If you havent read the three previous parts of this post please check them out first. Thanks for reading and joining me at the end of this journey! - BB
What could I say? I had left the choice up to her and for my folly I was paying the price. I pulled my whimpering wallet from my pocket and saw that I might have enough after Olive Garden for the gas to last me until Friday. Lisa looked at me and then my wallet.
“No problem.” , I said.
As I closed my wallet, I think it bit me, but I chose to ignore it. Arriving at the car, again I opened the door for her and as I shut the door, either my future wife or my wallet one said “Sucker.” Driving across the parking lot, I noticed that it was dark in the direction of the restaurant. As we pulled around the corner, much to my delight….ummm I mean dismay, we discovered that the Olive Garden was closed. I think I heard my back pocket giggle gleefully.
“So now where?” I asked
“No idea.” She replied. “ You choose.”
Coolness! The ball was in my court! “Well CBC has coffee and appetizers.” I told her. CBC was short for Chattanooga Billiard Club and I was used to going there. A glass of Bottomless Tea was $1.50. I wasn’t sure about food cost but I figured it was a pool hall so how expensive could it be?
“Ok. Sounds good.” She replied.
So off we went. When we arrived, the place was packed. Admittedly I was happy that we had come here. I had a few friends that I had hope to show my date off to if they happened to be there. We took a table in the lounge area and waited for the server to arrive. Once we had our menus and placed our drink order, the server left us alone to make our choices. As I looked at the prices. My wallet began to protest, but was hushed into a low growl, as a gentleman was making his way toward our table looking directly at my date. From protesting to growling all in the course of two seconds. I was in agreement with the wallet.
“Lisa?” questioned the soon to be lifeless questioning intruder?
“Blaine?” she replied
“Grr.” my wallet and I said silently.
As I sat there determining the ways I could eviscerate this new intruder, I learned that this was a childhood friend of Lisa’s that she hadn’t seen in a while and that he was here with his girlfriend but just wanted to say hi. He would live through the night after all. I smiled at them and pretended to read the menu. As our server returned with our drinks (they surprisingly had cappuccinos.) The “competition” took his leave and we placed our order.
“Chicken Fingers and Fries” She ordered.
YES!!! My wallet screamed. I hoped she hadn’t heard that. More than that I hope she didn’t think I had a strange gaseous problem.
“Same for me.”
We would talk and get to know each other better over dinner. I would think maybe if I just gently grabbed her hand, but it would never happen that evening. “Be Careful.” kept repeating itself in my head and I nor my hand were taking any chances with moving any faster than Lisa was prepared to let me. Shortly after eating we took our leave of CBC and I took her home. As we went up the walk, I decided to make my next move.
“What are you doing Friday?” I asked.
“Going out with my mother for Blues Night.” She replied.
“Oh.” was my disappointed reply.
“Would you like to come with us?” she asked me.
My head said ‘Ummmm another parent?? No thanks.” My heart said “ Excellent what time should I pick you up?” I spoke from the heart and told the mind to get lost.
“I will let you know tomorrow.”
She stood there looking at me. Maybe she was waiting for a goodnight kiss. Maybe just a hug. I thought I could feel her fathers eyes piercing my back with invisible daggers. It would have to wait for another night. Maybe even Friday night.
“Well, see you tomorrow.” I said beginning to back up toward my car.
“umm..ok. See you tomorrow.”
I turned and walked briskly to the car. As I started the car, a smile wrapped itself across my face. I had survived because I had been careful. I had a great time with a wonderful girl. And, I had another date with her on Friday. As I pulled out of the driveway, Lisa shut the front door. There was the silhouette of a woman in an upstairs bedroom window, that moved away as I pulled out for the trip home.
I was oddly reminded of the movie “Psycho” and Mother Bates. Oh God… “What have I gotten myself into?” I asked myself.