Dating for a police officer is a little different. At least for Curt. There weren’t a string of one night stands. He wanted to be respectful, thoughtful and careful. When he met a girl he was interested in there would usually be a string of dates before they ever kissed.
Cathy Burns, a beautiful waitress at the Richland TJ’s restaurant. She had a pleasant, easy smile and casual nature.
One night after he had ordered his dinner and Cathy was refilling his coffee, Curt got up the nerve, “So, Cathy. I wonder if it would be possible, I mean, may I request your company to join me for a movie and dinner some time?”
Cathy grinned. “Why Officer Curt, if that’s how you ask a girl out on a date… I thought you’d never ask.” She wrote her phone number on the back of his hand.
“I’m on nights until Wednesday. Can we plan on going this Friday if you don’t already have plans,” asked Curt.
“Well, I was going to do laundry and watch TV but I think I can clear my schedule,” Cathy responded with a wink.
That Friday Curt went and picked Cathy up and asked her, “So where would you like to have dinner?”
“How about Round Table Pizza,” said Cathy. “I really love Pizza.”
Curt drove there and parked then got out and went around to open the door for Cathy and escorted her inside.
Once they were seated, “So what’s your favorite pizza,” asked Curt.
“Pepperoni and black olive,” Cathy answered without hesitation.
“Okay, then there’s no need to waste time looking at the menu,” said Curt with a smile. “What size should we order?”
“Let’s get a large,” replied Cathy. Again as if this was a predetermined issue.
“Are you sure? A large pizza can feed a family of twelve or six lumber jacks. I’m hungry and willing but I doubt I could eat half of a medium,” asked Curt.
“No, I’m really hungry and I really love pizza,” Cathy affirmed.
So Curt ordered the large. When it arrived Cathy ate two pieces. Curt could only eat four even as hungry as he was. That left half the pizza untouched.
After dinner they went to see a movie and Curt drove her home.
The next time he asked her out Curt asked, “Where would you like to eat tonight? How about something besides pizza?”
“No, I really want pizza,” answered Cathy.
“You’re kidding. Last time you only ate two pieces. We ended up feeding the homeless. Which I don’t have a problem with but I’d like you to enjoy dinner. Maybe a burger or steak,” said Curt.
“No, can we please go for pizza,” Cathy begged.
He drove her to Round Table and escorted her inside. Once they were seated and the waitress came to take their order, Curt looked at Cathy, “How about we get a medium this time?”
“I’m really hungry,” said Cathy with a pouty face for emphasis.
Curt looked at the waitress, “Is there a group of hungry teenagers that you can have standing by? We’ll have the large pepperoni with black olives please.”
The pizza arrived and again Cathy only ate two pieces. Curt began to debate whether this might be some kind of test. Was this Cathy’s way of determining her power over the guy or maybe how gullible he was personally?
They went to another movie and he took Cathy home.
Before he asked her out again, Curt had to consider the pros and cons. Cathy was fun, intelligent, good company, and easy on the eyes. The only strike against her was the pizza issue. Still, he was interested. So he asked her out again.
Once he had picked her up and they were driving off he started, “Look, Cathy, you’re great company and I really like spending time with you. But I gotta say the whole large pizza deal is a real set back. Can we eat somewhere else tonight?”
“I know, I’m sorry,” Cathy answered. “But I really love pizza. I just really wanted you to like me and I didn’t want you to think I was a pig.”
“Not an issue, really. So can we eat somewhere else,” Curt begged.
“Can we go for pizza one more time? I promise I’ll eat more this time,” Cathy asked.
Curt looked at her. “Seriously? I’ll take you anywhere. Any restaurant in the Tri-Cities. Hell, if you asked I’d drive you to Yakima and let you pick a place to eat there. I’m beginning to feel stupid taking you for pizza.”
Cathy looked back and said, “I know I’ve been a pain in the ass. But honestly, I really love pizza. I don’t get it very often and I really crave it. I promise I’ll eat more this time.”
“No other food will do? Any other restaurant? Honestly? Is this you’re way of testing to see if I’m really interested in you? Come on,” Curt tried to negotiate.
“Please,” Cathy begged.
“Do you have friends that are going to Round Table and waiting for our left overs,” Curt chuckled.
Again, seated and ready to order, Curt tried one more time, “I love pizza too, and I’m hungry but even starving there is only so much I can eat. Can we settle on a medium size and see how it goes?”
“I know, I know. But I’m really hungry, and I promise I’ll eat more. Just one more time can we get a large,” Cathy reaffirmed.
“How about a medium, a bucket of pop and the desert of your choice,” Curt was still trying to end up with less than half of the pizza left over when they left.
“Please,” said Cathy sticking to her guns.
“Are we being watched? Have you made a bet with some friends that you can make me be stupid for you,” Curt said looking around the room.
“No, I just really want pizza. Please?”
Curt looked at the waitress, “How long have you worked here?”
“About a year,” answered the waitress smiling.
“Do other girls come in and ask for a large and then only eat two pieces? Is this some kind of dating thing,” Curt asked.
“No. Most folks settle for a medium unless it’s a group of people,” the waitress responded.
Curt looked at Cathy, “Can we please just get a medium? I can’t eat that much and based on your past performance neither can you.”
Cathy looked down, “I know. But can we please, just one more time get a large?”
“Fine,” said Curt slightly disappointed with himself for being manipulated into doing it again when he had been so determined not to. He looked up at the waitress, “Just out of curiosity, have you ever felt used and abused on a date? Never mind. That’s none of my business. We’ll take the large and can you get me an appointment to have my head examined?”
When the pizza showed up Curt took a piece and set it on his plate.
Cathy began folding pieces over onto each other and started eating three pieces at a time.
Curt was stunned. Cathy continued not just with the first three pieces, but the next three and then again. It was all Curt could so to get two pieces for himself before the whole pizza was gone.
As she was finishing the last of it and licking her fingers, Curt finally asked, “What the hell? Who are you and what have you done with Cathy?”
“I told you I liked pizza,” she answered.
“Yeah, so do I but before you could only eat two pieces. What happened?”
“Well, I was just to shy before. After our other dates I’d go home and pig out. I just didn’t want to really eat in front of you,” Cathy explained.
“Okay, how about you back it off a little and let me get a few pieces. You know just a little shy is okay,” said Curt.
Want more stories like this check out the book The Chief Is Missing which is available in audio for those of us that don’t have time to sit down and read. Narrated by Dan Levy.
Another Book by J A Sliger is Code Name Artist. It’s a World War Two drama based on a man that fought the Nazi’s from inside the German Secret Service The Abwehr.