Story Sent in by Peter:
Kelly was a sales associate at a local electronics store. She was one of the most attractive women I had ever seen, and I found myself making excuses to return to the store just to have her help me. Finally, I took a deep breath, went into the store a final time, chatted her up, and asked her out.
She said yes, an outcome for which I wasn't in the least prepared. I asked her out to dinner at a nearby restaurant.
When she showed up, she looked stunning. I felt like the luckiest guy ever, but tried my best to keep my excitement in check. We sat down and she confessed, "So, I'm a little nervous."
You and me both. I asked her, "Why are you nervous?"
"Because I really want you to like me."
It sounds strange, but her nervousness actually helped me feel better. In prior similar situations, I always felt as though I was the one under scrutiny, but it was nice to hear that someone else felt the same way.
I calmed her as best as I could. "Try not to be nervous. I'm more than nervous enough for the both of us."
She laughed at that, and things looked up. Or stared up. Or stared at me for the entire duration of dinner. Seriously. She kept her eyes on me and barely said a word through most of the meal. Occasionally, when I said something surprisingly witty, she'd laugh and say, "I really like you," or "You are just… oh my God, you are amazing."
Nice to hear for a normal guy, but the way she said it was… well, eerie. She continued to stare but her breathing became more labored and her hands clenched into rigid fists. I became less nervous for her to like me and more nervous that she was falling a little too hard.
Curious about her past, I asked, "Only if you feel comfortable talking about it, when was your last relationship?"
She replied, "I wish it was with you. Then it never would have ended. Oh God."
I cracked a smile and repeated, "When did it end?"
"Two years ago. It ended bad. Real bad. I was in the hospital."
"Oh no… did he hurt you?"
"No. I tried to hurt both of us at the same time. He tried to break it off with me and I… I did something stupid."
I didn't want to know. It was really none of my business. Still, like a train wreck, I couldn't help but ask, "What did you do?"
She inhaled deeply and replied, "I tried to blow us up. I knew why he invited me over to his house so I wrapped up a present for him and the present was a bomb."
I felt ill. I asked her, "And it went off?"
"No! I was stupid and made it wrong. Anyway, it didn't go off and he called the cops and I had to get psychiatric evaluation for a while. That's why I have two college degrees but work in retail. No one else is going to hire me since they think I'm going to blow everything up!" she laughed.
I didn't want her to blow me up, so I laughed, too. The next thought I had was, thank God she doesn't have my phone number or address. I closed dinner out in a big hurry, and on our way out of the restaurant, she took my hand.
"To make sure you don't run away," she said with a smile.
I turned the hand-holding into a hug and said, "I have to head home, but it was really great to do dinner with you, Kelly."
"Thanks," she replied, "Can I have your number? We should go out again."
"Absolutely," I said, and rattled off a fake number. She thanked me again for dinner, gave me a final hug, and we parted ways.
I never ventured anywhere near her electronics store again. I felt bad for likely reinforcing her negative perception of guys, but in the end, I think I did the best thing for myself.
Story Sent in by Peter: