*this is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand
He bought me flowers, and then he asked the florist out for dinner.
I went on a date with a man I met on a ferry.
Overall, the date was forgettable. I remember meeting him at the dock and going to the local shopping mall. I don't remember whether we had dinner. Then I remember him dropping me off at home after our date was done.
There's only one important thing I remember between the start of our date and the end. He asked another woman for her phone number, and then he asked her out.
While we were at the shopping mall, my date stopped at a small florist's shop. He instructed me to wait outside. What he was planning was obvious.
He was going to buy me flowers.
I obediently stayed outside the florist shop and busied myself pretending to look at the wares in the window of the shop next door. From my location, I could see and hear everything that went on inside the florist's shop.
While I waited for my date to return with my flowers, I felt both excited and anxious. It was my first real date, and a man had never bought me flowers before. I also felt a little embarrassed.
Surreptitiously, I moved my gaze to the interior of the florist's shop where my date appeared to be flirting with the young lady behind the counter.
It couldn't be, I thought.
Then he asked for her phone number.
I heard him as plain as day as he asked the woman for her phone number. I watched her nod and smile as she gave it to him. She smiled even more broadly when he suggested taking her to dinner sometime.
He purchased the flowers with cash and turned around to exit the shop.
In the meantime, I turned away from the open shop door and reexamined the items in the storefront next door. I was confused; I was also fuming.
My date handed me the flowers he had purchased. Only he hadn't purchased flowers at all. He had bought one single meaningless red rose, and he pressed it into my hand. "This is for you," he said.
"Thank you," I replied.
It was our first date and our last date.
We left the mall, and he drove me back to my neighborhood. Saying goodbye felt awkward. I scrambled to get out of his car, but I took the single red rose.
In retrospect, I should have just left it behind.
I don't know if he ever called the woman from the florist's shop, but I do know that he never called me again. If he had asked me on a second date, I probably would have said yes. Years later, I recognize how lucky I am that he never asked me on a second date.
Wouldn't it be something if he and the woman from the florist's shop had hit it off, gotten married, and had a few kids? Somehow, I doubt it.