Restaurants. There was always something about them that irked me. Sure, everyone with a brain knew that a restaurant was a place meant to sit down in, have a good meal and a nice time with family/friends and then pay how much you owe them and decently leave without causing a ruckus. What I didn’t get is why it was always a restaurant that Lea had chosen for the blind date to take place in. Everyone knows that there’s something oddly romantic about them, but Lea choosing a restaurant out of all places for this date was just surprising. It was too ‘normal’ of a pick, especially for her.
Walking up to the receptionist who gave me a fake smile, I said, “I have a reservation under the name Storm.”
“Oh, alright,” she said, looking through the computer for a second. “Follow me.”
The woman led me through the restaurant and I couldn’t help but notice it did look rather classy. Lea had chosen a different restaurant for every guy, probably to suit his taste. A pizzeria, a Mexican restaurant, and a café…but this was certainly the best. It was the kind of place I could imagine a rich couple, sipping wine and laughing softly in the flickering candlelight. It was romantic, that I could say, but in a totally “hey look, I have money so date me” kind of way.
“A table for two, as you reserved.” She’d stopped in front of a round table with a chair on either side of it. It was secluded, cradled against the darkest nook of the restaurant that it made it almost invisible. The only thing that indicated its’ presence were the candles set in the centre, casting shadows on the wall.
“Thank you,” I said politely. After sitting down, I looked around, observing the area. It was mostly deserted, with only a few people seated here and there. A family of six were seated on the other side, but even the kids who I guessed were only five to eight years of age were quiet and disciplined – like they’d been trained. Yup, this was certainly that kind of restaurant.
Leaning back against my chair, I fixed my eyes on the little arc through which customers were entering this part of the restaurant, dreading the moment that my date would come over, led by the receptionist.
A bald guy who looked at least 30 strutted through – nope, my guy had hair. An old man who was joining a group of elderly people for a reservation – I’m sure he had a killer smile, literally.
I watched and waited, as people streamed through and the restaurant slowly began to get a little more crowded. In fact, I almost tore my gaze away, thinking that maybe I was getting stood up, but that’s when I saw him.
Tall, dark and handsome…and seemingly normal. He was dressed to impress, in a tux as he weaved his way through the tables, following the receptionist who I’d noticed was being more friendly than normal. They were still quite a few tables away, and I knew he hadn’t seen me yet. But something about him looked awfully familiar.
The closer he got, the faster my heart beat against my chest and then he was finally standing right in front of me. I didn’t have the strength to stand up as our eyes met; the way he looked at me made me feel like I was the only person in the entire room that interested him. And when he smiled, my heart stopped. I would recognize that smile anywhere, that smile which at one point in my life had made me believe every single word he’d said.