It had been ages since Dave and Molly had been out on a date night, but for their anniversary, he wanted to do it right. He had gotten a recommendation about a small, quaint bistro that was slightly French-inspired, according to a buddy at work he trusted to know about finer things.
Dave held the door open to let Molly walk in first, paining to remember all of the things his father told him to do to impress a date when he was a kid — pull out her seat, order for her, if you’re not sure what to order from the wine list, then order what she likes from the middle of the list. It wasn’t as if he didn’t treat her well, but he acknowledged the whole suave and sophisticated woo-woo thing was a bit of a challenge and the romance just wasn’t sparking between them. He just chalked it up to both of them being pretty casual, ordinary people.
In this place, they were a little too ordinary. He was in a sport jacket with a white dress shirt and tie. Molly was wearing a floral sundress covered with a sweater. They looked as if they were going to church, not a romantic dinner. No wonder why that special something-something wasn’t there. He was sure she felt it, too, but she would never admit to it.
As the hostess seated them at a table, he noticed a couple sitting just two tables away sharing the same side of a banquette, more interested in their conversation than the menus in front of them. As the couple chatted, Dave noticed how the man hung onto his companion’s every word when she spoke and saw how she batted her eyelashes when he replied. He really wanted to be focused on Molly, but this couple was a distraction. He wanted himself and Molly to be just like them.
The guitarist in the corner shifted into another song. Dave had heard the song a thousand times but didn’t know the name of it, but the couple definitely recognized it as “My Romance.” Dave noticed how the man grinned at the woman and how her eyes lit up as if she had just opened up an impressive gift. Their drinks came and he …