Jenna figured that if things didn’t turn around in the next 10 minutes, she would about-face and fuck off.
He wasn’t all that terrible. He was actually kind of charming. Charming doesn’t help with being on three hours of sleep and nursing a cold and a hangover.
“You alright?” he said.
“Yes,” Jenna said, thinking about every way in which she wasn’t. She could barely open her eyes. She was dehydrated. She wished she ordered the double caesar instead of the single coffee. She questioned why people go for brunch for a first date. She vowed she wouldn’t give her number to randoms at the end of a night out and when she broke that promise she wouldn’t answer texts even though she hated the “ghosting” phenomenon that was so prevalent now. Even if he was a random, there was no need to be rude.
“Cool, just wanted to make sure,” he said.
Ugh. She wished he would stop being nice.
“I’ve been battling a cold for a few days, you know?”
“Ya, that’s horrible.”
“It is,” she said.
Jenna had been on worse dates, but usually she was the victim not the perpetrator. She wondered how long the silence would go on and couldn’t help but look at him as he stared at the menu because when she moved her eyes, they hurt. She knew it wasn’t a good sign because they had already ordered, so if a used menu was more interesting than her, maybe he was catching on to her ire for everything.
“Alright. I’ve got an idea,” he said, raising his eyes from the Sandwich section.
“Congratulations,” she said, and immediately felt bad for her snipe, but was pleasantly surprised when he laughed.
“Thanks,” he said. “Deal-breakers. We can talk about all the regular bullshit people usually talk about or we can talk about something interesting, stuff we hate. The only thing is, we have to explain why and the other person can’t question it. You go first.”
First, don’t tell me what to do, she thought, and second, this has potential.
“Talking,” she said.