A comedy of errors, perhaps? So many emotions, a first date couldn’t be more perfect!
The Court on Lexington
About a year went by since the elevator incident. My divorce was finalized and I spent the summer relishing being single and restoring peace to my life. By October, though, I was ready to mingle.
I was tipped off that Bobby would be out for Halloween. I love Halloween and hadn’t celebrated in years. So I took the bait, bought a ninja costume and reserved a spot at the annual New York Social Network’s Halloween party at The St. Giles Hotel. Shortly after 8:30pm, I arrived and made a beeline for check-in. A group of brown men were conversing in the lobby but I didn’t immediately think anything of it. One of them might have been wearing a mask.
Famished, I anchored down at the bar, ordered food and drink, and polished off my flatbread in minutes.
That’s when it started. The nonstop barrage of men either too old or too young for me. One guy assailed me for two hours. Polite and mildly entertaining but ultimately annoying. When I managed to get a break from him, there was a hoard waiting in line. And everyone was buying me drinks.
None of them were interesting, though. I managed to scan the room once early on, but I couldn’t find Bobby. I started to feel misled. But I also couldn’t shake the feeling that I was being watched all night. By 12:30am, the crowd was dwindling and I made a final scan of the room.
That’s when I saw them. Seated directly behind me like they’d been spying on me all night was a group of men who seemed to be of Middle Eastern descent. I cocked my head to the side and gave them a smirk. They, in turn, gave me worried looks like they had just been made.
No Bobby, but not a coincidence either.
At 1am, the bar was closing and I was chatting with a 20-something Indian guy. We were the only ones left. Us and the Middle Eastern posse, that is. I had time to kill before my car arrived, so I accepted Indian Kid’s invitation to join him across the street at Junction. I settled my tab and made a quick stop to the ladies room.
Last Call in the Powder Room
I was the only woman left and the place was deserted. So when I exited the bathroom stall and a man wearing a Mike Myers mask was standing by the entrance, my heart started pounding. For the first time all night, I regretted that I came to the party alone.
But then he held up his hand with a roll of toilet paper. “I just need to clean the bathroom.”
Oh, cleaning staff! And he’s wearing a mask because it’s Halloween. All of this is totally legit…
Why did I buy his story? Because I had seven drinks and because he sounded familiar. Where had I heard those words and that voice before?
Unfortunately, my brain wasn’t processing information in real time. I quickly washed my hands, retouched my lipstick and scurried out the door.
Mike Myers was waiting, leaning against the wall. The bartender approached as I was leaving, giving Mike a stare down. He was not happy. Just as I was about to say adieu to the bartender, Mike leaned toward my ear and said, “Have a good night.”
Those words, that voice. My response was instant and unfiltered. I gasped, looked him in his soulless eyes and beamed. “You, too!” I said, just like that night in the elevator.
But my brain was still not getting it. Seven drinks, people. The best conclusion in real time was that Mike Myers reminded me of Bobby and I missed him so much.
After Midnight at Junction
I skipped out the door, intoxicated on more than just alcohol. At Junction, Indian Kid and I grabbed a table in the back of the bar. What a coincidence, though! Five minutes later, the same Middle Eastern posse from the Halloween party joined the table next to us. We kept talking.
Soon after, he walked in and took the empty seat with the gang. He was wearing the same clothes as Mike Myers back at The Court. He ruffled his hair like he had just taken a mask off and we looked at each other. Everyone went silent.
Gosh, I thought, he looks a lot like Bobby! The face was similar but I couldn’t see the fine lines, it was too dark. This person can’t be Bobby, I decided. He’s too young! So I said nothing and returned to chatting with Indian Kid.
My poor brain. It had no chance.
Bobby and his gang wound up chaperoning me and Indian Kid. But I didn’t need it. I flung Indian Kid’s paws away when he tried to hold my hand, twice. He even had the gall to try to kiss me. I saw those lips come in, felt my stomach churn and shoved him so hard his butt nearly hit the floor.
Bobby’s reaction? It went from evil eye for Indian Kid to falling to pieces for underestimating me.
The night ended when I realized I ignored my phone and missed my car. I grabbed my purse and strutted out the door leaving everyone behind.
It was only the next morning while drinking coffee in my living room when it dawned on me that Mike Myers was indeed Bobby. But it took a few more days before I figured out he was at Junction and overheard everything I said, including my feelings for him and frustrations on our situation.
Mortified? Yes, but that quickly disappeared when I realized the amount of effort he put in to making Halloween happen. Could we really be on the same page?
Bobby had a plan on Halloween that failed to launch. What was it? And how did Bobby and Priya finally get together?