We met at a mall where the rich people go, a place I rarely go to because I hate how the rich ones size you up by scanning your body from head to foot. I do look good enough, though. Money doesn’t come easy but I always make sure that I keep myself presentable from my crown down to my cuticle. I was wearing my favorite shirt, my favorite denim, and my favorite sneakers.
He was late. He said that we would meet by 7 pm but he didn’t even call to tell me whether he was going to show up or not. Either way was fine by me. I was not really into him. I was just bored I guess, so I thought I’d need some company. To pass the time, I went to a bookstore and started looking for Nocturnes, a book by Kazuo Ishiguro, when a guy approached me. It’s him.
“Honestly, I was thinking of just staying at home.”
“What changed your mind, then?”
I invited him to SubWay, an unlikely dining place for our first date, but I wanted to keep things simple. And I was craving for a huge sandwich. I ordered my usual. He ordered his first SubWay. We took the opposite sides of our table and started unwrapping our food. From where I sat, I began observing him from the messy tangles of his hair, his oriental eyes, the point of his nose, his red lips, his pearly white teeth as he took his first bite of the sandwich, down to his Vneck shirt exposing a generous patch of fine hair on his chest. I stopped right there.
“I knew just where to find you.”
“I knew you’d be in that book store.”
“I guessed you like books. Your profile picture has you sitting on a bench while reading a book. A Neil Gaiman, you told me.”
“You still remember that?”
“Yeah. I remember everything about you, that’s why I felt bad when you asked me for the third time what my real name is.”
“Sorry. Signs of ageing, you know.”
After our dinner, we went to the movie house to watch Avengers. It was against my will because I was dying to see the Dark Shadows, but I just couldn’t argue with him on our first meeting. He is a huge fan of sci fi, action movies, and everything Marvel. He wanted to watch the movie again–at a different theater this time just to see the post-movie scene which shows the Avenger guys dining at a shawarma place. How trivial, I thought. But each of us has his/her own quirks, so I let it pass.
He was well-behaved inside the movie house, unlike the other guys I have dated before. He didn’t even talk to me. He knew that I didn’t really like watching Marvel movies, so he would just check on me occasionally just to make sure I wasn’t sleeping. It was a good one. I had to admit that I enjoyed the movie more than I thought I would. It set me in a good mood, so I didn’t take a second thought when he invited me to stay at his house for the night. He said he’s gonna show me his Marvel heroes action figures. But what I liked to see was his gun. A real one.