“Flo,” I say patiently. “Like you said, I’m only twenty-two. There’s no rush.”

But my friend gets serious then.

“Yes, you’re twenty-two, and that’s all fine and dandy. But you’re probably the only twenty-two year-old virgin in the world. That’s my point,” she says with a smug smile.

I sigh. Sometimes I wish I’d never confided my deepest secret to Flora because look where it’s getting me now. I’m being pressured to try on-line dating again despite the fact that I’ve had awful experiences that would make any woman run for the hills screaming. It wasn’t merely that my dates were awkward and bad, it was that my dates seemed to come straight out a freakshow. The men had no idea what would be considered “normal,” and what would be “weird.”

Then again, “normal” is a subjective term, so I get it. What might be strange to me, is maybe a turn-on for someone else. Although I think it’s bizarre that anyone would find Jared’s overinflated biceps to be attractive, maybe some girl will dig it. It looked like he had dead puppies stuffed beneath his skin, but who knows?

Regardless, I have to get Flora off my back by any means necessary.

“Okay, I’ll go back on DrunkBehindTheWheel. I’m sure that site has some guys who are normal,” I say in a sarcastic voice. Of course, I don’t add that most of the men on the site are likely DUI offenders, but Flora merely shakes her head excitedly.

“No, no need because I just got an idea. I’m going to set you up!” she says with excitement.

“On a blind date?” I ask wryly. “You know how those usually go.”

“No, no,” scolds my friend. “This blind date is going to be awesome. It’s with my uncle.”

“Your uncle?” I shriek. “What the hell? NO! He must be fifty at least!”

“Forty,” my friend says with a grin. “But it’s a good-looking forty, I promise. Uncle Blake is my mom’s younger brother, and he was the “accident” in their family. My grandparents had Uncle Blake when they thought they were done with kids, but I guess not. Birth control is never perfect.”

I stare at my buddy.

“Flora,” I say slowly. “Why would I want to go out with your uncle? Please tell me that.”

“Because he’s hot, if I do say so myself!” my friend says cheerfully. “He’s coming into town next weekend for a business trip, and I was going to take him on a tour of the campus. But you know what? Why don’t I set you guys up on a date instead? You can show him around campus instead of me. Sounds good, right?”

I stare at my friend.

“Flora, I’m not going to be your last-minute substitute tour guide. Is it because you have something else to do?”

“No, of course not,” my friend scolds. But then she grins. “Okay, maybe. Lonnie Everson asked me to lunch that Saturday, so I don’t have time to take my uncle around. But you’ll do it, won’t you? It’ll be so fun. Pleeeease? And he really is hot.”

I shake my head again.

“No. I don’t want to show your uncle around campus. Nor do I want to go on a blind date with him.”

Tears begin to brim in Flora’s eyes.

“Please, Cindy? I’ll be your best friend forever. You know that I’ve had a huge crush on Lonnie since freshman year, and I’m finally getting my chance! Please? I’d reschedule my date, but you know Lonnie. He’s on the football team, so he’s busy all the time, and I’m afraid if I reschedule, we’ll never end up going out. Pleeeease?” she wails again.

I sigh.

“I don’t know why I’m doing this,” is my grumble.

Flora throws her arms around me, squealing with joy.

“Thank you so much! You’re a lifesaver. And you know what? There’s no reason to take my uncle around on a tour because he’s seen campus before. Why don’t I set up a movie date or something? That way, you don’t even have to talk to him. It’s going to be awesome, Cindy. Wasn’t there that new action film you wanted to see? 21 Bridges or something? I’ll pick up the tickets.”

“I did want to see that movie,” is my wry reply. “And popcorn would be nice too.”

My friend nods furiously.

“Of course, of course. I’ll get you a gift card to the theater so that you can treat yourselves to popcorn, candy, and drinks. You’re such a lifesaver!” she squeals again, giving me another bearhug. “Don’t worry, you won’t even notice my Uncle Blake’s in the theater with you because I’ve heard the most awesome things about 21 Bridges. Wham! Bam! Pow!” she says, miming action hero punches.

“It’s not a Marvel flick,” I say drolly. “There are no superheroes.”

“Oh there aren’t?” she asks, blinking innocently. “Well, you’ll have fun. Thanks for taking Uncle Blake off my hands,” she adds merrily. “I really appreciate it, Cindy. I’m in your debt forever.”


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