By Martha Jo Tisdale
Barbara was a little late making her Saturday morning call to her mother but after hearing all about the evening’s double date she wasn’t too surprised. Carla, Barbara’s roommate, had been trying to get her to commit to another blind date for months so actually was surprised she had, since she vowed that one disaster in that arena was enough.
Given another opportunity, she would most certainly use her own resources which she felt would eliminate the kinds of hurdles she wanted to avoid. She pondered a while, trying to remember last night’s conversations. She concluded she felt safe and satisfied that she hadn’t put herself out there in ways that she wouldn’t be able to protect what was rightfully hers.
Her follow-up date with Alexander this coming Friday was going to be one-on-one and Barbara thought their conversations should probably be tied to whatever culminated from their first date. The “where are you from, what do your parents do, how many siblings do you have, what’s your favorite sport or hobby, and what player on your baseball team makes the best pancakes?”
She decided to leave out the curious subjects she really wanted to ask. The “What’s your favorite music? Do you like to dance? Have you been on a cruise? How about have you been to the top of the Empire State Building in NYC? This was fun . . .all kinds of questions and if Alexander was a good conversationalist, she probably would enjoy the evening.
Barbara was feeling a lot better about the idea of dating. She knew how happy Carla was and when she shared her feelings with her mother she could almost see the smile on her mother’s face. It was a kind of ‘no big deal’ thing and what ever happens happens!
Her work week went quickly; she was anticipating an enjoyable evening. Alexander had offered to cook but they decided to save that for another time. 🤔 Hmmm! Instead he had made reservations at the Firebird Wood-fired Grill and was picking her up at 7 o’clock. Barbara had a nice bottle of wine and they could have a couple of Barbara’s favorite appetizers before leaving for the restaurant.
Alexander was right on time; she offered him a chair in the living room but he preferred to stand, maybe he would see if she needed any help in the kitchen. He walked past a bookcase filled with books and several framed photographs.
When he reached the kitchen he said, “I noticed your pictures on the bookcase; is that a picture of you, with your father?”
To which Barbara replied, “Why, yes! Yes it is! It was taken a few years ago when dad and I spent a week in the mountains in Colorado, staying at a really cool ‘dude’ ranch . . .fishing, trail riding, relaxing — you get the idea!” And as she finished her sentence, gesturing with her arms as though she would break into song any minute, she noticed that Alexander was perspiring and was obviously very nervous.
“Did I say something wrong?” “Are you okay?” She looked directly at Alexander, uncertain what to do . . .what to say. She was beginning to feel a little nervous herself. She suggested they sit down as she pulled a chair from the kitchen table for Alexander and she sat at the end, waiting for him to say something.
“Barbara?” Alexander cleared his throat, then said again, “Barbara, I believe that we have the same father.”