My roommate, Trish, sat cross-legged on the floor, staring at me with confusion as dress after dress flew out of the closet, across the room, and onto my bed. I was running out of clothes to throw and my bed was about to completely disappear.
"This is impossible!" I yelled. "How do you dress for a date with a complete stranger? I don't even know where we're going!"
"Remind me again. Why are you going?" Trish asked.
I stopped my frantic search and turned to her. My brain tried to process an answer, but came up empty.
"I don't know," I sighed. "It makes no sense. I know nothing about him but his name." I collapsed onto the edge of the only visible corner of my bed. "And that he has some kind of grudge against 80's music."
"He could be a total weirdo. And how did he know where you lived? Now that's kind of creepy," Trish pointed out with a look of barely-hidden worry.
"I know, Trish. It makes no sense. But, I think that's why I want to go."
Charles Silver was punctual. That was the second thing I learned about him. The third was that he didn't own a car.
I had been told by my mother when I was fifteen that you could tell a lot about a man by the car he drives. She would point out the small, but well-maintained economy-sized cars and judge the driver to be "responsible and stable". The neutral-colored four-door sedans received an "unimaginative" or "married". And the flashy two-seat sport cars usually garnered the same response as the monster-sized pick-up trucks that required a ladder to dismount. She would smirk and just say, "Over-compensation."
Once I was old enough to understand her definitions, it became habit to try to classify men in this way. Unfortunately, it was not going to help me any with unlocking the mystery that was Charles Silver. Mom never classified bicycles for me.
He pulled up to the curb on a tall, black bike, his helmet covered in artwork that looked a lot like a fire-breathing Cocker Spaniel. I knew then what my second question for him would be at dinner.
"Wow. You're here," he stated, surprised but still wearing that confident smirk.
"I'm here." I eyed his bike. "Sooo, where are we going?" I paused. "And how are we getting there?"
His lips spread in a wide smile.
"Food is our destination. And I can offer you two options." He motioned to the front of the bike. "The handlebars, with a magnificent view? Or, the seat, with the security of your arms around me?" He waved toward the seat.
At that moment, I was grateful that I had chosen to wear the shorter, black dress and ballet flats that Trish insisted on, instead of the long dress and heels that I was favoring.
"Well, why not? Here goes nothing," I mumbled under my breath as I gathered the skirt of my dress and headed to the seat.
"Prefer security, eh?" Charles teased as he glanced over his shoulder at me. "Well, I'd bet money it won't be long until you're up front, enjoying the view and holding on for dear life."
I didn't know why, but it seemed to me that Charles Silver was more sure about who I was than I did.