I never saw it coming. Looking back now, I know that I should have. There were signs, there were tells. There was everything short of a damn blinking neon sign telling me what was about to happen. And still, I missed it. How could I have been so stupid?
It started out normally enough. We met at a bar, actually, which is so out of character for me. I was out with a girlfriend, having a girl's only night to destress from what had been an awful week at work. We weren't even in the mood for guys, so we picked a place where we thought we would be completely ignored. But then somewhere between the nachos and my third beer, and I looked up, and there he was, looking right at me from across the bar. I felt a spark go through me, like I had been shocked.
I watched him walk over to me. I saw myself shake his hand, and I heard my own voice tell him my name. Everything else faded to a dull roar, and right then, I would have sworn we were the only two people in the world. It was incredible. The way he was looking at me made me feel so beautiful, and made me forget about everything else.
We went on our first date two days later. I had heard all the tips about making a guy wait for at least three days before you go out with him, but it didn't even concern me. The connection we had was so incredible, I was sure that I had found "The One", and that everything was going to just work out perfectly.
He took me to a brand new restaurant called "любить" which means "love" in Russian. It was incredible. The food was delicious, the vodka smooth, and the conversation non-stop.
When the bill came, I excused myself to the restroom. Maybe it's childish, but I always hate the whole "do you want me to pay for my half" dance that happens on first dates, so I tend to avoid it at all costs. I am of the opinion that the man should always pay, anyway.
I came back from the restroom, fully expecting the bill to be paid, and for him to be ready to go. Instead, he wasn't even there. Instead, on a napkin, was a note: "M - so sorry, huge family emergency, so had to run! Here's some $ for a cab. I'll call you!" A $20 bill was tucked inside.
I picked up the note, and the $20, and turned to go. I saw the little booklet they give you with the bill, and decided to take a peek at how much the dinner had cost. Well, it was over $200, but it hadn't been paid. I figured he must have forgotten in his rush to go deal with his family emergency, so I paid the bill on my already-pushing-the-limit credit card, and walked outside to hail a cab. On the way home, I sent him a text letting him know what a great time I had had, and that I hoped everything was going to be okay with his family, and I looked forward to speaking to him again.
I didn't hear back from him until two days later.
....to be continued.