Submitted by Derick:
I was a part-time messenger for a big accounting firm, and I got friendly with a secretary on one of my runs, Erin. She had it all together: she was beautiful, had a great personality, and always seemed happy to see me. I checked her fingers for rings of any type, and, aside from one that she said was her grandmother's, she seemed safe.
Of course, I couldn't just ask her if she had a boyfriend, so I asked her out early one week for the following weekend. She said yes.
Man, was I happy. How, I wondered, could a girl like this be single? Maybe I was smitten, but I just didn't see anything warning me off.
I made reservations at a nice place, and planned to go dancing with her at a club with a live jazz band afterward. We sent each other flirty texts all week. Yes, yes, it was kind of high school, but this girl gave me a... I don't know... a zeal... it just made me feel like I was back in high school: gawky, dumb, and powerless.
Night of the date, I picked her up and went off to dinner. She looked great, smelled great, and seemed really happy to be with me. I remember having a weird feeling of both being nervous but at the same time having it all figured out. It was a nice feeling.
We sat down to dinner, ordered drinks, and talked. It was great. We were both curious about the other person and she gave me the nicest smiles.
What could go wrong? Oh man.
At the dance place, we made it as the band was just starting up. I asked her if she wanted to dance, and she said that she might wait a song or two. We had another drink, and I shortly became aware that her attention was focused on something across the room. Or someone.
I leaned toward her and asked if everything was okay.
She told me that everything was fine, but she kept staring, I was able to see, at this one guy. I asked her if she knew him.
Oh, she knew him. She told me that he used to be an instructor where she used to salsa dance. The two had become friendly and he had offered to teach her "private lessons." Yes, those kind of "private lessons." She went into detail about how they would hook up after group lessons, right there in the studio. "It was wondrous," were the words she used. Hmm...
Well, this wondrous guy was tearing up the dance floor. I asked her if she wanted to go someplace else, if having the guy there made her uncomfortable. She told me that she was fine; if he saw her then he would be uncomfortable, since he up and vanished out of her life without a trace. Two years earlier.
She had been staring at him for some time. I again asked her if she wanted to leave, and she said that she didn't. I asked her if she wanted to dance, and she said that she didn't. Then she said that she did. I was hoping that she could have a good time with me and forget about Señor Salsa.
We went onto the dance floor, and started dancing. She took the lead suddenly and pushed us into the guy and the woman he was dancing with. They locked eyes and she went right in for the kill.
"Oh, Phil! Fancy meeting you! Ever again!"
He looked mortified. "Hi... Erin..."
"That's all you have to say after disappearing from my life! How long did it take you to forget about me? A day or two? I think about you every day of my life!"
He looked at me, but what could I do? I broke in, "Erin, maybe we should..."
She whirled on me and pounded my chest with a closed fist. She said, "You have no idea what a hell this guy has made my life! You wait!"
Crap crap crap crap crap. The girl Phil was dancing with had already moved on to a new partner, leaving the three of us surrounded by other dancers on the floor. Trying to keep my cool, I suggested that we take the discussion elsewhere.
Erin said, "Take yourself elsewhere. Phil and I have unfinished business."
I hesitated. I didn't think she was serious. She grabbed Phil's wrist, she said, "Out of my way," to me, and yanked Phil away. He gave me a final "help me" look and they went off to the sidelines.
I waited for a while back at the table, then danced with some other people. I got a text message from Erin. It read, "Asshole."
I looked around for her, but she was gone.
It made deliveries to her office a little awkward from then on in, and from then on, I would drop off the deliveries and she wouldn't say a word to me.
Submitted by Derick: