Story Sent in by Sarah:
I went to see a community theater play with Andrea, a friend of mine. An acquaintance of hers, Isaac, was in the production. He was handsome and talented, and I looked forward to meeting him after the show.
We went out to a diner afterward. Turns out, Isaac was charming, and by the end of the evening, I had given him my number. He called a few days later, we talked for an hour, and he asked me out to dinner.
We met outside the restaurant. He was smoking. I was automatically grossed out a little bit, but it wasn't any kind of big deal. Once he was done, we went inside.
He was a little quieter than he had been over the phone, but I guessed that maybe he was a little nervous. Strange, given that he was an actor. I did most of the talking, and overall, it was a halfway decent conversation.
Not long into the date, he asked me, "Do you know if Andrea is seeing anyone?"
Reading into the subtext, I asked him, "You like her?"
He looked away from me and sighed heavily. He then said, "I've been making something for her."
He pulled his cigarette pack out of a pocket, dumped the cigarettes out of it and onto the table, and then held the empty pack up.
I looked at it and said, "You made her a cigarette pack? All right!" then held my hand up to slap him five.
He didn't slap me anything. He moved the cigarette pack up and down slightly, and said nothing else.
"I don't get it," I finally said.
He stuffed it back into his pocket and said, "That's why I like Andrea. She's special. Do you know if she's seeing anyone?"
I replied, "I don't think she is. You should ask her."
He nodded, apparently satisfied. "Okay."
I asked, less than half-joking, "Is the only reason you asked me out tonight to ask me if Andrea's seeing someone?"
He said, "No. Are you sure she isn't, though?"
I said, "I don't really know, Isaac. Let's concentrate on making the rest of the night less awkward than it already is."
He clammed up for the rest of dinner, and I hurried through my meal to bring it to a speedy close. Finally, at the end, he started nodding and muttering, "Yep, yep," to himself.
"What's up?" I asked him.
He replied, "I'm going to do it. I'm going to call her and ask her out. And I have you to thank."
As I watched, he pulled out his phone right at the table and dialed a number. Andrea apparently picked up and he said, "Hey Andrea. Sarah and I are out together and we were talking. Are you seeing anyone?"
As she answered him, I caught the eye of our waiter and asked for the check.
Isaac put his phone down and frowned at me. I wasn't going to ask what she said, as I didn't want to indulge him. When the check came, we split it, and then we split up for the night.
Andrea later told me that Isaac had asked her that question about once every year or so. She had spurned his advances each time, but she also thought that he was over her.
He asked her out again less than a month later.
Story Sent in by Sarah: