“I’m so sorry, something came up,” Amanda explained as she sat down at the dinner table.
“What was so important that you’re half an hour late to our date?” Mark asked in a stern voice.
“I’ll explain later. Let’s order first.”
“No. Explain it to me now.”
“What’s the soup of the day?”
“They don’t offer that here Mandy. Don’t try to change the subject.”
She moved her hair back with her right hand and begin tapping on the table with her fingers.
“Nothing looks good right now.”
He took the time to notice her actions. She kept avoiding eye contact and was constantly scratching her skin.
“Where were you and what were you doing?” he asked again suspiciously.
“I said I was sorry, just get over it already.”
Mark took a deep sigh and complied but was not letting this go. Her constant tapping on the table was only making him more irritated.
“What was that for?” Amanda asked as she tapped on the table even faster now.
“What do you mean?”
“Why did you sigh?”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Amanda stood up from her table and exclaimed, “Stop playing dumb with me!” Her hand ran through her hair once again.
“Mandy . . . tell me why you are like this.”
“Why am I like this?!” she exclaimed. “You always . . . always--” Amanda suddenly got quiet as soon as a waiter walked towards them.
“Good evening and welcome to Mastro’s. May I start you guys up with any drinks or appetizers?”
“Mandy. Just sit down and order. I’ll just have water please”
“And for the lady?” asked the waiter looking towards Amanda.
Mark stared into Amanda’s eyes. “I think it’s best she take water.” He said.
“Alrighty, I will be back soon with your drinks.”
“What was that for Mark?”
“You know well why I’m not allowing you to drink right now.” Mark said that with such a stern voice that Amanda stopped her tapping.
“Is it because I yelled?”
Under his breath, Mark said, “I can’t believe this.”
“Can’t believe what?” Amanda was getting anxious.
“Were you ever going to tell me why you were late?”
“I thought we’d let this go.”
“No, not anymore we’re not,” he refused.
“Mark, please let me explain!”
“In your condition? Be my guest.”
“ . . . please stop. Everyone is watching us.”
Mark looked around the restaurant and didn’t notice anything or anyone watching, except for their waiter as he brought over their drinks.
“There is no one watching.”
“Yes there is, everyone has been watching ever since I got here,” argued Amanda.
The waiter walks over, “Here are your drinks. Are you guys ready to order?”
“Actually, can we get the check? I don’t think we’ll be ordering anything else,” Mark declared.
“Just drinks? All right.”
Amanda looked at Mark in disbelief with what he just said, her hands began fidgeting with her hair.
“You know how important this was,” Mark stated, “Why did you have to do it?”
“I’m sorry Mark, I really thought you’d understand.”
“What is there to understand? I gave you so many chances and you let me down every time.”
“I promise. I really mean it this time. It was just difficult with work and--”
“That’s what you said last time and all the other times before that. This is where I draw the line.”
“I’m trying Mark, I just need some more time,” she explained, “You don’t understand how difficult this is.”
“I don’t believe you anymore. I’ve tried to help you for the longest time. I can’t do everything for you. Either you want to get better or you don’t.”
“Mark, please don’t do this,” she pleaded.
He looked away and said in a very worn out voice, “I can’t do this anymore. You knew the consequences from the beginning. I see no reason for me to keep seeing you if you’re going keep this up.”
Amanda sat there quietly with both her hands clasping onto her cup of water.
“Here’s your check. Will that be all?”
© Nadia Rei Maglonso
Bio: Nadia Rei
Maglonso is an Asian American who does not like seafood. She is infatuated with
dogs, yet she does not have one. In her free time, she attempts to sing, dance,
and make funny puns.