First Date

She made herself a bath in the simple dorm room bathtub with some urgency. Her skin was feeling parched from some of the driest winter spells and her complete failure in trying to keep up with moisturizing. Finally the tub filled up slightly more than halfway. She threw her robe off and sunk into the warm water. Her body disappeared inch by inch beneath the bluish tint. She lowered the much anticipated lush bath bomb, and watched the little bear fizzle around the tub as she tried thinking of anything except that night’s event.

It was a disappointment, her mind echoed, as the scent started to get somewhat overwhelming. She sat up and scrubbed her legs, against the water resistance. It was the wrong choice. She wanted to feel clean and refreshed, not splashed with a layer of film that she can’t seem to get off her chest. She wanted to forget the night, not pile on more murky memories.

It was perfect in all ways. Quite literally, heaven threw someone in her path. A perfect stranger complimented her little white knitted hat and asked her out to dinner. She had plans that night, but they set up dinner for the next night. Like any other girl preparing for her first date, as she would imagine, she called her best friend. They freaked out together, went through the routine vetting on social media, talked about what to wear and then freaked out some more. The day arrived and she could not focus on anything. She must have spent hours getting ready, because by the time she was done and was satisfied with her makeup, it was close to dinner. They got along pretty much instantaneously. From background, to studies, to videos, and careers, there was never an awkward silence. She never felt more at ease. In fact, she was perfectly hilarious, as she’d like to think. He was very smooth, perhaps from practice or perhaps from the real connection. She knew though, even before she asked, that she was not the first prey. He joked about his attraction for her, and held her hand with a cute excuse of drawing a watch on her wrist.

Oh yes, the watch. She scrubbed hard at it. 8:45pm, the inanimate ink clock showed – the time they left the restaurant. Even without all the hollywood movies, she knew instinctively, what she was getting into when they got to his apartment. She was willing to believe, however naively, that she would be different. They would just hang out, like friends, and then something might develop weeks later if things progressed that way. Wrong. It was all alright when they hovered over some science book and he swept her hair backwards and traced letters on her thighs. It was even okay when he made her to sit on his lap when they watched a video. And then he turned her head and kissed her lips.

She stood up abruptly and water rushed to fill the gap she left. She gasped slightly, as her eyes blurred and her head felt so light she could have fainted right then and there. As she regained some feeling in her limbs, she dried herself off as fast as her weak arms could move. She had probably spent longer than 20 minutes in the bath, the length of time recommended. Yes, that must be it. She then went to the sink, rinsed her mouth with mouthwash and scrubbed her lips again. The taste of his lips subsided, but still lingered faintly. The thought of that moist pizza smell almost made her throw up that instant. She wrapped herself back up in the warm fuzzy robe and threw herself under her comforter.

She wanted to leave so badly she whispered. She whispered! What was wrong with her? For someone who had been so independent her whole life, she had never felt more trapped. It was as if some force prevented her from leaving by her own free will and she needed some kind of permission. He tried to reverse the situation by serenading her with his guitar and “taught” her to strum some chords. For any other girl, it might be the most romantic thing on earth. But in that circumstance, she felt so uneasy that it turned into disgust. It also did not help that he was awfully out of tune and her ears screamed in pain from years of musical ear training. Finally, after what seemed like eternity, he stopped. She slid off his bed and put on her winter gear with what’s left of her sanity. As she thanked him for the dinner out of her natural politeness, he leaned in and tried to kiss her, once more. “I can’t, I’m sorry,” she whispered, as she made a dash for the door. As she closed the door, a pang of guilt washed over as she watched his back bent over, defeated.

Was it her fault she was not attracted to him from the beginning? Was it her fault she did not feel anything while going through the motions? Was it her fault for giving it a try because for once in her life, she felt like she had a chance? She wanted love pheromones to cloud her mind but all she felt now, was she could not look at guys the same way without a tinge of panic in her stomach. The shame of it all kept her from telling anyone, because words refuse to form. Maybe she had not been ready all these times as much as she had convinced herself.

It was a disappointment, her first kiss. She wanted to save it for some special occasion, and that fairytale dream would now never come true. Maybe it’s all for the better, that she recognized the reality sooner than later. Maybe one good thing that came out of it, is that she feels somewhat at peace with herself being alone. She now does not feel all that pressured to find some guy like everyone else had. Maybe Cupid will visit her some time in the future. For now, sleep kicked in and prepared her to face new days.

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