Mojito by David O'Keefe

We met over a dating app with a snappy user interface and a primary color scheme. After making meaningless small talk for about a week, we finally decided to meet up at a below average Italian food restaurant that liked to pretend that it was actually a slightly above average Italian food restaurant. I thought that things were going fine, but I suppose that it’s my own fault for ignoring the warning signs; what kind of a person orders a mojito at an Italian place?

            The conversation went from our jobs, to friends, to relationships, and by the time I asked about her first boyfriend, I felt the cool rush of a poorly made mojito crashing into my face. Our dialogue was flirty, and we were already talking about our exes, so I figured that she wouldn’t mind the question. Wiping off my face and paying my half of the bill, I walked out of the restaurant alone.

            Outside, she stood waiting for her ride, and I awkwardly walked past her to reach the parking lot. “Sorry,” came from behind me. I turned and she said, “I found out yesterday that my high school boyfriend passed away in some car wreck. Our relationship wasn’t this fairy tale thing, but now I’m the only one who remembers the dates we went on and the things we said to each other. It’s this funny feeling… I don’t like it.”

            I didn’t know what to say, and even if I did, nothing I could do would change the situation. All that came out of my mouth was, “Did he have a favorite drink?” A smile crossed her face. “Mojitos,” she answered. “Well,” I continued, “Think you can finish one in his memory faster than me?” Grinning, she replied, “I don’t fancy your chances.”

Selected: Weekly Write #15
Published in Issue #29

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