I used an online story prompt device called Story Spinner to give me an idea for something to write. This is what I came up with:
The building in which they met had once been a ladies’ undergarment factory on the wrong side of the tracks. Now it housed a Japanese noodle house, a dry cleaner, and stylish loft apartments. Their mutual friend Patty had set them up on a blind lunch date.
“There’s a built-in time limit,” she said to each of them. “You both only have an hour for lunch. If you consider travel time to and from the restaurant plus time to order and eat, you only really have to make conversation for 20 minutes or so.”
Patty could be very persuasive. She even arranged with the owner of the restaurant to pay the bill for the meal herself. “How can you say no to a free lunch?” she weedled, knowing this was an argument that no guy could resist. Mike caved pretty quickly; he really liked udon.
“All right!” Joyce surrendered, throwing her hands in the air. “I’ll go. But only if you swear never to do anything like this again!” She glared at Patty, who agreed a little too readily, solemnly vowing never to fix Joyce up on a date again. Joyce scowled, but she had already said she would go. She, at least, would keep her word.
Joyce arrived first because her workplace was in the next block. She chose a table near the door, where the lunch traffic might afford a distraction and she could make a quick getaway if necessary. Mr. Yoshi himself came to the table when he saw her sit down.
“Don’t worry,” he beamed at her reassuringly, “Patty is a good friend.” Joyce rolled her eyes but managed to smile back.
The door opened, and a man entered and looked about, clearly searching for someone. Mr. Yoshi ushered him to the table where Joyce sat, then hurried off to the kitchen to bring them tea. Joyce took a deep breath.
“You must be Mike,” she said to her table companion, with a smile that hardly looked at all nervous. He nodded and smiled back.
“You must be Joyce,” he replied.