Dalton sat alone at his table tapping away on his smartphone, hoping to mask the fact that he got stood up.
No patron in the restaurant could possibly know that it was the third time he’d been stood up in the past month.
He tried to chalk it up to the perils of online dating, but that didn’t lessen the sting.
“Do you want to order, or are you waiting for someone else?” asked Janet, his server.
Dalton looked up and recognized her from his last failed date. “It’s just me tonight,” he said.
Janet flashed him an encouraging smile. “Alright, then. What would you like this evening?”
For a brief second he thought about saying something witty and charming, but then his mind went blank. “I’ll have the fettucini alfredo,” was all he could manage to say.
“I think you had that the last time,” said Janet.
Dalton’s heart sank. He was hoping she wouldn’t recognize him.
“May I make a suggestion?” she asked.
Dalton shrugged. “Why not?”
Janet leaned against the table. “Have you thought about trying something new? Perhaps something out of your usual taste?”
“Perhaps something sweet and spicy.”
Dalton thought he noticed a glint in her eye. “I could be convinced.”
“We have a lamb biryani that’s amazing. Perhaps you’d like to give it a try?” said Janet. She smiled ever so sweetly.
Dalton straightened himself in his seat. He saw where this was going. “Only if you join me.”
Janet blushed and stepped away from the table. “Excuse me?”
“I thought, I mean, I just thought…” stammered Dalton.
“I’m not flirting with you. It’s my job. I’m married. Maybe someone else should serve,” said Janet. She wheeled around and stormed off.
It was Dalton’s turn to blush. He could feel the disturbing stares of the other patrons. Without making eye contact, Dalton slunk away. He was still hungry, but at least he figured out why he was still single.