Home > Bad at Love(9)

Bad at Love(9)
Author: Karina Halle

I grumble and let him put me back down in the chair.

The wine is taken away.

I drink some water.

I don’t dare finish my food.

Soon the date is over and David is leading me out of the restaurant and to his car. “I’m going to drop you off at home. Do you have anyone there who takes care of you?”

I realize that aside from superficial talk, I don’t think I’ve really let David on to who I really am. Am I always like this? In my drunkenness I say, “I live alone, aside from my landlord, and she’s ancient. You don’t know anything about me, do you?”

He gives me a steady look. “Marina, it’s only been a few dates.” He pauses, opening up the passenger side door. “But I hear what you say about ghosting and only an immature man would do such a thing to you. So I won’t ghost. Unfortunately, I don’t think there will be a fourth date.”

“Why not?” I ask as I get in the car, even though I know the answer.

“There’s someone out there much better suited for you than me,” he says with utmost diplomacy. Then he shuts the door, gets behind the wheel, and drives me home.


Naomi can’t stop laughing.

“It’s not funny,” I tell her over the phone, even though it feels good to have her laugh for once, despite being the butt of the joke. I can’t remember the last time she sounded even remotely happy.

“Oh, but it is,” she says. “Marina, I can’t believe you. And yet I can. I mean, I’m glad you didn’t choke to death but did you really have to start dancing?”

It’s the next morning and I’m lying in my room on the phone, trying to come to grips with what happened last night. The end of me and Doctor David.

“Well, there goes date number three, just like I predicted. I’m never ever going to get a boyfriend.”

She clears her throat and says soberly, “That’s not such a bad thing.”

I sigh. Naomi is still technically a newlywed, having married Robert last year. He seemed like a nice enough guy and had all you needed on paper to be good husband material—a great job as an investment banker, fit body, a great face and smile, wasn’t too uptight nor did he act like a teenager. Naomi was swept away and under by his charm and fell for him quickly. And in a very bad way. I’d never seen the normally grumpy and cynical Naomi so crazy over a guy before.

Which explains why they got married after only four months of being together. I didn’t express any concerns, other than the required, “Are you sure? You haven’t known each other that long,” but Naomi assured me this was it, she was in love, and that was that. And considering I’ve never been in love before, I knew I had to take her word for it.

She was happy too. It was amazing, albeit jarring, to see. But now…well the honeymoon is more than over, and her marriage is starting to crumble.

“Did Robert end up agreeing to counseling?” I ask her gently.

She sighs. “Yes. But it took a good screaming match to get there. The fool doesn’t even get it, doesn’t understand why. I tell him my concerns, that I think he’s stepping out, and he’s just not budging. He’s lying. You know he’s lying.”

I nod, even though she can’t see me. “So, another fight?”

“A huge one.” She sounds so tired.

“You should have called me,” I tell her.

“You were on a date. I’ve interrupted your dates before and I don’t want to keep doing that.”

“Naomi, believe me, it’s okay. Call me next time and I’ll pick you up. You can stay the night.” I pause. “Why not come over tonight?”

“Nah. I should be here. He said he would watch a movie with me. Anyway, I’m sorry I laughed at your disaster date.”

I chuckle. “Well, it was a disaster. But hey…that’s my life. I’m inherently undateable.”

“Marina, you’re not.”

“I am. I should probably start putting out on the first date.”

“Look, honey. I’m not going to tell you how to date because Lord knows it hasn’t worked out so well for me. But you do what you feel comfortable with. If you need to sleep with a guy on the first date in order to keep him interested, there’s something wrong with him. You do you.”

“But the more I do me, the longer I stay single. I wish I could be like Laz and just get a girl with the snap of my fingers.”

“Girls are just as complicated.”

“You know what I mean. He gets the opposite sex without any effort. He dates them for months, then breaks up with them. He’s not getting rejected, he’s not getting hurt. Then there’s me, who gets so far and then the guy just vanishes. They all vanish. They can’t be bothered getting to know me anymore. Fuck. Sometimes I just want to get laid.”

“There’s nothing wrong with that either,” she says. “I would if I could.”

“You can,” I tell her. Though I know she won’t. She won’t let go of her upper hand.

“When he goes low, I go high,” she says. “But still…some honest dick wouldn’t be a bad thing.”

I burst out laughing. “Honest dick. I like that.”

“Let me know if you find any.”

After we hang up, I discover a text from Laz.

How was last night?

I respond Shitty.

He texts back: How about we do lunch and go to B&N?

I smile, my heart growing warmer. Man, if he wasn’t my friend, Laz would be the perfect boyfriend. Lunch in Studio City usually means scarfing down tasty treats at Umami Burger and then heading across the street to the Barnes and Noble that they repurposed in an old theatre. Literally my idea of heaven and it’s become almost a tradition for us after we’ve had a bad day.

OK. I have to write a blog post and get ready. Pick me up in an hour.

Why can’t you pick me up?

Because you’re the guy and this is your idea. See you then.

My blog post doesn’t take too long. Usually I update it every other day or so while I make it a point to constantly upload to Instagram. My Instagram and social media feeds are the easiest part for me. I have a huge database of microphotographs I’ve taken of my hives as well as bees out and about. There’s a wealth of information about them I can share, so I usually just post a pic and a few lines about it. Sometimes it’s me doing a hive removal and showing followers how insane some of the natural hives can get. Sometimes it’s just of the queen, when I find her. Other times I do slow-motion photography of bees.

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