The Worst Dinner Date Ever…a bit of fiction.

 “Why won’t you let him take you to dinner?”

“Why should I?”

“Are you afraid you might like him and then you’d have to admit I made a good choice this time?”

Emily stood shivering in the kitchen making breakfast for her baby brother as this pointless conversation with Elizabeth echoed through their new tin box.


There was no point in getting to know the guy of the moment. They all came and went like losers in the night. Her mother wouldn’t know a good man if she tripped and fell into his arms, Emily thought.

The current loser had been trying to convince Emily to let him take her out to dinner. He’d acted like Diamond Jim since the day he met Elizabeth at the dive bar she worked from 1 to 11pm six days a week.

She discovered he knew the manager of her trailer park and he told her a larger trailer was up for rent. “I can get you a good deal on it.” He said. Their 8’x48’ shit box was falling apart and Bruce was going to be her knight in shining armor, even help her cover the security deposit.

The new one was 10’x54’ with an upper level bedroom. It was certainly not new, but in much better condition than they were used to and Emily hoped it was better insulated because this was the coldest winter on record.  She was so tired of being cold.

It’s crazy to call this place a park, she thought. It was a few gravel roads behind a steak house joint with one dilapidated trailer after another in neat rows. Not a tree in sight.


“Hey kid, you’re going to be thirteen this year, it’s time you learned how to act on a date.” Was Bruce’s pitch for their dinner date. “I’ll take you out for a nice steak dinner.”  How could anyone resist such charm?

The fact she had no time for friends, let alone dating, had escaped him. Her life was school and babysitting her two year old brother. “Who’s going to watch Tommy?” was Emily’s standard reply. Then one day he had an answer…”Mrs. Swiejick next door, it’s all set. I’ll pick you up at six tomorrow night.” He said as he drove off. Great, she thought, now how do I get out of this?

Finally she decided to simply acquiesce but convince him they should go to the steak house in the trailer park in case Mrs. Swiejick needed her. She was elderly and often kept Tommy until Emily came home from school but she had a hard time keeping up with the two year old. To her surprise, it worked.

Emily hadn’t been to many restaurants in her life and didn’t want to embarrass herself, but she was a keen observer so she would just follow his lead. Besides, the steak house wasn’t a fancy restaurant. She knew it was a glorified burger joint. The smell of grease wafting through the park gave it away.

Being with Bruce was embarrassing enough but he made such a big spectacle of it she wanted to crawl under the table. Placing her napkin on her lap…explaining how to use the steak knife…then he loudly announced, “And when you go out with a guy, say for prom night, make sure you order the most expensive thing on the menu.”

He’s got to be kidding, she thought. “What if I don’t like the most expensive thing on the menu?” she asked.

“Don’t matter,” he said, “It’s expected and you should do it.”

He is obnoxious as well as hideous, she thought.

Finally their dinner came and she was praying he would shut up and eat. She cut into her steak, which he had ordered rare for her, and was repulsed by the blood. Not wanting to make a scene she decided to eat the baked potato and pick at the salad.

She watched him devour his meal like he hadn’t eaten in days. He may be the ugliest guy mom’s had yet, she thought. His thick horned rim glasses perched on a very large hooked nose kept sliding down because he was sweating in his race to the finish with his steak.

“Why aren’t you eating your steak? I’m paying good money for this you know?”

“You ordered it for me, you didn’t ask me if I wanted it.”

“Your mother’s right, you are a little bitch.” He said as he motioned for the check.

Not being sure if he was the violent type, which she’d seen before, she decided to use this moment to make a run for it, so to speak.

“I’m going to head over to get Tommy and take him home. Thanks for dinner.” She said as she grabbed her coat and hurried to the door. He didn’t make a move to follow.

To be continued…

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  1. As I know so much about this story, both my own and yours, I can see the pathos in ways that I’m sure only you know. Keep it going. It’s good and there’s a real story here. You’re keeping the reader’s attention!

    • Barbara

      I’m kind of torn between reality and fiction in how I tell this. I’m thinking fiction may work better. What say you Denine? I so value your input because we are so simpatico in a sick kind of way here.

      • I’m working on story of my own, that’s based directly on a real event in my life. It flows better to make it fiction, but…there’s more truth and reality in the reality. Try it both ways, though it does depend on how much you want to tell, where it’s going and what audience you want to reach. My story is veering towards erotica, so I’m best with fiction. Your’s should probably be truth, with liberal fictions retellings. It’s compelling either way. What’s important so far is to just keep the story coming!

      • Barbara

        It’s all part of the real story Denine, as you know, but I feel some things make for interesting fiction and gives me more room to maneuver.

  2. What a creepy guy… Offering her the worst bit of Prom night date advice too. I’m glad she left his carnivorous behind in the joint. ha ha! 🙂

    • Barbara

      LOL! Elizabeth!

  3. This may or may not be fiction, or heavily based on fact, I don’t know, but I’m hoping it is real fiction, because the guys already creeping me out. What a ****** he is. Any chance he could trip on his way out of the diner, and drown, quite slowly, in a vat of hair gel, just to cheer me up

    • Barbara

      That’s wishful thinking Peter. Can’t end the story there silly!

      • As soon as I read the word “silly” I started laughing. I don’t why it is, but you are not the first person to use that word on me, not without justification 🙂

      • Barbara

        Peter you are not a silly person…all the time. 😉

  4. B, this is great. In my humble opinion I think this is your best fiction piece to date (that I’ve read). I’ve been following your Georgia story and I like it a lot, but this is vivid! In this short piece I got a feel for both Emily and Bruce. They are alive, real and recognizable on the page. Fiction is the way to go with your story from what I’ve read here. Fiction or creative nonfiction – whatever label you want to put on it – this works! All fiction is true for someone.

    • Barbara

      I think you’re right Steph. There’s much more freedom with telling it this way. Might save me some grief down the road too, if you know what I mean.

    • Barbara

      Thanks Karen, that’s very encouraging.

  5. I like it. is it loosely based o your experience growing up?

    • Barbara

      Thanks Sara. Yes it is based on fact.

  6. That was kind of creepy real for me! We truly do have a lot in common..
    Very good stuff, looking forward to the next installment:)

    • Barbara

      Coming up very soon! Thanks Doreen.

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