“Eyes are creepy.” Patrick slumped into the seat across from her. It was an odd way to start a conversation, but blind dates were never easy. Besides, he was handsome, and her father had vouched for him.
“That’s one way to introduce yourself.”
He stared at his hands. “Have you ever really looked at an eye ball?” He shuddered. “They look like they could pop. I bet they ooze.”
She wasn’t sure how to respond. “So, you’re ommetaphobic?”
“What’s that?” He continued to look down.
“It’s the fear of eyes.” She was beginning to question her father’s judgement.
“That’s a thing?”
She looked around the small room, sure she was being pranked. She’d dated some winners before, but this guy took the prize. If this was a joke, her dad would suffer the consequence of his questionable sense of humor. Then she thought: what if it wasn’t a joke? “Didn’t you wonder why you dislike eyes?”
“I always felt this way. I thought it was normal.”
“No one ever mentioned it before? Most people enjoy staring into other people’s eyes. Some say they’re the windows to the soul.”
“Windows to the soul? That makes it worse.” He started breathing heavily and she wondered if he was going to have a panic attack.
“No one ever suggested you get help?”
“Not until now.”
She sighed, feeling bad for him. “You should see a professional.”
He smiled at his hands. “I sat here because it was the only empty seat in the café. I’m glad I did.”
“You’re not Patrick?” Had he looked at her eyes, he would’ve seen the surprise.
“No. You must have been stood up. Patrick’s loss, my gain. Maybe we can have dinner?”
“Sorry. I’m moving to France.” As she left, she realized this wasn’t her worse date.