Siobhan recognized Josh the moment she saw him. He looked just like his profile picture – except this time he was wearing a shirt. Siobhan felt her lips curl into a smile and her cheeks grow warm and she immediately wondered why. It wasn’t like she had never talked to a guy before.
He did a quick scan of the coffee shop and spotted her right away. She waved. He waved back as he got in line to order his coffee. When he was busy with the cashier, Siobhan took advantage of his distraction to check him out.
Had he looked that cute in his photo? She had thought he looked kind of full of himself in that selfie, but now she wasn’t so sure. He stood up straight, but he didn’t walk chest-first the way some guys did – confident without being cocky. He smiled politely at the cashier – not flirtatious, just friendly. So, he was good looking, confident, and he had manners. This had to be a joke, right?
As he turned to the table where Siobhan was sitting, she started, afraid he had caught her staring at him. She pretended to be absorbed in something on her phone until he was a few steps away from the table. “Hey,” she said, trying to sound casual.
“Hey,” he replied. “Checking out the goods?”
He smiled, but it wasn’t a mean or condescending smile – it was gentle and teasing. “I saw you checking me out. No shame. It is a first date, after all. So? Do you like what you see?”
Siobhan cocked her head to one side, as if considering her answer. Then she said, “Honestly, I had a hard time recognizing you fully clothed.”
She immediately regretted her impulsiveness, but he threw his head back and laughed. “Fair enough. I have to admit I wasn’t sure you would look anything like your photo either.”
“Can I ask you something?”
“I understand questions are pretty standard on first dates.” He swept a hand, palm upwards, across the table to indicate she should continue.
“Why did you choose that photo to put as your profile picture?”
He looked down into his drink as he hesitated. “Look, I’ll be straight with you. I just made that profile because my parents made me. I wasn’t looking to actually get any dates out of it, but my roommate talked me into going out with you.”
“Yeah. Only, instead of parents, I created a profile for a class assignment. So, in the interest of academic curiosity, why did you use that photo?”
He snorted. “You’re profiling me now?”
“No. I profiled you when I first saw that photo. Now I want to know the truth about you as an individual, rather than a statistic.”
He paused and Siobhan was afraid she had been too forward. Her friends were always telling her she was too blunt.
To be continued…