Image description: The text “dates of our lives” on a pink and purple background
There I was, dear readers. On, yes, another date. And before you start to psychoanalyse me and probe to find out who hurt me and why I’m like this let me stop you there. Why do I date so much that I can regularly produce newspaper articles for your enjoyment/derision (delete as appropriate)? Well, I’ve found out that it is in fact an excellent form of procrastination which allows me to avoid sinking into the murky depths of TikTok and outwardly looks rather productive.
It also adds an air of mystery. I love it when, on the college Facebook page, I offer up a meal for exchange. Where might she be going instead? Why is she not dining in the halls of our forebears? These questions ricochet around the JCR, can be heard softly in the library, and greet you upon entering through the Porter’s Lodge. That, dear readers, is why I do this. Someone has to.
And so, I was once again at the White Rabbit. A favourite haunt of mine. The pizza is good, the wine is nice. It’s close to college so I can dive in if the date it horrendous. An all round excellent location. (Editorial note, this is not a paid promotion. All opinions expressed are the writers’ own and do not necessarily reflect those of the newspaper at large).
The story unfolds thus. We’ve ordered and both the conversation and the wine is flowing. I skipped my tea time snack and am really rather peckish now. Every time a waiter passes my heart skips a beat.
Finally our pizza arrives, although irritatingly in the middle of quite a good anecdote I’m relaying to my potential soulmate. It’s about the time a friend of mine sent headphones to a fake prince in Lagos through Ebay and never received the payment. Hilarious. I’m just showing off that my social circle is wide and varied. It’s like I’m hacking myself!
Anyway. The pizza arrives, piping hot. The smell wafts into my nostrils which are flared in hunger. And I eye up the pizza as though he were Timothee Chalamet, or Hardin Scott from the trashy Wattpad ‘After’ film franchise (the third instalment is on Prime, check it out, I dare you). My eyes dance around the plate taking in the melted cheese, the lovingly sprinkled basil leaves and then my eyes make their way up to the server so I can look him in the eyes as I thank him for delivering such a long awaited treat.
Only, as my eyes move up his arms, I think I recognise the tattoos. They look like something I’ve seen on Instagram. Could they be? No, of course not. I keep going, he’s wearing that same pearl necklace that I complimented that boy on. Pearls are in. It’s a coincidence. It could be anyone, even Harry Styles. My eyes land on his face. The messy blonde hair, the sharp cheekbones, the little smirk which quickly fades into a little ‘O’.
Ah. This is awkward. It is in fact Z***. We have dated, we are dating. Well, sort of. It’s casual. And that is always the problem. We exchange pleasantries. The “Hi, how are you?!”, the “long time no see!” (oops it was only a few days ago). I took casual as we’re not exclusive, I’ll message you. His ‘O’ suggests he meant it as “I’m a commitment-phobe”.
I finish up my current date. He doesn’t come back to the table. We avoid eye contact. My date hasn’t even noticed.
As I walk home, contemplating everything great and small, I look to my phone. It’s Z***, he’s cancelled our date for the weekend. I ask if he wants to reschedule. He says he’ll let me know. And that’s where we ended it.
The names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this work have been altered to protect the identities of those involved. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.