I wait at the spot my date, Jackson, reserved, tapping my blood red nails against the cheap press board table. My second glass of water is almost empty. I'm starting to get worried glances from the waitresses. The smells of melted cheese and Mexican dishes hit my nose almost as strong as the lemon-scented cleaner they just used on the table behind me. Just then I hear the bell above the door ring, and the sound of rushed feet heading my direction.
"I am so sorry!" My date says, sliding into the seat across from mine. His shirt is wrinkled, and his light brown hair is combed haphazardly to the right. He readjusts his glasses and picked up a menu. "So... have you looked at the menu?"
"I ordered the enchilada platter thirty minutes ago."
"Oh," he replies, his face flushing red. "So... did you eat?"
"I told them to not make mine until you ordered."
A few more moments of awkward silence before a waitress shows up, pen in paper in hand. She shoots me a knowing glance before asking my date what he wants to eat. He tells her what he wants, and she leaves to give our orders to the chef.
"What held you up?" I ask, trying not to sound annoyed. This is the first time I've worn more make-up than just cheap Walmart mascara, and the fact my face is plastered in blush, and... other stuff that my friend put on me that I don't remember the names of, isn't helping my mood.
"Oh, I..." Jackson trails off. He rubs his tan forehead, and squints his eyes. "My cat jumped out the window and I kinda chased him around the block."
"For half an hour?"
For the next ten or so minutes, I keep the conversation rolling. He calms down a bit and laughs a few times. He seems nice enough, although I think everyone but him can tell that I'm not having a good time. He asks me questions, like what my favorite color is or what I do for a living.
"I'm a veterinarian, actually," I say, taking another sip of water.
"Really?" Jackson asks, in awe.
"Yeah I went to a farm and birthed a few cows this morning."
He seems really impressed by that. He starts to ask me a question about birthing cows, but that's when the waitress comes back with two plates of food. The smell of melted cheese and over-seasoned meat floods into my nose, and I decide to let my food cool before digging in.
"Wow, that's a lot of food," Jackson mumbles.
"Yeah," I reply. "I can eat a lot more than most people think I can."
He bites his thick lips. "It looks really good. I wish I had ordered it."
"Go ahead, have a bite," I offer, pushing the plate towards him.
He smiles at that, then wastes no time, working off a small piece of the enchilada on the left with his own fork. He puts it in his mouth, and sighs. "Wow, this is really good."
"What did you order?" I ask, pretending to be interested. It's almost time.
"Oh," he says, looking down at his plate. "A large burrito with a side of rice."
"Beef or chicken?"
Just then, a group of police rush into the restaurant, causing a few of the customers to scream. They make a rush towards Jackson, who barely has enough time to raise his eyebrows before they take him down, pushing him down onto the rough, black carpet, and cuff him.
"Thank you so much, Deputy," one of them says, as they pull up Jackson, who is trying to pull himself away from the muscular cop holding him.
I pull out my badge and show it to Jackson, just to taunt him. He makes a loud exhale before the cops walk him outside, and explain his rights to him.
The waitress walks over to me, her eyes wide in shock. "What was that all about?"
"They were having trouble catching a drug lord. I offered up a plan, and got someone who claimed to be his friend to set us up on a 'blind date'," I answer, putting my badge back into the inside pocket of my jacket. "Oh, and here's the money for both of our meals. Can I get a couple of to-go boxes? I'll just take the meals home."
"He comes here all the time... and we never knew."
"That's usually how it works."
I hand her the money, and she rushes back to the kitchen, and comes back with the boxes.
"Thank you so much," she says, smiling.
I nod my head and scrap my food into one box, and his into another. When I glance out the window, they are already gone.
This was originally my day off... I really hope I never have to go on another date ever again, for any reason. ns 18.104.22.168da2