At first, I thought that a theatre was a terrible idea for a first date. But Subomi seemed interesting, so I went along with his suggestion. We met outside, the evening sun smiling down on us as we made our introductions. We had met on an app, but I was always wary about sharing too much with a few photos and a profile. It was only by looking a man in the eye that you could tell whether he was trustworthy enough. Subomi’s warm demeanour and obvious intelligence quickly earned him my occupation and the number of my siblings.
We walked in and sat in the comfortable theatre seats. Before long, the lights went down and we were all sat in semi-darkness. I thought that cinemas and theatres were terrible places for first dates. But as the drama played out on stage, I could feel his gentle rise and fall beside me. His eyes and his mind were focused on the stage in front of us, but every so often he would turn to me. Silently we would exchange a knowing look and then our eyes would return to the stage.
After the play ended, we sat talking in the lobby. Eventually, the theatre staff apologetically informed us that we could stay no longer. We walked the streets talking for hours. Despite my reservations, the play had created space where two strangers could construct shared silences. Late into the night, we excavated those silences.