It was a dark restaurant called Galaxy. Naomi sat at the bar, waiting, her back turned away. Her hair was down. This would be our second date. Even as I approached, I thought she looked more formal, a little more elegant than the last time. I liked it.
“Hey,” I said.
“Hi!” She looked excited to see me.
We kissed on the cheeks. Her hand went to my face and she held it there for a moment. She had a light touch. I was surprised at the intimacy. I liked that, too. Still, something was strange. The girl I had met only once before had a slacker dimension that was missing tonight. A sliver of doubt crept in.
“So how was yoga?” I asked.
She looked at me strangely.
“Didn’t you just come from yoga?”
“I don’t understand.”
By now I had begun to to sweat. I felt droplets on my neck.
“You’re not Naomi, are you?”
She may not have been Naomi, but she was definitely a Jew. Or an Italian. I can’t tell the difference between the two.
“Christ, I’m sorry. You look just like her. I only met her once. We’re having a second date tonight.”
She started laughing.
“Oh, my God. I thought you were somebody I knew from maybe where I once worked.”
I laughed, too. But it wasn’t as free and easy as hers. I wished she were Naomi. I found her deeply attractive.
“I can’t believe,” I said, “that I just kissed a stranger.”
“Well, my name’s Sally. What’s yours?”
For some reason I turned and there was Naomi coming out of the ladies’ room.
“And there she is,” I said.
Naomi approached with a big smile on her face. It was the real Naomi this time. We kissed in a rushed way. She completely ignored the other woman. I turned to Sally. Sally leaned forward.
“Good luck,” she whispered.