Will is a 36-year-old marketer who lives near Yonge and Eglinton. He is often described by friends as “big-hearted, compassionate, funny, and generous.” Will says he tries to “be there for people, including strangers.” For fun, he goes to the movies, reads international finance books, tries new restaurants, and revisits old favourites. Will had been single for five months before meeting Lori at a speed-dating event.
Even though each “date” only lasted nine minutes, I liked Lori right away. She was a big reader and came across as very intelligent. After being matched up, both of us chose “yes” on the form we were given after our date, indicating that we’d be interested in seeing each other again. I called her, and we arranged to go to a café near her place in the Beaches. I was excited to see her again, but right away, the vibe was only so-so. We did the usual getting-to-know-you thing. At one point, she mentioned that she lived in the basement of a house owned by a lesbian couple who lived on the main floor. A few minutes later, she mentioned them again, and then again after that. When she talked about them, her voice changed and she seemed almost wistful.
After coffee, we went for a walk along the boardwalk. Lori suggested that we play a game that involved going back and forth, and taking turns advancing a story. She said it was called a “conducted story” in improv circles. She began by creating a married couple, a man and a woman, who lived in a cabin. We alternated building this imaginary story when, all of a sudden, Lori changed the sex of the male in the story to female—now there were two married women living in the cabin. My Spidey sense was tingling. Then, she changed one of the women’s names from whatever it was to “Lori.” I realized then that I was on a date with a closeted lesbian.
I cut the walk short, saying I was tired. I figured it was the right thing to do. Lori offered to drive me home, and I accepted; better that than taking the TTC. She drove up the Don Valley Parkway, but instead of exiting at Eglinton, she kept driving north on the 404, past Buttonville Airport, past Gormley, and even past Wesley Corners. She showed no signs of stopping or turning around, or even acknowledging where we were going. She ignored me when I asked her what was going on.
“What if I kidnapped you?” she said. I felt my hands get clammy and my heart speed up. It was dark out and I had found myself the unwilling passenger of someone who was apparently unbalanced. I wondered if this was some kind of reaction to being on a date with a man, when she was clearly more interested in going out with women. I told myself that, when she slowed down, I would open the door and bolt, hitchhiking home if I had to.
Eventually, Lori relented, turned around, and drove me home. She was totally normal the rest of the way, but that was one freaky date.
Rating (out of 10): 1
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