A Strange Holiday, A Stranger Romance

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As far as back as I can remember I never liked Valentine’s Day, I can’t remember not dreading it. From elementary school spending an inordinate amount of time writing out those stupid cards, I didn’t want to buy cards to support the day that I thought was stupid, yes even as a five-or-six-year-old, I was a curmudgeon with thoughts on capitalism, even if I didn’t know the word yet. Sharing the cards in school, I just wanted the day to end. A kid would rarely prefer learning math or spelling to getting to sit around sharing cards and getting candy, but I was one of them.However, if I was in a relationship and the holiday came around, I’d decide this wasn’t a battle worth fighting and would attempt to equal my partner’s enthusiasm for the day, but always dreaded it.Then I started dating Ray, short for Rachel but don’t call her that, who shared my antipathy for the holiday. We spent the first Valentine’s Day we were dating trying to find a video game that we were of roughly equal skill at. She kicked my ass in one; I kicked hers in another; we were of roughly equal skill in some of the anime-esque fighters but shared a mutual distaste for them. Eventually, we found that we could be competitive in one or two of the other.  As such, we played one of those until our thumbs started hurting, switched to a movie or television program to recharge, then back to trying to kill one another in video games.We didn’t even realize it was Valentine’s Day at first; it was just something we wanted to do.Damn good times if you ask me.Fast forward about six weeks to April, and we’re approaching my favorite holiday: Black Day[1] and feelings of worry come over me.If you haven’t heard of Black Day, I’m not surprised. To my probably wrong understanding, it’s only celebrated in South Korea, but it combines three of my favorite things. See according to my, again probably wrong, understanding of East-Asian celebrations of the day, on Valentine’s Day, the chick gives the dude chocolate, then on White Day, March 14th, the dude gives the chick who gave him chocolate a gift or something. Then, a month later on April 14th, if you didn’t receive gifts on either of the previous two days, you eat soup and complain.For many years, this combined three of my favorite things about being alive, being single, complaining, and soup, so of course it was my favorite holiday, and while I would enjoy being single, complaining, and eating soup many days of the year, as I liked soup, April 14th always felt special; and by always, I mean starting in like 2011 when I first read about the holiday.Of course, April 14th felt special as well. For those in the USA, we will remember April 15th as the day your taxes are due.  So April 14th is sometimes ‘Oh Fuck’ Day. Just as special if you ask me. Of course, I always finish my taxes early.Look, if you’ve read almost anything else I’ve posted on this site, you can probably surmise I’m a bit of a weirdo. If this is the first thing you’ve read of mine, go read the other stuff, it’s pretty good, at least I think it is. I’d put links or something here but I can’t figure Sex hikayeleri out how, and I think you should finish this story first.So it’s early April, Ray and I are relaxing in her kitchen with some tea, a little too late in the day for coffee, and Ray plays a small April Fool’s day prank on me, she had sabotaged the tea such that the leaves were loose from the bag, at this time unaware that I normally drank loose leaf, only made the tea in bags (re-usable canvas ones naturally) for her benefit.“April Fools!” she practically shouted intermixed with laughter as I spat out some of the leaves.I laughed for a moment, but then shouted “Fuck[0]!” startling Ray.“What? What the fuck? It’s just tea leaves, you’ll be fine,” She sounded a bit upset.“No, it’s not that, it’s just. It’s April, and things are going decently,” an understatement said with a facetious inflection, “which means I can’t celebrate my favorite holiday, maybe second favorite if you count FCBD.”“What’s the holiday, and why can’t you celebrate it?”I then explained Black Day, emphasizing that I was probably bastardizing the holiday. I got accused of cultural appropriation, which we both laughed off.After a long pause before Ray said “We need to break up,” she spoke quickly, almost saying the phrase as one word. I probably looked shocked, “That holiday sounds awesome, and if we’re together we can’t celebrate it. Look we can try to reconcile afterward, but complaining, and soup? You’re a good guy and I like you Leon, but as much as I like complaining and soup? That’s a tough call. Now you’re telling me there’s a holiday that involves it. Come the fuck on, you should have seen this coming.”Truth be told, I did see it coming. Truth be told, if I had planned it, the conversation would have gone exactly like this. I didn’t plan it, but the fact that things were going as they were made me almost wish I had. See, dating someone who didn’t think this was a good idea would mean we didn’t share the sort of absurd way of thinking I had. That would likely mean we weren’t compatible.“I see,” I said, holding back a grin, “Well, to my understanding, there’s a side tradition of it where people go on blind or speed dates, y’know try to capitalize on that,” I trailed off hoping Ray would pick up where I was thinking.Ray pulled out her phone, “Hold on a second, I want to verify that first,” she did a quick search for the holiday and saw that yes, speed dating or singles nights were part of it. “Okay, so we break up now and go on a blind date on the day? Is that what you’re thinking?”I nodded, “Yes, but I think we should pretend to be strangers. We should also take this break-up seriously. If we decide to reconcile, it should be based on our pseudo-blind date. No communication.”Ray pursed her lips for half a second before saying, “I agree. Now pack your shit and get the fuck out of my apartment, I never want to see you again!” failing to restrain laughter at each word.I then proceeded to fake crying, clutching my chest, “I can’t believe you would say that, I thought we were going to be together Sikiş hikayeleri forever.”“Well you were wrong, now quit crying you wimp, and mail me my shit from your place; I don’t want to go over there and see you,” we were both laughing now.I packed up everything I could fit in my backpack and briefcase and trudged out to my car, pretending to be sad the entire time. She followed me around, her arms crossed over her chest trying to look angry but utterly failing as I cleaned up.I reached for a pair of her clean underwear and asked, “Can I at least take something to remember you by?”“No,” she said sternly, “I don’t want your creepiness near any of my stuff. Get away from those you perv.”The next two weeks passed without incident. We neither called, texted nor spoke to one another. This proved surprisingly easy, even without telling anyone else about our fake-up. We weren’t a couple that spoke or texted every day, to begin with, and we both had plenty of things to occupy our time.April 14th came around I dressed to the nines, by which I mean I wore a clean t-shirt and jeans, and drove to the Ramen joint we had agreed upon at the agreed upon time. I saw that Ray had already gotten to a table and was looking at her watch angrily.I walked over and said, “Hi, Rachel?” I extended my hand for a shake.She frowned; I knew she hated being called Rachel, always Ray, but as this was a first date, I felt I needed to use her full name, “Leon? You’re late. and I go by Ray, not Rachel.”I checked my watch, “I thought we agreed on 6:30?”“We said 6:25,” she said defiantly, lying through her teeth.“Sorry, I thought 6:30, anyway how’s it going?” I asked sitting down.She sighed, “Alright I guess. I just got out of a sort of long relationship, it’s taken me a few weeks to get back into things but y’know how it is.”This was almost word for word what she said when we first met, except that time it was for coffee, not soup. I was five minutes late that time, but it was because of traffic, and I got lost on the way there.I shrugged, “Not really, most of my relationships don’t last particularly long, and I tend to bounce back pretty quickly.”This was almost word-for-word how I replied when we first met. Not a great first impression, I know.“Really? Why don’t things last well with you?”I shrugged again, “Just a general sort of incompatibility I guess. It rarely takes too long to figure out I’m not a match for whomever I meet up with on those sites. Then no hard feelings,” do I need to say it?“So does that mean I should start planning an escape?” She asked sarcastically.“You don’t need to fake an escape, I take no offense if half an hour from now you say ‘fuck off and die’ walk out and leave me with the bill. We’re still strangers who met on the internet, and I’m not one to care what strangers on the internet think of me.”“Wow, you’re just Teflon aren’t you?” she sighed, “I think we’re getting off on the wrong foot. Let’s start with you apologizing for being late.”“Sorry, I got the times mixed up I guess. I could have sworn we said 6:30.”“Look, it’s fine, five minutes Erotik hikaye it happens. I was getting worried you were bailing. I’m also just kind of in a shitty mood, and it’s not fair to take it out on you.” She shook her head.We continued to exchange pleasantries as though we were meeting for the first time before the real fun started, when we began complaining about our exes, as in, each other.“So, the guy I was dating that I just broke up with? So annoying! If we played a game or something, he would never go easy on me. I mean if you’re a hardcore gamer you should go easy on the person you’re facing off with, and maybe even let them win,” she complained.Except she regularly beat me in most titles I hadn’t become psychotically good at.I shook my head sighing, “I know the feeling. My ex never let me pick the music whenever we were together. It sometimes drove me up the damn walls.”Except, my taste in music was painfully limited, electric guitar-driven indie rock, while Ray had a much larger breadth of knowledge and wanted to introduce me to new stuff, which was by my request.“Also, my ex, rarely cooked, and even when he did, it was the same three things; I got kind of sick of it.”Except, I was really good at making those three things, but terrible at almost everything else that required more than one bowl/pot; no matter how hard I tried (and still try) I’m bad at cooking. Also, Ray loved cooking and was typically happy that I could help out with basic tasks.“Plus his taste in décor was terrible. All these posters, it was ridiculous,” she continued to complain between mouthfuls of soup.Except, my posters are awesome; I will hear no argument to the contrary, and most are autographed by the artist to me.“I can’t really imagine both of those,” I confessed.We ordered our soups, splitting the check since it was a blind first date, and continued our complaints about each other in the silly manner above. Though the conversation changed once our meals arrived to the semi-normal borderline nonsensical conversations Ray and I would have as normal. These included things like who would win in a Battle Royale between Bonds (I said Dalton, her Craig,) how many bee stings it would take to kill an adolescent elephant (a lot), and if a Dragon could beat Cthulhu.I’ll spare you those conversations.“I had a lot of fun tonight and I’d like to see you again. I’m kind of busy next week, how do you want to handle it?” I asked.Ray pursed her lips, “Me too, but I’m thinking a bit sooner.”I cocked my head, “How much sooner?”Ray smiled wickedly, “I was thinking about thirty-five minutes at my place. I’ll text you the address.” She jabbed a finger into my chest, “Don’t be late.”If I were into BDSM, I’d probably be deliberately late, but I’m not, I share that because the thought occurred to me on my way to my car from the restaurant. I could probably have gotten to her place in around fifteen-twenty minutes, but in keeping with the blind date/first meeting role-play, I opted to swing by a pharmacy for contraceptives, we had stopped using them a while ago.Despite the diversion to the pharmacy, I still managed to make the trip in less than thirty minutes. I parked, still having the guest pass for her building, and rang the doorbell. I was buzzed in almost immediately and began to start towards her apartment, and knocked on the door.

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