The plan for the lunch date
Martin had hyped the whole date lunch thing to Maya, so she could not wait for the day. He had deliberately wanted to take her on a serious lunch date. He said he needed to know her more, out of the confines of a work environment.
“Maya, I would like to meet you out of the daily work environment,” he had texted.
On the other hand, Maya felt that it was time they took their interactions to a level where they were intentional about knowing more about each other.
“Is this what I think it is?”
“Yes Maya, I am asking you out on a date.”
Maya replied to this with emojis of light laughter. Then replied, “Let me think about it.” Of course, she knew she would say yes, but as per usual, Maya had to hold onto a yes before giving it away.
“Okay, think about it and then you get back to me, I will be waiting.”
Maya took her time because she had not mentioned it after three days, and Martin had to ask about it. Maya confirmed it. Saturday was going to be perfect for this lunch date. Martin sounded excited on the other end of the phone, and from that, it was a done deal. They would have some time together outside their normal work environment.
Their work relationship had calmly evolved from a simple “hi” as they walked past each other in the corridors to casual conversations at the cafe nearby. Slowly, there developed some form of chemistry whenever they occupied a space together. Something that got them thinking that something was developing between them.
Days before the Date
The planning for the date happened on Wednesday, which meant they had two more days before the meeting. On these two days, Maya decided to do something any other normal person would do before meeting their date. She decided to stalk him on his social media accounts.
Though they had worked together for some time now and had become friends, they never took their interactions to a level where they knew each other’s personal life issues. They kept their flirtatious talks to mundane things and so she wanted to find out more about him.
Maya sought him by his two names on every social media, and he was easy to find. She did not expect to find him because these days, people seem to block their colleagues to prevent any form of non-professional interaction in all spaces.
He was a closed-up individual even in the socials. There was nothing much to read from social media. Martin’s accounts had no spice or drama that could entice one to keep looking. Perhaps he protected his privacy by keeping things off social media to ensure that the only people who knew about his life were those who knew him in person, thought Maya. Well, if that were the case, it would be even more interesting to go on this date.
On the other hand, Martin was busy thinking about how his plan would go. Maya was not only beautiful; she was also interesting to be around. She was a good conversationalist, and Martin was sure he would have a good time. Physically too, Maya was appealing, and it would go a long way in achieving what he had wanted.
Everybody who knew Martin knew that he loved short girls. Maya came in handy. Her short and curvy physique was perfect for the image Martin wanted to paint of him having moved on with his life.
It was Martin’s intention to be seen with Maya, especially by the people who have known Martin for a long time. When Maya mentioned that Saturday would be okay, Martin was delighted. Everything he wanted would come easy if the date happened on a Saturday.
Martin had a light conversation with his friend, Ray about the whole plan.
“Do you think it will work?” Asked Martin.
“Yeah, I think it will. Rina still loves you so of course, she won’t be happy to see you with another woman” Ray said with a lot of confidence. This gave Martin the drive to go on with the plan.
Saturday was the specific day that Rina, his ex-girl, went shopping and did some kinds of stuff that she could not handle on the weekdays. Midday and afternoon would be perfect because they were most likely to meet. Everything was set, and the only thing remaining was for Saturday to come.
Martin and Rina
Martin and Rina had dated for a year. They were a normal couple with ups and downs, the normal way relationships can sometimes be. When Martin looked back, he could see their imperfectly perfect relationship as the best thing that could have happened. Though there were hard times that they had to overcome, these hard times were what strengthened their bond.
However, at some point, Martin started getting tired of working on the relationship.
“Babe, relationships are work too. We will have all the good times but we are sure to also go through difficult times. We cannot skip those little bumps.” Rina would tell Martin from time to time.
However, when one tries to convince a heart that has already decided otherwise, it is a waste of time.
“What is the point of it all when there are ups and downs while dating? I think dating should be fun. The bumps ought to be reserved for when people are married.” He would reply.
Martin was on a stage where the only thing he wanted was to have fun. He was dating for fun, and any bump that derailed the fun gave him the motivation to leave.
Rina had become sick out of nowhere. She had to be admitted because she had lost a lot of water from vomiting. Recently, their relationship had become so shaky that she was not sure whether she was dating anymore.
Rina had been admitted and had not told Martin about it the whole night. She was not sure whether it was worth it. They talked but Rina kept things light without mentioning what was up. Martin talked to Rina for a while and he knew the weekend would be lit as usual.
But then, an idea struck Rina. She made a plan with Monique her friend to lie to Martin that Rina had developed a serious health condition that could be fatal. “The vomiting and loss of water are the first signs and symptoms, and following the tests done by the doctor, there is a need to worry.”
“Why didn’t you tell me about it immediately?” Martin asked.
“I did not think it was serious. Plus, the feeling started a short while after you had called. I tried calling back and your phone was off.”
Martin hung around that day and a few days to come, even when Rina had been released to go home. Then shortly, he started disappearing slowly by slowly. Within no time, Martin had ghosted her. He was not even calling to see if Rina was doing okay.
A Common Friend
With common friends who wanted to see both Martin and Rina together, there was no hiding the plot that Rina had all along. It all came out into the open, and Martin knew he had been played. After Martin had disappeared, never to be seen again, conversations within Rina’s circle revolved around how Martin’s absence in Rina’s life was because of the lie that Rina and Monique had manufactured. They all concluded that Martin was only there for the good times. Maureen, a common friend of Martin and Rina, let the cat out of the bag.
The day of the Date
That early morning, Rina went through her wardrobe to check what she could wear to the date. She wanted to wear the best dress she could find. She had liked Martin so much that she wanted to do everything right to impress him. For her, it was a serious date that she needed to be her best.
She picked a short maroon dress just above the knee and a black six-inch heel; with a little clutch and she was ready to go. Since the weather was warm, that sleeveless dress would be perfect. That morning dragged on as her anticipation was not giving her peace.
On the other hand, Martin did not have much to think about. He knew what he would wear and could not wait to be done with the whole thing.
The actual Date
Martin and Maya had both prepared for this day. The two had anticipated this lunch date, each with their reasons. Martin arrived earlier a few minutes before noon. Maya took her time to ensure that she arrived a bit later, not for her to go and wait. The date started with a few pleasantries and Martin particularly commenting on how she had dressed.
They then started with soft drinks as they had a light conversation about different things. About half an hour after the start of their conversation, Martin started behaving weirdly. His attention had shifted. Though his eyes were still on Maya, his mind had shifted elsewhere.
Maya, who had been elated all along started feeling that something was off. She felt a huge imbalance in the energy she was giving and the energy she was getting back. What had been an interesting conversation about knowing each other turned into an awkward situation of Martin asking Maya to pardon him every now and then.
“Is everything okay, Martin?” asked Maya.
“Yeah. Everything is okay. Everything is totally fine.”
“But you seem a bit distracted. Something is off.”
“Off!! How? How do you mean?”
However much Martin tried to look calm and composed, things seemed too off to hide.
Then, Martin could not hold it anymore and stared at some people behind Maya. Maya turned to see what Martin was looking at and found a certain woman staring at them.
“Who is she?”
“Someone from my past”
A long uncomfortable silence ensued. Then Maya said, “Someone from your past that you’d wish to be in your present, I guess. Did you invite me here because you genuinely wanted to spend time with me or you wanted to make somebody jealous?”
Martin’s guilty eyes said it all even before he spoke.
Maya stood up and left.
Maya ignored Martin from that time at the office and refused to pick up his calls or answer his messages. Rina on the other hand thought he had moved on and also ignored him. He lost out on both ladies while trying to make a point.
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