The Bad “Date”

23519In order to explain why the Good Date was the one and only date I had with Jill (The Good Date), I have to go back a week prior to it. Or maybe I have to go back to the beginning of the semester. You see, I wasn’t going to classes back then. In fact, I was on academic probation, which meant I wasn’t allowed to attend classes until I was cleared by some committee and had proven my diligence to completing my schooling. So I was working at the campus library and pretending to go to school, because I didn’t know what else to do.

I hadn’t told anyone either because I was afraid if it got out that I wouldn’t be able to keep working there, and I absolutely loved my job. I figured that at some point in the semester I could go to the committee, get reinstated, and all would be right with the world with no one ever finding out anything was ever wrong. It wasn’t the smartest thing I ever did, but neither was it the dumbest. I assure you. Regardless, though, it was my plan, and it made things tricky with my friends down at Reference.

I say my friends at Reference because we were kind of a trio — Jill, Mallory, and me. Time was when I would go down there to talk to Jill but she wasn’t in. Mallory was. And Mallory was the exact opposite of Jill. Where Jill had a quiet grace, Mallory was loud and gregarious. She was the sort of girl I was usually attracted to, and it was obvious she found me desirable (a guy knows these things), but for some reason I preferred Jill. Nevertheless, because they were best friends, I felt the need to be nice to Mallory.

But the week before the Good Date, I did something I would come to regret. Things were going slowly with Jill, which was admittedly my fault, and I was growing restless. So I told Mallory in a moment of weakness that I wasn’t going to school anymore, that I had constructed this elaborate lie like a house of cards that I was so worried would fall apart. And you can guess what happened next. She was so happy that I shared something personal with her that I hadn’t with anyone else that she asked me out. Well, to be honest, she asked me to hang with her at this party someone was throwing at Drexel that weekend.

I said yes, and that was what ultimately doomed any chance I might have had with Jill. Well, that and the fact that I realized pretty quickly that Mallory saw it as some kind of date, not that there were two friends going to a party together — as friends. I didn’t help things by letting her hold my hand when she reached for it after we got to the party. Eventually, as the night wore on, we found ourselves stranded without a ride, so we went for a walk, at 2 o’clock on a Saturday morning. Never go for a walk with a girl you’re not interested in at 2 in the morning on a weekend.

You know what happened next. I was drunk, and she had been waiting for an opportunity, so we ended up making out until the sun rose high in the east. By the time I made it home I was apoplectic. How could I have let that happen? How could I make things right without hurting her feelings? And more importantly, could I get past it without Jill finding out, and/or judging me for it? I should have known the answers to all of those questions did not, and could not, mean anything good for me, but I tried to get past it anyway.

By staying quiet. And the morning after the Good Date was the exact time Mallory decided to tell Jill everything — and I mean everything. The rest of that day was not a good one for me, or many of the days that followed. But I had brought it all on myself, and the wealth of possibilities Jill and I may have shared on our one date went out the metaphorical window because of the series of bad choices I had made. I have to say, though, that I learned my lesson, even though I lost two good friends in the process.

Sam

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