Day 8; the final day of my Blogiversary event. Today I'm hosting a post by Rebecca Sherwin. Rebecca is a UK author, she's also very awesome! Rebecca kindly agreed to write a short story just for my blog! How awesome is that? After the story will be links to Rebecca's debut novel and a bit about her, then a giveaway for your chance to win a copy of Second Chance Hero.
What comes to mind when you think of blind dates? The excitement of meeting someone new? The prospect of feeling those dancing butterflies when you see your date? Love at first sight?
Blind dates are just not for me. The whole ‘what’s your name, where are you from and what do you earn?’ scenario makes me cringe.
But here I am, standing in my closet and staring at my clothes, wondering what to wear as I prepare to jump in with the sharks.
“He’s tall, dark and handsome.” Kate said when she first told me she was setting me up with a stranger. That’ll look great next to my short, blonde and stumpy.
“He’s a real catch.” She continued, gaging I was anything but impressed about the plan, “He works with Eric.”
Eric, Kate’s husband is a lawyer and ‘mystery man’ works at his firm; doing what, I have no idea. She wouldn’t tell me anything.
I tried to say no, but it wasn’t working. I was going to go on this date if she had to tie me up and take me herself. I decided just grinning and bearing it was the way to go. I do not want to give this guy any ideas if I turn up bound and gagged.
It could be fun. I haven’t been on a date in years and BOB is starting to lose his edge. A night talking to someone instead of crying over a chick flick might be just what I need.
I pull a little red dress from the closet and throw it on my bed. Hair, makeup, dress…take the plunge.
He chose a nice restaurant. It’s the new Italian on the high street and I’ve been dying to go since it opened up a few months back. I smooth down my dress, pull up my big girl pants and walk through the door…
Where Danny De Vito’s doppelganger is waiting for me. This has to be some sort of a joke. Kate told me he’d be wearing a powder blue shirt and relayed the information that I’d be wearing a red dress. And now he’s waving at me and I have no choice but to go over there.
Oh god, oh god, oh god.
“Hello,” he beams and stands from his seat, leaning in far too close. He wants a kiss.
I extend my hand instead and sit down.
“Hi. I’m Lacey.”
“Nice to meet you, Lacey. I’m Dan.”
I want to laugh. I’m sure my stomach might explode from the effort it takes to hold in this guffaw.
He really does look like Danny De Vito. What happened to tall, dark and handsome? I’ve got short and bald.
The silence. Oh god, the awkward silence that washes over us is suffocating. He’s looking at me. I’m looking at him. Say something, Lace.
“So, Kate says you work with Eric?”
“I do,” he leans forward and flies off into a one-way conversation.
He works in the finance department; he could have just said that. I now know what he does from 9am until 6pm five days a week and I bet he’s itching to tell me about his weekends.
“I work in fashion,” I volunteer when he stops talking and takes a breath.
“I know. Kate told me.”
Jesus Christ, is there any point in conversation?
“Hi there. Can I take your order?” The waitress appears just in time.
I haven’t even looked at the menu…Dan sits up straight and orders for me. Fanfuckingtastic.
If he’d have ordered me a salad, I would have been out of the restaurant faster than you can say ‘buonosera’. Thankfully, it’s spaghetti carbonara and a garlic bread with cheese all round. Adventurous, it is not. Vibrantly flavoured, no. Different? Appetizing? Mouthwatering? No. It’s excpected, boring and kind of bland. Just like my date appears to be. And I’ve just noticed he has a bush of nose hair protruding from his nostrils. He’s still talking. I have no idea what he’s saying – any enthusiasm my ears may have had has been quashed by his monotonous voice. A drone; like the buzz of bees that slowly sends you to sleep. I want to sleep. My thoughts travel back to my big, warm bed, where Dan will most definitely not be. Anything to avoid listening to what he’s actually talking about. How can anyone thing being so self-centred is a way to connect with someone. Gym. He’s talking about the gym. I snort and disguise the sound by taking a sip of my water – Yes, he only ordered water – There’s no way Dan goes to the gym. Beer belly, the beginnings of a pair of moobs and a chin too many, proves that.
“I like boxercise,” I intercept, but he raises his eyebrows to show he’s acknowledged my utterance and he’s back to talking about the cross-trainer. Not possible. Just not possible.
I look down at the floor where my clutch bag sits. I wonder if he’d notice. I decide to try it, reaching under the table for the opening of my bag and pulling my phone out. I sit it on the table; at least if he asks I can say I’m waiting for my sick mother to call. You know the drill, you pretend to make a call and – gasp – have to leave at once because your mother has gone from fitness freak to on her death bed in the space it took you to not listen to a word your date is saying.
He doesn’t notice the lifesaving device sat on the table next to me. Now he’s talking about photography. He’s an avid photographer and it may be my imagination, desperate for some stimulation, but I think I just heard him say he does nude shoots. Ha.
I make a reach for the phone and settle it on my lap. Kate. I text her quickly, keeping my eyes on Dan and trying to muster some enthusiasm for him.
“You’re hilarious. Really. Joke of the century.”
A few seconds later, there’s a reply. The buzz of the phone on my lap is my only source of excitement. Our food arrives and the spaghetti is swimming in watery white liquid, I’m sure the chef forgot to add edible ingredients and something doesn’t smell right. I sigh.
“Tuck in,” Dan beams and twists his pasta onto his fork. I’m thinking of breakfast. No way am I eating that food.
I play with the food on my plate and look down at my lap.
“HAHA! Having fun? xo”
“You did this on purpose didn’t you?”
“I hate you.”
“He can’t be that bad…”
I look up at my dinner date as he sucks a strain of spaghetti and wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. Nice.
“Oh it’s bad.”
“Want me to call you?”
I smile for the first time this evening. I’ve got my escape. I sit back in my seat and smile at Dan; I’m waiting for the phone to ring, preparing to pull off an Oscar-winning performance. I watch mouthful after mouthful enter Dan’s mouth and drip after drip settle in his facial hair that is neither five o clock shadow nor fully fledged beard. I grimace. I wince. I wait for the call from Kate…
It doesn’t come. My phone sits on my lap, inactive. Dan finishes his dinner and slides his plate away. I’m still watching, amazed that someone can be so socially impaired and have less etiquette than feasting vultures. Finally he wipes his mouth with his napkin and I thank the linen lords that I no longer have to look at the residue on his chin that looks like the final frame of a cheap gay porno. Christ, this has put me off dating for life.
Dan sits back and pats his stomach, then looks at me.
“You didn’t like your food?”
“I’m not a big cream fan,” I smile sweetly and look down at my phone. Nothing.
“Want the rest of my garlic bread?” He asks sliding his side plate in my direction.
I hold my hand out and stop it before it gets too close.
“No, thank you. I’ll wait until breakfast. I actually need to get going, I have an early start in the morning.”
“Of course,” he clears his throat and picks at his teeth. Oh god. “Shall we go Dutch?”
Fuck me sideways. I could write an entire how-not-to do a first date after this disaster. Less than twenty pounds on a dinner that has lasted merely an hour and he wants to go Dutch.
“Tell you what,” I say, standing from the table. “I’ll pay.”
I throw enough money to cover the bill and tip the waitress and turn to leave. Dan follows but I’m too far ahead and have the height advantage that means I can keep my distance. I throw myself out of the door and spot Kate, leaning against her car and laughing indiscreetly.
“I hate you,” I said shaking my head as she opened the car door.
“You’ll thank me one day. Imagine how much better Prince Charming will look now you’ve had a taste of Dan The Man.”
“They call him that?”
“Mmm hmm,” Kate climbed in the car next to me and I sunk in my chair. Kate’s white car stood out in the dark and I did not want Dan The Man finding me and asking for my number. “He has a different story every week.”
“I’m telling you, they’re stories. He sits at home and conjures them up. There is no way that man has been anywhere near any female orifices.”
Kate laughed unrestrained and slumped with me as Dan walked past the front of the car.
“He looks like Danny De Vito,” she said.
“I’m never dating again. Ever.” Kate just laughed in response. “When I’m an old, grey spinster, remember it was you who made me like it.”
We both laughed again when Dan walked past the car again in the other direction.
Time to go home. Kate let him pass, pulled out of the space and waited until we were free before she turned the headlights on.
Where To Find Rebecca's Books-
Second Chance Hero
Survival (Twisted #1)
Rebecca is a coffee drinking, music loving, working single mother and writing insomniac. When she’s not writing, she’s reading and when she’s not reading she’s squeezing her eyes shut and willing sleep to descend.
She writes about serious issues, giving emotional turmoil a twist and adding a little humour and sarcasm. Her stories are real and relatable, yet unexpected and unpredictable. Every writer was a reader first and Rebecca owes her passion for creating and telling emotional tales to the stories she has read and the people, places and experiences that have, and continue to, inspire her. Rebecca wants her readers to escape to a world where fairy tales and true love exist, wrapping her stories up with angst, passion and curveballs you won't see coming.
Her writing aims to bring problems and tragedies people face every day to light, make them relatable and leave her readers thinking long after they’ve read the last page.
Places To Stalk Rebecca-