In Episode 13, readers voted that the guy is so awful because he went on a celebrity matchmaker show then told a woman he would agree to date her only if she agreed to alter her entire appearance with plastic surgery.
“What’s so awful about this guy?” said Vera.
Cole made a sheesh gesture with his mouth.
“Where to start?” he said. “On that celebrity matchmaker show he was on, he told a woman he’d only go out with her if she severely altered her body with plastic surgery.”
“I’m spending a week with a guy like that?” Vera’s neck jutted out like an angry bobble head doll before her eyes fell to subtly examine the worthiness of her own curvy body.
“He may not want me.”
“Relax,” said Cole. “He chose you from among the loaners he looked at.”
“Really? I thought you and Bruce chose me for the assignment.”
“It was a combination of both.”
Eventually, she and Cole found themselves outside of the building. It was a brisk spring evening, and restaurant-goers were starting to venture into the Market Street Place.
“Anyway,” said Cole. “I’ll be on hand if you need me.”
There was an awkward moment of silence as cute couples unlike themselves ventured into the restaurant for “Date Night.”
“Do you wanna get a cup of coffee?” he said.
Vera was surprised he was so brazen all of the sudden. He never appeared so much as to want to recognize her in the street outside of work. Now he was asking her to coffee?
“Sure,” said Vera.
“Cool. I’m waiting for Jill to get outta work. She has a late physical training consulting thingy tonight.”
“Uh huh.” Vera hated when people used her to bide their time between people that were more important.
At Kafka Café, Vera sipped black tea with milk while Cole drank black coffee.
“So what do you do?” he said.
“You know. Outside of work. What gets you going?”
Vera raised her eyebrows.
“In a nonsexual way, perv,” he said, before taking a sip from his white ceramic mug.
“I don’t know. I like to read. Go to city events.”
Vera found it adorable the way his eyes got boyishly curious when he took another sip.
“No. Not right now.”
And just as she said “now,” Greg Goodman walked into the café, stopping to pick up a newspaper at a stand by the counter. Cole noticed Vera staring at him.
“No one.” Vera drew her head down, with her hand over her face, her eyes peeking through her fingers.
Cole raised his eyebrows at her this time.
Despite her efforts to go unnoticed, Greg had discovered her and sauntered over to their café table.
“We meet again,” said Greg, sizing up his competition with Cole. “I’m Greg.” He put out his hand.
“Cole.” They shook hands.
“Cole’s my co-worker,” said Vera.
“What is it that you do again?” said Greg. “You never told me, Louisa.”
Cole gave Vera a suspicious stare.
“I work in loans. It’s boring. So hey,” said Vera, attempting to change the subject. “Have you had the orange cream coffee cake here? It’s amazing.”
“What is it that you do?” said Cole.
“I work in e-books.”
“People are still reading? I’m looking forward to the day when you can just download a book to your brain.”
“Yes. Lots of people are reading. In fact, the advent of the e-book is like the modern-day equivalent of the printing press. Educating the masses.”
“I cheerfully disagree,” chimed in Vera.
“Cheerfully.” Greg smiled. “I’ve never been cheerfully disagreed with before.”
“You know what they haven’t figured out yet?” said Cole, disrupting the flow between Vera and Greg. “Wrapping paper. So much waste. Why purchase something just to throw it away? Are you guys working on e-wrapping paper yet?”
Greg gave him a polite but annoyed expression. “No. Not yet.” He looked back at Vera. “So I’m gonna let you guys get back to . . .this. Nice seeing you, Louisa.”
Greg went back to the line to order coffee.
“I’m going to pretend that this never happened,” said Cole.
“You know the rules.”
“But he’s kind of yummy.”
“Please. E-books. Come on.”
“Well, I’m with you on that one.”
Just then, Cole’s cell phone began to ring.
“I’m gonna take this. It’s Jill.” Cole went outside to take the call. It looked like Greg had sneaked out.
A female barista came over to Vera’s table, and handed her a note.
“This is for you,” she said. “From Greg.”
Vera read the note.