Ali was getting ready for her date with this guy her best friend had sworn was perfect for her. Dustin James. Personally, she thought that his name sounded like it belonged to a porn star. But she had promised Laura that she would at least go on one date with the man. How bad could it be?
She pulled into the restaurant they had agreed to meet at, a local steak and burger kind of place, and looked around for a car matching the description of the one Laura had given her. Bright blue late model sedan, nothing outstanding about it except for the color. It was there at the far end of the parking lot and appeared to be empty. Dustin must have beaten her here and was presumably already inside, maybe having a drink at the bar. A soft sigh escaped her lips and she checked her reflection in the rear view mirror one more time, smoothing her short burgundy hair into place; whoever said short hair was easier than long hair lied she thought and climbed out of the car.
Inside the wooden framed, down home style restaurant Ali looked around for a man matching the tall, blonde, slightly muscled description that Laura had given her. She didn’t see anyone that matched, although there was a very pretty women at the bar who fit the bill nicely. Maybe that hadn’t been his car outside and maybe she could get lucky after all. She wandered over at sat at the bar, ordering a neat whiskey and scanning the room every so often. If this guy blew her off, she was never letting Laura set her up again. She typically hated blind dates and didn’t know why she had agreed to this one. At least it wasn’t as bad as the one who took her out for Valentine’s day and drank eight gin and tonics in the span of a half hour. A waiter found him passed out and covered in his own vomit in the men’s room and Ali had booked it real quick at that point, glad she’d always been wise enough to meet them somewhere first. Then there was the bumbling coffee shop guy that bumped into everything, including her and an expensive vase that crashed to the floor. He’d also been a boring hedge fund manager or something. Not her type at all. Even some of the women she had seen on blind dates had been awful. Lexi had been an air-headed chatterbox with a penchant for the word “like”, Maria was gorgeous and catty and just generally insufferable, but her favorite of the bunch was Sena, an Aussie expat with a motorcycle who had been really sweet, but overbearingly loud and fun and aggressively macho. They had actually remained friends, which was a rare occurrence from any of her dates.
Ali sighed, glanced at clock, finished her drink, and was about to order another one when a second drink slid down the bar her way. She looked up thinking perhaps her errant date had arrived but it was from Gorgeous Babe at the bar. “You got stood up too, huh?”
“Looks that way. I’m never letting someone set me up again, even if it is my best friend doing the matchmaking.”
“One of my co-workers set me up with a friend of hers, Alex I guess. Dark hair, slender, grey eyed and supposed to be gorgeous. We were set to meet at 6:30, but I got here at about quarter of. This is ridiculous. People have no care for others anymore.” Gorgeous shook her head slightly annoyed and took a sip of the beer she was drinking. “By the way, I’m Dusti.”
“I was supposed to meet a guy named Dustin here tonight. At least that’s what my friend told me. I’m Ali. Damn men, damn women, damn them all. I hate blind dates,” and Ali laughed softly, almost bitterly thinking of all the miserable and failed dates over the years, not more than two of them had led o relationships and those had both been brief flings with women who really weren’t her type. There wasn’t a man in the bunch worth mentioning as far as she was concerned. Dusti let out a small laugh as well, perhaps thinking the same thing Ali was as she finished her beer and signaled the bartender for another. The two women chattered amiably nursing their drinks, Dusti buying several rounds and Ali buying several more. As it got late and the ladies realized it was time to leave, it became clear that neither of them was any good for driving. Ali texted Laura to see if she could come get her and Dusti was doing the same unbeknownst to either of them.
Laura got the two messages in rapid succession and frowned in confusion as both of her friends claimed that their dates never showed, yet they had sat chatting with a new friend at the bar all night and over did the booze. Could she come get them? Sure, she replied and left her house a few minutes later still puzzled that both women had been stood up. Surely there had to have been some mistake, Ali and Dusti were both pretty prompt, on track kind of people, which is part of why Laura figured they would hit it off.
Laura arrived about 15 minutes later to the restaurant and spotted the two laughing outside and really wondered what was going on. She parked and hopped out, walking over to the pair. “Well it seems like you ladies had a pleasant evening.” Ali and Dusti both turned and looked at Laura before they both started fussing about being stood up by stupid men. And Laura just started laughing. She laughed so hard that tears ran down her plump cheeks. “OK, you two are funny. Now let’s get you home.” “Uhhh, Laura what is so damned funny about being stood up?” Ali fumed and glowered at her best friend. “wait. You mean you’re not joking. Ooooh boy.” Dusti chimed in, “What is going on here? Why would we joke about this BS.” Laura was unable to contain another chuckle and took a deep breath. “Ali, didn’t I say you’d be meeting Dusti tonight. I’m certain that I did. And Dusti, what did you think I said when I mentioned Ali, who by the way decided to dye her hair and not let me know so I could tell you to watch for her.”
“What?!” Both of the other two women were genuinely puzzled. “Laura, I thought you said I was meeting Alex and just kind of assumed…” “Yeah, I heard Dusty and thought the same thing.” Ali and Dusti laughed now too, finally having figured it all out and shared a hug. “So, not bad for a first date after all. Wanna do it again sometime Ali?” “Love to!”
“Alright, lovebirds, you both need to get home and get some sleep. Take some asprin and leave some water by your bed. You know the hangover drill girls. I’ll pick you up tomorrow and we can get your cars. I’m glad everything worked out. Sounds like quite a story to tell.”
And in case you missed t, you can find last week’s Wicked Wednesday post here