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Modern Romance

By Megan Zolorycki


Swimming in pools of chardonnay and vomit. Dating sucks.



I’ve decided it’s time to adopt a cat because I don’t want to die alone. I’m on my third glass of Chardonnay as I swipe through Hinge, then Tinder, then back through Hinge. If I see another bio that says, 'Looking for a bed buddy,' or a photo of a man wearing Oakley’s and posing with a fish, I might barf.

I’m almost asleep in bed when my phone flashes on my nightstand. I gave up on the apps about an hour ago with hopes my dreams wouldn’t be as desperate.

“Hey Rachel, want to do dinner?”

His name is Ben. I remember matching with him a week ago, but this is the first time he’s messaged me. I stalk his profile quickly. He has no photos of fish and didn’t use an eggplant emoji, so I say yes, dinner sounds nice, and turn off my phone.

 

"If I see another bio that says, 'Looking for a bed buddy,' or a photo of a man wearing Oakley’s and posing with a fish, I might barf."

 

The maître d’ sits me at a table in the little Italian restaurant that to my surprise, Ben picked out. Early today, he had confirmed dinner for 6:30 this evening. I was impressed, excited even. However, it’s already 6:35 and he isn’t here. Traffic, probably.

I order myself another glass of Chardonnay, apparently a whole bottle last night wasn’t enough. I make a point of taking small sips.

By the time Ben’s fifteen minutes late, I’m gulping mouthfuls to drown my anxiety.

At 7:00 p.m. a man appears at my table. Tall, dark features, no wedding ring, and even wears a watch; is that a Rolex?

“Rachel, hi. Sorry I’m late!” Ben says as he pulls out a chair and sits down across from me.

“No worries,” I reply. “I just got here myself.” Not totally true.

Ben smiles. He has excellent teeth. He flags down the waitress and orders a shot of gin.

A shot of gin on a first date, okay, kind of weird, but that Rolex…

“So, Ben,” I say between gulps of Chardonnay, “tell me about yourself. What do you do?”

“I’m between jobs,” he says. “But I used to work in sales.”

The waitress delivers the shot of gin. He downs it and orders another before she leaves.

What the fuck is happening right now?

I ignore Ben’s lateness, unemployment, and apparent alcoholism and listen to him talk about his work as a car salesman. He’s worked at a few of the dealerships around town, like BMW and Acura. My body feels warm and I’m more invested in his slightly unbuttoned shirt.

“So, I have to tell you something,” Ben says, another shot of gin beside him.

“Shoot.”

Ben guzzles the shot and stands up from his seat.

“You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. I want to have your ba—"

Ben gags and covers his mouth. Then he gags again, and projectile vomits gin and what looks like old pizza across the table. He slumps down in his chair and passes out. I sit with puke dripping down the front of my shirt and pooling in my lap. The waitress runs over, her eyes wide and mouth gaping.

“He’ll pick up the bill,” I say, then chug the rest of my Chardonnay. “Could you call me a taxi?”

She nods, and I get up and wait outside.

 

"I sit with puke dripping down the front of my shirt, pooling in my lap."

 

I’m back on my couch with Bread & Butter Chardonnay in my hand because I fucking deserve it. I’m scrolling through cat adoption agencies. My eyes feel heavy. I’m almost asleep when my phone flashes.

“Rachel, hi there. Coffee tomorrow?”

The next morning I’m sitting at a quaint French bakery. It’s absolutely perfect.





Megan Zolorycki

Meet Megan: She doesn't know how to fold a fitted sheet, only coping mechanisms are google docs, and thinks laughing at her mental health is better than solving it. Easily bribed with pickle flavoured chips and Chardonnay.


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