Story Submitted by Rachel:
I attend a university where the dating scene is essentially nil. I've made plenty of great friends, but no one I would have considered romantically until I met James a little over a year ago.
James was on the periphery of my friend circle, but we had spoken at a few functions, and we studied the same concentration. I thought he was attractive, but quiet and a little awkward.
He caught up with me after class one day, and we talked about class, college, life, etc. He asked me if I wanted to continue the conversation over dinner, and I asked him, "Like a date?"
He replied, "You can call it that, if you want."
I hadn't been on a date yet in college, and James seemed like a nice guy. Maybe all he needed was just some one-on-one time to loosen up.
A few days later, he took me out to a Mexican place. We had both dressed up for the occasion, and he looked really good.
"This is on me," was the first thing he said when we sat down. I thanked him, and noticed him staring at my chest.
I waited a few moments before clearing my throat. He looked at it a moment more before looking up and saying, "I was admiring your mammaries. They are... you should be proud of them."
I gave an awkward laugh and thanked him, then picked up the menu to hide my chest from him.
I asked him if he recommended anything in particular, and he apologized for the "mammary" comment. I told him not to worry about it and I repeated my question about what he would suggest from the menu.
He said, "No, really. I was just kidding."
"Let's stop talking about it," I said.
"Already, you're going to pick a fight with me. I was kidding, for God's sake."
Damage control. I said, "I'm sorry. Let's just put it behind us."
He ripped the menu from my hands and scanned it over. He pointed to a few menu items too quickly for me to register what they were, then handed the menu back to me, almost hitting me in the face with it.
I took it back from him and decided to wait for him to make conversation, since he was obviously upset.
We had both closed our menus, placed our orders, and were sitting in extremely awkward silence for several minutes when he asked, "So, is this what a date is, these days?"
I scrambled to ask him a question. "How'd you do on your last assignment for philosophy?"
He laughed and muttered, "This is what we're reduced to," then said, "I did fine. And how are you doing in school?"
I sighed. "James, what do you want to talk about?"
He said, "Endangered species! The recession! China! Anything except school! It's all anyone ever talks about."
"Fine. Endangered species."
"No. That was my topic. Come up with your own."
I said, "The economy."
"Weren't you listening? I said 'the recession.' Try again."
I blurted, "Summer vacation."
"Hopefully going to the Middle East. You?"
"I don't know yet."
"You should come to the Middle East with me," he said, then made his hand into a representation of a gun, pointed it at me, and made loud gunshot noises while smiling.
I had nothing to say to that, and thankfully, our food arrived a couple of minutes later.
He watched me eat without eating, himself, and said, "I'm having a nice time," then started eating his own meal.
We didn't say much more, and he paid for dinner, as he had promised.
I was anxious to make it back to my room, a little because I had work to do, and a lot because I didn't want to spend any more time with James. He asked me where I lived. I lied and told him the name of the furthest dormitory. I actually lived in the other direction from it, but hoped that he would say goodnight then and there.
He became very excited and said, "I live that way. Why don't I walk you back?"
I said, "I wanted to do some shopping, first."
"I'll come with you."
"I think we should call it a night."
He laughed, rolled his eyes, and walked off. I jogged down an open-ended alleyway nearby, and didn't stop walking, even after hearing him call, "Hey, wait!" behind me.
He wrote me an e-mail at three in the morning, and I found it in my inbox the next day:
I'm so very unimpressed with your maturity level that I have decided to call off our second date. I thought that we could be two adults, but it seems as though you're still stuck in grade school.
One of us certainly acted like a grade-schooler.