“I brought you a souvenir,” Alicea said the first time she and Sven got together after she and her family got back from vacation.
“You didn’t have to get me anything,” Sven said in the half-hearted way that told Alicea he didn’t mean it.
“I wanted to.” That wasn’t quite true, but she didn’t want to admit that she had felt obligated to get him something, even though she hadn’t had a clue what to get him, so she had bought a snow globe. Now she found herself hoping he would like it as she watched him open it. At the time it had just been something to check off her list.
He smiled and shook it and laughed at all the fake snow drifting back down to the bottom of the glass bowl. “Thanks,” he said. “I know just where to put it.”
“I’m glad you like it.”
“I love it.”
“So, what did you do while I was away?”
“Nothing much. Played some video games. Mostly I just really missed you. I hadn’t realized how much I had started to take these little dates for granted.”
Uh-oh. There it was. He had said the dreaded “D” word and now Alicea wasn’t sure what to do about it.
“Have you ever thought about trying one of those dating sites?”
“Yeah, I’ve thought about it, but, I dunno. I just don’t think those are for me. I’d much rather get to know someone in person first. That way you know if you have chemistry.”
“Yeah, well, that’s why the goal is usually to meet up in person at some point. But I think you can still have chemistry over the internet, with the right person. You know, when you see their picture and you just know.” Alicea realized how silly she was sounding and blushed. “Or, maybe I’ve just been watching too many romcoms lately.”
“No, I know what you mean, and I think you have a point. There’s a lot to be said for the role physical attraction plays in romance.” He gave her a meaningful look and Alicea once again found herself on thin ice. At this point, she decided her best bet was to just reset.
“Welp, I’ve finished my second drink and that’s all I’m allowed to have, so I’m going to have to call it a night before I give in to temptation and go for a third.”
“Why don’t we get together some time during the week? Say, Wednesday?”
“I mean, you do still owe me from last weekend. And the weekend before.”
“Oh, um, sure. I guess. Do you just want to meet here again, or…”
“I was thinking my place. I’ll text you the address.”
“Oh. OK. I guess.”
“Let me know if it’s too far for you and we can find another place to meet somewhere between my place and yours. I just think bars are kind of depressing during the week.”
“Yeah, I see what you mean. OK. Um … yeah. Text me your address and we’ll make it work.”
“Great. See you Wednesday.”
Sven walked off with a grin spread across his face while Alicea wondered how she had let herself get talked into an additional meet up with Sven, of all people.
To be continued…