The Dumpster by Becky Due
(From Chapter 23)
A few days later, Nicole was on Facebook catching up with family and friends when she noticed she had a private message from Kevin, a guy she’d had one date with a couple guys before Tom. But before opening the message, she had to shake off the memory of that horrible evening. She closed her eyes and wondered what was wrong with her. She had flashbacks of sitting in the booth with him, drinking wine and telling him her life story—on their first date!
“… and that was the big bodybuilder who was afraid of a three-pound Yorkie. Can you believe it? He was huge, well, not in every way, if you know what I mean, but he was afraid of a tiny, little dog. Then there was Todd, who was sure I had a baby, just because I had stretch marks. Well, I had to break up with him! He was sure I had a kid somewhere. So what? I have stretch marks on my thighs, hips, breasts and a little on my stomach, but that doesn’t mean I had a baby. I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’ve struggled with being a little chubby my whole life. I’ll get a grip on it someday.” She put her hand up against her stomach. “You should see what happens when I sit for any length of time. I get these red lines across my belly, where my gut creases. Oh, you’ll see it later tonight,” she said, winking at him.
The server stepped over. “Oh, can I get another glass of wine?” she asked and looked at Kevin. “I guess I won’t get a grip on my weight issue tonight,” she continued. “I have cellulite, too, all over my legs. I’ve spent so much money on lotions and treatments to get rid of it, but nothing works.” She took another drink of wine. “I’m not an alcoholic, oh, but I’ve dated my share, well, I’m not sure I’d really call it dating, per say, but…” She laughed mischievously. “I finally had enough when I was going to go on a date with this one guy and he asked me to pick him up at a meeting. So I show up and discover this meeting was an AA meeting, a mandatory, court-ordered AA meeting!” She looked at Kevin. “Can you believe it? And that wasn’t the worst. I once had a guy go into seizures because he hadn’t had a drink for a few hours. He foamed at the mouth and everything. I had to call 9-1-1 on my date. They took him by ambulance.”
Nicole excused herself to go to the bathroom. In the bathroom, she checked herself in the mirror while washing her hands. She was a little taken aback by her appearance. She thought she looked great when she left her place, but suddenly she felt she was beginning to resemble Tammy Faye Baker. She tried to wipe some of her mascara and makeup off under her eyes, but it didn’t seem to make a difference. She turned to the vanity to pick up her purse, but it was gone. “Oh, shit!” She stepped back into the stall and checked the back of the door. It wasn’t there. “Oh, my God!” She exhaled deeply as she left the bathroom.
When she got back to the table she told Kevin that they had to call the police because somebody had stolen her purse.
He leaned across the table to reach for her bag on her side of the booth and held it up. “Is this it?”
“Oh, my God. Yes. Thank you! You are my life saver.” She plopped back down into the booth and continued with the saga of her life. “You know, it hasn’t all been fun and games. There’ve been times when I was really, really hurt, when I’d cry myself to sleep. ‘Why won’t somebody love me? What is so wrong about me? Please God, send me somebody, anybody. I just want somebody to love me.’ I could cry right now thinking about it. Oh, and thank God I can count on only one hand the number of times I thought I was preggers! Preg-gers!” she repeated, only louder and slower, leaning toward him to make sure he heard her. “Did I tell you about my homosexual boyfriends? I secretly want to have sex with them. I mean just because they are gay doesn’t mean anything to me, I’m still heterosexual. Ugh! They open their shirts or pull down their pants to show me their well hidden tattoos, and I have to catch my breath. They expose their muscular chests and their tight butts. Mmm-mmm!”
The easier the wine went down, the easier her secret thoughts came up. By the time she was telling him how easy he was to be around and how she finally found a good man, somebody she could be herself with, was right around the time he was ready to go. She told him how thankful she was for their deep, spiritual connection and that she knew they had a bright future together because they had no secrets.
When he finally found a way to get her back into his car to take her home, she told him that she was wearing his favorite color bra and panty set, blue. And she was just drunk enough to undo her shirt and show him. “You wanna know how I know your favorite color?”
“Before our date, I got on Facebook and I read every single post you ever made. It took me hours! But I learned a lot about you, and I now know your favorite color. Blue!” She pulled her shirt open again to show him.
When they got to her condo, he didn’t want to come in, though she begged. He said he had to get up early and said goodbye to her in the car. When she got out of the car, she decided to take off her shoes for the walk in, they had been acting funny which caused her to walk funny. As she walked up to her building, he watched her. She tried to look as sexy as she could. When she got inside, she heard him drive off. She knew that because of their amazing connection, they had nothing to prove and that was why he didn’t come up with her. They would save that for their next date.
The next morning while she was getting ready for work, she remembered the night before and was mortified. The alcohol had worn off and reality had set in. She wasn’t sure if she was still drunk, but she giggled every time she thought about something else she had said on her date with Kevin. “Preggers! I actually said preggers? Oh, my God.” She bent over laughing. She knew he would never call her, so she called him—to apologize.
He didn’t answer, so she had to leave a message.
“Hi, Kevin, it’s Nicole from last night. I’m just calling to apologize for my behavior. I know you must have found me irresistible on our date. I’m sure you’re busy ring shopping and talking to your family and friends right now, trying to figure out the right way to ask me to marry you. And you’re probably feeling a little rushed, fearing that somebody might swoop in and steal me away from you.” She started laughing and continued her message. “Anyway, if you tell anybody how crazy I am, I’ll deny it. And I’ll make something up about you, that you’re a kleptomaniac or something.” She became serious. “I just wanted to say I’m sorry, and thanks for being such a great guy.”