Story Submitted by Chelsea:
Paul's first message enticed me to check out his profile. He came off as sounding full of himself ("I know that I'm an attractive guy" and "the mystery of consciousness is astounding to me, and should therefore be astounding to all"), but his messages were a bit more down-to-earth.
"I love theatre and French cuisine," he wrote in a message, then offered to take me out to dinner and a play.
The offer was very generous and I thanked him for it, but I told him that we could perhaps start with dinner and see how things went.
He had talked up this French place that apparently had the best food in New York City. I was looking forward to getting to know him over the meal, and was sure to dress fancy and be punctual.
Imagine my surprise when I made it there and found that he was already waiting, sitting on the sidewalk right in front of the place. It was out of business. Paul's eyes were raw and red.
I knelt beside him and he said, "It's a travesty. They can't close it down."
He jumped to his feet and shook the locked restaurant doors. He kicked at them and I jumped back, all of a sudden wondering if this date was such a good idea.
I suggested, "We can go to another French place."
"There is no other French place! Don't you get it?"
I said, "Maybe they just moved somewhere else?"
He said, "Stupid question. They'd have their new address on the window!"
I replied, "I'd start being nicer to me, Paul. I'm not the one who closed them down."
He put his face in his hands, glanced at me, said, "Nice dress," then, "I'm going to make a phone call."
He walked half a block away and made his call. He returned after about 10 minutes and said, "I know where their head chef is. He was snapped up by a restaurant in the Hamptons. Will you drive us?"
The Hamptons are easily about 90 miles east of New York City, on Long Island. It was a work night. My brief moments in this guy's presence had included violent tendencies on his part. There was no way I was going out there, and especially with him.
When I told Paul this (using the distance as an excuse), he said, "This is the best French chef in the world. You have not tasted food until you have eaten at his table. I will pay for dinner. And you're telling me that you 'just don't want to go'?"
I said, "It's a work night, Paul. Traffic to the Hamptons will be a nightmare. Can we go some other time? Isn't there anywhere else in the city that you like?"
He groaned and said, "I know of a little Italian place uptown. It pales in comparison to where I want to take you, but I suppose I could be convinced to take you there, instead."
He leaned in close to me and whispered, "If you let me put my hand up your dress."
I choked down a breath, backed away, and said, "Get the fuck away from me, creep," and ran for the subway.
He later wrote me, "I went there by myself. Your loss. Fucking slut."
There were so many things I could've said to that, but I only had so much time.
Story Submitted by Chelsea: