Saturday came around and Manda spent most of the day nervous and checking the mirror repeatedly. It would be her first date with someone since she started dating Brayden three years ago. She wondered if she was rushing into things.
Manda went to go get advice from Tiana who was watching a movie on the couch.
Tiana: You look good girl! Good choice to dress warm because itʻs freezing out today.
Manda: T, do you think Iʻm moving too fast? I just got divorced.
Tiana: Manda itʻs one date. It doesnʻt have to be serious unless you make it. I think moving on from Brayden is a big step towards getting your life back. You donʻt owe it to anyone to sit at home alone on weekends because of an imaginary waiting period to date after leaving your cheating husband.
Manda: I know. Iʻm just really nervous.
Tiana: Youʻre going to be fine, Manda. I promise.
Manda arrived to the restaurant and saw Jaxton waiting for her at the entrance.
Jaxton: Manda! Good to see you!
Manda: Same! Good to see you too! You havenʻt been here long, have you?
Jaxton: No, not at all.
Manda: Oh okay. Iʻd feel terrible if I kept you waiting long.
Jaxton: Youʻre fine. Ready to eat?
Manda: Absolutely! Letʻs go in!
Jaxton: So tell me about yourself, Manda. What brings you to San Myshuno?
Manda: Well…honestly…I moved in with Tiana and Miles when I separated from my ex husband three months ago.
Jaxton: Oh! Wow! Thatʻs rough. Iʻm sorry things didnʻt work out.
Manda: It is what it is. These last few months have been about moving on with my life. You know, aiming towards that goal of living in the Arts Quarter.
Jaxton: I feel that. Itʻll happen for you sooner than later.
Manda: What about you? What brought you to the city?
Jaxton: I wanted a challenge. I was getting too comfortable teaching in the suburbs, and there isnʻt much room for growth. I donʻt want to be a substitute teacher forever, I want to someday be a professor.
Manda: Well the city has a lot of opportunities for career advancement.
Jaxton: Hopefully it works out.
Manda: It will. So Iʻve told you about my divorce, was there someone you were seeing back home?
Jaxton: I had a girlfriend for a year, but we broke up last year. We just werenʻt compatible. We were just too different.
Manda: Hereʻs to new beginnings then!
Manda smiles and raises her glass to toast Jaxton. He raises his glass to to complete the toast. The two talk about their interests, laugh, and get to know each other more thoughout the dinner until it was about time for the movie.
Jaxton: Ready for “Halloween Kills”?
Manda: Hell yeah! Letʻs do this.
Jaxton and Manda go to watch Halloween Kills. They enjoy the movie.
Jaxton: So what did you think?
Manda: I prefer the original “Halloween” but this was entertaining. So many kills, I could appreciate that.
Jaxton: Yeah I found it entertaining too. I wonder what the next one will be like.
Manda [Laughs]: Bloody. Mostly bloody.
[They both laugh]
Manda: Iʻm glad I came out tonight. I was so nervous earlier but youʻre a really chill guy, Jaxton.
Jaxton: Yeah youʻre a pretty cool girl too.
Manda: Well itʻs getting late so I better get going. Text me when you get home?
Jaxton: Will do.
They hug goodnight.
Manda comes home and Tiana is up late in the kitchen baking a pie.
Manda: Youʻre baking a pie this late, girl? Here, let me help you.
Tiana: I had to do something while waiting for you to come home from your date. Baking a pie soothes me.
Manda starts helping Tiana bake the pie.
Tiana: So how did it go tonight?
Manda: It went really well! Jaxton is a cool guy. we have a lot in common, and heʻs funny.
Tiana: Good! Iʻm so happy for you! Are you going to go out again?
Manda: Maybe. He didnʻt ask. Maybe he didnʻt feel the same way.
Tiana: Nonsense. Iʻm sure he liked you. Youʻre amazing. You can always ask him out.
Manda: Weʻll see…
Manda was getting ready to go to bed and remembered to check her phone to see if Jaxton ever got home. She had a new message.
[Text from Jaxton:]
Jaxton: Home. Hanging out with you was really fun. Would you like to do it again sometime? 🙂
Manda thinks about the text for a moment and recalls the night that she had with Jaxton. She finally decides on an answer.
Manda: Sure! Just say when and Iʻll clear my schedule 🙂
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