My heart hammered so fast. For about five seconds, our eyes locked at each other only. It was a magical five seconds, like the word around us suddenly dissolved. 

I never felt like this before, like some kind of connection suddenly bonded us. I've never seen or talked to him ever before but he seemed very familiar. I just could not place when and where... or never?

"Kiara! Let's go." I heard Alison shouted and that broke the spell. 

For some reason, I smiled at him. He looked down and shook his head slowly. When he looked at me again,  he gave me a very tantalising, sexy and captivating smile. Plus his compelling eyes... I sighed with delight. Totally, I was hypnotized. I swear, I could never forget that look, ever. 

"Kiara!! Hurry up! What the fuck are you doing girl? I'm hungry!!" Alison shouted again and I jolted. She curses when she was hungry.

I ran and went after Alison and Chelsea. It was easy to catch up with them though I was wearing my black heels shoes that matched my knitted black dress. I was small only 5'1" in height compared to Alison's 5'8"... and Chelsea who was taller and bigger that Alison. 

"What happened to you?" Chelsea asked.

"I'm trying to zip this jacket. It stuck." Technically, it was true. I could not zip my black jacket. I tried in the car but failed, so I decided to just leave it open. 

"Just keep it that way, you look stylish... and not like a kid." Alison laughed.

"Awww.... you're so mean." I said and Alison hugged me.

"Sorry. You're just too little and so slim... while I'm a giant. I wish I can give you some of my fats and height."

We all laughed and headed inside the hotel.

___

I was shocked. There were about 200 to 300 participants in the venue - in different ages. It seemed like these people were really serious in finding a partner. 

When we registered, Alison instructed that we would not use our real names -- for security reasons. We have to make an alias.

"I can't think of a name. What's yours?" I asked.

"I love Ariana Grande, so I'll be her tonight." Alison wrote 'Arianna Venti' on the name tag then sticked it on the left side of her chest.

Chelsea put her name, she did not mind using her real name. 

I did not want to make a fuss, so I put the alias that came in my mind first.

After we registered, we went to the food area and gave our food stubs. It was a buffet dinner and we were assigned in a table with the other female participants. The assignment was according to age. There were about forty of us and majority really dolled up. 

"Don't mind them, we're here for the food." Chelsea waved her hand and took a big bite of her pizza. "I'm ready for my third round, are you?" She mumbled with her mouth full of food.

"I am." Alison stood up then looked at me. "Come on Kiara."

"I'm really full, thank you." I answered.

I observed the men in another table. I could not find the guy I saw earlier. I assumed he was in the hotel for other reason.

"Have you spotted a cutie?" The girl on my right side asked. "I haven't. If this is not for a cause, I wouldn't have come."

"Same here. My mom forced me to come." The girl sitting across us was the one who answered. "At least the food are really delicious."

I just smiled at them and continued to eat my dessert. Alison and Chelsea arrived carrying another load of food on their plates. I wondered how they could fit it all in their stomachs.


After thirty minutes of eating, it was announced that the blind dating event would start. All participants were instructed to go to the grand ballroom. 

The lights were dimmed when we entered. There were usherettes who guided us to our respective tables. One female participant on a table for two. 

The rules: 

-- Every three minutes, a guy would come and join me in the table. We were given only three minutes to get to know each other. 

-- If both of us agreed to get to know each other more, together we would leave the table. A complimentary compatibility bracelet would be given to us by the organizers, then we could continue our date in the garden. 

The arrangement of the table was based on alphabetical order. Alison got upset why she picked Ariana's name. She was in the first table.

The first guy who joined me in the table was weird. He made me cringe with his questions.

"How often do you have sex?"

"Have you ever did threesome?"

"No. No. NO." I answered while counting the longest three minutes of my life. 

The second guy was so serious but he looked okay.

"When was your last relationship and how long did it last?" He asked.

"Nope, I haven't been in a relationship." I answered.

"Good. Hmm... what is the one thing about yourself that you would like me to know?"

"I'm going to be a doctor."

His lips twisted then said. "I have a phobia of doctors. I hate hospitals."

Next!

Silly, redundant, funny, cringy, serious and weird questions were thrown at me. 

I tried to answer discreetly without offending any of the guys. I just imagined myself answering psychology questions.

After about twenty, I got tired that I wanted to get out. I wondered how many men were left. It had been an hour already and my eyesight got blurry of staring at different men.

Chelsea tapped my shoulder. "I'll go ahead." She giggled as she followed an Asian guy.

"Good luck." I answered and waved at her. 

Alison was the first one who left the table with a thin guy. I knew she was impatient to leave and wanted to get the refreshments first. 

I heard someone drag the chair across mine and seated. I heaved a sigh, tired of too much talking and listening already. Lazily, I turned and fixed my eyes on him.

At first, I thought it was only an imagination, then I realized that it was actually him! The guy in the parking lot earlier.

My eyes grew big as I continued to stare at his handsome profile. My goodness... he's giving me that same tantalising sexy smile again. I think I'm going to pass out, I can't breathe. 

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