Now that QE3 has solved all the world's financial problems, we can turn to this week's chapter of my serialized comic novel "Four Bidding For Love." (Those who find absurdist humor and adult situations offensive, please read no further.)
The trepidation of a second date is quite unlike the trepidation of the first, and in its own way, even more harrowing. For while both parties know within the first few moments of their first meeting if there is any spark between them, the second is fraught with a much greater uncertainty.
In the first date, once each realizes the tinder is damp, both can resign themselves to weathering the last hour of their acquaintance in polite fashion. But if the sparks flew off well-struck stones, then the anxiety of the second date is rapidly raised. Each will want to know if their first meeting lit the kindling of romance, or if the waiting tinder failed to light; for sometimes even the brightest spark fades to ash once the hopeful couple parts.
Thus it was a special torture for Kylie to stand in front of her small closet, clicking through the hangers; it was bad enough trying to decide what to wear, but the excruciating pain in her right shoulder refused to diminish. The two pain-killers she'd gulped down had chiseled little from the insistent hurt, and she feared that the distraction would render her pale and drawn right when she wanted to be bright and funny. For she'd thought of little else all day but Robin and her fear that their attraction was not as mutual as she hoped.
For his part, Robin was plagued by this same demon of doubt plus its distant but terrible cousin, guilt; for though he and