They had a nice lunch and Dave found this woman to be great company; although he began to feel suspicious that this mystery woman was asking him all of these personal questions and was unable to reveal anything personal about herself; he told himself it didn’t matter; he was just flattered she was taking an interest in him and she really was beautiful. She had this air of confidence that made him so attracted to her. He had always been attracted to strong independent free-thinking women; ones that preferred deep conversation over surface level chit chat; he hated small talk. Sadly, most of the women he knew were experts in the art of small talk but couldn’t hold a conversation to save their lives. With Iris; he was hanging on to every word; she was just so smart and clearly an intellectual; which was a rarity to come across. And was she funny; she had a real smart sarcastic type of humor that Dave appreciated; anyone that could make him laugh was good company. This woman was like a dream come true and he was beginning to really understand what she had meant earlier about fate bringing together. Dave was really enjoying himself; getting lost in the conversation and the beauty of this woman; when all of a sudden, a man interrupted him; Dave felt intimidated because this was one of those good-looking guys that women always threw themselves at. The man said to Iris “I’m sorry to interrupt but do I know you from somewhere” Iris replied “No, I don’t think so; maybe we met in a past life” she said with a giggle. “Maybe, you certainly have a face that I’d remember, hi I’m Jim” At this point Dave felt so uncomfortable; she was just as flirtatious with this guy as she was with him; and she was doing it right in front of him; he felt like disappearing; he had no idea how to react and he ended picking at his food silently while the two continued to flirt as if he wasn’t even there. She asked him about where he was going and he said Wyoming for business and she exclaimed overexcitedly “Wyoming!! That’s where I’m going what a coincidence” “That’s funny” thought Dave. “I asked her about where she was headed and she gave me this bullshit about going wherever the train takes her and now she’s tells this guy she’s going to Idaho, what the hell” Without even asking Dave; Iris invited this man to their table to eat; he happily obliged and Dave could feel himself become beet red in embarrassment; he could tell this man felt he was superior to him; the kind of guy who could get anyone woman he wanted and here he was intruding into this great conversation he was having with this beautiful woman; what a jerk. He want to just get up and leave the two of them but instead he stayed while they talked. The man said “By the way, my name is Jim and I can just say you are a beautiful woman; I’m sure your friend has probably already mentioned that” Iris blushed. “Does she flirt with every single guy she meets” thought Dave. Dave felt he had enough; he excused himself and said “Well, I’ll leave the two of you to finish your lunch” Iris said “No, honey. Stay with us; you seem upset what’s wrong” Dave thought carefully and said “I’m not upset but I feel a little tired and I just need to go back to my seat. Iris “Ok, I’ll see you back there, ok? “Sure” replied Dave. As he was walking out of the dining car, he felt defeated; he could hear the talking and laughing as if they had known each other all their lives; he felt so low. He felt annoyed that Jim had come out of nowhere and now had all the attention of Iris. He wondered why he was hung up on a woman he just met; he was just hurt; he thought there was a spark but he guessed he was wrong.
Dave returned to his seat; trying not to appear anxious. He reminded himself; he was on this train to see his friend Alex and that’s all that mattered but he kept thinking about Iris. He thought about all of his dating failures ; his inability to get over his fear of women; he felt they never gave him a chance; his anxiety always got the best of him and relationships felt apart sometimes even before they began; he saw other people successful in relationships and wonder why he struggled so much; it really made him depressed, As Dave was lost in his thoughts; the old man from earlier sat next to him and said “ I was walking through the diner car and I saw what happened with the young man and the girl you were talking to” “I warned you she was trouble; I could just tell; wasn’t I right” Dave replied “ I don’t mean to be rude but I don’t see how that is any of your business” The old man replied “ Look, kid. I’ve been around a lot longer than you and I know trouble when I see it, ok” “That young woman may be beautiful but be careful of those that become too friendly too quickly; they usually don’t have your best interests at heart, my advice is that we have a long trip, keep your distance, and count it as a blessing that she’s talking to this other guy and not you. Another woman chimed in “Look I also know it’s also none of my business but I think this man is right, if she dismisses you like that; like you’re nothing; is she really worth talking to; even if it is for a train trip. If you want you can just sit next to me and I’m sure she’ll just end up talking to this other fella anyways; no offense” Dave felt so embarrassed at this point; he didn’t ask for anyone’s advice; especially about his love life or lack thereof. But Dave took what they said to heart and said” Maybe you are both right; I am just not used to beautiful women paying attention to me” The woman stated : You are such a handsome sweet kind guy; you’ll find someone; I’m sure of it” Dave felt a little better and decided to forget about what happened and try to focus on seeing Alex in a few days.
About 20 minutes later; Dave saw Iris as she was walking back from the dining car; she had a big smile on her face and was giving him the same look, she did in the train station. “I bet she was really impressed by him” “She probably think I’m loser compared to that guy” thought Dave. Iris sat down next to Dave and grabbed him arm and put her head on his shoulder; as if they were friends and hadn’t just met hours before. She said “ I could tell you were upset, you don’t have to be” “I really like you, Dave; you’re cute and sweet and way more interesting than Jim” “We talked for a bit but he kept hitting on me and wanted me to go to his sleeping cabin and I was NOT interested; he persisted and I finally told him to fuck off; why are some guys such assholes, you know?” “I don’t know” replied Dave. “You are really different than most guys, aren’t you Dave?” “And that’s why you are so such a catch” Dave ears perked up and he could feel his heart race; an anxious reaction. Dave said “ I don’t know about that; I don’t have much luck with women” Iris stated “I don’t believe that at all; maybe you haven’t met the right kind of woman, you never know she could be right under your nose and you don’t even realize it” she said with a sly smile and right then Dave knew without a shadow of a doubt that this woman was coming onto to him. When it came to dating; Dave preferred women to make the first move; he wasn’t the aggressive type; and he had yet to find a woman that was willing to make the first move; yet Iris had guts and wasn’t afraid to show interest in a man she liked. Dave was taken back but welcomed it; he had forgotten the conversation with two other passengers’ moments before; the old man looked back sternly but Dave ignored his glances. The other woman was asleep with her headphones on; Dave didn’t care; Iris was flirting big time and he wasn’t going to stop her.