She cradled her phone between her ear and her shoulder as she stepped into her favorite pair of jeans. It really didn’t do them justice to just call them her favorite pair of jeans, because these weren’t just any old jeans, they were the Holy Grail of jeans. They were comfortable enough to wear just about anywhere, but yet they fit her like a glove. They could be worn with a t-shirt and Vans or she could dress them up with a fancy top and heels…which is what she was doing tonight. The best thing about them was that they made her 42-year old derriere look like that of a 23-year old. To be fair, though, she didn’t really need all that much help in that department because she took impeccable care of herself, but still, these jeans were magic.
Despite the huge confidence boost that her “magic jeans” gave to her ego, she was incredibly nervous. She had no idea how she let her best friend, Sarah, talk her into going on a blind date. I mean, technically, she was still married. It didn’t really matter that six months ago she signed the divorce papers, because Wes still hadn’t signed them, and she was starting to think that he never would. He still wouldn’t take any of her calls. She’s lost track of how many messages she’d left him. In a last-ditch effort to ease her guilt about this blind date, she decided to try Alyssa. Maybe she could shed some light on why her father hadn’t signed yet.
“So, have you talked to your father recently?”
“Hello to you too, Mom. Classes are going great, thanks for asking,” she replied. Sarcasm dripped off every word and cut into her like venom from a snake bite.
“Sorry, honey. I’ve got a million things on my mind tonight, but that was very rude of me. How are you doing?”
“It’s okay. I’m good. So, why do you want to know if I’ve talked to dad?”
“I was just wondering if he’s signed the papers yet.”
“Mom, I’m not getting in the middle of this. If you want to know if he’s signed, then you need to ask him yourself.”
“I’ve tried. He won’t return any of my calls.”
“Gee, I wonder why.”
“And what exactly is that supposed to mean? You may be in college now, but I’m still your mom. Show some respect please.”
“What it means, mother, is that I don’t know what you expect. You walked out on him without so much as a word and now you want to talk because he hasn’t signed away twenty-three years of marriage as quickly as you did.”
“Is that how you see it? I’ll have you know that I just didn’t wake up one day and say, ‘Oh, I think I’m going to divorce my husband today.’ It was a decision I battled with for almost a year and it practically killed me to make it.”
“No, that’s not how I see it…that’s how he sees it. Like I said, I’m not going to get in the middle. I love you. I love him. End of story. This is between the two of you, so you both just need to leave me and Brian out of it.”
“What are you talking about? I haven’t said anything to your brother.”
“You haven’t, but dad has. Look, I’ve got a study group I’m going to be late for so I’ve got to go. I’m serious, though, you and dad need to figure this out.”
She knew she was right and she wondered exactly when it was that her daughter became wiser than her. Short of actually going to see Wes, she didn’t know how to get him to respond to her calls. Since going to see him wasn’t an option she was willing to consider right now, she’d just have to continue calling him. He’d have to respond to her eventually. Right? She slipped her phone into the back pocket of her jeans as she walked into the guest bathroom to finish getting ready. She stared at her reflection in the bathroom mirror, almost not recognizing the woman staring back at her. If life had turned out like it was supposed to, she’d be curled up next to Wes on the couch watching their favorite movie or getting ready to go out to dinner at their favorite restaurant. Never in a million years did she think she’d be getting ready for a blind date. She picked up her brush and ran it through her thick mane of wavy auburn hair. She applied some gloss to her naturally pink, full lips and swept some blush across her high cheek bones. There, that should do it, she thought to herself. She took one last look in the mirror, took a deep breath, and walked out the bathroom door.
Sarah’s place wasn’t huge but she had her own room with an attached bathroom and she was extremely grateful that she didn’t have to worry about paying rent plus the mortgage on the house. All of her friends thought she was crazy for just walking out and leaving everything behind, but she just couldn’t stay in that house a second longer. None of them understood what it was like to live with a ghost of the man who once was your everything, while the stranger inhabiting his body just sat on the couch pushing away everything and everyone.
Deciding to sign those divorce papers was the hardest thing she’d ever done, because the thing that everyone else didn’t know was that she still loved her husband. She loved the Wes that wouldn’t take no for an answer and swept her completely off her feet. She loved the Wes that teared up as he recited his wedding vows. The Wes that cried the first time he held both of his children. She loved the Wes that, up until a few years ago, always looked at her like she was the only woman in the room. She knew he was in there somewhere, she just ran out of ways to try to reach him. The time had come for bold moves, so she made the boldest one she could.
She pulled up to the address that Sarah had typed into her phone. Brent, her date, had offered to pick her up, but she had been adamant about driving herself. There was no way in hell she was going to be trapped somewhere with a stranger. She needed a means of escape in case this date was a total train wreck, and by the looks of the place he’d picked…it just very well might be. Why was she doing this again? Oh, yes, Sarah had insisted she needed to get back out there and see what she’d been missing all these years. From the looks of it, it wasn’t much. Wes never would have taken her to a place like this. It looked like a bar where college kids hung out and played pool and when she walked through the door she realized that’s exactly what it was.
She looked around the room for a guy holding a single red rose…that was how she was supposed to recognize him. She said a little prayer that maybe she’d get stood up, but as her eyes landed on the cozy little booth in the corner she silently cursed her best friend. Although very handsome, the guy looked like he couldn’t be more than twenty-five. He had jet black hair, emerald-green eyes, and the cutest set of dimples. As handsome as he was, he definitely wasn’t her type. He looked like a kid and she suddenly missed Wes’ rugged good looks. She missed running her fingers through his soft, chocolate-brown hair. She missed getting lost in the sea of his deep blue eyes. She missed the way a five o’clock shadow made his strong jaw all the more irresistible. How on earth could Sarah think that she’d be remotely attracted to this guy? She quickly pulled out her phone to call her friend.
“Is this some kind of joke?” she whispered into her phone.
“What? He may not be marriage material, but he’s cute and looks like he’d be great in bed. You didn’t honestly think you’d find Mr. Right on your first date, did you? I just thought you could use a one night stand to get you back out into the dating world.”
“First of all, I already found Mr. Right a long time ago and I’m in no hurry to find another one. You know they say lightening doesn’t strike the same place twice. Second, I am not going to have sex with this guy, I’m probably old enough to be his mom for crying out loud!”
“Relax, he’s twenty-nine. I met him in one of my classes, he’s working on his Master’s degree. Just let loose and have some fun for once, you deserve it.”
“Trust me when I say there will be no “letting loose” of any kind. I’ll see you when I get home.”
“At least stay and have one drink. You owe me at least that.”
“Alright, one drink, but after this you are going to owe me.”
She hung up her phone and started to walk towards the booth in the corner. Brent stood as he saw her approach. She offered him her hand to shake and he did, but then he leaned in and gave her a kiss on the cheek.
“It’s so nice to finally meet you. Sarah has told me a lot about you
“Nice to meet you too, but I’m afraid Sarah wasn’t as forthcoming with me.”
“If you’re talking about the age thing, it doesn’t bother me. Besides, you’re smoking hot.”
She rolled her eyes as he gestured for her to take a seat. She should have been flattered that he thought she was “smoking hot” but she wasn’t. The only thing she was, was anxious to get home. She ordered a Jack and Coke and sat and listened to him go on and on about himself for about forty-five minutes. There really wasn’t much that she wanted to add to the conversation, but if there had been, she wouldn’t have had the opportunity. Brent was totally into Brent, and she thanked the heavens above when he finally excused himself to go to the restroom. She was seriously considering making a run for it, but there wasn’t a rude bone in her body. Manners forced her to remain seated, and as she waited her phone buzzed in her pocket. She pulled it out to reveal an incoming text from an unknown number.
Hey beautiful, I had a really great time the other night. I would love to take you out again.
Who is this?
Real funny, Lisa.
I hate to break it to you, but I think Lisa didn’t have as great a time as you did the other night. She gave you the wrong number.
So, you’re telling me that you’re not Lisa and I’ve been “wrong-numbered”?
I’m sorry, but yeah.
Ouch! I’m so embarrassed. Well, sorry to have bothered you.
No, bother. If it makes you feel any better, I’m on the blind date from hell.
Welcome to the Unlucky in Love Club.
LOL. Aren’t clubs supposed to be fun? I’d rather be a part of the Happily Ever After Club. Where are the sign-ups for that?
I’d be first in line if I knew. Well, again, sorry to bother you. Hope the rest of your evening turns out better.
Thanks. You too.
That random text couldn’t have come at a better time, because when Brent came back to the table and saw her texting, it gave her the perfect excuse to bow out of their date gracefully. Quick thinking turned a random text from a stranger into an emergency text from her daughter. She thanked him for a “lovely” evening and raced for the door without looking back. She definitely wasn’t going to do that again anytime soon, and if she did, she’d find her own date. There would be no more blind dates in her future.