“I’m nervous,” Julie said. “I mean, really, incredibly nervous. Like this-is-why-they-invented-valium nervous. Can you see him?” Eve and Julie stood just outside the door of Bella Vita. It was a little past eight and the restaurant was bustling with people, music, and waiters weaving in and out of it all delivering food. Eve peered into the window.
“I think he is there. There’s a single guy sitting at a table. He has red hair. Sort of spiky. And he’s wearing red. And his face is a little, uhm, red. He’s looking at his watch. And you know what?”
“He’s cute,” Eve said, as she turned away from the window. “I mean, really, he’s cute.”
“Too bad he’s an ass,” Julie said, looking at her black stilettos. She’d borrowed a pair of Eve’s shoes and was terrified of falling. The last time she’d worn heels had been…never.
“Now, how do you know he’s an ass?”
Julie looked at Eve with an expression that said ‘Uh, hell-o?’ “Eve,” she said, “He’s Dan-the-Man. His name rhymes…his email was…ugh. His email! Oh, I don’t care. It’s fine. It really is okay. It makes all of this easier. And maybe if I have a couple glasses of wine I’ll start to have fun. Do I look okay?”
Eve turned Julie to her, gave her the once over, and nodded her head. “You look amazing,” she said. “Easy Lady, you are gorgeous.” Eve was getting a little teary. “You got your sock?” she asked. Julie smiled and held up a single knee-high argyle sock. “Not exactly sexy,” Eve said, “But I respect your choice. Now, I’ll sit at the bar and if anything goes wrong, and I mean catastrophically wrong, just get up and go to the bathroom and I’ll meet you there.”
“Isn’t that the point though?” Julie asked.
“Isn’t that why I’m here? To have a date that goes catastrophically wrong so that I can get it out of my system?”
Eve shook her head. “Forget all that. You’re here to get back at Ronny. Now smile.” Julie stuck out her chest and gave Eve a sarcastic ear-to-ear grin. Eve held up her phone and snapped a picture.
“Hey! You didn’t tell me you were going to do that! Delete it.”
“No. It’s mine.” Eve tucked the phone back into her purse. “What I meant by catastrophically wrong was if he whips out a measuring tape to see if your head will fit in his freezer. If that happens, then meet me in the bathroom and we’ll sneak out.” Julie suddenly imagined her headless torso on the front page of The Grand Rapids Press. The horror spread across her face. Eve laughed. “I’m kidding. Just try and relax. Own it. You’re about to have the worst date of your life, so have fun! I’ll be at the bar getting plastered.”
“Okay then.” Julie smiled, threw back her shoulders, opened the door and strutted into the restaurant twirling the argyle sock in the air. And as she twirled the sock, she repeated to herself that she was no longer introverted Julie Mills, the waitress who sometimes cooked, the shy girl who was in love with Ronny the Rocker. No. Tonight she was free from emotion. She was single. She was (for the next three or four hours) Easy Lady, seductress, temptress, and lover of food.
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