The Double Date

Years ago I hit it off with a girl in a club. We spoke for most of the night until her friend came over and was ready to leave. She was involved in a conversation with a gent herself.

She agreed with her friend. "Ok. Let's go."

"So how about we meet like we discussed?" I said.

"Sure. Here's my number. Call me tomorrow at work."

Proud of my recent conquering the man the friend had been talking to made his way towards us.

Squinting his eyes he shouted, "Sandro!"


"You guys know each other?" his girl asked.

"Man, we went to high school together. We are on the same championship soccer team. What a player this guy was," he explained.

The last phrase did not hurt my cause.

"The guy played with a torn knee and the opposition still couldn't get the ball off him. Whatever happened to that knee?"

"I had surgery and retired."

"Too bad. Hey, did you hear about Peter?"

"Peter? No. I haven't heard from him in years."

"He's a higher up in the Ontario Provincial Police."

"Really? OPP. Good for him."

"So what have you been up to?"

"Not much...I think."

I wasn't about to disclose any information about myself in an uncomfortable environment. Better to shift the conversation with a humourous and indifferent remark.

"This guy was classic in class. His gang was like a Marx Brother's routine. Still see the boys?"

"Sure do. We're all heading in opposite and pointless directions. At least there's a direction."

Laughs all around.

"Sorry girls about this but it's been years since we last saw one another."

The girls were pretty cool about it. In fact, they were in awe at the 'small world' aspect of the situation. Personally, I couldn't care less.

One of the girls suddenly had a great idea. She suggested we go on a double date.

"Hey, that's a great idea!" Ralph said. "Are you in?"

I did not want to show my hesitant demeanour lest I come off as anti-social. I looked at my girl and she seemed all for it. Right then I had to make a political call. Rather than jeopardize any potential future activity I opted to go along with the plan.

Ralph was pleased. "Great! We'll catch up then. Great seeing you."

I responded with a meek nod. I hate social settings.

The DD thing was new territory for me. I need to be one on one with somebody I have just met. How else to get to know each other's intricate nuances? Assuming there are any. On my front, they are numerous and they tend to get flooded in a crowd given my quiet and subtle exteriour. I can't compete for attention.

We met at a Japanese Sushi place. Is that redundant? I looked forward to catching up with Ralph. I met Ralph outside and he was the same easy going and friendly Ralph. The Ralph I knew and got along with through the years.

We make our way to the table where the girls are waiting. That's when everything changed. "Hello Rafael!" the girl said.

Rafael I thought to myself? What the fuck? That should have been a warning. I was slow to realize it but Ralph was about to put his Fabio mask on and play the game of suave.

From that point on I was out of the game. There was not going to be any 'catching up.' Ralph had other things on his mind. Before the night even started there was no way for me to get myself implicated in the conversation. It was racked with pretentious garbage and pointless gibberish.

At one point they were all talking about Japanese restaurants they have frequented throughout the city and continent. To stem to onslaught, I tried to awkwardly tell of my own restaurant experiences. I proceeded to talk about Chinese restaurant I go to when I'm in France.

Rafael made sure he implicated himself at every turn. "I think I know the place you are talking about, Sawndro. I 've been there twice."

Sawndro? What the...fuck?

Everything I said he did one better. Finally, I just stopped attempting to talk and just listened to. Alone with my over priced vegetarian sushi dish. I hate fish.

"So Sandro having fun?" asked Rafael's date.

At this point I was barely looking at my date and simply said, "Saki Night in Canada!"

Well, at least that line was a hit. "He doesn't say much but that was classic!" Rafael exclaimed.

"Oh, Rafael...."

Rafael, Rafael. I wanted to scream this is fucking Ralph. Ralph from my high school. Nothing special Ralph. Ok, maybe he had the tan, jet black long hair and tall attributes that made him captain of the basketball team and dated the most popular gal in school Patricia Da Lillo but how can you buy into this scam?

Barely able to digest anything from the food to the conversation I pushed off the table and politely said, "Please excuse me. I have to go to the bathroom."

Rafael added, "I have to go also."


Back in the John. He was back to plain old Ralph. "Hey, spoke to Peter today. He says hi. He always liked you."

"Cool. Tell him I say hi. Never know when I'll be speeding down Ontario's 401."

I wanted to ask him what was up with the puckered lips and lover's accent act. He grabbed his balls and began to fix his hair. Before my eyes he was transforming back into Rafael.

He lightly punches my shoulder and says, "Let's go."

The night did not last much longer. Once the alcohol settled in, I saw the sparkle in the beautiful green eyes of Rafael's girl that had reached blinding levels. He had won her over. Problem is that I think he also managed to push mine away from me in the process. It's easy for me to say I rolled over like seaweed but it wasn't the case. I was blindsided and was never able to negotiate Ralph's game. I was fixated on it to the point of losing interest in my date.

I drove her home and we spoke a bit after that while in front of her home. There was no spark that was evident in the club. I never could set that ship right. It was the last I ever saw of her - and Rafael...and Ralph.

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