“So, you’re really into this whole Buddha thing?” Josh asked. He smiled his best smile and admired the curve of her lips as she sipped from her wineglass.
Emily put the glass down and tilted her pretty head to the right, causing the tips of her long blonde hair to sweep towards her bread plate. “Well, I wouldn’t choose to describe my search for peace and enlightenment as ‘Buddha thing.”
Uh-oh. He cringed internally. He glanced ever so briefly and desperately at the amazing swell of her breasts, then he was right back to her face. “Hey,” he said, giving her his best sheepish-boy-grin. “Buddha, enlightenment -- it’s all good.”
Is that the best he could come up with? Fifteen minutes into their first date and already he’d screwed it up. Josh searched his brain for some semblance of a relevant remark. Enlightenment -- what-the-hell did he know about enlightenment? He was saved by the waiter, coming up suddenly from behind, placing the salad first in front of Emily and then in front of him. “Wow,” he said, looking down at his salad. “This looks edifyingly fulfilling. A tranquility of green . . . Progressively healthy . . .” To his great relief, Emily smiled.
Josh stabbed a cherry tomato and contemplated its round redness as he held it in front of his face. “If not now? When?” He popped it into his mouth, and Emily laughed. Josh chewed happily, his eyes scanning the restaurant. His mouth came to a sudden stop.
Emily turned to follow his gaze. “What?” she asked.
His eyes went back to Emily. “Oh!” He waved the air in dismissal. “Nothing.” She frowned. He shrugged. “It’s just my ex.”
Emily turned back to the other table a few yards away and to their right. He watched as she studied the two women settling into their chairs. “Which one?” she asked.
Josh sighed gently and looked at the two women. His ex, looking as beautiful as ever with her dark straight hair pulled gently up and away from her face, her long legs nearly bare, her black skirt only slightly covering her upper thighs. She crossed those luscious legs as she leaned towards her friend and said something; and he just couldn’t help the stirring between his legs. And then her friend -- tall, blonde, startlingly sexy -- laughed in such a way that made him glad he was sitting down. He licked his lips, shifted in his chair, making subtle adjustments, and said flatly, “The brunette.” Emily nodded her head slowly, her eyes still on the women.
“So, you work in advertising,” he said. “That must be interesting. Is it anything like that show? What’s it called? Mad Men?”
Emily’s green eyes turned back his way. “Who broke up with whom?”
“Who broke up with whom?” she repeated.
He looked at her blankly. Who broke up with whom -- was that even right? Should it be: who broke up with who? Certainly, whom broke up with whom, didn’t sound correct . . . Emily raised her eyebrows slightly. “Well,” he swallowed. “It was, you know, a mutual thing.” Which was an outright lie. It had been all her doing. He was still laid flat out and recovering. And this dinner, this woman -- this blonde enlightened bombshell of a beauty named Emily -- was part of his twelve step plan. He looked down and negotiated a piece of endive onto his fork.
As he brought the fork towards his mouth, his eyes naturally drifted back to the table. “Aw, Jesus . . .” he uttered, and had to bend slightly at the waist. He watched Emily turn back towards the table and take in the scene he’d just witnessed. The two women were leaning over the table, their tongues playing on each other lips, their fingers tangled in each other hair. He sunk a little deeper into his chair.
Emily turned back his way, her eyes wide and then narrowing, “Mutual, huh?”
Josh brought his fingers to his forehead. His favorite college buddy joke -- show me any lesbian, I’ll set her straight . . . Now he’d apparently done just the opposite. Jesus . . .
And then, as if reading his mind: “My brother, Ethan,” Emily said. “He can be a bit of a jerk. Always claimed he could ‘cure’ women who wanted women.”
Josh laughed. “Well. That’s ridiculous!” And he put the lettuce into his mouth.
Now what? Where to go from here? Continue to date -- ridding the world of heterosexuals, one woman at a time? He was so rattled, he doubted he could make it through the main course, much less to the possibility of Emily’s place, and then onto step number ten. He’d have to add more steps! He swallowed his food and a reached for his wine. Alcohol! Maybe that was the answer. Then he felt the warm pressure of her hand on his knee, and she was smiling at him.
“Hey, Josh. Buddha, enlightenment, lesbianism . . .” She paused, her eyebrows rising suggestively, “. . . heterosexuality . . . It’s all good.”