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I Blame the Internet

By @katnotcat

Not My Salad

I really wish embarrassment wasn’t a word that existed. Then maybe, I wouldn’t have any way to describe this gnawing, slippery sensation in my gut.

I glanced over at her from across the table. Honey blonde hair and saltwater blue eyes, of all the girls I could’ve messaged, it had to be her. Micaela Hart. But when her dating profile said, “I could be your baby <3," I didn't think she meant it. No one could whine as much as she did. The Internet sure knew how to pick and choose.

Okay yes, it was my fault too. I could’ve avoided this whole situation entirely if I had just payed attention to the signs. She had excused coming late because her sister was taking forever in the bathroom. Which was fair I guess, my sisters annoyed me too. When we were ready to order, she snapped at our waitress to come immediately. Literally snapped. It was rude but, I didn’t think much of it. That is, until she started complaining about her ravioli, making snide remarks about the waitress, and asking me about my monthly salary. I spent the whole date moving my salad around with a fork, praying that it would be over soon.

Now I was slumped in my seat, trying to cover my frustration with the back of my hand. She was speaking with the waitress, a young girl with curly, brown hair and freckles.

Micaela shoved her plate forward. “Take this back for me, would you?”

The waitress, bless her soul, didn’t even bat an eye. “I’m sorry, we normally don’t take anything back when the customer has eaten more than half. But may I ask what was wrong? I can bring you something else that might suit your tastes.”

Micaela gave her a thin-lipped smile and sighed through her nostrils. “I’m not going to pay for this. Just take it back and ask the chef to fix it.” She turned to me, silently asking for validation with a widened stare.

I glanced between her and the waitress, who’s name tag read Jessi. “Or you could just order something else. I’ll pay.”

She shot me a disapproving glare and twisted in her chair to face Jessi. “Well ignore him then.” She pushed the plate torward Jessi, so that the edges were spilling over the table.

Jessi stepped forward and hesitantly reached to grab the plate. I pushed it back towards Micaela. “We really shouldn’t cause any trouble.”

She cocked her head before pushing it back towards Jessi. “It’s not a big deal, right?”

Jessi’s hands tightened around the black tray in her hands. “Well actually-“

Micaela stood up and almost knocked down a glass of water. “Fine. Let’s go somewhere else.”

I stood up, feeling all the prying eyes from the people around me. I reached over and grabbed her hand, “It’s okay, we can just finish here.”

She smacked my hand away. “Don’t touch me, creep!” I blinked and froze while she reached into my half-eaten salad and grabbed a large fistful. She launched it directly at me and the tomatoes splattered across my face- ow. She stomped away, flinging the door to the restaurant wide open. I fell back, blinded by the tomato juice and salad dressing that was dripping in my eyes. I heard a chair fall and glass break, followed by a huge gasp. I couldn’t tell who it came from. Then, from right next to me, I heard Jessi squeak and say, “Please leave.”

I fished my credit card out of my back pocket and held it up. “Check please.”

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