I was on my first date with Josh, a nice but kind of awkward guy I’d met at a football game. He’d won me over with some cheesy puns and a cute, slightly-crooked smile. He had baby blue eyes that sort of squinted when he laughed. It’s a bummer he turned out to be kind of creepy.
Things were going pretty well, even though he had a few quirks. For one thing, he kept mumbling to himself, although since I didn’t know for sure if I was just imagining things at the time, I didn’t think about it much. He’d brought me to a nice restaurant, but absolutely insisted on a window table, so it took way longer than it should have to be seated. We did have a nice time after that, and we realized we shared an affinity for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and midnight bowling. He was friendly and pleasant enough, although he was obviously nervous. He kept fidgeting, and even pulled out his phone to text once or twice, a pet peeve of mine.
All in all, I wasn’t exactly impressed, but by the end of the date I guess I decided he was a nice and funny guy and was considering seeing him again. It’s a good thing I caught sight of the van. That’s right, the van. Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds.
We were walking out to his car after the meal and I noticed out of the corner of my eye that he gave a little wave to the van. He opened his car door for me, which normally would have been sweet, but I could tell he was anxious to get out of there. I turned around and stared at the black, spy-movie-esque van that was situated with a perfect view of our window seat. I tried to ignore the uncomfortable sense that I’d somehow stepped into an episode of The Twilight Zone. It didn’t work.
I had no idea how to bring it up on the way home, so for half the ride I sat on my hands doing my best to not get paranoid. Giving him the benefit of the doubt completely failed when I saw the van a few cars behind us, following us! Eventually, I just asked him straight up what was with the creepy van he’d waved to and why he’d coordinated a seat near it inside the restaurant. And, eventually, he admitted the truth. He was mortified that I figured it out, but there actually was someone spying on us—his mother. Yes, his strange, overprotective, overbearing mother decided to play James Bond and third-wheel it.
Turns out that what I’d thought was him mumbling to himself was actually him mumbling into a tiny hidden microphone! And you guessed it—he was texting her during the meal, too. I don’t think I’ve ever been more embarrassed in my life, and I’m guessing the feeling was mutual.
Bonnie is a full-time student and nerd at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She enjoys spending her days reading, fangirling, daydreaming, and attempting to adopt many more cats than necessary. You can read about her literary misadventures on her blog, The Final Font-ier.
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