The grayish white puff of smoke cleared up and revealed a handsome young face with chiseled features. The deep dark eyes reflected an indomitable spirit and a razor sharp mind. His short cropped hairstyle made him look very attractive. Enrico had just lit up a cigarette and taken a long puff. He was waiting outside a restaurant, a little impatiently, for his blind date. He liked to hang out with his guy friends and did not believe in spending his time searching for the perfect girl. "Love happened naturally" he believed. He would not have come on this blind date if his best friend Daniel had not called him earlier that afternoon and asked him to show up and cover for him. He was internally, laughing at himself for the ridiculous things he did for his close friends.
A shiny red sports car drove into the other end of the parking lot. Enrico's attention was immediately diverted to the car. He loved everything fast, including sports cars. "Nice Mustang", he thought. He looked closely at the car to figure out if that was the last year's model. That's when he saw an attractive young girl coming out of the passenger seat in a short black halter neck dress. "My god, that really is SONIA!" Sonia had a shock of short black hair that contrasted against her smooth, fair skin. Her neck, shoulders and back were exposed in that particular dress. And so was her long shapely legs. She looked tall and thin in black stilletoes. Enrico felt pleasantly surprised and very attracted to her new look. Sonia, was his good friend from work. They had to work on a few projects together and had a healthy competition going between them. Enrico had always admired her as a smart and technically competent peer. However, Sonia always dressed down, in long jeans and full-sleeve, shapeless T-shirts, to work. Enrico had never even consciously thought of her as a 'girl', before. He was discovering a totally new side of her and his heart skipped excitedly in anticipation.
Sonia was accompanied by her boyfriend, a well-built tall man with blonde hair, coming out of the driver-side. They held hands and walked into the restaurant without noticing him. Enrico, in a daze, totally forgot about his date and followed them into the diner. Luckily, the waiter seated him at a table kitty corner from Sonia's. His thoughts were now consumed by Sonia. It was hard to believe that he had known the same girl for the past year and a half. He sat there , stupidly, sipping at the water and stealing glances at Sonia, who was animatedly talking to her boyfriend. After about ten minutes Sonia's boyfriend got up and went towards the restrooms. Enrico wondered what he should do at that point. Having no one to talk to, Sonia was casually looking around at the decor of the restaurant. It had an ancient Mexican theme. There were big and lighted Mayan forms against a clear background. The lights changed color gradually at slow intervals. Her glance swept from one side to the other. Suddenly she caught sight of Enrico, sheepishly staring her. “Dude! What are you doing here?”. Enrico suddenly remembered about his date. “Oh well, “ he thought “ the girl must be gone by now.” For a moment Enrico forgot about the new Sonia and explained her in detail why he was there. He tried to sound funny. “I got bored of waiting. I just could not 'see' where my blind date was.” Sonia laughed at his stupid joke. “That's crazy. You can't actually do that to a poor girl, Enrico.” She got up and dragged him out of the restaurant to find his date.
The “poor” girl was actually still waiting outside the restaurant talking to someone else on her cell. She hung up as soon as she saw Enrico. “Hi there! Are you Daniel's friend?” Her voice was raspy and had an unusual ring to it. “Yes , I am so sorry to keep you waiting", came the fake answer. The three young people were introducing each other and exchanging small talk, when Sonia's boyfriend came out to join them. It was quite nice outside and the sun was just at the point of retiring for the day. Apparently, the other girl, Jenna, was an acquaintance of Sonia's boyfriend, John. Jenna was wearing a short red dress which matched her red lipstick and also highlighted her attractive figure. She had long blonde hair and big blue eyes that had dark liners and thick mascara on them. Enrico hated too much makeup on girls. Jenna looked at him and gave him a naughty smile. Her lips slanted and curved in a way that told him that she could not wait to spend her night with him. Enrico felt a little repulsed by such outward advances. But the main reason why his date seemed too floozy and uninteresting was because he was head over heels for Sonia by then. Enrico did not try to hide his lack of interest in Jenna and limited his exchanges with her to monosyllables. John, the nice guy, took the first opportunity to rescue Jenna from getting bored. Soon Jenna and John had a fun conversation going on between them. Enrico thanked Sonia for forcing him to come out of the restaurant. Sonia's eyes , by then, were transfixed at the evening sky spread before her. The sun was setting with a spectacular show of colors into a long stretch of water in the park, right across from them. Sonia was admiring the sunset with Enrico standing very close to her left shoulder. The soft twilight made the smiling face of Sonia look even more radiant. A light breeze was blowing her raven black hair onto her face, covering parts of it like a gossamer veil. Although Enrico had hard a time take his eyes off her, he looked away from time to time at the setting sun and muttered words of admiration, apparently directed to the wonderful spectacle in the sky, but in fact, they were actually meant for Sonia. He felt as if he was looking at the girl of his dreams but felt a strong urge to keep this feeling a secret.
Everyone seemed to be enjoying each other's company. It was turning into a double date, in the most unusual way. The four of them, finally, went in and asked the waiter to join two tables. They all sat together, ordered some drinks and started an interesting discussion about visual effects in movies. Enrico, was obviously too excited to be sitting opposite to Sonia but was scared to show it. The more nervous he got, the more he drank. By the time food arrived, he was feeling a buzz in his head. The food was really delicious and everyone except Enrico, had a thumbs up for the waiter when he came by to check up on them. Enrico nibbled at his food but he was mostly feeling sick. His eyes were bloodshot and Sonia could tell that he was drunk. Enrico made several excuses go to the the restroom and splashed water on his face to get rid of his stupor. But nothing made him feel better. He could not walk straight anymore but kept answering back that he was fine. Sonia started to feel really concerned about Enrico. She did not want him to drive home alone. She decided to drive Enrico to his apartment and later find a cab to ride back home. On the other hand, Jenna mentioned that she needed a ride back home as her sister had dropped her off at the restaurant so John volunteered to drop off Jenna.
Everyone got into their respective cars but Enrico was clearly uncomfortable. He felt like throwing up. Sonia , got out and helped Enrico back into the restaurant. She was a little surprised to see John's car driving away. Enrico had to throw up a few times and Sonia waited patiently till he was feeling good enough to walk back to the car. “How are you feeling, now?”, she asked in a soft sweet voice. Enrico mustered all his male courage and replied. “I am not feeling okay, Sonia. Please give me a hug.” Sonia misunderstood the urgency in his voice. “Here, hold my hand. Everything's gonna be alright after a good sleep. Trust me” she assured him compassionately. Enrico felt weak, powerless and ashamed of himself. He had let his sexual urges get the better of him. Sonia was actually a very sweet girl despite her provocative appearance. He let out a long sigh and then breathed in deeply. After taking in a few deep breaths, he started to feel at ease. Seeing him doing better, Sonia led him back to the car and helped him in. She lowered the seat back so that he could get into a comfortable posture. The wasted Enrico, was now calm and relaxed and closed his eyes.
Sonia sat on the driver's seat and tried to figure out the controls. It took her a couple minutes but finally she felt pretty comfortable driving. After getting on the highway, she asked “ So where do you live ?”. Enrico was fast asleep by then. When Sonia realized that, she was shocked for a second. What was she going to do? She tried to think calmly and thought it best to drive back to her place. It was already pretty late and she was not going to try anything too risky by herself. Her house was about half an hour from the place they ate at. She had a hard time dragging a half-awake Enrico inside, from the driveway to the nearest couch. She sat down exhausted and called up John. Coincidentally, John was also doing some strenuous exercise because he was breathing very heavily on the phone. “Hello!”, the words finally came. “Hey John, sorry about all the confusion tonight,” Sonia started. But something told her that John was not alone. Then she changed her conversation. “Tell you what , let's talk tomorrow. Get some good sleep.” “You too!”, was a relieved voice on the other end. Sonia took her time to hang up. "Who was that ?" Jenna's distinctive voice was clearly heard at the other end before the phone got disconnected. Sonia slowly put the phone on her lap and stared at the empty wall in front of her. "Was John and Jenna "working out" together at John's apartment ?" "Hmmm..." All those meaning-less excuses from John for the last two months was beginning to make sense to her. John had been cheating on her all this time. And it was because of Enrico that she was finally able to figure it out. She started to laugh uncontrollably and tears appeared at the corner of her eyes. She stopped after a while and wiped off her tears. A part of her was saying "Good riddance, anyways."
She looked at Enrico who was peacefully sleeping. He looked almost like a demi-god lost in his own world. Sonia scooted close to him and ran her fingers through his hair. She then got up and fetched her comforter from her bedroom and spread it over Enrico. Then she thought of a silly idea. She got under the comforter and cuddled close to him. Pretty soon she too was lost in a peaceful world.