Chloe had reached a point that so many of her generation come to, she was ready to try online dating. After Tyler she felt defeated and worst of all, like she didn’t know what she wanted anymore. A quirky biography and $40 later she was ready to date.
It was getting cold in New York and Chloe didn’t want to spend another winter holding her teddy bear and a hot toddy, alone on those icy nights. She tweaked and tweaked her profile, inserting things that girls think guys like: “No romantic comedies for me, I’m all about Tarantino and the Batman franchise”, or “Give me a slice of pizza and a beer and my night’s made.” She had to weed through the perverted men twice her age bombarding her with messages, but soon some possibilities seeped through the cracks.
There was Jason, a scrawny Jewish boy who took her to a trendy dive bar and convinced her that she liked him after three well martinis and then she changed her mind as soon as he shoved his tongue down her throat on a street corner. Then there was Scott, a twenty-nine year old PR director who shared a love for the outdoors, dark-brewed coffee and thought she was too young for a second date. Followed by Brad, a geeky thirty-two year old drummer who took her for a walk on the Highline and who Chloe thought was too old for a second date.
Discontented and already tired of dating, Chloe resolved to end her membership at the close of the first month, a week away. Even with her resentment for internet dating, Chloe had learned a valuable lesson: she was really good at dating, it was these guys that were terrible at it. She was highly capable of holding a conversation with just about anyone about myriad topics. What her $40 had bought her was confidence that she was ready for a relationship, or at least worthy of one, a thought that unfortunately plagued her for many years prior.
Out of nowhere, three days before her membership expired, she received a message from Drew. Drew was a writer and a rugby player who lived uptown, wore thick-rimmed glasses and boasted a height of 6’5’. When he suggested a date Chloe figured she had nothing to lose and messaged him her phone number.
Halfway through her shift that Tuesday night her back pocked buzzed, it was Drew. His plans had fallen through and he wondered if she’d meet him for a drink tonight instead of anticipating the event all week. She agreed and waited for him in the dimly lit, boudoir style wine bar around the corner with no expectations or delusions of grandeur, just genuinely enjoying her Grenache and the surroundings.
Drew entered the bar a force of nature, he was enormous, but with a gentle face and a demeanor that was done an injustice if just called “warm”, it was fireplace stone warm, it was glowing. He hugged her and sat down, dwarfing the armchair. He told her about the book he was writing, about the rugby team he played for, about his ex-girlfriend who was getting married next month. She felt comfortable and for the first time since foraying into online dating, like she’d met someone real.
Drew and Chloe finished the bottle of wine and he confessed that he was dying to kiss her. Tired of lines and ploys, she laughed and told him, “maybe later”. But when they emerged into the cold, crisp New York winter, he ignored her previous statement and lifted her up into his arms, kissing her on the sidewalk. She abandoned her rules and they stayed in this embrace for minutes that felt like hours. She left his arms only as they entered the 24-hour diner on the corner. Two milkshakes and a Belgian waffle later, she was convinced that she’d made the jump across the pool into actually dateable men.
As Drew walked her back to her apartment in the deep dark of near-morning Manhattan, he asked if he’d be able to come up. Still trying to maintain a sense of carefulness, Chloe refused, saying she’d happily see him again soon, but it was late and she should go to bed alone. Once on her stoop, she was unable to refuse, the kisses were too deep, the feeling too strong. She invited him up with the caveat that no matter what they were not to actually have sex. That was the one promise she did keep. They awoke in the early afternoon and he lingered in her apartment, making pancakes on her stovetop…in the nude.
She was confused. This kind of intimacy was lovely, but it felt forced. She’d known Drew for less than twenty-four hours and he was sitting in the middle of her couch in the nude, pouring syrup on homemade pancakes. Three more comments about how he already felt like she was his girlfriend, and Chloe to disengaged completely. Drew was either crazy or full of shit, and she wasn’t going to stick around to figure out which one it was. Despite his good looks and obvious charm, she said goodbye and promised herself to ignore his calls and messages. Another promise she kept.
Adria lives in LA, hails from NY, acts on stages and screens, writes at www.AdriaOccasionally.wordpress.com, Tweets @adria27, and does stand-up in her shower (and sometimes in public).
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