I left in the wake of the maelstrom she created. Her voluntary confessions of her love, expressed only in text and never verbal during that short five-minute conversation, were not enough to move me. The secrets she shared with me conjured merely compassion and lust (not mutually exclusive), but never fanned the flames of love to another level.
Barely a fortnight into the “relationship”, she was filled with jealously. I was making my presence felt amongst other women, but she thought I was giving them more attention than I really should. She threw a hissy fit, stomped her feet (figuratively) and I had to placate her bouts of raging jealousy.
I thought it was cute at first, believing that she had “owned” me and I had to steer clear of other members of the female species. Then, it became exhausting, having to deal with the green-eyed monster in her, when I’ve made professions of my love in our conversations.
A month later, the straw, in the form of a maelstrom she conjured, broke the camel’s back.
If she cared, she would have tried establishing contact via email or left a message on my Skype account. The last I checked, there was nothing.
If anything, the lesson I learnt from this was how I should never be duped into giving someone, who couldn’t care less about “us”, too much attention than she really deserved.
“I was reluctant to come,” she said before the waiter interrupted the rest of what-would-have-been her confession.
I smiled at her without saying a word. She looked away, perhaps in reaction to what she said. At our table, long shadows were cast as the sun began to set. The restaurant gave us a table by the glass window, but she could get a better view of the setting sun from her seat. For me, I could only see the throngs of men and women who were unwinding from a day’s work at the bar which was just next to the restaurant.
It was telling that the overwhelming male desire to check out other women (or, OLs to be exact), who were at the bar, was quelled that night.
Out of the three items that were laid on my plate, I only ate the assortment of blanched vegetables and the slab of salmon (smothered in some milky leek sauce). The potato wedges were left untouched because they were deemed evil in the eyes of someone who avoids carbohydrates like the plague.
She worked her way through her plate of pasta bolognaise, despite declaring at the start of dinner that she was full. When the waiter came by to clear our table, only a third of the portion of food was left on her plate.
Given her age, it was not surprising that she made a few casual checks on her iPhone during the date, while I, being the old-fashioned, born-in-the-70s geezer, kept the phone in my pocket. Then again, going by the number of Whatsapp messages I receive in any given week, I qualify to be a hermit or a recluse.
Perhaps with a stroke of luck (or divine intervention), I got into the groove of getting her pleasantly excited, which according to some experts, was a “homerun” in dating terms. Of course, it wasn’t sexual. It was conversational and it was a delight observing her from across the table as she talked passionately about her day job.
During the later part of the evening, I was the one doing more of the talking. It was something I should have avoided, and it left the both of us squirming in our seats because the longer we were at the table, the more the waiters were wont in filling up our glasses with water.
So, I told her to head for the washroom first while I settled the bill. When she returned, she insisted on paying her share but I refused politely. Even if it was a token gesture, it meant and represented something*.
As the date (and night) came to a close, she was twirling her wavy, shoulder-length hair.
* Anecdotally, of the seven dates I’ve been on, six women put up some form of (token or otherwise) resistance when the bill came to the table or when they found out that I had settled it. The other one gave off a sense of entitlement.