Story Submitted by Ruth:
Ben and I got to know each other online. Among his talents, he was a guitar player. I asked him if I could hear him play at some point, and he told me that he would.
Unexpectedly, he brought his guitar with him on the date. Surprising, yes, but not unwelcome. It was a little awkward at dinner, but the restaurant had a coat room, where they let him put it.
Our plans had been dinner, then a concert, but Ben had a revision in mind: "Let's hit up the concert for a little while, then I'll give you a private concert afterward."
I liked him and had been looking forward to hearing him play, so I agreed to his idea. Dinner went great, and at the concert venue (a small place) afterward, he put his guitar in another coat room.
We had been at the concert for a couple of hours when he asked me if I was ready to go. I was, and we went to recover our coats and his guitar.
His guitar wasn't there.
He panicked, and we asked the managers and doormen if they had seen someone leaving with the instrument. Needless to say, they weren't much help, except to remind us that they weren't responsible.
Ben asked some nearby patrons if they had seen anything, and while he did, an idea struck me. I suggested to Ben that he inform the band, in between one of their songs. Perhaps they'd make an announcement and help out a fellow musician?
He liked that idea, and after their song ended, he fought his way to the front and spoke to one of the bouncers alongside the stage. The bouncer spoke to the singer, and she announced over the microphone that Ben's guitar had been stolen.
"Not cool for a musician to steal from another musician," she said, "Because we will write a song about how much you've pissed us off."
Ben shouted something and she listened to him, then went on, over the microphone, "But if you or someone you know took it, return it to the coat room, and no questions asked."
I don't know if the thief was still there or if a friend of theirs reached out, but whatever it was, an hour later, a doorman came up to Ben with the guitar, claiming that a kid had handed it in. I didn't expect us to recover it, and Ben was overjoyed. The band was in the middle of a song, so Ben told the bouncer to give a message to them that the instrument was recovered.
He brought me back to his place to give me a short personal concert. He played me three songs, and when he was done, I asked him, "Why did you bring the guitar out with you if we were going to come back here to hear you play it?"
He said, "In case you didn't feel comfortable coming back here. I would've played it out somewhere."
I said, "You could've asked. I would've been fine coming back here."
Then he kissed me. We're still together.
Story Submitted by Ruth: