Wednesday, July 12, 2006

My Summer Job: Swooped Part Two

Step into my shoes: Your "date" has turned into a threesome. There's an extra guy along and although it's not quite your fault, it's not really your counterparts either. So who pays?

In my case, fate intervened. Just as I was about to step into line next to Abby at the Mexican restaurant Justin came up and told me Tim was on the phone for me. I took the call, but watched through the window. Abby paid for herself. Strike one. Tim told me he was on the way down, he might skate a few laps, but he was going to leave with Justin. Sounded good to me.

As the three of us walked to the ice rink, I was in a better mood. I headed to my car to grab my skates while Abby and Justin headed in to the rink. As I walked up to the register I noticed that Justin's total was a little high. Like twenty-one dollars high. He had paid for Abby. Strike two. I headed down to throw on my skates, wondering how I had pissed off God so badly.

In a stroke of good luck, Abby needed help putting on her skates- something I was more than happy to help her out with. Skates on, ready to go, we headed out onto the ice. Now, ice skating, for someone who has never been on the ice- is tough. Which is why I was totally ready to grab for Abby as she stepped on next to me. I was stunned when she immediately started skating forward- ahead of me. I was shocked. She was skating fine, as if she'd been born on the ice. Pretty - check. Funny - check. Skates like a pro - check. I was sold.

Abby has a unique ability to relate to pretty much anyone. So when I whipped my head around and saw her talking and skating to a couple of young kids I wasn't surprised. I wasn't really offended either, it's hard to hold her attention. Not in an A.D.D. way, Abby is different. When's she's looking into your eyes, really holding your gaze, you are the most important thing in the world. But those times are few and far between. Often times, I've been in what I thought was mid-conversation with her, only to see her run over to a kid. It happens a lot. Was she giving me a hint? Was she really not that into me? Perhaps.

As the night went on the full fiasco took over. Abby did not really need lessons, so that avenue was out and Justin was more than happy to show her the ropes on any of the particulars. Tim eventually did show up and he did try to take Justin with him- it didn't work. He came up to me, told me he tried his best, shrugged his shoulders and took off. If Justin made one mistake- and let's be frank here, he was probably on cloud 9 at this point- this was it: he challenged me to a race. Now, I'm not in hockey shape, and I haven't been for a while. But I knew I could make it from end to end in six seconds and that was slow. Judging from how Justin was skating, I knew I had him. I even graciously declined his offer- the first time.

I beat him by a good two seconds, but it didn't matter. In the race that mattered he had me. He had charmed Abby on a date he didn't arrange, with a guy circling the whole time.

I'll never know how I came off that night. Maybe Abby appreciated my subdued approach to Justin's straightforward advances. As we left, I gave Abby a hug and halfheartedly asked if she wanted to go out again. Her quick response was "Sure," but "sure" was not the look she was giving me. With a last gleaming smile she took off in her red convertible and I wished to God things had gone differently.

As it turns out, first impressions might have killed me.

To be continued...


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