Dating Diaries: He Was Different But He Did Not Stay Long In Town – Jackie’s story

Jackie is a student studying English literature. She loves to read and hang out at shopping malls. She met Ben by chance at  her favourite mall  on Valentine’s Day.

I was spending the afternoon studying at a coffee shop in the mall, intrigued by my existentialism philosophy reading material and highlighting as I skimmed. I noticed the cute guy walk in and we made eye contact. I gave him a smile before diverting my eyes.

He was the professional-looking, Starbuck stereotype: tall, dark, and handsome, with a satchel and book of his own. Our eyes met again, when he was adding his milk (I wasn’t staring, I promise) and he came to sit at a table across from me. A few minutes later, he came even closer to plug in his phone in the outlet by my table.

I delved into my reading again and was interrupted this time by his voice. He asked about my book and we got chatting for an hour. I learned he was visiting a friend and was just exploring the city at leisure during the day. He got my number and invited me to a party that night.

Being the conservative, safety-conscious person I am – and considering it was Valentine’s Day – I graciously turned down the invite via text later that night, and opted instead for drinks and a girl’s night as I gushed about my afternoon. Instead, I asked him if he was available to hang out the next day. We agreed to meet for a drink.

He greeted me at the table and pulled out a gift: one of his New Yorker magazines he thought I would enjoy. I was so impressed by the thoughtfulness, he even bookmarked the stories he thought I would be interested in based on our conversation the day before.

After drinks we went for a walk around the city, and ended with more drinks and snacks, while I graciously turned down his attempts to come back to my place but admired his gentle persistence. We spent over eight hours together and just ended it with a kiss before I walked home.

Verdict: How magical. For a book nerd like me, having someone comment on what you’re reading as a way to break the ice is a fantasy. But like most non-fiction stories, I finally found my perfect guy and he’s from the other side of the country. A tale of two cities: this cutie didn’t last long in my town, but his magazine did. On to the next…

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