By Treona Jones
Ben and Cynthia’s brief encounter at the Boys and Girls Club made no impression on her whatsoever. Two months have gone by and nothing much has changed in Cynthia’s life. She is up for a change, but she’s not sure what direction she should go.
Sitting in front of a newly stretch canvas listening to “I’d Rather Go Blind” by Etta James is adding to my feelings of sorrow.
Sheree, my best friend since kindergarten, convinced me to join one of those online dating sites for professionals. She is always telling me I need to get out and date more. There were several guys that liked my profile, but we didn’t seem to have a connection. I know it’s hard to communicate via email or text, so some I gave the option to call. The one that seemed the most interesting was an engineer named Kalvin. I knew I shouldn’t have listened to her.
The phone’s ringing interrupted Etta; I knew it was Sheree. She sent me a text message earlier that I didn’t respond to, so she’s been blowing up my phone since.
“Where are you? I have been calling you for like an hour.”
“I’m at home.”
“What are you doing home? Didn’t you have a date tonight?”
“I did and now I don’t. So I am sitting at home with a bottle of Moscato, painting my misty blues.”
“Please tell me you are not thinking about that sorry ass Terrance.”
“Only when I’m lonely like this.”
“Cynthia that man treated you like trash for three long years. He put you down every chance he could. On top of that, he stole your money.”
“I know all of that. I didn’t say I wanted him back. I just said I was lonely.”
“What happened on your date? Start from the beginning, and don’t leave anything out?”
“You mean the date from hell?”
“It couldn’t have been that bad.”
“That’s what you think. After talking on the phone we agreed to meet at Friday’s in Southfield at 7 p.m. I got there around 6:45 and waited in the little seating area for him to get there. He arrived at 7:30 talking about ‘he sorry he got lost’. Who gets lost going to Evergreen and the Lodge?”
“At least he apologized.”
“Anyway. We proceed to a table. The waitress asked us what we wanted to drink. I tell her water: he says he wants a Long Island. First red flag. I started the general conversation, but then he interrupts me. ‘It’s Kal-vauhn.’ Now his profile says Kalvin, but he tells me its pronounced Kal-vauhn. Second red flag.”
“Maybe he’s attempting to stand out.”
“So Kal-vauhn starts asking me about my job and in turn I ask him about his. Now his profile says he is an engineer, but he starts talking about cleaning something with something. After I looked completely perplexed he says ‘I’m a custodial engineer.’ I go ‘You’re a janitor’. He actually got mad like I called him a name or something. Third red flag. I should have left then, but the waitress came back to take our order. I requested a Jack Daniel’s Chicken Sandwich with fries. He then proceeds to order a Jack Daniel’s Sampler, Jack Daniel’s Black Angus Rib Eye with Shrimp Scampi and yet another Long Island.”
“Was he a big guy, sounds like he has a healthy appetite?”
“Tall, but not big. When the food came he woofed it down like this was his last meal. But here’s the kicker. The waitress brings the check and puts it near him. At first he stared at it like he was surprised it came, then he goes patting his pockets like he’s looking for something. Next thing he says is ‘Ah baby, I think I left my wallet at home.’ I asked him how he drove here if he doesn’t have his license. He says, ‘I didn’t drive I took Uber. I was hoping you would drop me off at home. Maybe stay for a night cap.’ So not only do you expect for me to pay for your expensive ass meal, you want me to burn up my gas dropping you off. I don’t know what kind of night cap he was expecting, but I wasn’t having it.”
“What did you do?”
“I excused myself to the bathroom and left him there with the check.”
“No you didn’t.”
“Yes I did. I don’t know if they made him wash dishes or what, but he should be used to it, being a custodial engineer and all.”
“That was wrong Cynthia, you could have a least paid for your food.”
“Serves him right trying to get over on me. Terrance wasn’t the best, but he never tried something like that.”
“Yeah he would have taken you out, but it would have been with your money.”
“I didn’t know that at the time.”
“Now that you do, why are you romancing it?”
“Ignore me. I have come to the conclusion that God does not want me to be with anyone. I will die alone with a bunch of cat paintings.”
“You’re just being silly. God doesn’t want you to be with just anybody. He wants you to be with the right somebody.”
“I’m done trying. I’m tired of looking. I’m finished with this dating thing.”
We set there quiet for the longest time. Al Green was in the middle of his chorus of ‘For the Good Times’.
“If you don’t turn that sad music off, we both will be depressed.”
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Featured Artist: Misha Miyaki