Note----None of these characters belong to me, the writer.

First Date

I sat back in the chair and kicked my shoes off my feet. I could not believe that I agreed to go to dinner with Dave. After my shower I sat in the bed in my pajamas and opened the shoe box that I carried with me everywhere I went when I was out of town. I saw the photos, memories of so long ago when my world was perfect and nothing could destroy it. The memories that haunted me every night in my sleep. Memories of what might have been-before it was destroyed by an angry man.
I put the photos back in the shoe box and back underneath the bed. I laid back and tried to relax. My mind shifted off the pictures and back twenty minutes earlier when I told Dave that dinner "would be nice". I was an idiot, I thought. I knew nothing about this man, except that he was nice and he had an affair with someone that worked in the office too, and that he loved black coffee.
Okay, so I wasn't very happy for putting myself in a situation that I was not proud of doing. I told myself that when I came to New York that it was going to be totally professional. I mean, I had been through a lot of hard times in the recent years and I did not expect to find myself in another one. But I already agreed to the date with Dave and I pondered over and over that next morning on whether or not I should call and cancel.
I did not cancel. I was pulling my hair out. I couldn't believe that I said that I would go to dinner with him. Well, I thought to myself, if I'm going to do this, I might as well make it fun.
I had a lot to do that morning, I went for my walk in the Park, as I tried to do every Saturday morning. After my walk I went to a nearby deli and grabbed a bagel and some coffee. I went back up to my penthouse and watched a little television with my bagel in one hand and coffee in the other. So my life outside of working at WNYX was a little boring, but it was so subtle. Everything on the inside looking out seemed so bleak to me, I had no worries.
I continued watching television and then remembered that I had a date that night.
'What am I going to wear?' I thought to myself. I looked through the closet.
I really didn't have any 'dress-up' clothes. I had my office wear or my holy jeans and old sweats. I had no clue where Dave was going to take me, and I really had no idea on what to wear. I had to go shopping.
I hurried and got ready and left for mid-town Manhattan where I knew that everybody and their bother would be there also. I went down to Saks, I got a little carried away in the browsing, I went into their domestics department and started looking at curtains.
"Audrey, hi!"
I turned around to see who it was.
"Hi, Lisa." I smiled in return.
"What are you doing here?"
"Well, I have a date tonight and needed something to wear." I replied. 'Shit,' I thought, 'this is going to look bad if I tell her I am going out with Dave.'
"Well, great," she said, "hey, maybe you and your date would like to join me and Stewart tonight. We are going to PJ Carneys."
I just stood there. "Oh," I started to stutter, "no, thanks, tonight is my first date with this guy, and I was hoping that I could do this on my own."
"Oh, okay," she smiled, she started to walk away, but then turned to me again, "You know, this is weird."
"What is?" I asked innocently.
"Well, it seems like everyone I work with has a date tonight."
I tried to act normal after that statement, "What do you mean by that?"
"Well, Catherine told me yesterday that she has a date, so does Joe, Beth, even Bill and Matthew do also."
"Well, it is a big city." I said.
"Yeah, I guess you're right, I just can't believe it, and it gets better. Even Dave has a date tonight." She started laughing.
"Well, I am sure that everyone is going to have a lot of fun and we will all have a lot to share with each other on Monday." I smiled.
She said good-bye to me and left. Thank God, I thought.
Well, it was now or never. I went and tried some clothes on, got what I needed, and left.

I wasn't very happy about my meeting with Lisa in the department store. After all, she was Dave's ex-girlfriend and she should have more respect for him than what she demonstrated to me. He was a nice guy and no matter how they broke up, she should not have acted that way--for professionalism. And it quite infuriated me.
When I got back to my apartment at the Ansonia, I soon learned that I had a message from Dave on my answering machine and that he wanted for me to call him back.
"Hello, David, this is Audrey."
"Oh, hi, I was hoping that you would return my call soon."
"Well, as soon as I listened to the message." I said. Oh no- I sounded too quick to call him back, I knew that this was a bad idea.
"I wanted to ask you if a show would be all right also? I mean, we could have dinner first or after."
I said that it sounded "great" and we hung up. Afterwards I realized that the outfit I had bought earlier that day would not suit to go to the opera. So, I had to run back down to the store and buy an evening gown.

This was turning into a really bad day for me, and it started out quite nice too.
First of all, I hated the opera. Not that it was stupid or anything, I mean, I knew that a lot of people loved it, but opera was just something that I never got into. Maybe Dave liked it a lot. I didn't want to make him feel bad or anything.
I decided to take a nice, long, hot bubble bath before Dave came to pick me up. I just wanted the night to hurry up and get over with. I knew that with each inching second that this was the worse I was ever going to feel. I did not want to go on this date, but I did not want to bail out on him either.
I sat in the bathtub and started to relax. I had started to doze off a little when I jerked up suddenly. I was startled by a noise I heard from the kitchen. I got up out of the tub, put on my robe, and walked into the kitchen. I noticed that there was a wine glass that had fallen from the counter and onto the floor. I proceeded to sweep the glass from the floor and throw the glass away.
I returned to the bathroom and stepped back into the tub. I was wondering how the glass fell onto the floor. Maybe I just sat it too close to the edge, I thought. After sitting in the tub for a while, the water started to get cold. I started to get ready for my date.
I was ready in about an hour, but I was running late. The buzzer went off and I went to the intercom.
"Hello?" I said.
"Audrey, it's me, Dave."
I started to put my earring in, "Go ahead and come up."
A few minutes later there was a knock on my door. I went to answer it. Dave was smiling and looked at
me, "Wow, you look really great."
"Thank you," I said, I looked at him, he was wearing a black tux with a silver and black vest underneath. I had on a black evening gown with an A-line hem and a low cut back.
"Well," he said, he handed me a bouquet of flowers that he had, "these are for you."
"Oh, they are lovely." I said, I reached underneath the sink and grabbed a vase to put the flowers in, "I'm sorry that I am running a little behind. Can you give me a few more minutes?"
"Oh, yeah, take as long as you need." He replied.
"Just go ahead and make yourself comfortable," I said as I walked back towards my bedroom. I finished getting ready while Dave looked around the living room and looked out the view from the penthouse. He opened the doors and went out onto the terrace.
I walked into the kitchen and saw him out there. Then I joined him. "It's a beautiful view out here."
He glanced over at me and then back to the skyline.
"Yes, it is a wonder."
"I remember the first time I came to New York," I said, "I was only 21. The city seemed so big to me, it was a giant compared to where I came from."
"And that would be......?"
"Oh," I smiled, "I am from Indiana."
"Really?" Dave smiled in return, "I am from Wisconsin. When I first came to New York about four years ago I thought I was in a dreamland, I got a new job, and a new start."
"I know how that feels." I said. I looked down at my watch. "We better get going if we are going to make the show."
"You're right." he said. We left and the limo that Dave got for the night was downstairs waiting for us.
We got to Carnegie Hall and the show was magnificent, well, for people who like opera. But the music was very dramatic. I enjoyed it, and the show only lasted about two hours.

After the show we stepped outside. I looked across the street and noticed PJ Carneys, the bar where Lisa told me earlier that she and Stewart were going to be. I didn't know who Stewart was, and I really didn't care, I just didn't want her to see us together. I never mentioned of my meeting with Lisa earlier that day to Dave.
We sat back in the limo and he looked over at me.
"Where do you want to go now?"
I smiled at him, "Oh, it really doesn't matter to me. Wherever is fine."
He told the driver something and I noticed that we were heading towards the Criterion Building. Dave got out when we pulled up and opened the door for me.
"Why are we here?"
"Well," he answered, "my apartment is on the east side and you and the station are on the west, so I thought that I would just stop here to get a change of clothes."
"Oh, you keep extra clothes in your office?" I asked.
"Yeah," he said, he gave me a funny look, "you don't think that is weird or anything, do you?"
I just laughed at him while we took the elevator up,
"No, I know a lot of people who keep clothes in their office."
We got up to the station and he went into his office, I sat at my desk and waited for him to come out. He pulled on a pair of casual pants and a long sleeve shirt with his jacket.
We went to my place now so I could change. Then he wanted to go to PJ Carneys.

I said that this was fine, but I felt that I should tell him that I had spoken with Lisa earlier that day and she said that she would be there.
When we walked into the bar, it was loud and people were everywhere. I took Dave aside and told him that I saw Lisa.
"Oh," said Dave, "will that make you feel uncomfortable?"
"Will it make you?"
"No," he said. I thought for a moment.
"Did you know that she was going to be here?" I asked.
He gave me a questioning look, "Of course not. Look, if you are going to be uncomfortable then we can leave."
I smiled at him once again, "No, it's okay."

We had a great night, I actually never saw Lisa or Stewart in the bar, so I guess that they weren't there, or they had left already, but it was a big bar so chances of us seeing each other through the crowd seemed impossible. But Dave was a lot of fun, and he made me laugh.
But the night seemed to end as soon as it began. He walked me to my apartment. "Do you want to come in for a drink?" I asked him.
"I think I'll pass tonight." he said, "I think I've had enough to drink tonight."
"Okay," I said.
"Well, maybe we can do this another night." he said with a smile.
"Maybe so," I smiled back. He gave me a small kiss and I opened the door to go into the penthouse.
I closed the door behind me and leaned back against it. I was thinking to myself what I great time I had with Dave, and I was hoping that he had a good night too. I still felt a little nervous about going on the date with him, but I was very comfortable around him. This was a big night for me, and I didn't even know it yet.

Part 7