Date Night by Caitlin M Kearns

Dom had told Clare he’d meet her outside the bistro at half seven. 

Clare, who hadn’t been a date in nearly three years, had dolled herself up for the occasion. New dress, red lippy, even a small heel. She’d met Dom on a dating website. She’d tried the apps but worked out pretty quickly your average Tinder user wasn’t looking for a pear shaped receptionist rapidly approaching her 40’s. It was one of those websites where you had to pay, and they’d find you your “perfect” match. Dom was 93% compatible, though obviously they had different opinions on the importance of timekeeping. 

Clare’s stiff shoes were beginning to rub away at her heels as she shifted from foot to foot. Should she call him? Send him a text? She plucked for something simple, with a slight hint of underlying passive aggression. 

“I am here, see you soon :)” 

Ten minutes passed, no reply, and no sign of Dom. This is what you get for putting yourself out there, she thought. As it got to eight she started planning her evening, she remembered she had a bottle of Barefoot Pinot in the fridge, and began to plan where she'd get her portion of cheesy chips to accompany it on the way home. 

“Sorry I’m late.” 

Clare looked up at Dom, a sweaty, bald headed man in his early 40’s. At least he wasn’t lying about his height, she thought to herself. 

“How long have you been standing there?” 

“Half an hour. I was beginning to think you weren’t going to show.” 

“I’m sorry...I got you these.” 

Dom thrust a limp and uninspiring bunch of garage bought flowers under Clare’s nose. Maybe cheap wine and cheesy chips wouldn’t have been so bad after all... 

Published in Issue #10

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