Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Communication Breakdown (12/16/10)
- TITLE: Ninth Commandment Woes
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missed connections, m4w
Girl who sat behind me at Deb's Diner last Thursday...
To be honest, you got on my nerves from the second I sat down in the booth next to yours. You were blabbing on your cell phone loud enough for everyone in the place to hear. It's not our business you lost your job. We don't care what your parents are going to think. It grated my cheese. You weren't the only one having a rough day.
When it came time to pay your tab, you couldn't find your wallet. I handed the waitress that ten so I could finish my burger in peace. I didn't do it to be nice. But you were so thankful that you practically climbed over the booth and grabbed my hands. You wouldn't let go.
That's when I took my first real look at you. You've got the widest forehead I've ever seen, but your blue eyes run its length. I loved how they tapered downward when you promised to repay me. It sounds stupid, but I felt some sort of connection with you—in all your loud and clumsy sincerity. But then the waitress interrupted us, asking if I needed change. At almost the same moment, you asked for my number.
Girl who sat behind me at Deb's, you won't be able to reach me—just when everything was going right between us, I lied. I have no idea why. Regret pesters me. Or maybe that's my grandmother. Advice, lectures, filibusters—it's all the same to her.
Yet, I really wish I hadn't given you erroneous information.
What are the odds you'll ever see this so I can make it right?
My only hope is that God’s a romantic. If so, tell me the color of the sweater I was wearing, so I’ll know it’s you. It was a present from the pestering grandmother—you couldn’t have missed it.
Boy with the chip on his shoulder...
Your sweater was mustard yellow.
Your disposition was sour.
I actually wanted to switch tables as the scent of your aftershave was completely stifling.
When you footed my bill, it floored me. I turned and knelt in my booth until you finally acknowledged my personhood. I leaned down to take—not grab your hands. They were so cold.
And I thought that maybe all you needed was someone to warm them.
So I waited two days before dialing your alleged number. You know, so you wouldn't feel like I was hounding you. Like I was cool enough to sort of forget you for a minute, but responsible enough to keep track of my debts.
Turns out I was calling an elderly person.
Girl who is responsible with debt…
The aftershave was my grandfather's, which I wore in his honor. Bad choice, but what can I say? Funerals make you forget yourself. And, yes, there really was a funeral—I’m not in the habit of breaking the ninth commandment. There were songs, videos, poetic readings, and extemporaneous speeches, both in the church and at the graveside—we’re talking the whole schmear.
I needed some quiet when I walked into Deb's.
Your hands were warm and ultra soft. I hate the idea of your index finger punching in a bogus number.
How do you feel about second chances?
Boy with the dearly-departed grandfather…
Perhaps I should scan the obituaries to confirm this story?
Oh, all right, I relent. You've got one more chance. But as I'm still unemployed, you're paying for dinner, and I'm not holding back any inner dialog.
I'll meet you at Deb's—say seven? We'll eat, drink, and converse. You may expound on the virtues of my facial structure. At the end of those activities, I'll give you a seven-digit number that may or may not connect you to my mobile device. You'll just have to wait and see.
P.S. Please wear the sweater again. I liked it.
Girl with good taste…
Seven works for me. As would six or five or midnight.
I’m soaking the sweater, per my grandmother's instructions, as I write. She wasn't fond of the aftershave, either. Not one whiff of offending odor will meet your nasal passages.
I'll be waiting for you.
No more missed connections.
Of these words, you can be certain.
God really is a romantic.
Boy who is remarkably clueless,
I don't know if God is a romantic or not, but your grandmother is.
That's whose phone number you gave me.
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