Date From an Alternate Universe

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A few years ago I got a friend request from a girl I dated on and off in high school and college. I didn’t think anything of this because I pretty much accept all requests that I get. We broke up under some strange circumstances but for the most part it was because I was far more interested in someone else. I was honest and told her that I wished to be with someone else. Now, I graduated from high school in the 80s so I’m figuring that we’ve done a lot of growing up and moving on in that time. Periodically we’d chat online but I wasn’t thinking too much of it.

One day I was about to shut down my computer because I was leaving the house to run some errands. Before I could shut down she sent me a message. I decided that it would be cool to have company in the car as I drove around town and I hadn’t really seen her in about 15 years except in passing, so I decided to ask her to come along for the ride and she agreed.

So I picked her up and realized that I hadn’t had anything to eat all day. It was about 5 pm and I was feeling faint so I asked her to accompany me to Applebee’s. As we sat there talking it felt like I was on an interview. Then out of nowhere she chastised me for concentrating too much on my career and not enough on settling down with a special woman.

I felt the conversation was becoming too intense so I cracked a joke (or so I thought) that we obviously just didn’t make a good pair. She said in a huff that she realized that midway through our conversation. I told her I knew it over 20 years before when I broke up with her.

A couple of days later I came home and logged on to my computer. I had an inbox from her explaining that she had to “unfriend” me because she realized that I wanted more from her than a friendship and she didn’t see me in that way anymore. She said that I had “tricked” her into going on a date with me when I said that I was hungry. I sat there wondering what conversation was she a part of in that restaurant. Then she proceeded to tell other old friends from high school how I had gone “weird” and was still chasing her. I just couldn’t understand what world she was living in because we were not part of the same reality.


Written by Ntare Gault

Ntare Ali Gault is the author of the book "The Sun Will Rise: A Memoir of an Urban Family" and the play "Ain't She Brave."