“Jake, this was a terrible idea.”
“It’ll be fine.”
“A blind restaurant? Really?” She leaned as close to his side of the table as she could. “I heard that even the waiters are blind.”
“In that case, I would keep your voice down. They have exceptional hearing.”
“How are they supposed to bring us food!”
“C’mon, you said you wanted an adventure.”
“An adventure is a random trip to Paris or a hike through a jungle at night or camping out in the middle of a field. Not dining at a blind restaurant.”
She settled back in her chair with a sigh. It wasn’t a big deal. She didn’t know the price of the place and honestly felt a little bad for the way she was acting, but it was just the fact that he’d thought this was what she’d meant when she told him about wanting an adventurous date. She heard Jake start giggling.
“What is it?”
“Nothing. Nothing… It’s just, you are making such a big deal about this, and I just think it’s hilarious.”
“It is kinda funny.”
“No, Sarah. I’m talking about the way you’re acting.” He cleared his throat. He was probably about to say something that he shouldn’t, and then cleared his throat to cover it. That’s the only reason he ever cleared his throat.
Sarah could hear the gently tapping of his hand trying to find its way around the table. She didn’t bother with trying to find her napkin and silverware yet. They hadn’t even ordered.
Sarah jerked back and nearly screamed but heard Jake making a shushing noise from across her.
“Sorry! Sorry, that was me.”
“What’s with you!”
“What did I get? Where did I touch you.”
“You don’t want to know,” she hissed. She could feel her face burning and heard Jake’s soft laughter.
“I’m so sorry, Sarah.”
She leaned back in her chair and resisted pushing it out further from the table. It would be really bad if a waiter tripped over it because it wasn’t where it was expected it to be.
What if she had to go to the bathroom? What would she do if she had to use the bathroom!
She heard Jake’s soft patting again.
“Jake, are you feeling around the table again.”
“Yeah, how else will I get familiar with it?”
She scowled. “We’ve already had one incident.”
“Oh, what? Where I touched you? Come on, Sarah! It’s too dark for anyone to even see! They might hear you talking about it, but–”
“I’m just saying it’s inappropriate.”
“I just wonder if that’s how blind people feel. You know, since they can’t see and all? Do you think that they don’t consider that other people can see them sometimes, or do they not just care, or… how does that work?”
“Jake! Don’t say things like that.”
“Why not? It’s why we’re here, isn’t it? To see what it’s like to be blind?”
Sarah sighed. There was no arguing against him. She just hoped that there was no one close enough to hear. She heard some tinkling of silverware in the distance and a few voices mixed with laughter, but nothing was coherent.
“This will broaden our experiences,” Jake whispered.
“Yes, in case either of us ever happen to go blind, we’ll know exactly how to behave at a restaurant, or at least know that we could work at one.”
“Hello, how is everything tonight? My name is Hannah, and I’ll be taking care of you tonight. Can I get you something to drink?”
Sarah immediately felt her face begin to burn. She didn’t know that someone was standing so close!
“Yes, we’ll have two waters with lemon, thank you.” Jake didn’t miss a beat.
“Alright, I’ll get those right out then tell you what the special is.”
Sarah wanted to leave, but how could she leave? She couldn’t even go to the bathroom! At least the waitress couldn’t see her. Ugh! She’s such a terrible person.
“Way to go, Sarah,” Jake whispered. She knew that he was wearing a Jake Look.
“Shut up,” she hissed.
A faint thump was audible on the table.
“Here are your drinks.” The waitress went over the night’s special, steak with rice pilaf and steamed vegetables. Jake ordered for them both again. When silence returned, and she could only assume the waitress had left, she heard Jake’s fingers tapping on the table.
“I wonder if the cook is blind, too.”
“Stop it, Jake.” She wasn’t in the mood. She heard his snickering and crossed her arms. They were covered in chills, though it didn’t feel cold. Did it? She couldn’t tell. Were there other people who felt cold?
“Hey, reach up your left – no right – hand.”
“Why?” She did it anyway and could feel the silk tablecloth. No, it wasn’t silk. It was that really soft material that was waterproof, but it wasn’t as soft as silk. It had a more homey feeling. It was probably white because she couldn’t imagine it any other way. Maybe it was red.
She felt Jake’s fingers tap against her wrist then feel down to her palm and wrap around her fingers. His fingertips were calloused from all the building he did at work, and his palms were smooth but hard. She remembered when sometimes his calluses would get rough and would stick to clothing. But tonight his hand felt smooth, smooth enough to be something cold, even though his hand was warmer than hers.
“Your hand feels really soft.”
“Thanks,” she replied.
“So you still think this is a bad idea?” He squeezed her hand.
“No. I don’t… I just think it would be hard to live like this. If something like this ever were to happen to one of us, God forbid.”
“Yeah. We should be more thankful. It takes someone stronger than us to be able to do all the things that we do without being able to see.”
“You’d do a better job at it than me.”
He laughed. “No I wouldn’t. But you’re right, I couldn’t imagine. What would I do if I couldn’t see your face? How would I know what you looked like when we grew old together? Eh, it wouldn’t matter. I’d still know that you’d be as ugly as the day I married you.”
“I’m just kidding.” He was giggling again. “And you know I’m kidding. You still remember how I acted when I first laid eyes on you. You used to talk about it all the time.”
“Yeah.” A warm fuzzy feeling tickled her insides, and she smiled. Jake was running his smooth, hard fingertips over her knuckles. She could hear his soft humming. Her other hand felt warm and damp, but she resisted rubbing it over her dress. She thought for a while, then did it anyway. It didn’t matter. No one could see her acting nervous or leaving wet marks on her dress. It was made of silk, much softer and lighter than the tablecloth material. It was dark purple and looked almost exactly the same as the dress she’d worn when Jake had proposed, except these sleeves were long and not cut off at the shoulder, and her other dress had been a dark red.
“Do you remember the dress I wore when you proposed.”
“Yep. The red one.”
“The one I’m wearing right now looks a lot like that one.”
“Yeah, except the sleeves are longer.”
She smiled. Jake was a good husband.
“Do you still have that dress?”
“No! That’s been eight years ago, Jake.”
“Oh, has it been that long? Well, we need to get you another one like that. And peach heels, too.”
“Whatever. That dress was shorter, too.”
“No it wasn’t.”
“Yes it was. I think I would remember. Well, maybe not. I don’t really have a good view of you right now.” They both giggled. “Besides, I like it when you show a little skin.” He squeezed her hand, and she felt her cheeks getting hot again.
“Jake, stop it.”
He laughed softly, and she smiled.
“Maybe it’s where I’ve lost weight.”
“You have not lost any weight.”
“What is that supposed to mean?”
“Well, all you fix are those weird green noodles, and that one bread stuff–”
“It is zucchini spaghetti, and it is not all I fix. We just have a bunch of zucchini because one year you were like oh Sarah let’s get a garden and–”
“Sarah! Sarah, sheesh.” She heard his sigh. “C’mon, honey. It’s been ten years–”
“Well, I’ve known you for ten. You think you’d know my sense of humor by now.”
“Yeah, like taking me out to a blind restaurant.”
She heard Jake snicker, and she started giggling.
“Stop laughing, stop laughing, Jake.”
“Yeah, I’m laughing at you though.”
Sarah slowly lifted her other arm and moved it onto the table. There probably wasn’t any silverware or plates. They would bring those out with the food. A safe decision.
Jake was humming again and rubbing his thumb over her knuckles. She listened and realized it was “Here Comes the Bride.” What a weirdo. Sarah grinned and squeezed his hand. He started giggling again.
“What? Don’t like my kind of music?”
“Thanks for taking me out.”
“Yeah, I’ve never been on a blind date before. Wait till I tell Jim and Barry that I went on a blind date. With my wife.”
“I bet you will.”
“I will. Watch me.”
Photo by Juliette F