Her ShotBy: Edie Bryant
I nervously fiddled with my keys, looking over at my date. She was holding two basketball game tickets in her hand.
“I’m… sorry, I thought you’d be stoked?” She asked, confused. “I mean, your profile said you were really into basketball.”
“I am,” I nodded, trying to hide my discomfort, “but I’m all of a sudden not feeling well…”
She eyed me suspiciously. “Really?”
“No,” I admitted, because I suck at lying. “No, actually, I just really don’t want to walk into that stadium.”
“But why not? Were you lying on your profile…”
“No!” I said quickly, because that was a cardinal sin of dating online. I hadn’t been doing it long, but I knew that at least.
“So what is it?” She continued to question.
I couldn’t tell her. I barely knew this girl! This was our first date. To explain why I was so hesitant would be to explain a very personal part of my life that I didn’t feel like divulging.
Not only that I didn’t feel like divulging, but that would be weird to divulge. You’re not supposed to get heavy on a first date. And this was pretty fucking heavy.
“Is this about me?” She asked. “Do you want to call the date off?”
“No!” I said quickly. “Not at all. You seem really nice so far, and you’re very cute.” I smiled at her.
She blushed and smiled back. “Okay, then let’s just go. Whatever the problem is, can you avoid it for a night and just have some fun with me?”
I wasn’t sure. It was going to make this entire date awkward for me, but I wasn’t sure what else I could do at this point.
I did like this girl. I’d been on a few dates since I’d started looking online, and, honestly, they’d all been awkward as hell. Either girls didn’t end up looking like their profile picture at all, or they came off as really awkward…
But this girl, so far, had come off as totally normal and was just as cute as I’d pictured. This might be a rarity in the world of online dating. Did I really want to blow it just because I was uncomfortable going to this game?
I could get past it. I’d feel a little weird for a couple hours, but then it’d be over, and I’d still be on a date with a really cute girl.
“Sure,” I smiled, “no problem.”
“Great!” She said excitedly, as she hopped out of the car and walked around the car to open my door. What a sweetheart.
I still wished we were doing something else, though. Honestly, had I known this was what she’d been planning for a date, I would’ve opted out. And it was sad, because she was obviously just trying to do something kind for me. I did like basketball…
I just didn’t want to see this team.
My stomach was in knots as we got to our seats and waited for the game to start. I did my best to hide it, but I knew it was obvious. My date, Isabel, put a comforting hand on my shoulder.
“Just fine!” I said, in an overexcited tone.
“Do you want some food, maybe?” She asked. “Some nachos, a hot dog?”
“That’d be great.” I smiled at her.
I wasn’t all that hungry, I wasn’t even sure I was capable of eating, the way my stomach was feeling. But I did like the idea of her leaving for a few minutes to get food. It would give me a few moments to collect myself.
“Okay, I’ll be right back!” She said, as she walked by me and up the stadium stairs.
I probably should force myself to eat anyway. I hadn’t had much today, which was usual for me when I had a date planned. Ugh, what can I say? I’m naturally a very nervous person. I’m easily rattled.
But my nerves about going on a first date were nothing compared to my nerves now that I heard the announcer on the intercom say the Hawks were coming onto the court.
I did my best to look away. I was glad that Isabel had left for a bit, because it would’ve looked weird, me staring off into another direction while the game was beginning.
And I couldn’t do it the entire game, either.
“And here she is, the Hawk’s star point guard, Gracy Ians!” the announcer yelled.
The crowd erupted into cheers, but I cringed.
I needed to look at her, though. I needed to deal with seeing her while Isabel was still off getting us food. I didn’t want her to see my reaction to Gracy. I didn’t want her to suspect anything.
Gracy was a WNBA hero. Not only was she the most beloved player for the Hawks, she was one of the most beloved players in women’s basketball. The Hawks went to the Finals almost every year and usually won it.
▶ Also By Edie Bryant
- · Her Shot