“Ummm…” I said more confused than ever, “why are you talking like that?”
“Like wut?” he asked, with a Southern drawl.
“Like that.” I said.
He began rubbing his temples with his fingers and went silent for about five minutes. The waiter came by three times – once to see if we were ready, once to bring me a martini and then once more to see if everything was all right.
I originally thought he had a stroke until, in his normal speaking voice he said, “Listen, Lauren, I don’t have much time and I’m taking a huge risk by doing this.”
“Okay great,” I said gulping down my martini, “I’ll make this quick. I don’t want to go out with you…”
“I know, Lauren,” he laughed. “I don’t want to ‘go out’ with you either.”
“Okay um I don’t know why you’re saying it like that.”
He grabbed my hands and said, “I know there is something so deep here. And I want this to work but I have to go.”
“What? Dude you are not getting it. I am not interested in you.” I laughed.
“Listen I have to go back to Daryl now but we can still have lunch and I’ll call you tomorrow so we can set something more intimate up?”
“Who the fuck is Daryl?!” I screamed.
DJ sent a text message, bowed his head and my phone rang. “Hello?”
“Hi Ms. Sharkey, this is Madison – Mr. Malone’s assistant. He’s like me to inform you that for the remainder of your lunch date he will be present as ‘Daryl’ in preparation for his audition this afternoon. You are more than welcome to have lunch with ‘Daryl’ or I can reschedule your lunch with Mr. Malone for later in the week.”
“So,” I laughed, “he’s a character right now?”
“That is correct.” said the familiar, teenage voice at the other end.
“Okay then.” I said, chewing my last olive, “Um, I’m going to go.”
“And when will you be rescheduling for?”
“I won’t. Tell Mr. Malone and Daryl thanks for the martini.”
With that, I flipped my RazR shut, got our of my chair and walked out. I think I heard, “Catch you later girl!” from Daryl but I was moving so fast I can’t be sure. It is still, to this day, the weirdest date I have ever been on and I’m sad to say that things didn’t end there…