He found me on Yahoo.  I was in the process of separating from my husband and moving to Denver, he lived in Colorado Springs.  He assured me it was fairly close by.   We chatted back and forth over several weeks.   

When I first arrived in Denver, I knew no one other than my landlord/roommate and we didn’t seem to click very well. The internet was my lifeline to family and friends, and he was someone who was close by when others were far away.   Maybe it was the high altitude combined with the glass of wine, but I found myself agreeing to a date.  It would be the First After since my separation.

We talked about our date – he would plan it – I just need to come dressed and ready.  I was trying to figure out what to wear – he recommended, among other things, my red bra. I agreed.

When the day came, I dressed carefully – not too dressy, not too casual.  Took extra time to primp and do all those “extras” you only do for a date or a doctor’s visit. His car was in the shop, so I drove 90 minutes to where he lived. When I first arrived, it looked like the courtyard of Melrose Place.  Upon closer inspection, perhaps Melrose Place if it became Section 8 housing.  But I had driven all this way so I persevered and knocked on the door. 

He was shorter than I pictured, disheveled, in a sweatshirt and jeans – a ball cap crammed on his head. 

“I just woke up,” he said. “Give me a second.”

I stood in the doorway and watched as he shuffled through some papers.  Wait, not papers.  Coupons. 

“Which do you prefer?” he asked.  “Chinese buffet or pizza?”

Since the Chinese buffet was evidently 2 for 1, we decided to do that.  If you are going to go first class, better go all the way.  The plans for after dinner were just as carefully thought out – so we ended up going back to his place to watch a DVD.   He pulled up his sweatshirt and asked me to scratch his back.  Hrmm.  Well, I wanted to see how the movie ended, so I did.  I thought maybe it was a move, but he thanked me and pulled his shirt back down.  He didn’t offer to return the favor.  We sat very chastely on his couch and watched William Dafoe act crazy on screen.

When the movie ended, he turned to me and asked. “So can I see your bra?”

I laughed in surprise. “Is that your move?”

I’m 36,” he said.  “I don’t have time for moves.”

“You’re 36,” I countered.  “You better make time.”

I’d love to tell you that I got up and left Section 8 of Melrose Place with my head held high and my dignity intact.  But it was my First After, I’d driven a long way and worked up a lot of nerve to get that far. And I had worn my red bra. But let’s pretend I did.  Deal?  Thanks.

Let’s just say that sometimes the best part of a First After is that you have nowhere to go but up.