Just One Date

Just One Date - Photo by Benjamin Cody on wikipedia
Photo by Benjamin Cody on Wikipedia

As a bit of a supplement to my upcoming book, Ghosts are Assholes, here is another vignette into Vincent’s life that I hope you enjoy. It is entitled Just One Date.

“You have a lot of nerve showing up here after what you did,” Vincent said after seeing the thin apparition in the reflection of the bathroom mirror.

“Look, I know I dropped quite the large one,” a young brown-haired man said as he turned off the faucet next to Vincent. As he shook his hands above the sink, he continued with, “But there’s no need to embarrass me about it.”

Vincent’s awkward attempts to apologize fell on deaf ears. The man gruffly dried his hands and left in silence. After this time confirming that nobody else was in the bathroom with him, he turned and faced the poltergeist. “You know that girl I was with? She’s my girlfriend! And today is the first day we’ve been able to get together in over a week! Couldn’t you just let me enjoy the show with her without making an ass of yourself?”

“I didn’t mean to get you all frosted,” the homely specter said. Despite being a hazy, smoky apparition, her appearance made it seem as though she was wearing a soft sweater paired with a collared blouse and poodle skirt, “I thought, ‘What did it matter?’ Aint like nobody can actually see or hear me. You know. So I thought.”

Vincent sighed and turned toward the mirror. “Seeing you spirits is just one of the many benefits of me being a medium, I suppose.”

The ghost shrugged. “I guess.” She then wagged her finger. “But I still say you shouldn’t have flipped your wig.”

“Granted,” Vincent growled, “But it is really difficult to not lose your temper when you are constantly bombarded with ‘A flatter bum like you could do better than ole Miss Rhonda round-heels over here. You need a real dolly like me’. And yes, I’m paraphrasing. I know didn’t quote you exactly.”

The ghost wore a sheepish grin. “Look, I was just cranked. Finally, I meet someone I could have a conversation with! Since, you know, I bought the big one.”

Vincent groaned and shook his head. “I suppose it’s my fault. I should have never acknowledged your presence. I should have just ignored you instead of asking you to keep quiet. Of all the theaters we could have gone, Kathy had to choose the Mount Baker Theatre. She didn’t believe it was haunted. And why would she?”

A solemn expression washed over the phantom. “Do you think you and Kathy are splitsville?”

After a short pause, Vincent replied, “Probably. And honestly, not because I shouted. Or because we got into yet another argument because of it. To tell the truth, Judy, it’s been a long time coming. We’re just two completely different people. Outside of the theater, we share very few interests. Besides, she’s starting to act strange lately. Dying her hair all sorts of weird colors including seaweed green. I hate the color seaweed green.”

Judy, upon hearing this, grinned. “Then I have nothing to be sorry for because I helped you out.”

Vincent turned and glared. “How on earth have you come to that conclusion?”

“Your relationship was already on the rocks. I just sped things up. By doing that, I kept you from staying miserable.”

Vincent’s jaw clenched. “I didn’t want to break up with her today. And I don’t take kindly to strangers interfering with my love life.”

“Still, if you too were about to break up, I’m not sure you’re so upset.” She thought for a moment. Then, her eyes lit up suddenly. Then, a coy smile spread across Judy’s lips as she gave him a knowing nod. “Oh wait, I get it. The two of you were still hot and heavy, just not in love. I gotcha.” She flashed her palms. “Hey, no problem from me. I understand. Played my share of backseat bingo back in the day too.”

Vincent raised an eyebrow. “What do you mean by ‘backseat bingo’?”

“You know, making out, necking in the car, that sort of thing.”

His cheeks turned crimson. “I think this conversation is over.” He then started stomping toward the bathroom door.

Just before he could exit, though, Judy frantically floated in front of him. “Hey, wait, Vincent.  There’s, uh, something I want to ask you.”

“Oh right,” Vincent said as he skidded to a halt. He then lightly slapped his forehead. “The favor. Right. How stupid of me to forget. So, what do you want me to do?”

Judy bit her bottom lip as she almost whimsically looked over her shoulder. “You see, I attended Bellingham High School. It’s not far from here. And, uh, you know, I was actually a pretty popular girl, I mean really radioactive. Especially ‘round the boys. But to tell the truth, it was mostly because I was fast, you know? I made fun of Kathy but the truth is I was a bit of a round heel myself. Sad thing is, uh, I never went out on an actual date. No guy was really interested in that. Until I met Wally.”

“Who’s Wally? Or should I say, who was Wally?”

Judy’s eyes practically sparkled even though that should have been physically impossible for the apparition. “Oh, he was a nerd. Thick glasses and all that. But he was kind, sweet, and gentle, if not a bit shy. His flat top made him such a dreamboat. He asked me out to watch a show with him in this very theater. Only…” A ghostly tear rolled down her cheek. “Only he never got to take me. I was hit by a car while crossing the road. The driver, a father, had turned to yell at his children from the front seat. He never saw me.”

“Is that why you’ve chosen to remain here?” Vincent asked, “Because you never got to see that show?”

Judy solemnly nodded.

“But surely you must have seen a show or two here when you were alive, though, right?”

Judy shook her head. “No. No guy I was ever with cared about no theater or acting. And the thing is, I didn’t really care about the theater myself if I’m honest.”

“Really, then why-”

“And, you know, now that I think about it. As much as I liked Wally, the truth is, what I really wanted, what I was really looking forward to, was knowing what it felt like to be on an actual, real date.”

Vincent stared for a moment and said nothing before a warm smile spread across his lips. Then he silently and swiftly exited the bathroom, lumbered out the front door of the theater, and then stood outside in front of the ticket booth while remaining mum. All the while, a bewildered Judy did her best to keep up while floating behind him no clue as to what was going on.

Even as the ghost peppered him with questions, the man remained taciturn. So he remained until, after a long wait on that cold, October evening, a perky young blonde girl opened the ticket window and practically shouted, “Hello sir! Just yourself?”

“No,” Vincent said. He indicated with his hand as he said, “Two tickets, please.” Though a bit confused, the vendor said nothing. Instead, with a quizzical look on her face, she simply collected his money and gave him what he requested while maintaining eye contact everywhere but with her customer.

The ghost followed as Vincent returned to the auditorium and back into the theater. He then scanned until his eyes fell upon a couple of empty seats near the back. He approached but before he seated himself, he paused. Then, he bade the apparition to sit. After a moment’s hesitation, a smile washed over Judy’s face and she did as she was asked. Vincent then seated himself next to her.

A couple of times, patrons would ask if the seat next to him was taken. Each time, the young man insisted he was saving it for his date, much to the apparition’s delight. Both then watched and enjoyed the show. Though she verbalized almost nothing throughout, the grin on her face spoke volumes. Her smile never faded even as she did when the show reached its conclusion. As the audience rose and cheered, the young man remained seated.

“Thanks for a wonderful date, Vincent,” he muttered sarcastically.

If you enjoyed this story, then you will love Ghosts are Assholes, my novel that is available for purchase here. I would also urge you to share this story with others too if you enjoyed it and comment below. Thank you for reading my story.


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