Story Submitted by Paige:
Travis was a gentleman. At least, online. He came off, somehow as laid back, secure, and compassionate. In retrospect, he must have had someone else writing those first messages, because in person, he was none of those things.
We met in person at a train station and one of the first things he asked me was if I'd give him my cell phone.
I told him I wouldn't and asked him why he wanted it. He said that he wanted to make sure that I wouldn't text or talk to other people during our date.
I informed him that my phone was on silent and that I wasn't planning to call or text anyone — or to give him my phone.
"Okay," he said, as if it was very much against his liking, which I'm pretty sure it was.
At dinner, we were seated at a table, and he asked for a booth. Once we were reseated at the booth, he switched us back to the table.
"There's not much room to move my feet," he said about the booth. Well, fine.
Then came the seating arrangements. He sat with his back to the restaurant, then switched his seat so that he'd have his back to the wall.
"So I can see people who come in," he explained.
I was willing to let most of this weirdness slide, at this point. After all, he was the guy who had written me such nice messages. He couldn't be this nuts, could he?
He flagged a waiter down and held up his menu. "This is a lunch menu. We're here for dinner."
The waiter flipped the menu over to the dinner menu for him. "Ah, the dinner menu," Travis said.
"I like their burgers. You should try one of their burgers," he said, which struck me as strange for two reasons. One, if he had tried their burgers in the past, then wouldn't he have seen one of their menus before (and remembered enough to know that the lunch and dinner lists were on the same menu)?
Number two, I was a vegetarian, and he knew it. We had had an entire conversation about how much he wanted to go vegetarian and had even asked me for tips.
"I don't eat burgers," I reminded him.
"I don't eat meat. Unless you're referring to a veggie burger."
"No. Beef burgers. One-hundred-percent black angus!" he said.
"Thanks anyway," I said, reviewing the menu some more.
"One-hundred-percent black angus!" he repeated, "Any vegetarian would go apeshit for one of these."
Dinner conversation barely budged, as I was becoming less and less interested in learning more about him.
The kicker came while he was tearing into his burger, opened his mouth full of meat, and said, "One-hundred-percent black angus!"
He insisted that we order a dessert. I told him I'd be good with anything except for the ice cream.
He ordered the ice cream.
We split dinner, walked out together, and I had planned a quick walk back to my car.
He asked me, "So, how do you think the date went?"
I said, "Not too well."
"Are you nauseous?" he asked.
"No. I think I'm just going to go. Thanks for everything."
He gave me an awkward hug, and I pulled away. "Call me!" he said, and I walked back to my car.
He jogged after me and said, "Hey, you forgot something."
He stood pretty close to my face, and I had a feeling that he would try to kiss me. I readied to slap him away, and he must have sensed something, because he said, "Call me," again, and took off.
I didn't call him.
Story Submitted by Paige: