I have a bad habit of going too fast. My habit of saying the wrong things at the wrong time is even worse. I know there is someone out there looking for me, that will understand me, that wants to be with me. Where is he? I'm coming up on 28 and my biological clock is ticking like a time bomb with ten seconds left on it. I want to have kids soon and start a family, but I keep getting in the way of myself.
And the self-sabotage continues...
I decided it was time to do more of the pursuing if I was ever going to create more opportunities to meet him. I joined every free dating site I could find and paid for a couple too. Out of the ten or twelve sites I belonged to none of them were doing anything for me. Yeah, I got the occasional wink and a few chat sessions, but I get bored easily and nothing ever comes of it. That's also something I need to work on. It wasn't until I found a site called Eden that things became more interesting. I remember when I first signed up. I was like "Okay, here we go again, the dreadful profile page". It's so unlike me to drift into my own head to come up with answers to personality questions. I am who I am, get to know me, don't just rely on the words I display for all to see. And It's so annoying when they ask, "What was your longest relationship?" Who cares, it means nothing about the relationship I'm pursuing. Okay, my longest relationship was about 6 months, so what! They don't know the circumstances surrounding the failure of my past endeavors with dating. It wasn't all my fault. I usually end up putting 2 years though, just so they don't pass on me right away because my longevity sucks. Sometimes it feels like I'm filling out a job application for the position of wife/loved one in hopes of landing the job. It' so pathetic and almost depressing.
Anyway, Eden guaranteed you the love and the satisfaction you've been looking for with a twist. By clicking the "I agree" button on the last step of sign-up, you also agreed to be a part of a random paring generator they had set up. It was a new feature that was in its experimental stage. How does it work? I didn't know or fully understand but it sounded interesting enough to try.
Eden was different than any other site I ever navigated and after about three weeks I left all the other sites I belonged to so I could give Eden my undivided attention. I felt myself becoming obsessed with it, longing for the next time I could logon. It was a super distraction at work too. I would sign on there even though I was being paid to create dumb nutrition charts for a patient's new regimen. You see, Eden was great at keeping your attention. There was so much to do, so many fun survey's you could take, (mostly about dating) so many video testimonials about relationships you could watch, so many quick tutorials about miscellaneous stuff, like cooking a 4-course meal to learning everything there is to know about surfing. It goes on and on. And then there were the guys to flirt with. At any one point in time I was involved in at least 2 conversations with hopefuls. They were all nicer to me than any of the previous sites I belonged to. I knew I was in the right place and on the right track to finally meet him... Mr. Right.
On August 3rd, 4 months after joining Eden I got a message from the staff. The subject simply read "Congratulations!" I opened it and it was an invitation to the Love Chamber. The Love Chamber! This is it, they found someone for me! Remember that experimental feature I knew nothing about but agreed to be a part of anyway? This was it. Okay, so this is how it worked. First you take a quiz, when you get pass that you get the profile link of someone who is supposed to be your perfect match. I wasn't sure what happened after that, they don't tell you unless you pass the quiz. I wasted no time hitting the Accept button. After I did it took a few seconds for the page to load. The first line read: This page will expire in 2 minutes, memorize as much as you can. I looked in the top right corner of the page at a timer that read 1 min 48 seconds left. It was so unfair, I was already down 12 seconds and hadn't even started. There were two paragraphs to read. It was just a bunch of words and phrases that really didn't make sense when read together. I read it so fast I thought my eyeballs were going to pop out at the end of each line. I was able to read it two and a half times before the page just disappeared altogether. All that was left was a blank screen with Eden's gold heart Logo in the center. I was like, "Okay, what now?" I sat there for ten minutes checking my email and user profile waiting for something to happen. It was another ten, nail-biting minutes before I got an email from the staff with "Follow Me Here" in the subject line. I obviously didn't waste any time opening the mail and following the link. It took me to the quiz. The page read. The Love Chamber quiz is comprised of 20 questions. You have five minutes. Love is just around the corner. Please press the start button to begin your quiz. Oh my God, five minutes! Did these people think I was a speed reader or something? I could begin whenever I wanted so I didn't rush into it. I sat there for a moment thinking about what I previously read, trying to recall everything I could. It was no use; I knew I was going to fail this test even before it started.
I counted down from five, and pressed the button. It went straight to a page with one question on it. It was multiple choice and had nothing to do with what I read. It' simply read Boxers or Briefs? Wait a minute, I thought to myself. Was it referring to what I like to wear or what I like my man to wear? Ugh! Every page was similar with one multiple choice question on it and had zero to do with what I read. I finished the quiz with 45 seconds left on the timer. I felt relieved it was over but confounded about the fact that I didn't know if I passed it or not. It wasn't like a normal quiz where you can tell 100% when you know an answer is correct. I was in complete despair over the next couple days waiting for results. They really knew how to keep you in suspense, it was tortuous to say the least. After day 4 of no quiz results, I gave up hope and went back to what I was used to doing when I visited Eden.
Friday came around and as usual I logged on just to check and see if I got any new messages, instead I found the email I had been waiting for. It was from the staff and read " Love is Here" I got butterflies in my stomach, then opened it. The link said Francis Paloma. What was this, a link to my match? There were no test results, no description of the link or anything. I opened it without any knowledge of what I was doing. I needed to know right away. When I clicked the link, it went to another one that read. "Meet me here for our first virtual date at 9pm central time" It was a Skype link. I sat back in my chair in relief and excitement. I was in the right time zone where I lived and it was already 4 pm. I had 5 hours to get myself together.
7:30 rolled around and I started getting doubts. I didn't know where the feeling was coming from. I wasn't sure if I was going to go through with this, that's until I was reminded by my good conscious what this was all about. So I set up my laptop in the dining room, dimmed the lights, lit a few candles and just paced back and forth until 8:55pm, it was almost time. At 9 o'clock sharp I followed the link; I was ready to see who was on the other side. After the connection was complete, an image of the back of a chair appeared in a darkly lit room and I could hear a voice. It sounded like he was talking to someone. The chair spun around to reveal a very handsome guy. He had short, curly black hair, a thin mustache with a well-trimmed goatee. His skin was olive, his eyebrows were bushy. He was definitely Italian. He said to the person on the phone he was talking to,
"I'll call you back later, my date is here." and put away the phone.
He looked me in the eyes for what was about to become a staring match. It lasted for a few seconds until I came back to my senses and broke the ice.
"Hello, how are you? Francis right?"
"That's me, Sorry for the awkward stare. I just got caught up in how pretty you are. Ahh, I didn't mean to say that, well I did but I don't want you to get embarrassed or something. We just met and I'm already hitting on you ha ha, I'm glad you could make it."
I thought to myself, So far so good. I didn't take offense to his candor, and he actually sounded like me; saying things and not knowing how the other person understood it. I responded,
"Its okay, I appreciate it and I'm not embarrassed. Why is it so dark in the room you're in?"
He looked around in his place and was like, "Hold on a second."
He got up and left my view. The room gradually got brighter. He sat back down to reveal even more of him. So, his hair was longer than I thought, he just had it pulled back into a ponytail, I was okay with that. It looked like he had a scar under his left eye, I was okay with that. Overall, his appearance exceeded my expectations. I was ready to continue with this so-called date. We talked back and forth for a while. We made each other laugh a few times then the topic turned to Eden. He looked me in the eyes and confidently said,
"How about you pour yourself a glass of merlot before we continue, and what should get for myself?"
I was confused, how did he know that was my favorite wine, I returned with,
"Come on, I know you like merlot, I bet you have a bottle there somewhere... Remember the first part of the quiz where it said to memorize as much as you can? It was a bunch of info about me, they just complicate it for no reason. So, I hope you remember it. What do I like to drink?"
OH MY GOD! was my next thought. That had been a week ago. I gave it my best shot to try and visualize anything about what I read. I remember the word Scotch being there. I told myself to just say it just before he thinks I don't know what I'm doing.
"Oh yes, of course. Why don't you pour yourself a Scotch with 2 ice cubes and stir it with a spoon."
I remembered that last detail just in time. He responded,
"Yes mam, that's a great idea!"
We both disappeared to retrieve our libations. When I got back he was already there stirring his cocktail and licking the spoon. He was charming and I was beginning to believe he was a keeper.
We talked for what seemed like hours. We had a lot in common including the fact that we were both the same age, I was older than him by 3 months and 2 days. Both of us failed the 10th grade, we both were Italian and catholic by default. The strangest of them all was we both worked at the same McDonalds when we were teenagers, just not at the same time. Eden did a great job synchronizing all of this or was it coincidence. He only lived about 45 minutes away from me and if I hadn't been drinking, I would have talked myself into driving over there. I was having a good time with Francis. Francis! I think this was the only thing I didn't care for about him was him name. Francis seemed androgynous to me, it didn't really fit him. What was his parents thinking when they named him. His name should be Johnathan or Daniel or Ray or something like that. Mr. and Mrs. Francis and Katrina Paloma, it didn't sound too bad. Would I be okay with that? I didn't know. It was our first date and I was already fast-forwarding to our nuptials. Take it easy Katy, that's what I told myself. I continued with,
"Okay Mister, what else do you remember about me that you read"
"To tell you the truth, not much ha ha. By the time I realized what was going on I only had a minute and a half left. I'll try though, here goes wish me luck... I know you like rock climbing, that's pretty extreme for a chick."
I kind of rolled my eyes but still wasn't offended.
"Oh! you like watching sitcoms, I love them too. I'm sure I've seen every episode of Friends like five times. And Umm... Oh wait! you like massages, and I can't wait to give you one. I give great massages."
I quickly looked away from him and became just a tiny bit embarrassed only because it felt like I was being put on the spot and didn't know how to react. I'm sure I was blushing, I just hoped he couldn't tell. I smiled and let him finish.
"Okay, I got another one, you either have or had a dog named Bill."
Chuckling, I replied "Close, his name is Phil and yes I still have him. I guess that was close enough, I'll give you that one."
"Thank you, I think I deserve it... Now it's your turn I need a break from thinking, c'mon tell me something."
I knew this was coming, I did it to myself. I should have kept my mouth shut but whatever. I had to come up with something, so I began with,
"I think you have trophies for playing baseball, am I right?" He nodded his head yes. "You like to gamble, don't you?" He nodded yes again. HA! I can do this. I continued, "You lost your virginity when you were 18, you love butter pecan ice cream, you were born in New Orleans and, and... don't ever call you Frankie?"
His eyes lit up and his eyebrows went down, he was frowning, then he spoke,
"Why would they put that in there. I can't even remember when I gave them that info and why I would give it to them."
I questioned, "What's wrong, something happen? What's wrong with Frankie, I like Frankie for you. Is that your nickname?"
Something really hit a chord with him, the mood changed, and he looked like he was in deep thought about this. I was still curious about it and offered an apology.
"I'm sorry if I did something wrong, I was only remembering what I read."
"It's not your fault, you didn't know and this is not the way I would have told you."
"Tell me what, that you don't like to be called Frankie?"
He displayed an angered look on his face, raised his voice and said,
"Damn it! You did it again, don't you understand ANYTHING we are talking about? Don't ever call me that! Look, I think this is a mistake. I'm sorry, you seem like a nice girl, and this is my issue not yours. It's just all wrong and I can't explain it, not like this. Maybe we can try this again some time I don't know... Damn! I was just starting to like you too. I have to go, I'm really sorry I wasted your time." I quickly replied,
"Wait, you didn't waste my time, this is the best time I've had in a while." All he said to that was,
And just like that, he was gone, the video connection was terminated. I was left flabbergasted with my mouth wide open. What the hell just happened! I tried the link again but it was expired. We never got a chance to exchange phone numbers or anything, I had no way of contacting him. I even did a username search on Eden and the results came back empty. He must have created the account with an alias or a handle. I wasn't hurt, a little sad yes but I barely knew him so I guess it was better this happened now then further down the road when my feelings might be attached. But man, you get so close to meeting someone you like and the craziest of things happens that leaves you not knowing where you stand. Oh well, at least I still had a glass of Merlot left in the bottle to finish and needed to dry and fold some clothes. For the rest of that night I analyzed what happened and pondered what really went wrong.
I finally got the answer to that question about 2 weeks later when I got a message from a user called: Silly Peanut. It read, "This is Francis call me sometime." He left me his phone number. He graciously solved the mystery of that night. Turns out he had a twin brother named Frankie that died of an overdose a couple of years back. People who knew them but didn't know that Frankie died would mistake Francis for Frankie and call him Frankie. This was painful every time it happened, mainly because he was still hurting from the loss. They were very close as most twins are, he blamed himself for his death because he said he could have prevented it. I told him that he will never get pass this unless he stops feeling responsible. I felt relieved to finally know the truth and understood why that night ended like it did.
Francis and I became good friends. We drank lots of Scotch and Merlot together but stayed in the Friend Zone, we were fine with that. We were compatible but not a match made in heaven. Eden is still a big part of my life and I'm currently dating a guy named Bobby, he's Italian too. We've been seeing each other for about 6 weeks and so far, so good. He is a keeper, we have a lot in common like Frankie, I mean Francis and I. Let us keep our fingers crossed that I don't say anything that will send Bobby packing too because this time I really want it to work out. I'm trying my best and that's all I can do.
Love Will Find a Way...
About the Creator
Creative writer in the Northeast US who loves the paranormal, mystery, true crime, horror, humor, fantasy and poetry. Take a chance, you'll be thoroughly entertained.
"Life is Love Experienced" -LW