A couple days later, I wrote Shadowcat an email inviting her out to dinner on Saturday night. She replied with:
Things are just crazy busy for the rest of the semester, so I won’t have time to go out.
Crazy busy for the rest of the semester was a rejection. Even if Shadowcat really was swamped, she could’ve found a way to make time. What had happened?
Sighing, I closed my laptop and lay down on my bed. Could it have been my poor excuse for a pasta dinner? Each of the last two times I’d cooked dinner for a girl, I’d never gone out with the girl again. It was time to cut my losses and retire from the kitchen.
Perhaps it’d had nothing to do with my cooking. Had I been too cautious physically? The dinner and salsa date was the third time we’d been out and I hadn’t even gone in for a hug yet, let alone thrown an arm around her.
Still, it’d seemed like we were so good together.
Had I been oblivious to the signs that Shadowcat wasn’t having fun – in the same way I’d missed them with The Axis of Evil? Was I reading only the cues that I’d wanted to see? Perhaps Shadowcat was simply a better actress than she thought.