Hindsight is definitely 20/20, it’s oh-so clear that Dex was about to bomb me.
And by that, I mean, “love bomb”.
But I can’t blame myself for being such a fool. Dex was my first true love (or so I thought) and I didn’t know any better. Looking back, I saw every red flag that I needed to watch out but never knew about …after the fact.
I was with my co-worker and good friend Samantha, at a trendy Montreal resto bar where we often chilled after work on Thursdays – a place where all the hip and trendy professionals networked and hooked-up. I had broken up with my boyfriend six months earlier and was still 150% disinterested in meeting anyone new. To be honest, my only focus that evening was on ordering something to eat so I could avoid making dinner for one when I got home.
Samantha was the one who noticed Dex staring and pointed him out to me. He was tall, decent-looking enough and towered over the group of men he stood with at the bar.
But what truly caught my eye about him was his unflinching stare. He didn’t seem to care how obvious he was being so I gave him my “resting bitch face”. When he smiled and continued to stare, I rolled my eyes, gave him my back and dismissed him. I was in no mood to flirt or be coy. But before I knew it, he was towering next me, extending his hand and introducing himself to both of us.
I remember his exact words like it was yesterday, “Hi. I’m Dex. I apologize for staring but rolling your eyes at me would never stop me from coming over here and talking to you. I must say, you are beautiful. But you hear that all the time, right?”
His corny words made Samantha giggle and she quickly abandoned me by disappearing into the crowd. I couldn’t help but roll my eyes again and shake my head. Sure, I’d been told that a bunch of times in my adult life but having “grown up ugly”, I never believed it. Instead, I learned to rely on my brains, witty sarcasm and sometimes sharp words. The rest of our conversation kind of went like this:
“Actually yes, I do hear it all the time. Do women usually swoon and puddle at your feet with such corny lines?”
When I wanted, I could make most men run away but Dex stood his ground and smiled even wider.
“Actually they usually do. But my interest is always piqued by women who don’t – kind of like you.”
Not only did Dex have the guts to approach me unlike lots of other men (my friends often said that I was too pretty and that men probably assumed that I was already “taken”), I was impressed that he was confident and bold enough not to run for the hills. We both laughed and as we continued on with more witty friendly banter, I found myself smiling more than I wanted to.
When Sam reappeared, she invited him and his crew to join us for dinner. A good time was had by all and I wasn’t surprised when Dex offered me his cell number. Experience had long taught me that if a man is really interested in you, he will ask you for your number, not vice versa. Actually, that was another thing Abuela used to say in her profanity-laced Spanglish:
“¡No sea tonta Cara! El que nace para tamal, del cielo le caen las hojas…But remember, never chase or call a man. If you do, you’ll never know if he really wanted you in the first place, if you were his last choice or his only distraction.”
Dex must have read my thoughts because when I refused to take his number, he promptly asked me for mine. Though he had begun as an annoyance, there was an energy and charisma about Dex that I was drawn to and I gave him my number. He promised to call and I took his words with a large grain of salt. He insisted on paying for Sam’s dinner as well as mine even though I kept refusing. I gave up when Sam started pinching me under the table to let it go.
“Just because you’re being a gentleman now doesn’t mean that I’ll go out with you…”
Dex didn’t miss a beat. “I know. But I also haven’t asked you out yet, have I? Don’t get ahead yourself.”
I enjoyed how he could easily volleyball back the bombs I dropped at his feet. I thanked him for dinner and like a gentleman, he walked Sam and I to her car. I was barely home when my cell rang with a number I didn’t recognize. It was Dex asking me out for coffee for the next day. The fact that he had called instead of texting made me smile and I liked it. He had confidence and I liked that too.
I said yes. To this day, I wonder what would have happened if I had brushed him off.
Maybe if I had said no, one of us wouldn’t be dead right now…
Continuation: C is for “Charming”
All Rights Reserved ©2018 Marquessa Matthews. Graphic above created with Canva.