensate for his little body. Safety is a big concern, so I stayed a Christian the rest of the night. Once the Florida State game finished, I was ready to leave. That’s when our waitress Christy took about 45 more minutes to take care of the checks. We chatted a bit more, but by this time I was like, “uugggghhhh.” And I never use u and g and h like that. Eventually the food and beverages were paid for and we walked out. We hugged and said goodbye, both knowing this would never happen again. The next morning I sent her a kind email thanking her for the time spent, but also congratulating her on being my newest pet peeve. Move over people that turn left from the center lane, “Freckles of Fury” just took over #1! OK, I didn’t tell her that, I just wished her well on finding what she’s looking for and said I’d cheer for UNC when they faced Kentucky later that weekend. I also asked about the guy, deciding I deserve an explanation. Her response:

The guy was actually married and pulled me aside to make sure everything was ok. I was surprised myself. I wish you luck as well Ben and hope you make that special connection with someone soon. Thanks for the UNC support!

Well, guess what Fury, the jokes on you… I cheered for Kentucky!

The End.

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