Snow Globe Romance: Dinner and a Fight for Two

by Anna Chan

[ read the suite in correct order ]


Dinner and a Fight for Two

I met Tommy yesterday, during an unflattering outburst of emotional upheaval.  He apparently has the power to calm my storm.  I feel at peace now.  Tonight, we are meeting for dinner, and I am hoping that it’s the first date of many.  I don’t know him, but I like him already. 

Seated across from each other at Martinelli’s, I know we’re dissecting each other in psychological fashion.  However, fragrances of rich pastries, simmering soups, and bubbling pasta dishes float from the kitchen, to join dancing candle lights.  They alternately waltz and tango to the tunes from the Old Country.  I stop analyzing Tommy, concentrating instead on the cozy comfort of good food and the thrill of meeting someone new and alluring. 

“I didn’t tell you this yesterday,” says Tommy, “but I actually know your ex.  We had a couple of classes together, and we’ve been at some parties together.  I don’t know Darrin well, but I do know him.”

“Oh.”  What else is there to say?

Tommy folds his napkin, and lays his hand over it.  “We also dated some of the same girls at Penn State.  Two.  Nothing serious for anyone.  More like messing around, really.  But I felt that I should let you know this.”

“Oh.”  Feelings are enveloping me.  They churn in a kaleidoscope of jealousy, horror, shock, dismay, and indifference.  “Were you friends?  Enemies?  Rivals?”

“We weren’t anything.  We just had some mutual classes and friends.”

And flings, I mentally annotate.  Then I decide that my prevailing emotion is indifference.  “Well, thanks for telling me.  It doesn’t bother me, if that’s what you wanted to know.”  I fervently hope that he’s not building up to backing away.

“Good.  I like your company, and I’d like to keep seeing you.”  Tommy settles everything with the waiter.

Please, ask me to go somewhere else, I’m not ready to end this night with you, yet.  Aloud, I say, “Such a beautiful night!  The sky is so pretty!”  This is a lie.  Cold wind and gray overcast are feeding a gloom, dark and damp.

“You up for a drink?” he asks. 

Approaching the doors, we see Darrin and his new girlfriend walking in.  I learned yesterday that her name is Carli.  She recognizes us, but she still doesn’t know who I am, I bet.  I would expect her to react differently.

Darrin’s having trouble deciding whether to focus on me or on Tommy.  He goes for Tommy.  “Hey, she’s off limits to you!”  His explosive temper is clearly brewing.

“What?!” we three sound in unison.  Carli turns to Darrin, confused and apprehensive.  I stare at him with pure venom.  Tommy regards him with faint amusement.

“She’s off limits to you!”

They shout about something.  A breach into the personal bubble is imminent.  Signor Martinelli and another man reach them, and try vainly to keep them apart.  The guys are finally close enough to lunge for each other.

Bartender, a round please.



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