Publish Novellas 19 February 2023
EPISODE 3 – DATES
Online contact builds momentum into innocent transportation that precipitates dating an unlikely suitor.
Mature content advisory
« Login For Premium Audio »
On the morning of the lunch date, Alyssa prepares for work at the same time and position as the previous day. It is difficult to tell whether Brad has a view, but she sees a small shadow at the bottom of his window blinds. She continues buttoning up her uniform so she won’t be late. If she clocks in early, she will leave with more time with Brad.
After work, Alyssa runs six blocks home for maximum time to dress up. She doesn’t have an extensive wardrobe, and certainly nothing off the shoulders or with a plunging neckline. Following a washcloth wash-up, she puts on clean underwear and irons a favorite skirt.
Over a push-up “B” cup bra, she wears her most fancy V-neck white blouse. Then she brushes her teeth and picks her hair before spraying her mother’s expensive perfume behind her ears.
Decked out in shoes with matching purse, Alyssa waits at the window for Brad to drive up. Immediately, she steps outside and into the car. She arches her back to accentuate her bosom and has a nice comeback prepared if Brad criticizes. With no complaints, he simply says, “You look nice. Buckle up.”
“Thank you. Although, at the block club meeting you gave me a bigger compliment, saying I was lovely.”
“Well, then you’re now more lovely than you’ve ever been.”
“That’s what I was aiming for.”
This lunch date is a milestone for Alyssa. Her prior boyfriend, if you could call him that, was a seventh-grade classmate. She wrote him a note on the last day of school that said, “I like you” with a heart outline. But he never replied and transferred to a new school the following year.
Alyssa‘s trembling hands trying to stabilize her bouncing knees interfere with efforts to position herself in an appealing manner. She coaches herself in an undertone to ‘be sophisticated but not pretentious, amorous but not slutty. Ask questions that count.’
Brad interrupts her thoughts. “I must ask you a question before we do this.”
“Have I done something wrong already?” Alyssa inquires in near terror.
With a straight face, Brad continues, “Perhaps…. In light of recent events, can you tell me whether you’re married?”
“No, of course not! Oh. You got me. That’s funny.” Alyssa sighs before laughing. “By the way, I’m not shaking because I’m scared. It’s just that I’m excited about getting out of the house.”
“I’m happy to hear about your enthusiasm. A very nice restaurant, about 40 minutes away, awaits us. There is plenty of time to chat. Just be yourself.”
“Good to know. FYI, if I’m not home in time to change out of my clothes before 6 o’clock—this evening, my mother will blow up my cellphone.” In an effort to seem more mature, Alyssa continues, “It’s not like I will get a spanking, because I’m an adult. But I will hear an earful because she cares.”
Brad observes, “That’s a short curfew for a young lady. I didn’t plan on having you back home before 10 o’clock.”
With a look of worry, Alyssa pulls out her phone and says, “In that case, I better text my mother something now….”
“Stop, don’t text anything! I’m just kidding. Do you really think it takes six hours to eat a meal?”
“I’m still getting used to your humor. Don’t change it though. I thought maybe you were going to take me somewhere afterwards.”
“And where might that be?” Brad asks, as if he isn’t already aware.
“I don’t know. It seems I may have a little too much trust. Right now going anywhere other than Burger Bun is an adventure.”
“So you won’t panic if I drive into a hotel?”
Suppressing her fears in order to appear more mature, Alyssa replies, “I’ll try not to panic wherever we end up. But I’m expecting a great meal.”
“If this were a date, I might read something into your lack of hotel opposition,” Brad acknowledges. “Keep an open mind.”
She mentally scolds herself for early indifference to questionable behavior. Feeling the need to take charge of the dialog, Alyssa interjects, “We’ll come back to that. Right now, I have a lot of questions. Can we get started?”
“This time is dedicated to you. Speak your mind.”
Alyssa inquires coyly, “I need to know if you consider yourself my friend?”
“Do you want me to be?”
Alyssa responds, “I want to be your friend.”
“Then it’s settled. We’re friends.”
No longer trembling, she says, “Now I can ask the question that stumps most men. I wear no makeup to work but I have a little on now. Do you like me better with makeup or without?”
“You’re beautiful both ways.”
“Beautiful? Wow, thank you. If your hands weren’t on the wheel, I’d tell you to pat yourself on the back. Now, for the biracial couple trap: Do you like my hair natural or should I press it?”
“By natural, I assume you mean kind of pulled, not forked out like an afro?”
“No help. There are visual clues but keep your eyes on the road.”
“I’ve only seen your hair the way it is now and we’re going out together. So it’s safe to say, I’m happy to be with you like it is.”
“I actually have more styles but was waiting for your reaction to this one, which is what I wear most often. It costs lots of money to go to the hairstylist, so natural is easier. Next time we go out, I’ll surprise you with something else.
“You will figure out the answer to this next question by the time I get back home. How old do you think I’m?”
“Trick question. A man should never guess higher than a woman’s true age. But I say that you appear about 19 years old.”
“Would you take me back home if I’m 17?”
“I think there would be no alcohol for you at the restaurant. Earlier in this car, didn’t you say you wouldn’t get a spanking because you’re an adult?”
“Good memory. You’re right. I’m old enough…. You did pretty well on the warm-up questions. They get tougher from here on out…. Does your wife know we’re going out?”
“She does, actually. I asked if she wanted to come along and she declined.”
“Really? Was she angry?”
“No. Why should she be?”
“Going on a date with another woman, for starters.”
“I told you, this is not a date. It is lunch, as described to her.”
“Oh, yeah, right. I’m old enough to know how men operate. Does where you’re taking me afterwards constitute a date?”
“My plans are to take you to one address. Where else do you want me to take you afterwards, other than home?”
“All right, I think I’m clear on that now.”
The semantic sparring contradicts her intuition that Brad has ulterior motives. Still perplexed that Mrs. Dallier approves of the lunch, Alyssa begins wondering if she has the wrong impression of the outing.
Maybe he has no feelings for her. But then she remembers him leering at her through the window while getting dressed. She uses past experiences to draw him out.
“It’s all right if you look. There’s no need to hide.”
Brad wonders if Alyssa is referring to her cleavage, so replies, “I’m trying to keep my eyes on the road. Look at what?”
“Do you think it’s a coincidence that I’m at the ideal viewing angle each morning ever since you came by my house?”
Now Brad is embarrassed. This morning he was covertly peering through binoculars for a closer, but not sharper, view. He’s wondering how she knows he was watching. The silence is too long.
“We don’t need to talk about it, but some type of emoji while I’m there would be appreciated or else I assume you prefer me to stop.”
“Emoji, understood. I’m still learning proper boundaries.”
“Can we agree that ogling my body is evidence of your desire to date me?”
“Okay, argument over. We’re on a date.”
“Then, I expect to be treated accordingly.”
“All right, I’ll open your door, pull out your chair, and….”
“Perhaps kiss my cheek when you drop me off?”
Choking on Candor
“I can see we have much to talk about. You’re going to get me in trouble with your mother. She literally ‘woked’ me out the door when I brought Chinese food to your house.”
“That was because she found us alone together. Actually, she has a soft spot for you. Even before it was apparent to me, she told me that I have a crush on you and that I should be careful. What do you think of that?”
“That’s surprising, but helpful. You must be at least 18 or she would call the cops. Is it your goal to appear as a woman, or a child on this date?”
“Listen to you, being all tricky with the questions. Of course, I’m a woman.”
“It’s interesting that you admit to having a crush. Do you realize that your mother and I are perhaps the same age?”
“She and I both know it. What I want to understand is why you asked me out, and not her? She’s single, and I think she is pretty. Don’t you?”
“We haven’t even had a bite to eat and you already have me choking on your questions.”
“The way I see it, you had a choice of asking out your wife, my mother, or me. And look which one you have a crush on. This is my first time competing with my mother for a man. Am I winning?”
“You’re definitely miles ahead of the competition.”
“After lunch, I’ll ask you again if you’re taking me straight home. By that time, we both should have a clearer understanding of each other’s feelings and intentions. So my questions will get tougher. Turn the car around now if you can’t handle it.”
“I had no idea you were so precocious. But I’m not complaining, and don’t plan on turning around prematurely. Your questions are good. They stimulate the mind and deserve answers. But I didn’t expect they would come up for several weeks or months.”
“That suggests you anticipate additional dates. Everything you say clues me to your feelings…. Do you have a crush on me?”
“You already know the answer. We’re dressed up going out on a date.”
Pleased with the direction of the conversation, Alyssa emboldens herself to act like a seductress, even though inexperienced. “Tell me if you think I’m sexy.”
“You’re very sexy.”
“Thank you. So if you’re dating your sexy friend, do you expect me to become your mistress?”
“Another direct hit with your missile-like questions. Let’s make it through lunch first.”
“You watched me from a distance through the window. Are you enjoying the closer view in this car?”
“Yes, I enjoy your perfect proportions. You have me on pins and needles, though. If I say the wrong thing, you may ask me to take you home. But giving the correct answer requires total embarrassment.”
“This is too early in our date and too provocative a conversation to continue while driving. Let me pull over to the side.”
“You brought up the hotel. So we might as well get it all out in the open. If you feel uncomfortable, I’m asking the right questions. We need to be clear on this relationship.
“I don’t want to be called an extramarital affair or indiscretion. That makes me sound like a regrettable mistake.”
Brad quickly replies, “It would be no mistake.”
“Then back to my earlier question. A mistress implies an ongoing relationship. Is that the role I’m auditioning for?”
“For clarity, my intention was to get to know you better—over lunch. What I viewed as a slight chance of developing further is accelerating with your assertiveness—which I’m not complaining about. So perhaps you should send a text to your mother, telling her you’ll be home late.”
“Slow your roll cowboy. You have many more questions to answer. Right now, your date is hungry. Please start the car again so we can eat.”