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May 17, 2012 / Daniel

Dinner Date

[1027 words, rated PG]

A waiter carried a fresh pitcher of water over to table twelve where two couples had been seated. Table twelve was a booth by the window, first along the wall.

“Hello everyone, welcome, I’m Andrew.” On his right, he filled glasses in front of Tristan and Amber. On his left, he filled those in front of Phillip and Kristen. “Do you need a few minutes?” They all mutter and nod, so Andrew steps away to give them time with the menu.

“What are you getting?” Amber asked Tristan.

“Oh I dunno. I should probably get a salad.”

“I was thinking that too.” she said.

“A salad?” said Phillip, “We get together once a month, and the best you can do is roughage? Live it up you two! It’s on us this time anyway right?”

“Yes, it is us this time,” said Kristen, “So go on, pick what you want, live it up.”

“You guys are so the best,” said Amber “But I still can’t decide. I’m so indecisive today.”

“Well you two take all the time you need, no rush at all. We, however, are ready.” Phillip snaps his menu closed and flaps it onto the table triumphantly, “We know precisely what we like, and have been looking forward to it all month, so there’s no debate involved, am I right?”

“Of course, yes,” Kristen slowly closed her menu, now that browsing was pointless.

“We love this monthly dinner date, Kristen and I do, I know I’ve said before,” Phillip continued, “but I’m proud to say again. You’re our favorite couple, and time spent with you people is time well spent, indeed!” He accented this sentiment with a solitary raised glass and a sip, setting his water down again with a refreshed, “Ahhh!”

“I’m glad too,” echoed Tristan, “It’s good to get out of the normal rut, spend some time with friends.”

Tristan and Amber continued to browse the menu. Kristen sat and waited.

“Yes, yes, quite!” Phillip went on, “And while this may not be the best place in town, it is OUR place, isn’t it? I find that so important, to find a place that you can be comfortable at, it allows you to be more yourself, and to explore your experiences without the things that would preoccupy your attentions…”

As Phillip droned on and Amber remained indecisive, Tristan double-blinked, and a glowing green overlay appeared in his vision. His Beholder contact lens system powered up, and command menus made themselves ready for his actions. By moving his eyes around in tiny movements and blinking, he accessed the communication system, and started a session. Blinking through the commands, he created and sent a message: {It honestly escapes me how you stay with this guy.}

Across the table cornerwise, Kristen’s Beholder powered up and displayed the message, visible only to her.

“…and I’ve lived in many places, and let me tell you, there’s ultimately no difference from one city to the next when it comes to people and culture. We all are motivated by fear or by love… or by food!” Phillip laughed far too loudly at his own observation as Andrew returned to place a basket of bread between the four of them.

“Another minute then?” the waiter asked.

“Yes, I’m not quite sure yet” said Amber.

“Very well then, I’ll check on you again in a few moments.” Andrew bowed and stepped away.

Kristen double-blinked, powering her Beholder off.

Tristan blinked through another message, {I know you’re ignoring me.}

Kristen blinked back, {Tristan. Please. This is way too awkward. They’re both, right, here.}

{And they have no idea, like always. You worry too much.}

{I really don’t.}

{Look, I miss you. Miss your touch. Can we get together again, soon?}

{No, Tristan,} she tried to keep her blinking from appearing too rapid or emphatic, but her heart was racing, {We cannot.}

{I really don’t get it. You remember how good we were together. Why do you want to let that go?}

She didn’t reply.

“OOOoo this looks good,” said Amber. “I think I’m ready now!” She folded her menu and smiled around the table.

“Yeah I think I’m ready too,” Tristan dropped his menu.

“Well then, off to the races!” Phillip craned his neck and looked around “Andrew! We’re ready, sir!” he called.

The waiter returned, took their orders, gathered their menus, and scurried away.

“Now then, orders all taken, we can really get down to business!” Phillip settled in. “I’ve waited all month to tell you about my new hobby. It seems there is an entirely fascinating subculture revolving around the early advances of optics. Now, I’m not referring to the latest lens implants and such technology, although no less interesting, are you folks all aware of the current advancements in the field of contact lens computing?”

Kristen shuffled uncomfortably.

“But no, I’m talking about the devices and methods developed upon the brink of discovery…”

Tristan blinked out a message, {Are you, Kristen, aware of the advances…}

She ignored him.

{All I’m saying is that what we had, to me, was the most amazing feeling I’ve had in a long time, and I think that means something important, and I’m sure you felt the same way. So, to just let that die is something really terrible.}

{Tristan. I’m done, okay. Not doing this. Not doing that. Please, just leave me alone. This has got to be left in the past.}

“Optics, you see, were limited by technology. In the early day of glasswork, a person, even a skilled craftsman, was limited to a certain size of volume of glass that was even workable by hand…”

Tristan blinked another message back to Kristen, {Please, just think about it, then let me know.}

Andrew returned with plates balanced on his arms, distributed meals all around, checked that all were happy, then left again.

Kristen unwrapped her knife and fork from her napkin, and another message popped up in her vision.

{I miss your warm breath on my neck.}

Kristen blinked a message back {I know, I miss that too. When can we meet? Tomorrow night?}

Amber blinked a message back to Kristen, {Yes, tomorrow night.}

One Comment

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  1. Ann Ritter / May 19 2012 12:54 pm

    Finally, a REAL meeting of the minds.

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