By Nina Haikara (Toronto, ON)

The room was dim. The booth seat was soft, yet hot due to late August heat and the lack of air conditioning in the multi-level house that now was a bar. My friend sat at the adjacent table and we smiled at one another in a nervous way. To calm myself, I lifted my glass of Tom Collins as if to close the distance and clink her drink. A little bell rang. A man sat in front of me.

And your name is...? A stupid question to ask since his name was displayed on the hello sticker on his chest. I wrote it down on the first line. When he moved to the next table, I checked a box for yes or no.

The little bell rang. A man sat in front of me...

So what do you do...?

The little bell rang. A man sat in front of me...

No, I haven't been here before...

The little bell rang.

A day later, the truth arrives in the form of an email. Of the 25 dates in two hours there was to be no second. If they said yes, I said no. If I said no, maybe they said yes (I'll ever know). My friend was matched in agreement four times. And, as foolish as it was - even the idea of a 5-minute conversation sparking anything between two people - all the insecurities within me shouted: what's wrong with you?

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