“I can’t believe I let them talk me into this,” Alise says as she looks at herself in the mirror.
I was nervous; I haven’t been on the dating scene in over ten years. I checked my outfit for the fiftieth time. I put on a flowing black dress that was fitted underneath her breasts. It was v neck to elongate my neck, show off the girls but hide my gut and voluptuous booty. I wanted to be sexy but not too sexy. I was going out with Brian. A guy I met on an online dating app her friends talked her into trying. He was fifty-four, divorced, and with grown children. I tried to turn him off by telling him she had three young girls, but he just happened to be one of those men who liked kids.
“Great, if we hit it off, they can come over and play with my grandkids,” he told her one night on the phone. “I have granddaughters the same age as your youngest and middle daughter. And I’m sure your oldest will fall right in with my grandson.”
“Oh, wow that’s great,” I said. But what I was really thinking was “Damn.”
I had already talked to several guys on the dating app who turned out to be a bust, so I was not looking forward to meeting Brian. I only agreed to go out with him because he wanted to take me to this elusive restaurant in Downtown Chicago called Temporis. He asked me where I wanted to go, and once again I tried to turn him off by picking something expensive but turns out he had been there before and wanted to go again.
I looked at her outfit up and down trying to figure out what accessories to add to my dress, but I couldn’t concentrate, my stomach was doing flips and I felt nauseous.
The last date I went on with a guy from the dating app was a disaster and I just didn’t want to go through that again.
His name was Sam, and he was an advertising executive, so he said. Turns out he started his own business at home but wasn’t making any money. First, he was supposed to pick me up, but his car was in the shop, so I had to go get him. He told me we were going to a restaurant opening but ended up at his cousin’s chicken joint that had run out of chicken before they got there. He offered for them to go somewhere but he said his check wouldn’t clear until Monday so I would have to pay, and he would cash app me the money when his money came through. By then I was done, so I declined and took him back to his house, only to be greeted by a very angry woman who was ready to take a bat to my car.
He told me he had a roommate who turned out to be his ex-girlfriend that he wasn’t exactly broken up with. I had to talk fast before that woman took my car out with that bat. When I pulled off, she was chasing him around the car trying to take his head off.
I couldn’t help but laugh at the thought. My laughter was interrupted by the doorbell.
“Shit, I’m not even ready,” I said.
I grabbed matching silver earrings, necklace, and bracelet set and headed downstairs to answer the door. At the bottom of the stairs, I straightened my dress and smiled. But it wasn’t him; it was my bestie Kya.
“Look at my boo, she sexy,” Kya said coming through the door.
“Nekya shut up,” I said walking away from the door.
“Nekya?? Oh, you must be nervous.”
“What do you mean?”
“Chile, the only time you call me by my whole name is when you’re nervous.”
“Kya shut up.”
We sat down at the table and I put on her shoes.
Kya had come over to the house to watch her girls when they came home with their dad.
He had actually done what he was supposed to and took the girls out for the day. According to the court order, he wasn’t allowed to take them to his house. He lived with his new woman and Alise didn’t want them anywhere near her.
“I see Mr. Bastard, hasn’t brought the girls back yet,” said Kya.
“Yeah, I’m praying he doesn’t show up before Brian gets here.”
“I hope he comes so he can see you are moving on.”
“We don’t know that yet, Kya.”
“Yes, we do, you’re going out and that’s enough.”
“It could end up like Sam.”
We burst out into laughter.
“Girl, please don’t even put that out in the universe,” Kya said.
“How do I look?” I said looking in the mirror.
“I’d do you,” Kya snickered.
“Eww, Kya you know I don’t roll that way.”
“Don’t knock it til you try it,” said Kya with a smirk.
I gave her a face like I tasted something nasty.
Kya and I had been friends since high school, thirty years. They had been through everything together and were still tight like day one. I felt at ease to have Kya there with her. She knew how to keep me calm. Kya had been one of her biggest supporters over the last year. And what a year it had been, I began 2020 with the loss of her sister and ended it serving my husband with divorce papers.
My heart was broken, and I was angry. After all the losses I had experienced in my life, I wasn’t expecting the loss of my marriage. It wasn’t perfect, but I at least thought it would last. I had tried everything, hollering, yelling, praying, marriage counseling, church, and nothing worked. My husband couldn’t stay faithful, and I couldn’t take it anymore. And Kya had been right by my side, along with the other women in my sister circle.
I had leaned on these women during this difficult and they had pushed me to date. I had to admit I was lonely, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to get out there. It wasn’t until my therapist Michelle suggested that dating might not be the worst idea. And Kya wouldn’t shut up about it, she pushed me to try the app. I was kinda excited in the beginning, sort of hopeful, until…..I actually started talking to men. I quickly realized my ex-husband wasn’t the only fifty-year-old idiot. I was honest on my profile. Alise Jackson, a nurse, mother of three girls, divorced. Men obviously couldn’t read, because they acted shocked when they talked to me, and I said I had three kids. Some would ask me for my phone number and then would have no conversation whatsoever, or they started talking about sex before they even knew my last name. Some men were intimated by me being a professional woman, or they wanted me to accept their low standards like Sam. It had only been a month or so and I was already over it. I had talked to at least five different men and went on two dates. In addition to Sam, I went out for drinks with another guy named Marcus. Marcus was fine, 6’2, sexy brown eyes with a gorgeous smile. We met at a bar and grill after talking on the phone and facetiming for a few weeks. He knew how to treat a lady, or so I thought. I was running late so he sat in his car and waited for me to pull up. When he saw me park, he came over and opened my car door, and handed me a bouquet of flowers and candy. I was totally shocked.
“Leave them in the car, I don’t want you to have to carry them around,” Marcus said.
I just nodded my head, in awe of how much of a gentleman he was. He held the door for me as we walked in. We found a cozy little corner and sat down. Marcus had a great conversation, we spent a couple of hours laughing, talking, and drinking. We seemed to be so compatible until it was time to leave. He paid the bill and walked me to my car. I was quite tipsy but we were only a mile or so from home and I felt like I could make it. But he insisted on following me. When we made it in front of my house, he helped me out and walked me to the door. He kissed me and then kinda pushed the door as if he was coming home with me.
“I would let you in, but my girls are home,” I was lying but he wasn’t coming in.
“Awe come on now, I spent a grip on this date,” Marcus said.
“So, what does that mean,” I asked annoyed.
“We too old to play this game.”
“Yes, we are, you think I’m gonna have sex with you because you took me out. Boy please.”
I reached in my purse and handed him fifty bucks.
“I was prepared to pay my own bill, so there you go, goodbye.”
“It’s like that, what about those damn flowers.”
I couldn’t believe it; this fool went from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde in a matter of minutes.
I ripped the flowers and through them at him and hit him in the face with the candy box.
“Getcho ass off my porch before I call the police, and I have cameras,” I said pointing up.
“Bitch,” he said walking off.
“Bum,” I walked into my house and deleted his number from my phone.
I immediately block him on the dating app.
Kya and I talked until my date showed up.
Brian rang the door and my stomach started doing flips.
Kya grabbed my hand and squeezed it. I got up and walked to the door. We were sitting at my kitchen table which was about fifty feet from the front door. But that was the longest walk of my life. You would have thought I was headed to the electric chair. I opened my door to find Brian standing at the door smiling.
“Good evening, Alise,” Brian said. He took my hand and kissed it.
Brian looked very distinguished, he had on a pair of black slack with a blue buttoned shirt and matching tie. His hair was cut low, with specks of grey, along with his well-groomed beard. He had on a five-hundred-dollar pair of shoes; I only know because my ex-husband had a pair similar to them.
“Good evening, Brian,” I said giggling.
Kya peeked around me to check Brian out.
“Alright girl,” Kya whispered from behind the door.
I moved out of the way so Brian could see her and didn’t think I was crazy.
“Brian, this is my best friend Kya,” I said putting on my jacket.
“Hhheeyyy Brian,” Kya said.
He laughed. “Hi Kya, nice to meet you.”
They shook hands.
“I’m just here to check you out,” she said laughing.
“She’s kidding Brian, the girls are coming home and she’s gonna watch them while we’re out,” I said nervously.
“It’s ok, I understand you needed backup,” he said.
We all laughed.
Brian grabbed my hand and we walked to his car while Kya watched us in the doorway.
He opened his car door and helped me in. I leaned over and opened his door and he got in.
“Ok before we pull off, I have to tell you something,” he said.
“Here we go,” I thought.
“I forgot that we had to make reservations for Temporis and they are full for the night, but I have other things planned for this evening.”
I instantly got an attitude. “Like what,” I said with my arms folded.
“You have to trust me, I swear I’m not trying anything, and our activities have nothing to do with sex or a chicken joint.”
I couldn’t help but laugh.
“If you don’t like our first destination, I promise to bring you home,” he said.
He had the most beautiful brown eyes I’d ever seen; I couldn’t help but say ok.
I had the best night of my life. First, we went to a paint and sip, we drank wine while we painted a bouquet of flowers. We spent the whole time laughing at our amateur attempt to paint. Afterward, we went to dinner at Wu’s place, a hibachi restaurant where the food is cooked in front of us. We sat next to another couple who were on our first date and had an amazing time laughing about how nervous we all had been. They were headed to a club after dinner and invited us to come along. Neither one of us wanted the night to end so we decided to go. It was comedy night, so we laughed til we cried at the three comedians telling jokes, then we danced until the wee hours of the morning. I still wasn’t ready to go home, so we went back to his place. I was prepared to have sex with him, but he didn’t attempt to try anything. We sat on his couch and talked until we fell asleep. The next morning, we got up and went to breakfast.
“Wow, this is the best date I have had in a long time,” he said. “I don’t wanna leave you.”
“I know right, last night was amazing.”
“Yes, I was so afraid you weren’t gonna come with me after Temporis was a bust.”
“Cause I know you’ve been disappointed by men so much and I didn’t want to be a part of the group.”
I was touched he said that.
“But you were honest and upfront that’s what makes the difference. Most men lie and wouldn’t have planned such a wonderful evening to make up for it.”
“Well thank you I tried. I know you have to go home to your girls, but I would like to see you again soon.”
“Sure,” I said smiling.
“Alise, I like you and I’m only dating you, I feel like I’ve met my match.”
“Yes, I feel the same way.”
We kissed. I felt his kiss down on my toes, a feeling I only have when I really like someone.
We held hands all the way home and sat in my driveway for what seemed like forever until my baby girl opened the door. We kissed again and I floated into the house. Kya was waiting with a million questions. I spend the rest of the afternoon telling Kya about my amazing date.