The third one, and she still wasn’t Miriam. There had been somewhat of a resemblance, which was why Derek had picked her out in the dating website in the first place.
When Derek had figured going on a dating site might’ve been a good idea, he hit a brick wall with the long questionnaire and its seemingly endless, inane queries:
What are the things that you are most proud of?
What are the top three things you are most passionate about?
If you won a million dollars in the lottery, how would you spend it?
What’s the most important thing you’re looking for in another person?
The last one was laughable. The most important thing was that the other person be Miriam. Nothing else was needed. No worries about hair color or eye color. How important religion was to them. If they were a smoker or a vegetarian or exercised three times week. If they’d rather go to an art museum or a baseball game (or insert other sport in the line below).
None of that mattered.
Derek had to admit that his third date from the website, just last night, was the closest among all three. Her name was Bethany. There was something to her brown eyes that were Miriam-like. Sure, they were more guarded than Miriam’s. Well, except for toward the end, when Miriam certainly had her guard up in their many arguments. But maybe it was because Bethany’s eyes were guarded and Miriam-like that Derek was impacted by them more than the first two dates. Maybe he wanted to see those eyes become unguarded, back to how they looked while things were smooth and beautiful with Miriam.
Still, though, Bethany’s gestures were wrong. She moved in a different way. Not close to Miriam at all.
“Which,” Derek told the cup of coffee the morning after the date, “is completely unfair to Bethany.” He had been honest with Bethany during the date and said that he had recently had a painful break-up. He was taking things slowly. Bethany kindly nodded, said she understood.
But she didn’t know how deeply Derek wanted her to be Miriam.
He sipped the coffee, then watched how the disturbance of his lips caused ripples across the surface of the coffee. He couldn’t decide whether to ask Bethany out on another date or leave her be and just be alone for a while.