A first date at a gun show didn’t seem normal to Beth. But she was determined to have a date for her sister’s wedding and with only 49 days to go, she didn’t have time to fuck around with her liberal, or as her co-workers’ called them, “snowflake” assumptions making her judgy. Just because Jason wanted to meet a gun show didn’t make him a bigot. But she did have to keep in mind that it definitely helped tip the scales in that direction. Not because his interest in guns, non-racist white people (do those exist?) and people of color also enjoy guns, that alone was just an interest that signaled a propensity to aggressive and controlling behavior, but that intense interest to have a first date at a gun show combined with the confederate flag decal on his truck and one or two of the jokes he told at the bar the other night did, together, scream intolerance. They met at the bar near her work and he asked her out and he had a job so she said sure, why not. Again, she was under a deadline. It was her younger sister getting married. She can’t be unmarried and also not have a date. She was almost 28.
Beth wore a lightweight and pale yellow dress. Not too tight fighting, but tight fitting enough. Tight around the bodice and free-flowing and flouncy at the skirt. It was perfect for a springtime gun show. She didn’t notice the bullet hitting her in the chest at first. Beth and everyone else in the hall heard the bang and she noticed her pale yellow dress had a red stain spreading over her chest. She noticed the old man who had accidentally shot the pistol, (it was later ruled an accident, one was in the chamber, safety wasn’t on, something fucking happened that someone should have fucking double checked! It’s a gun. Show! Everyone there knows about guns!) staring at her, pale as a ghost. Jason looked at her in horror and before she felt the crushing, stabbing pain of the gunshot wound, she was mortified. He just watched her get shot on a first date. Who gets shot on a first date? So embarrassing.
As Beth was wheeled off to the ambulance, Jason didn’t hold her hand all the way. It was a first date after all. Maybe that was too much commitment. As the doors to the ambulance closed, Beth wondered how this could have been prevented. Maybe she should have trusted her instincts and possible check her priorities. But now the wedding was 48 days away and she had a gunshot wound. She was totally going alone.