The Grass Is Stranger on the Other Side

Story Sent in by Theo:

Maria and I met online. We spoke for a couple of weeks. She seemed very happy and positive, and even promised to make me cookies for our first date.

When we did meet, in a park with a pond, about equidistant from both of our houses, something was the matter. She patted my shoulder and said, "Theo, I'm not in a good mood today."

"What can I do?" I asked. I had a nice day planned with a walk, an early dinner, and perhaps some dancing at an outdoor music venue.

She said, "Can we just sit down for a little bit? I had a huge fight with someone close to me this morning."

Family? Friends? An ex? It wasn't how I imagined our first moments together, but I liked her enough to sit down with her on the grass and be there how (or if) she needed me.

She sat in silence but tore up clumps of grass. I asked her, "Anything you want to talk about?"

She replied, "Not really."

I asked, "We can meet some other time if you want."

She then looked at me as if trying to decide something. She tore up a few more handfuls of grass, then stood up and said, "I'm glad you'll be a witness."

She then walked purposefully toward the pond, pulled her phone out of her pocket, and set it down on the shore. Then, she walked into the water, with all of her clothes on.

I ran for her and yelled, "Maria! What are you doing? Come back!"

She kept walking until her steps became a swim. She dunked herself under the water and I was ready to jump in after her, thinking that she was drowning herself. She then surfaced and paddled her way to the other side.

I grabbed her phone and jogged around the pond to meet her there. When she arrived, sopping wet, I handed her the phone and asked her, "Are you okay? What's going on with you?"

She looked at her phone in my hand and said, "Oh, my phone," then took it and smiled at me. "Thanks, Theo. Can we hang out again sometime? I just needed to clear my head after this morning."

I told her, "Sure… I guess. You sure you're okay?"

"Yes. See you later, okay?" I didn't reply, as I was still trying to make sense of everything. She repeated, "Okay?"


She left me standing there, bewildered and not altogether happy. I sent her a text an hour later to check in and see how she was doing. I never heard from her again.


  1. a bad case of the you're too ugly so i make up something strange to get away

  2. ^ Ouch. Harsh. But yeah, she wasn't into you. She'd rather swim with pond scum. I did learn a new word from this story, though: "equidistant"

  3. And he never got his cookies...

  4. Sometimes I wonder if we shouldn't add a "Ending the date super-soon" tag, something that gives readers the opportunity to find all the stories with people doing outlandish things instead of saying "I'm just not that into you."


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