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G&B: Apologies to Sting

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

short story: the sorry date

The stuff knapsack was heavy for the well dressed guy walking into the huge mall's food court. Karl sit alone on a table for two while sipping on a coffee he had just bought from the little mom and pop drink stop by the elevators. He quickly checks his phone to see when she last called. Forty minutes. Karl does quick math in his head.

"In girl time, that would have her here in another fifteen minutes" he mumbles quietly to himself while checking his E-mail.

He puts down his phone and re-checks his knapsack. The tenth time since he arrived at the mall. He just has to make sure everything is right. It has to be all good. Excellent, actually. He can't screw up. Not again.

He met Shawna few years ago through a friend. They got along wonderfully. Always enjoying each others company. They decided to give it a shot and start to date. They had a few dates. They went OK. Nothing special. However, because they were lonely, and needed that company, they decided to continue dating. I guess until someone better came along.

A month ago, Karl was having an early dinner with a friend. He was watching the World Cup and knew it would be a late night of drinking. Just before the third pitcher was ordered. He remembered. He jumped up from the bar stool, threw down forty dollars and told yelled to his buddy that he forgot. He had a dinner date. He ran out of the bar, and chased down a taxi. He finally got to the restaurant twenty minutes later. The food already ordered, a plate of fresh lasagna with garlic bread was waiting for him. The food was cold. Along with Shawna.

Karl told her the truth. He forgot. He went drinking with Rick. He felt bad. It took Karl half-way through her meal to finally getting Shawna laughing. However, she didn't forget to point out that she was still angry and she will never forget this.

Karl knew he was in the doghouse.

That night, Karl paid for a taxi home for the both of them. Shawna, even though in a better mood, hardly spoke to her date. She chatted with the taxi driver about teaching in India. An idea she has had for a while. After a long ride, they arrived at her place. She grabbed her bag, looked at Karl, said thanks for the ride and got out. Karl knew he would have to make it up to her.

A week passed. He tried to call Shawna a few times to no avail. Finally he did see her out at a coffee shop with her friend. He was on his way to work when he spotted her sitting down on the patio having a smoke enjoying a blueberry muffin. He approached her and said hello. They chatted for a while. She seemed like she had forgiven him. He asked if they could talk privately for a quick moment. Her friend got up and went to the washroom to check her make-up.

"I haven't heard from you. Hope everything is good" Karl commented.
"Yeah, been busy. Still kinda mad at you, too". Shawna said with a serious looking grin.
"Let me make it up to you. Another chance?". He pleaded by taking off his Blue Jays cap and putting it by his heart.
Shawna laughed. "Sure. But not just any ordinary date. This time, it has be special"
Karl had a huge smile on his face and excitingly said "Of course! Yes! OK. Will call you tonight to set everything up. I'm free Saturday. You down?"
Shawna smiled and said "Sure."

Karl gave her a big hug and then ran off to the bus.

On the bus, Karl envisioned what the date will be like. Exactly. Right down to what socks he will be wearing. Before he got to work, he already set everything up.


"5 minutes, left" Karl said to himself while drinking down on his second cup of coffee at the mall. He continued to look at the down escalator thinking maybe she'll be early. But, at the back of his mind, he thought maybe she'd be late on purpose. Just to make him sweat.

"She's like that. Girls are like that." he thought to himself while secretly chuckling and checking his phone for new E-mail.

After another fifteen minutes, Karl looked up and saw this red dress coming down the escalator. She was wearing red pumps. He finally saw her. It was Shawna. She looked amazing. The best he has ever seen her. He kidna knew she would dress extra hot today. Another thing girls do to make the guy feel bad. They saw each other. He stood up. Shawna was confused. Didn't know what she was doing at the mall. Karl Had kept the whole date a surprise. Didn't tell her anything on what they'll be doing.

Anxious, Shawna wanted to get the date started. She couldn't wait any longer. Karl got up from his seat, put his coffee mugs into the garbage and pointed to the right exit door.

"This way" he noted to his date.

While walking to the unknown location, they caught up on what has been happening. Shared some stories and had some giggles about the old lady at the bank telling off the teller.

They finally got to their destination. It was an Indian restaurant. Shawna was impressed. She never thought he was listening to her on how much she loved the Indian culture. However, Karl hinted this wasn't the whole surprise. Karl had hooked up an advisor from the local teaching abroad center at the college down the street to meet with her. To talk to her about India and going there next year.

While the Canadian couple ate some Indian food, Shawna was excited about her surprise. Her eyes were spectacular for the whole feast, noticed Karl. She was taking in everything the consultant had to say. They finally ended the impromptu meeting by having her signing up for the course the following semester. Karl paid the bill and thanked the representative for coming.

As the happy couple walked out of the restaurant, Shawna jumped on him and gave him the biggest kiss. She was glowing.

"This isn't the end of it" Karl said while holding Shawna and giving her another kiss while walking down the uptown street.

The date ended with the couple going to the park. They sat under a huge thinking tree. Karl opened up that knapsack he had been carrying around all day. He brought out two frozen yogurts he had bought earlier and a jewelry box. Karl handed it over to Shawna. While she was breaking open the yogurt, she wondered what the box was all about.

"What is this" as she took it from his hands.
"You'll see. It's something you've had before". He hinted.

Confused, Shawna opened it. Inside laid a silver necklace. There were little charms around it. Shawna screamed in excitement. I "Can't believe you found it".

Karl smiled. "You will never know how long I took apart my house to find that".

Shawna jumped on top of Karl and kissed him a few times around his face. "Grandma will be so happy that you found it. Thank you for the great day, Karl. I really appreciate it. I guess this makes up for everything you've done".

Karl looked deep into her eyes and whispered, "I'm sorry."