When I see Killian’s, I have to admit, it’s not the kind of place I’d consider taking a girl out on a date. It’s a pub, and what I can see through the filthy, smudged windows, it’s a dive. I can almost see the cockroaches crawling across the floor. The best I can say is maybe Jake has never been here. But if he’s even seen the place, he must know how disgusting it is.
I don’t dare go inside without him, so I stand outside, freezing my ass off. It’s far too cold for the short skirt and tank top I selected from my closet but a jacket would totally ruin the sex appeal of the outfit. Seriously, it’s cold to be a girl.
If this were a date with anyone else, the truth is, I probably would have high-tailed it a long time ago. It's clear that the guy just isn't that into me, and I can tell that without having to read a book of the same name. Then again, I'm kind of thinking that the date can only get better after this, right?
Except it doesn't. It gets so much worse.
As I'm waiting there, the goosebumps on my arms forming little colonies and raising children, I finally see Jake approaching. He's so late. But that doesn't bother me nearly as much as the fact that he's not alone. There's a woman riding on his lap. Let me say that again:
There's another woman riding on his freaking lap!
I feel my hands balling into fists. Did he forget he was meeting me for a date? I mean, seriously, WTF? Okay, I admit, he looks pretty good. His hair is gleaming in the light from the streetlamps, and his smile is kind of killer. And his hands, the way he uses just the balls of his palm to push his chair, which is not so easy considering he's wheeling for two, is just so sexy. But seriously, there's a woman on his lap. I just can't get past that.
"Hi, Sam," Jake says, smiling up at me.
The woman, who is a platinum blonde and cute as hell, smiles up at me too, "Hi, Sam. I hope you don't mind I borrowed your date."
"Uh, of course not," I say, and I force a smile. Really, I want to cry though.
"Jake saw me limping along in these heels," the woman explained. She points to her Jimmy Choos, which are gorgeous but do look very uncomfortable. "And he was nice enough to give me a lift." Yeah, but why are you still sitting there?
"Awesome sauce," I say, and they both look at me weird.
The woman picks herself up and brushes off her booty crammed into a skirt tighter than mine. I can see Jake eyeing her ass and it's pretty damn obvious what he's thinking. "Would you like to join us?" he asks. The guy is now inviting another woman on our date.
"Oh, I can't," she says apologetically.
"Maybe some other time?" Jake suggests. "I can take your number."
And son of a bitch, she writes it down for him. Right in front of me. I can't even believe this is happening. I mean, I may not be a total beauty queen, but most guys on a first date with me seem satisfied enough that they don't feel a need to pick up other women in front of me right before the date even begins. I don't get this. It's like Jake is daring me to walk away from him.
Okay, I'm going to give the bastard one more chance.
We go into the pub, which has a single step to enter. Jake does a wheelie and jumps the step. When he leans back in his chair, I see his gut jiggle a little and I forget all about the woman riding on his lap. It's unfair that he has the power to do this to me.
The bar is just as bad on the inside as it was on the outside. It’s filthy. There’s a layer of grime on everything, and the air is thick with cigarette smoke, even though I don’t actually see anyone smoking. We find a table near the front, and Jake orders a beer. I almost order a Margarita, which is what I really want, but I remember the rule that Kate and I have about being low maintenance, and I get a beer. Plus I don't trust the glasses to be clean in a place like this. The only thing unlikely to get me sick is beer straight from a bottle.
While we're waiting for our drinks, Jake is looking at me in a way that makes me blush. It's something about those gorgeous blue eyes. "I'm glad you could make it tonight," he says to me.
"Me too," I breathe. I'm all sorts of breathless right now.
"You look really sexy tonight," Jake says. He reaches out his hand like he's going to put it on mine. My heart speeds up, but then he seems to change his mind at the last second and pulls away.
The waitress comes by and plunks two bottles of beer on our table and leaves without another word. In any reasonable bar, she or the bartender would have opened them for us. I glance at the bottles and feel fairly sure they're twist-off. I pick up mine and dig my palm into the cap until it twists free. I've got angry red imprints of little ridges from the cap in the palm of my hand.
Jake looks at his own bottle. I'm guessing he's not able to twist it off himself. I don't know what the etiquette here is exactly, so I just sit there like a moron. Finally, Jake says, "I think it's really sexy to drink from a woman's beer."
"Oh," I say. I spend a moment processing that. "Um, do you want to drink from my beer?"
"If you don't mind," Jake says, smiling winningly.
I slide my drink across the table at him, and twist off the cap off the second beer. I guess that solved that problem.
I watch how Jake picks up the bottle of beer. He positions his hand next to the bottle, then cocks his wrist to make his fingers close around the glass. His grip seems tenuous, but he manages to get the bottle to his mouth without incident.
"So tell me a little bit about yourself, Sam," Jake says. "What do you do?"
I shrug. "I'm an engineer. Not very exciting, I'm afraid."
Jake frowns at me. “You drive a train?”
A…what? Okay, he has no idea what an engineer is. Not that most people have any idea what an engineer is, so I can’t entirely blame him. “That’s not what an engineer does.”
“They don’t?” Jake looks befuddled. “What am I thinking of then?”
“I don’t know. A train conductor?”
“Yeah!” He nods vigorously. “So what’s an engineer then?”
“I help design airplanes mostly,” I say.
“You don’t look like someone who designs airplanes.” Jake grins at me. "You look more like someone who serves drinks on airplanes. Like a stewardess."
Is that supposed to be a compliment? I'm honestly not sure.
"I always wanted to date a stewardess," Jake goes on. "I bet I could fly for free."
"Yeah," I mumble. Is it just me or is it rude to talk about other women you’d like to go out with when you’re on a date? Part of me wants to make up some excuse and get the hell out of here, but then he makes a gesture with his arm and his wrist flops around slightly, and I get that crazy dev tingle. And I stay.
“Do you work?” I ask, after we drink in silence for a few more minutes.
Uh oh. Obviously, I said the wrong thing. Jake glares at me. “Of course I work. Why wouldn’t I work?”
Shit. “I don’t know…”
“I’m a freelance web designer,” Jake says.
“Oh, neat,” I say. “Does that mean you get to work from home?”
“Well, mostly,” Jake says. “But I don’t have to work at home. I mean, I could do whatever I want.”
I don’t know what to say. It seems like every word that comes out of my mouth is pissing Jake off. Oversensitive much? I feel like I am going to have to spend the rest of this date nodding politely to avoid upsetting him.
“I’m really into sports, actually,” Jake says.
I nod politely.
“Skiing is awesome,” he says. “I always try to hit the slopes a few times every winter.”
I nod politely.
“Do you ski, Sam?”
Uh oh, he’s asking a question that will require something other than a head nod. “Not really,” I say.
The first answer that pops into my head is, Because I’m afraid I’ll fall and break my neck. I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t say that to him though. “I don’t really like cold weather,” I say.
Jake nods. “Yeah, girls hate the cold.”
I take a swig of my beer and realize that I’ve nearly finished it. I think if I keep dating disabled guys, I’m seriously going to turn into an alcoholic. Jake notices I’m almost finished and says, “I don’t see our waitress. Let me go get you another beer.”
Well, that’s more like it. Finally, Jake is manning up and acting like a proper date. I watch him as he wheels himself up to the bar, thinking how incredibly sexy he is. I love the way he grabs tables and chairs to propel himself past the tight areas. I wonder how he ended up in the wheelchair and how long it’s been for him. I find it hard to believe he’s a lifelong wheeler, but it’s been long enough that he seems comfortable in it.
I can’t hear what Jake is saying to the bartender, but I assume he’s ordering our drinks. At least, I assume that until the bartender leans over the bar, pressing her boobs together to show off her perfect cleavage. Then she writes something down on a cocktail napkin and hands it to Jake, who stuffs it in his pocket.
I am about 99% sure he just got the bartender’s phone number.
Amazingly, he manages to get my beer too (with the cap off), which he tucks between his knees as he wheels back to the table. By that point, I’m practically shaking with anger. I don’t care how freaking sexy this guy is, I’m not going to allow him to treat me like this.
Jake grabs the beer from between his knees and tries to hand it to me. I don’t take it and instead stand up from my seat. I yank my purse off the back of the chair so violently that it nearly topples over. “I’m leaving,” I say. “This date is over.”
Jake seems really surprised. “What are you talking about? I just was getting you a beer.”
“You got the bartender’s phone number.”
“So?” I like how he doesn’t even deny it. “It’s not like we’re exclusive or anything.”
“You’re not supposed to pick up other girls while we’re on a date!” I nearly shout.
Jake attempts to put my beer down on the table, but he loses his grip on it just a second too early. The beer topples over and spills all over the table. Which is just fucking great. “I’ll clean it up,” I sigh, grabbing some napkins from another table.
Jake frowns at me as I start sopping up the warm beer with the napkins. “I get what this is about,” he says. “You don’t want to date a guy who’s disabled.”
Ha. I’m not about to admit to him that the only reason I put up with him as long as I did is because he’s a quadriplegic. “That’s not true.”
“It’s obviously true,” Jake says, his face all screwed up so that he doesn’t look nearly as handsome anymore. “You women are all the same.”
“Are you serious?” I throw the paper napkins on the table. “You. Hit. On. Another. Woman. Right in front of me.”
“You don’t have to talk to me like I’m retarded,” Jake snaps. “Why don’t you just admit it? You don’t want to be with a guy who can’t walk.”
I can’t even believe I’m having this conversation. Jake is sitting at our table and glaring at me and as I stare back at him, he quickly yanks his hands off the table and hides them on his lap. I don’t get why he’s acting this way. He’s good looking, yeah, but Patrick was practically a male god and he never treated me this way. I really don’t get it.
“Well, fine,” Jake says. “Why don’t you go? I’ll just hang out with the bartender for the rest of the night. She’s way hotter than you are, anyway. She actually has breasts.”
That’s about all I can take. I sling my purse over my shoulder and hurry out of Killian’s. As soon as I get home, I’m taking a long shower to get the stink of my date and that awful bar off my body.
I get home from my date, still feeling that date-related adrenaline rush, even though the evening is over. I don’t know what to do at this point. I’ve had two shit dates, which isn’t a lot, but I’m definitely getting discouraged.
I rifle through my dresser drawer and pull out Chris’s card with his phone number on it. Whenever I think about him, I get that squishy feeling in my tummy. I have such a crush. But so what? It’s becoming obvious that Chris has zero intention of asking me out.
I could call him, I guess. He gave me his cell phone number, so I wouldn’t even have to reach him through the store. I’ve never asked out a guy before though. What would I say? “Hey, it’s Samantha! You know, the girl who dropped her phone in the toilet. Would you like to go out with me?” Yeah, I don’t think so.
Also, I’m pretty sure it would be suspicious if the first guy I asked out was disabled. What will he think? Will he suspect my true intentions the same way Rob did? Of all the guys I could pick to ask out, he’d wonder why I would pick him. And he’d be right to wonder.
I toss the card aside and head back to my computer, peeling off my dress as I go. I’m down to my bra and panties when I log back in to Match. I type in the “wheelchair” keyword and I see Rob’s face pop up again (ugh) as well as that guy with the ponytail. Nobody new.
I squint at the ponytailed guy. His name is Kurt and aside from the ponytail, he’s actually pretty good looking. He has nice blue eyes and a cleft in his chin. Maybe I was too hasty in rejecting him. After all, if I’m only going to date disabled guys, I can’t be picky about everything. I skim Kurt’s profile, where it says: “I use a wheelchair due to a double leg amputation, but I’m very active and in otherwise good health.” He also mentions he’s into “mono-skiing.” I imagine the guy in the photo tucked into one of those skis for people who can’t use their legs. Suddenly, Kurt’s ponytail seems to matter a lot less. Also, I could probably get him to cut it off.
Before I lose my nerve, I send Kurt a brief message, telling him my name and that I liked his profile. Then I go take my hot shower.