Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The best date

The best date
Hagai Cohen

We were on a flight from Paris to NYC and my colleague Joe seemed to be quite happy.
"What happened to you?" I asked, "You did not dine with us last night, was she good?
"The best date ever" answered Joe "the best."
"Ok spill the beans," I said.
"It all started seven years ago when I was in senior year of high school. In my class there was this girl Dahlia, impressive, very pretty and extremely intelligent.

Dahlia had no friends. For the boys well, she was out of their league and the girls were jealous of her.
I was the only person in the class who was not afraid of her and the only one who ever spoke to her.

Very soon, when she felt she knew me rather well, she started taking advantage of me. She made me run errands for her, replace electric switches, unclog the sewer and fix leaky faucets. She was using me but I did not complain, just talking to her was an intellectual challenge. She was intelligent and smart. Meeting with her was rewarding, and the exchange was well balanced; however, we never got too close to each other or became lovers.
She asked me from time to time to hitch ride on my bike. Once she even wanted me to take her to visit her friend in Givat Adda .
'I need to take three buses to get there with three hours of waiting, would you please take me on your bike?' She said
'Of course,' I agreed.
On the porch before entering her friend's house, she said. 'Look, I did not want to explain to my friend who you are so I told her you are my cousin.
Her announcement to me was both troublesome and insulting 'who am I for her? Not even a class mate. Is she that ashamed of me?' Of course, cousins you do not choose especially if they own a bike. I became furious and you know what, I never forgave myself for not leaving her with her friend and riding away.
I did not say a word. During the two hours n visit neither of the girls spoke to me, they whispered and giggled and I felt like a piece of furniture.

I rode home with her and did not mention the incident. It was the end of the year, and I decided not to see her again.
You must understand, I never spoke to her again, and never recovered from that insult.
Yesterday, while walking down the Champs Elysees, to my biggest surprise I saw her walking towards me. We were in a collision course and avoiding her was impossible.
She too was very surprised and we exchanged a few informative sentences.
She was glad to know I was flying airplanes and she informed me she was working on her PhD at the Sorbonne.
She told me she was very busy with the studies and had little time to socialize.
'Why don't we have dinner together and catch up the last seven years?' she said.
I said okay and felt she was lonely, desperate, had no money, and back to the old routine of using me.
'Seven o'clock at the lobby of the Royal Monceau' I said.
She was punctual I saw her coming but I let her look for me. I was sitting in the dark lobby with about ten crew members deliberating which restaurant to choose.
Finally she approached and I greeted her brought her closer to the group. The girls in the group were astounded and the boys started to drool. Everyone was quiet when I said in French 'Je vous presente ma cousine' . No one in the group spoke French I said it just for her. It is an expression used in Paris meaning, 'this is the broad I picked up for the evening.'
When she heard it, she turned red. She turned on her hills and walked away. I ran after her faking an innocent face and asked 'What happened, did I say anything wrong?'
'You have no idea?'
'Look,' I said, seven years ago when we visited your friend you made me your cousin I was under the impression we still are cousins.
She looked into my eyes with her bewitching eyes, those eyes that nobody could look into them longer than one second. I kept staring at her while controlling my facial muscles from smiling.
She acknowledged immediately that the cousin phrase was pre planned. The fury in her face ascended to unbelievable heights and her eyes were spitting fire.
She did the only thing she could do:
Without saying a word, she turned slowly and just walked away.

After she left, I picked up a fancy restaurant and enjoyed my dinner alone immensely. I was pleased, happy, and In addition, had no regrets.
In between bites and wine, I had those uncontrolled surges of smiles. I smiled, like an idiot, staring into space.
My main course was a dish that people say tastes better when it is served cold: Vengeance a la carte."

The end


Joe said...

Great story! I love the happy ending as well, and the fact that the character's name is Joe doesn't hurt. Keep up the great stories!

Philippe Scheimann said...

I like this story. Indeed... "La vengeance est un plat qui se mange froid"