Happy Valentine’s Day

I duck into the on-campus café and spot the guy in the back, seated upon a sofa with his laptop glowing on his face.

“Hey,” I say, collapsing on the sofa in front of him.

“Hey.” He closes the laptop.

I’m not sure if this is a date.  What constitutes as a date?

“Do you want a drink?” he asks, rising to his feet.

“Yes!” I say.  I reach for my wallet.

“I got it,” he says.

“Are you sure –”

“I got it.”

“Okay.”

He heads for the counter and I think: when the guy buys your drink/meal/cinema ticket, it’s a date.

When he returns to his seat with our drinks – chai latté for me, coffee for him, not a good sign if this is a date, I hate coffee, we must be diametrically opposed – we start talking about classes.  He tells me about his presentation on iTunes and I have to snap out of the literature daze.  For the past three hours, I have discussed story structure and character tropes in my scriptwriting/adaptations seminar.  Okay, so business, like companies and corporations and Wolf of Wall Street and capacity scheduling and payment means and commercial models.

When you have flirtatious banter, it’s a date.

He shows me an article about [insert name of not Steve Jobs but the other guy] and I don’t think this is flirtatious banter.

“How was your class?” he asks.

So he understands the art of conversation.  He’s asking questions instead of just talking about himself.  That’s a good sign.

“It was nice,” I say.  “I have to write a script.”

I recall a past experience when the guy rested his hand on my leg.  When there’s physical contact, it’s a date.

From where I was seated, I could probably spit and it would only reach his laptop.

“What’s the script about?” he asks.

Whenever anyone asks about my writing, the answer requires as much thought as an essay would.  Not because my writing is oh-so-complex but because there’s a craft to speaking about it without sounding pretentious.

“Well,” I say, “it takes place during the 90s’ in the red-light district of Montréal, at the cusp of the Canadian-Quebec referendum during which Quebec’s efforts to maintain its heritage mirrors that of the precocious protagonist who strains to stay young.”

Nailed it.

We talk for a few hours and then he needs to go back to work in the library and I have to go home for dinner.  I think of past experiences of saying goodbye to potential dates.  A guy had slapped my leg as he stood up (there must be something about my leg), another gave a review of our time together (“I had fun…”), another said something so bold that I’m embarrassed to write it.

We leave the café and the guy says:

“Oh, I wanted to apologize.”

Apologize? I have no idea what he will say.  I haven’t felt this excited in ages.

“I said something on Facebook to you that was really flirty,” he says.  “I was worried I made you feel awkward.  So, sorry.”

If he apologizes for a flirty Facebook message, it is definitely NOT a date.

However, a year later and we’re now dating.  Who would’ve thunk?

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone!

-Rachel

Photo by Jen Macdonald

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