Roxanne spent the next half hour vaguely paying attention to what these poor, hopeless men were saying to her. She even called the waitress over a few more times for a refill. She was scribbling on her card when the empty chair across from her moved.
Here we go again. She went to lift her head and offered a polite smile when her heart suddenly skipped a beat.
“Hi. My name is Aloysius but you can call me Wish,” he said with a smile.
Roxanne sat there, her mouth hanging open like a big idiot.
Wish had put on a coat over his T-shirt, brushed his hair up and smelled better than anything that had ever graced her nose.
“Hey,” she managed to say. “I’m, uh… my name is Roxanne.” She extended her hand and he took it, squeezed it, and didn’t let go of it.
“Oh yes, you are. It’s a pleasure to meet you. I’m a twenty-seven-year-old Sagittarius. I work as a bartender, as you can already tell. I live in Quezon City. I drink socially. I don’t smoke. I work out four times a week. I have dinner with my parents and three siblings every weekend, and I think you’re foxy, just as your name suggests. So, how’s your evening going?”
“Wow, that’s a lot to take in.” She coughed and reached for her drink. “Wh-why are you here? I mean, you should be making drinks and performing those flairs, right?” Roxanne was a blabbering mess.
Wish chuckled. “Honestly, Connie asked me to fill in. She’s a friend, I couldn’t say no to her. My shift is over anyway, so why not give this thing a try?”
“So, being the great friend that you are, you decided to help her out.”
“You could say that. So, tell me something about yourself.”
“What is it that you would like to know, Wish?”
He leaned in further and whispered, “Everything.”
She smelled his cool breath on her face. The scent was minty and spicy. She almost stopped breathing for a sec.
“I, uh, I’m twenty-five. I’m working in a call center. I don’t have time to work out and I actually do smoke. Playing guitar is one of my hobbies. My parents are separated and I’m their only child.”
Wish nodded and smiled sheepishly. “I didn’t think this night would be this fun.”
“Me, too,” Roxanne smiled in return.
All of a sudden, that stupid bell rang and interrupted their conversation. Roxanne wasn’t the only one disappointed. Wish had a sad look on his face.
“Well, Foxy, it was sure nice meeting you. Hopefully, we can talk some more after this is all over.”
“I would like that very much.”
Then he got up, wrote something on his card and pushed it over to her.
“Hey, you’re going to need this.” Roxanne pointed at the card.
“I don’t think so.” He winked and then went to the next table.
Roxanne flipped the card and read what was written. “Meet me in the back.”
In the course of the next hour, she caught him throwing glances at her.
After what seemed like an eternity, the bell rang for the final time.
Roxanne wasn’t looking for anything. She’d merely played along. She just wanted to have fun and get “speed-dating” checked off her bucket list, but she could never have predicted meeting Wish.
Wish glanced at Roxanne and motioned for her to follow him to the back. Sick apprehension coiled in her stomach.
She’d never clicked so quickly with someone before. It was astounding. She took a sip of her cocktail and gave her brain enough time to switch into flirt mode.
Roxanne ran out, tapping her friend Mina on the shoulder and telling her she was going to get some fresh air (to shag some random bartender by the back wall).
She spotted Wish waiting for her when she exited the bar, and he smiled when he noticed her walking toward him.
“What time is it?” he asked.
“It’s 10:30,” she replied, looking at the silver watch around her wrist.
“Come on, let’s walk.”
That was it? Her legs didn’t move. She’d had the wrong idea about what would they be doing.
“I don’t want to walk.” Roxanne sighed, frustrated. “What are we doing?”
He turned around and let out a humorless laugh. “Trying to delay the inevitable.”
“The what?” She frowned.
He walked up to her, closing the gap between them. Roxanne didn’t think she’d be swept off her feet on February the 13th, but there she stood looking into the most gorgeous eyes she’d ever seen in her life.
“We won’t be finding out anytime soon whether this speed dating thing will be successful or not,” he mumbled, his face now dangerously closer to her. Her eyes widened but she tried to keep calm. “It’s time to move on to the…next…stage.” He leaned toward her, and her eyes slowly shut.