(No) thanks to Jay, I find myself on a Tuesday evening, walking towards the meeting point where Cam and I had agreed to meet.
I check my phone and see that I am early. My phone beeps and it’s a message from Jay.
Have fun 🙂
I shake my head and roll my eyes, albeit with a smile on my face.
Apart from actually going out with someone who wasn’t co-erced into the meet up, I was sort of looking forward to the dinner. Cam had asked about my favourite cuisine and he suggested we meet at this very spot. I knew that this area had good food at some possibly fancy places. Not that I explicitly told him I wanted to have fancy food, but I figured since he asked, I was pretty sure that was where we were going.
It’s now 10 minutes after meeting time. I lean against the wall and look around. I check my phone again and contemplate sending a message. ‘No, Charlotte. Maybe it’s the train. No biggie.’
I check my watch and see that it is now 20 minutes past the meeting time. I’ve been waiting that long?
My phone beeps and it’s from Cam.
Running late. Be there in 10.
Another 10 minutes? You’re ALREADY late. I take a deep breath. No mistakes, only opportunities remember? I tell myself. I shift from my spot and gloss over the signage and posters around the meeting point for the umpteenth time.
After what felt like hours, I see Cam doing a slow jog towards me. His jeans are ripped at the knees and he looks like he had just rolled out of bed. I stand up straight and smooth out my dress.
‘Hey.’ He stops in front of me. ‘Holy sh*t.’
You’re not even going to apologize for making me wait? Granted, I didn’t tell him I was here early. Focus on the here and now, Charlotte.
‘Nah. It’s just..’ I can see his eyes give me a once over.
An immediate feeling of discomfort sets in.
The discomfort doesn’t go away. I choose to ignore the statement and change the subject.
“… I was early. Was there a breakdown or something?”
‘No, no breakdown. Didn’t we say 7.30?’
“We agreed on 7.”
He starts walking.
What? No sorry?! Seriously?!
I decide to just follow.
We pass the road where the nice fancy food is located and wind up walking up and down a set of shops on a street I don’t recognize.
“Um. Where are we going?”
‘I’m starving. Let’s get something quick.’
No restaurant meal?! My stomach immediately protests.
“You mean like, fast food?”
‘Yeah. Ah. Here we go.’
We wind up sitting under the glaring neon sign of a very ordinary chain of a fast food brand.
I plonk myself down on one of the enamel glazed chairs and smooth out my dress. I hold the edges and sigh. So much for a fancy meal.
‘What do you want?’ He asks, looking up at the menus.
“…To go home.”