Rochelle, my roommate Joe’s fiancée, had asked me to join Joe, her, and her parents as a date for her sister Mauren. But when we got to the concert, Mauren told me she hated men, athletes, and me, because I was both. Neither of us said anything for the rest of the concert, and I hardly dared move, always expecting another outburst from her.

As we walked the ladies home, I suddenly realized Mauren and I were alone. I was so focused on getting her back to Rochelle’s apartment quickly that when the others slipped off, I hadn’t noticed. I felt awkward as Mauren and I approached the door, but I was determined to be as gentlemanly as possible to the end.

I turned to her and tried to smile. “Mauren, I’m sorry I was not the company you wanted tonight, but I’m glad I got to meet you.”

I braced myself, expecting her to yell at me again. But she did something unexpected. She smiled. And then she reached out, squeezed my hand, and thanked me for the date before slipping into the apartment. I stood there in shock.

I walked slowly to my apartment, thinking I would never understand females. I went in and just sat in a chair, feeling too bewildered to go to bed. Eventually, Joe and Rochelle came in.

“Where did you all disappear to?” I asked.

“We decided to take a different route so you two could be alone,” Rochelle said. “We wanted Mauren to see you would be a gentleman even without us there.”

“But why did you ask me to go with her in the first place if you knew she’d hate me?”

“She doesn’t really hate you,” Rochelle said. “She’s a super athlete and has only dated arrogant athletes who only had one thing on their minds. When I talked to her about going with you, and she learned you were a wrestler, she said no. But she finally agreed to at least meet you.”

“And that was a disaster, with me up to my elbows in dish soap.”

Rochelle laughed. “That’s the only reason she agreed to go out with you.”

“Well, I guess with what she said, we all know what she truly thought of me and the whole date.”

I was happy it was all over.

The next evening, Joe, Rochelle’s dad, and I had just eaten dinner when the three ladies showed up at our apartment. Rochelle’s mom grabbed her husband’s arm, and Rochelle walked over to Joe and grabbed his arm. “We want to take you guys out for dinner,” Rochelle said.

We had already eaten way too much, and the shocked looks on the two men’s faces were funny, because I knew they didn’t dare say no. I sat down at the table to do homework in order to hide my mirth. But I got an even bigger surprise. Mauren put her hand on my shoulder.

“And I would like you to join us, too.”

Apparently, no one expected that because the room went silent and everyone stared at her. I was so stunned I simply nodded. And when Joe and Rochelle’s dad regained their composure, they grinned.

We drove to a nice restaurant and had a fun time visiting. The food would have been good if I hadn’t been so full that I felt sick. When all three of us guys turned down the banana cream pie, our secret came out, and everyone laughed. We had a good time, and Mauren acted like we were best friends. When I walked her home, and we were alone at the apartment door, I thanked her for the date. She smiled, threw her arms around me, hugged me, then slipped into the apartment. I was more confused than ever.

All six of us had fun together the rest of the week, and when Rochelle’s parents and Mauren were leaving, Mauren said she wanted to write to me. Rochelle didn’t believe it when I told her and was the one who was surprised when I received a letter only two days later.

“I told Mauren that not all guys were like the few she had dated,” Rochelle said. “I’d hoped yours and Joe’s examples would show her, but after the first date, I felt I’d failed. I’m glad it was successful after all.”

And I was glad for a new, unexpected friend.