I agreed to meet him after exchanging messages on the app. I wondered if there was a purpose behind it all. As I rode in the Uber, I questioned whether we were meant to meet or if it was a sign that the Uber driver was taking me to the wrong location. Maybe my subconscious was trying to protect me.
I read his text message, informing me that he was grabbing a drink at the place next door. He suggested that I text him when I arrived. I still had some time, as the Uber app showed that I was eleven minutes away. Perhaps he would get drunk or forget about the meeting. Maybe it was for the best. After all, it was just a hookup. Maybe I needed to accept that it was a planned hookup.
He described his appearance in a text message as I pulled up to the cafe. I already had an idea of what he looked like from our previous conversations. Tall, dirty blonde, and wearing glasses. Not trendy glasses, but the old-school kind worn by people who actually needed them for reading. I texted him that I was behind him, and he turned around after reading my message. He matched his profile pictures, and I noticed more about him—lanky, at least 6'2" tall, beautiful blue eyes, and rosy cheeks and lips. He looked just as he presented himself online. He seemed larger than life.
As we stood in line, he commented on how good the place looked. But he wasn't focused on the long line, the dessert case, or the menu. He said those words as he looked me up and down. I couldn't blame him; I was doing the same.
"It's really delicious," I said, my gaze still on his face, forcing me to look up. He was at least half a foot taller than me. "What?" he asked, catching me in the act. I was about to deny it, but instead, I admitted, "I'm doing the same as you, checking you out from head to toe." We both smiled and waited in line to order.
He bought me lunch, although it wasn't much as I only ordered an Oat milk Cappuccino. My stomach was already full of butterflies, a feeling I hadn't experienced in a while. It wasn't overwhelming nervousness; it was more like a pleasant arousal. He made me feel unexpectedly comfortable. "You go from 0 to 100 quickly," I commented as he looked at his salad while I waited for my Cappuccino. "What do you mean?" he asked, continuing to focus on his Greek Salad, playing with the feta cheese using his fork.
"Yesterday, you were all about meeting in your hotel first and hanging out, and now we're here," I mentioned our previous night's messages. A smile appeared on his face as he continued to inspect the leafy greens and chunks of cheese on his plate. "That was yesterday," he replied, fixated on the cheese covering the leafy greens. I thought to myself that it was a typical Gemini response. But I didn't dwell on that thought for long, as he followed up with, "Do you know what type of lettuce this is?" It seemed like a random question, but something told me he enjoyed randomness and interesting facts.
"Iceberg," I answered. It was pale green, bland-looking, and an underwhelming base for the colorful ingredients of the Greek Salad. "Nope, want to take another guess?" he teased, testing my knowledge. I didn't feel like engaging in a pointless debate, so I simply replied, "No."
"It's butter lettuce," he finally revealed, although it wasn't particularly mysterious or memorable. "What a strange choice for a Greek Salad, but then there.