We had been talking about writing all night. She was published multiple times, which was awe inspiring. Her cheeks reddened when I praised her, the smile widening. It had been two hours and I only knew that because I checked my watch. The waitress had come back to us four times before we actually ordered, and after that she continued to fill our waters and beers when the empty plates were taken away. I can’t remember what we ordered. It didn’t matter. I liked her and it had been a while since I was actually smitten with someone.
“Are you free Saturday?” She nodded, her grin growing. “Would you like to do something?” She nodded again. “Anything in particular?” She was a librarian, the library being right across from the museum. That was my go to. It really weeds out what type of person I’m dating. But she likely went there all the time.
“I don’t know.”
I didn’t want to rush it. I didn’t want to force dinner at my place or board games. She did enjoy board games. “We could go to dinner and then….” I paused to think.
“Food is good. And then, you know, we’ll do things and stuff.”
The pressure was on. We had to do things and stuff. But what things and stuff? “Yeah, things and stuff.” The words were muttered. “You would think I live here, I know what there is to do.”
“There’s things and stuff to do.” Her eyebrows raised. There was something she wanted out of me, and I didn’t get it.
Go for it. Bring her over. I can clean the apartment. I still don’t have a couch, but there’s a bench and chairs. I have a bed. That’s crude.
But then it dawned on me. Things and stuff.
She wasn’t being general. She wanted to do things. And stuff. “Board games at my place? Dinner can be there?”
“Yes. That. Let’s do that. And stuff.” Well now I knew what things were. I was eager to find out what stuff was.
We walked out into the parking lot another thirty minutes later as we continued talking about each other and writing. Once there, I walked her to her car, since it was the chivalrous thing to do. I went in for the hug, though on first dates I had seen mixed reactions on hugs. What I hadn’t seen, though, was what happened next.
Her head tilted up when I went to embrace her. Lips pursed, eyes glittered, and I had no way to stop and go into a first kiss. I barely knew her, how was I to expect our tongues to twist and spit to swap on this first evening? Sure I enjoyed her company, but a kiss? I went for the hug. I would have gone for that kiss, don’t get me wrong, but it was too late. I had gone too far. My brain was working too slowly.