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First Date: McDonald's At the Mall
by J. M. Cinq-Mars

Josh had sat across from her long enough. He stood and moved to her side of the booth in a ‘panther like way’. At least that’s what he would write later on Facebook.

“What are you doing?” Claire’s voice was muffled by the French fries she was chewing on. She dabbed at the corner of her mouth with a paper napkin.

He slid into the booth and smiled. “You know,” he said, winking.

She laughed, and a small, mashed-up piece of French fry flew out of her mouth and landed on the table. “I don’t know anything,” she said, and hacked into the napkin.

“I think you do,” Joshua told her, but his plan was quickly failing. She was laughing at him. Did anyone else see what was going on? The restaurant was filled with families and old agers. Were they all laughing at him?

Josh, at the tender age of 37, had not yet reached the maturity to realize no one cared. Unless he became the leader of a cult or stopped filing his tax returns, he would not be the center of anyone’s attention, ever.

“Hey, can you move? I have to pee.” Claire wiped her mouth and stared at him. He stared back. “Okay, like, now?” she said, making pushing movements with her hands.

He slid out of the booth and watched her walk to the bathroom. He was lost. None of his charm had worked. Maybe she hated men? ‘You can’t change a man-hater,’ that’s what he would write on Facebook that night.

He took out his wallet and threw a twenty on the table, hoping it would cover the bill. Then he thought better of it and stuffed the money back into his jean pocket. Before she even returned to the table he would be in the food court, making eyes at the hot girl making grinders.