Holly was over the moon. She could not believe he had accepted her invitation. He, Thomas Jones. Mr Thomas Jones, the most interesting and intelligent man she had ever met, had agreed to have dinner with her at her favorite Lebanese restaurant in town.
She had made sure she arrived at the restaurant a good half hour before him, so she had time to have to relax a little bit over a glass of wine or two. She could not remember the last time she had felt that nervous. Mind you, she couldn’t remember either having asked a man out before… Let alone a man that was at least twenty years her senior.
Holly was relishing in her second glass of red wine and the until-then unknown feeling of having butterflies in her stomach, when Thomas walked through the door. He was wearing casual clothes, maybe too casual for the occasion, but never mind, Holly thought, he was there and that was definitely part of his charm.
“Hi,” he mumbled. He looked around him nervously as if he was afraid to be seen with her in public. “Nice place.”
“Thanks,” Holly said looking around her as if she had never been there before. “I’m glad you like it. It’s my favourite restaurant and well… I thought you would like it too, since you told me you lived in Jordan for a while, right? Although, well, this is not exactly Jordanian, but Lebanese, but anyways…” Holly trailed off in sheer embarrassment when she realized she was just rambling pure nonsense.
“Actually, I don‘t think there’s much difference.”
“Yeah, you’re probably right. I remember when…”
“Holly,” he interrupted her. “Sorry to interrupt you, I…” He run his fingers through his curly grey hair and sighed as if bracing himself for what he was going to say. “Listen, I guess I know what this is all about, so I just wanted to tell you that don’t really have to do it.”
“Eh?” she looked at him dumbfounded.
“I’ll give you a good grade in your final paper, but please, no nasty tricks.”
“What?” Slowly Holly’s confusion started to turn into anger.
“You know, I had actually given you already an A before you started with all this, you know? So…”
“Do you think I’m hear for a grade?” She cut him off with indignation.
“Well… yes. I mean, what else would you ask your fifty-four year old professor out for?”
“Well, maybe because I like you?” She was suddenly happy to have downed two glasses of wine. She would have never said something like that otherwise.
“Do you have any idea of how strange that sounds? I mean, look at you, Holly, you’re young, pretty, and…”
“Well, look at me!” he exclaimed, opening his arms as if showing her what was on offer. “I mean… I know how this works. I wasn’t born yesterday. Now we drink, have fun and then before I know it, you threaten to sue me me for taking advantage of you if I don’t give you an A.
“Yes… That’s right. You read my mind.” He gave her an “I told you” sort of condescending smile. “Almost,” she continued. “I might actually sue you, you know?”
“What for?” he asked with a sneer.
“For calling me a bitch,” Holly said as she stood up and put on her coat.
“Have a nice evening, Thomas. I hope you don´t mind paying the bill, right?”