Dark Horse

[10th April 2014]

Guess what Ove came here to do?
Ask me if I wanted to go watch “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with him!

Sounds too good to be true, right?
You’d be right, because there are some twists to this whole deal.

He comes into the common room asking if I have any interest in seeing the play, and I can’t help but to go on about how it’s one of my favorite of Shakespeare’s plays— mind you, I only like his comedies, all his tragedies and histories can go straight to hell. I mean, I’d seen the posters for this performance around town, but for some reason it just never occurred to me that I could just buy tickets. But yeah, I tell him that I’m interested.

Ove explains that he has two tickets for it on Saturday, but here comes the not so rosy part: he feels the need to explain the whole back story to his ticket acquisition. Apparently he bought the tickets some time ago— a week? a month? a few days ago? I don’t know— in an effort to woo Sofia, one of his girlfriend candidates. He knows she’s a fan of Shakespeare… I think she’s studying English lit or something, so of course she’s into it. Anyway, he had this whole elaborate plan to invite her and at first she agreed to go with him. But then earlier today she called to cancel on him, I’m not really sure why because I was too busy focusing on my stupid inner conflict to really play attention to his drama.

There he is, it’s Thursday afternoon, two days before the play and no date!

I’m not sure what to say about going with to the play with him— at this point I’m pretty sure Ove is about to ask me. I have plans with X on Saturday. Although I’d much rather go and see a play…with Ove… even if I’m not his first choice for a date.

I realize I’m pathetic. Really, I should have some dignity and just say no, but I can’t help feeling curious about how it would be to go on an exciting date again… even if it is a pretend date. It’s been so long since X and I did something like go to a play… and it’s been longer since I’ve felt the jolt of excitement and anticipation that I’m feeling now.

He explains that he felt strange inviting one of his male friends go with him to such a girly play, so if I wasn’t busy, he’d love to take me.

“Why sure,” I answer sarcastically, and add rather amused with myself, “I’ll be the understudy!”

“Huh?”

“I don’t know how to say understudy in Swedish,” I sigh. I thought my comment was particularly on point. “Never mind, it’s not important. I’ll go with you. I’ve never actually seen this play being performed, so it should be exciting.”

I chuckle at Ove’s obvious look of relief. Even though I’m pathetic enough to go on an almost day with my object of lust, I’m not kidding myself about what this is. It’s a friendship date. And if I’m going to make it into something it’s not, then I’m turning it into a pity date. So, rather than risking further self embarrassment in the very real off chance that Ove might ask for me to pay for my share of the ticket, I follow up:

“So, how much do I owe you?” I say leaning down to fish my wallet out of my backpack on the floor at my feet.

“It’s fine,” he tells me, waving his arms dismissively.

“I insist,” I say eyeing him squarely. I’m not sure why this is important to be… maybe because my  pride has already taken a hit by deciding to ditch X for some asshole. I know I’m missing out on one of the few times a Swedish guy is willing to treat me to something instead of going Dutch. “Fair is fair,” I add in Swedish.

“Okay,” he says woodenly. See it doesn’t take much convincing. Feminism, fuck yeah! “It was only 120 crowns.”

“Wow! That is cheap!” I rifle through my wallet and hand him the cash.

“Get yourself something pretty, Honey!” I joke, winking.

“Ha ha!” he smiles back sarcastically, pocketing the money. ”You’re so nice!”

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