“So where is he?” Elise looked skeptical as we both checked our cell phones for the time.  1:45 AM.  I looked up and scanned the bar again hoping that I would focus in on Matt’s tall physique in order to refute the possibility that he had just not shown up.  I felt a sick twist in my gut and checked my phone one more time for a text message or missed call.  Nothing.  I had put my number on the invitation, so he had to have it.  My mind searched for possibilities as to why he did not even call…car accident?  He lost the invite?  The sick feeling enveloped my whole body as I watched some of my friends talk to Elise in the corner of the bar.  She was shaking her head and shrugging her shoulders and they had sympathetic looks on their faces.  I could just picture it.  Another potential guy for Dani bites the dust would be what they were saying. The thought of their pity made me want to throw up.  Instead I reached around my friend Doug at the bar and took the shot he was in the middle of paying for and threw it down my throat.  Bleccch, it was Jagermeister.  I gagged and turned to chug my beer as a reprieve, while Doug looked around in confusion for the shot that had disappeared-my cue to wander away from the bar. 

Mentally I cursed myself as I wandered back over to the dance floor where my friends were rocking out.  I had been looking forward to hanging out with Matt all day and was even too nervous and excited to eat.  But here it was almost two in the morning and I was not naïve enough to think that he was going to show up now.  I let my alcoholic haze carry me through the rest of the party and had a great time with my friends.  But I refused to believe that Matt would be so callous.  He had promised, I thought desperately, and he had not called to say otherwise.  I shook my head, trying to force all thoughts and emotions over him out of my mind.  I would have to let my disappointment seep in the next morning along with my hangover.

“So he just didn’t show up?  I winced and rubbed my forehead.  It was the next morning, I had a pounding headache from my party and my mom was subjecting me to an interrogation that I really was not equipped to handle.

“Yes,” I answered wearily.

“Well then he’s not interested in you.”  My mom stated bluntly. 

“You don’t know that for sure,” I said testily.  Who the hell did she think she was?  She hadn’t even met the guy!

“Well if he really liked you he would have made it last night.”  She said with superiority.  My crankiness was in full swing now. 

“Maybe he had some kind of emergency,” I protested.  “Or he lost the invitation.”

“Oh Dani,” now she looked at me sympathetically.  “You’re smarter than that!  Has he called you to say why he didn’t make it?” she asked.

“No,” I said sullenly.  She raised her eyebrows. 

“Guys who like you, and I mean REALLY like you?  They will always make the effort to see you if they know you want to see them.  Your father drove down to the beach twice in one day from Brooklyn once, and you know what?”

“What?” I humored her, even though I knew the answer.

“Your father HATES the beach!”  She declared triumphantly, having proved her point.  I buried my face in my hands.  Guys were not like that anymore, were they?  The ones my age did not seem to have a chivalrous bone in their body.