S.B. – No Friday evening is complete without you. Or Thursday. Or Wednesday.
The Setting: A bistro
The Hour: Just the one when you dine
The mind wanders. To the next table. A regular guy, a regular girl. Friday night. Date night? We don’t know. So I begin a game with S.B. How will the night end for them?
Through discreet glances, and in my case, sometimes obvious looks that I suspect will get me kicked out of the restaurant, we try to figure out their “story”.
Probably co-workers. Just having known each other for a short while, couple of days at most. The guy must have been the one to suggest an evening. I can see it in the way he’s leaning towards her.
The girl is cold, lukewarm at best. Her hands folded across her chest. Like she’s warding off all acts of intimacy.
Beers, one round. Done. Main course. Done. Not much changes. Guy still leaning in, girl still leaning out. Oh wait! There comes a move. The guy’s hand has inched towards the girl’s arm, is now resting on it, holding on to it.
Uncertainty compounds the girl – it’s not a no, because she hasn’t brushed him off, but it isn’t a yes either, because she’s gone almost rigid. Her mind is conflicted. If she could, she’d hit the pause button on the whole scene and call one of her girlfriends and ask in a muted voice, “What do I do?”
The offer of a second beer is declined by the girl. The guy becomes cautious. Is the evening to end? So soon? The dessert menu is brought out by the server. The guy is withdrawn. He’s contemplating failure, but still hoping that there’s a chance.
Dessert arrives. A pastry of sorts. To share. The girl takes a bite. And the first smile of the evening plays on her lips. Has the pastry chef done it? Melted her? Resolved her conflict?
“I believe he has!”, I say to S.B. There seems to be something magical about the moment now. The guy leans in and whispers something to the girl, and gives a light peck on her cheek. The girl blushes, then buries her face in her hands. They finish the desert, pay and leave.
“What do you think?”, I ask S.B. “A love story unlocked?”S.B. smiles. Friday evening has been successful for someone.
Or so we would like to believe.