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First Date


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How Jamie met Freddie

Dates made her nervous.   She was shy around new people, and she hated having to explain all the restrictions of her allergies before really getting to know someone.   At least, Alex had set this up, so hopefully Freddie would be prepared.   


She met him at the restaurant, noting with dismay, it was an out door café.  She checked her purse, making sure her stash of tissues was in there, then approached the man resembling the picture Alex had sent her.   “Freddie?”  She asked, rubbing her nose.


He nodded.  “Yes.  Jamie?”


She opened her mouth to respond but instead ended up turning away from him to sneeze.  Ihhhtschoo, ihhtschoo.” She turned back to him.  “Yes.  Sorry.  Excuse me.”  She could feel herself blushing.  


He smiled.  “Bless you.  I thought this place would be fun.  The patio is nice, and the seafood is fantastic.”


“Oh, um…” she tried to hide her disappointment. Alex hadn’t told him much, apparently.   “I’m allergic to fish and shellfish.  I mean, I’m sure there’s something on the menu I can eat.   But, um, I don’t know what Alex told you, but um, sitting outside and me aren’t really compatible.   It looks fun, but I, uh, have bad allergies…this is one of the times of year they’re the worst…” she trailed off.  Hiitschoo!” She punctuated her explanation with a sneeze and turned away from Freddie to wipe her nose.


“Bless you.  I don’t think there’s anything but salad on the menu for you.  Alex said you had allergies so no flowers and no cologne; I guess I didn’t carry that over to sitting outside.   If you feel like walking a bit, there’s another place about 6 blocks away…indoors and more choices for food…”


“If you don’t mind…if we stay here, you’ll just spend the night listening to me sneeze.


“I think I’d rather get to know you.” He smiled.  “The restaurant is this way.” He guided her through the small crowd and down the block.   


It was a short walk to the restaurant, but Jamie could feel her nose running as they walked.   She tried to sniffle it back as silently as possible, praying Freddie wouldn’t notice.   They arrived at the restaurant and went in.    It was a short wait for a table so they sat in the small waiting area in an awkward first date silence.


“I’m going to go find the ladies room.” Jamie broke the silence.  “I’ll be back, I promise.”  She sniffed, desperately needing to blow her nose.


Freddie nodded, and she dashed off after asking the hostess where to go.   She returned a few minutes later, still sniffly, but much clearer.  Freddie had noticed her sniffling on the walk over and now noticed her voice had lost its congested note and she was sniffling less, surmising she had dashed off to blow her nose.


The hostess called them for their table and sat them, handing them menus.  Jamie was relieved to see that he was right, there was a lot more she could eat here.   They placed their order and were left to conversation.


She initiated conversation by asking about his work with Alex as a comedian, and he countered by asking about hers.  She gave him the basic answer, but he wanted more explanation.  “Simply put, I work to chahh…ahhihtshhoo, ihhtshoo, hiihtshoo.  Excuse me.   I work to change laws to benefit people.”  She explained.   “Ihh..Hiitschoo! Excuse me again.  Too much time outside.  I’m just going to run to the ladies room quick.”  She sniffed.


“Bless you.  You don’t have to run off if you need to blow your nose.  I don’t mind.”


“Are you sure?”


He nodded. “I have a feeling you’ll be disappearing a lot if you do.”   


She gave him a hesitant smile.  “If you change your mind…”. She reached into her purse for a tissue, turned a way from him and blew her nose as softly as possible, depositing the tissue back in her purse.   “Sorry.”  She apologized.  “My allergies are just awful this time of year.  Spring and fall are the worst for me.”


“You, uhh, have a lot of allergies or just some really bad seasonal allergies?”


“A lot of allergies.  Some are worse than others.   I’m allergic to pretty much all pollen – grasses, trees, weeds, flowers; dust, some molds, some perfumes, colognes, air fresheners, basically anything with fur - I’m ok with the hypoallergenic dogs though.  Then I’m allergic to fish, shellfish, tree nuts and a handful of antibiotics.  I pretty much sneeze like this or worse year round.”


He gave her a wide eyed look.  “I can imagine.  Indoor girl?”


“Most of the time. How about you?  Any allergies?”


He shook his head.  “Nope. Never had any.  But I’m unfortunate in the fact that it seems if someone with a cold comes within 10 feet of me, I’ll get it.”


She laughed.  “Fortunately, that is one problem I don’t have.  Other than the allergies, I stay pretty healthy.”


They delved into conversation about where they were from, family, careers, goals, first date conversation, Jamie breaking up the easy flow of chatter with sneezes.  She had to admit, she liked this guy.


The waitress came with the dessert menus and he asked her what she liked.  “Nothing wi…Hihhtschoo,  ihhtschoo! Excuse me.”  She gently blew her nose and turned back to him.


He was looking at her, a concerned expression on his face.  “Are you sure you’re ok?  You’re sneezing quite a bit.  We can skip dessert if you’d like to go home.”  He’d dated girls with allergies before, and he’d seen Alex’s when they were bad, but he’d never seen them as bad as Jamie’s.


She sniffed.  “I’m ok, really.  Like I said, my allergies are really bad period, and this is a bad time of year.”  She lowered her voice so hopefully, only he could hear.  “There’s also someone nearby wearing a perfume that is driving my nose crazy.” She admitted.


He nodded.  That made a bit more sense.  He’d seen Alex have epic fits from air fresheners.  “I can smell it.  Let’s skip dessert or get it elsewhere.” He suggested.


“To be honest, I’m not a dessert person,” she told him.  “And fresh air would be nice.”  She rubbed at her nose.   


He signaled for the waitress to bring the check.  “Let me just get this.” He said as she pulled out her wallet.  “Put that away.”


“Next time.” She told him, as he filled out the slip.   He got his card back and they slipped out.   


They walked back to their cars.  He noticed the sneezing tapered off as she got away from the perfume.  She was still sniffly, but not sneezing.   He stood by her car to say good night.  


“You’re ok to drive?”  


She reassured him she was.  


“I’d like to do this again.”


“I would too.” She said softly.  






“I’ll call you.  Can I kiss you goodnight?”


She smiled, ducking her head shyly.  “You can try.  If I pull away, it means I have to sneeze.” She warned him.


He nodded, bending down and kissing her.  A few seconds in, she pulled back.  Heptschoo, hehhtschoo, heh-ihhtschoo!  Dammit! Sorry.  Excuse me.”


He laughed. “You did warn me.  Bless you.  I’ll call you tomorrow.” He promised, helping her into the car.


Driving away, she smiled.  With Freddie, there were sparks.  She didn’t know it yet, but he felt the same way.

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Thanks guys.    I’ve got little snapshots in the Drabble thread, but I’ve got a list of full length fics  to write.   There will be more of these two as Freddie reveals more of himself to me.   

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