Cheryl had left Cheyenne, Wyoming early in the afternoon on Saturday so that she would arrive in Gillette, Wyoming at approximately 3:30 p.m. She wanted to check into the Arbuckle Lodge in Gillette, and then go and see the Prime Rib Restaurant & Wine Cellar before her date with Tracy. She wanted to plan ahead the safest place to park her vehicle, and she wanted to see where the restaurant exits were in case she needed to escape from her date.
Cheryl had stopped at Taco Bell on the way to Gillette to get a drink and a couple of burritos. She did not want to be hungry at dinner. She wanted to focus on Tracy, and not be distracted by food and being hungry. Also, she did not want to appear to be a hungry pig on her dinner date.
She checked into the Arbuckle Lodge at 3:30 p.m., everything was fine there. Then she drove over to the Prime Rib Restaurant & Wine Cellar, just to quickly peak inside. It was very Wyoming-ish inside, not very cosmopolitan. Cheryl decided that she would be more comfortable wearing pants to dinner instead of a dress.
Cheryl went back to the hotel. It was 4:15 p.m. She might have liked to call one of her friends to let them know how things were going, if she had any friends, but she didn’t. That is one of the reasons why Cheryl felt that she had to be careful all the time. If something happened to her, no one would know. If something ever happened to her, the only people who would notice her missing, would be the people at her job, who might try to call her, but none of them knew what was going on in her life. They wouldn’t know what to think.
Cheryl had learned a long time ago, not to trust other women. Cheryl was intelligent and attractive, and it seemed to her that other women would sometimes want to be friends with her, but these friendships would never work out. She would become more and more annoyed by the foolishness of these women friends, and at the same time these women friends would be getting more and more annoyed with Cheryl for being so analytical and disciplined. Eventually, Cheryl could detect that most of the women that had wanted to be friends with her, actually came to dislike her, and this would come out in sarcastic comments, thinly veiled insults and put downs, undermining, sabotage, and betraying confidences. With friends like these, who needs enemies?
Cheryl also learned not to trust men her own age. They typically did not know very much, about anything, though they thought that they did. Men her own age would put on an act around her, either trying to appear intelligent and considerate, or trying to appear tough and confident. In just a short while, she would always end up finding out that these men her own age were self-centered, insecure, weak, needy, and immature.
Cheryl felt that her mental and emotional equivalent in a male was always someone that was ten to fifteen years older than her. The only good relationships that she had, were her work relationships with men that were ten to fifteen years older than her, some of them were married men. They were dependable. They were always where they were supposed to be, when they were supposed to be, doing what they were supposed to be doing. They did their work competently, and they appreciated her work. They did not make any passes at her, they did not make any lewd comments, they did not pry into her personal life. They were steady in their temperament. They did not do anything destructive. They were providers for their wives and children, they were not selfish.
The last thing in the world that Cheryl would have ever done, considering that she was always so careful, and only ever got along with men that were ten to fifteen years older than her, was go on a date with someone sixteen years younger than herself.
Tracy had an O.K. drive from Belfield, North Dakota down to Gillette, Wyoming, though it took him a little over four hours. He used that time to think about everything that he was not supposed to do. He needed to not do anything that would reveal he was only 20 years old, and that he was not Jewish. Even though he thought that Cheryl was attractive, that is why he picked her, and that is why he was willing to drive for four hours to meet her, having sex with her was not his goal. Having sex with her would probably even make it more difficult to get what he wanted. He wanted to know what Jewish people were like, how they behaved, what they talked about, what things did they do, how did they see things.
As soon as this oil boom was over, and his father would let him leave Belfield, he wanted to move to New York City. He wanted to enroll in a college and study music, theater, dance, art, and literature. He wanted to be a composer. He wanted to write musicals. All of the best composers and playwrights were Jewish. He didn’t know any Jews. If he could get to know Cheryl, this would help him a great deal he thought.
Tracy arrived in Gillette about half an hour before his dinner date with Cheryl. He stopped at a convenience store to get a Coke and wait until it was closer to 6:30 p.m. He knew right where the Prime Rib Restaurant & Wine Cellar was. He was not about to get there early, go to wait at the bar, and because he would be alone at that point, they would ask him for his ID, which he couldn’t show them because he was only 20.
Tracy arrived at the Prime Rib Restaurant & Wine Cellar right at 6:30 p.m. Being young and 6′-1″, Tracy walked quickly, he was in the front door and over to the bar where Cheryl was sitting before any nosy hostess got in his way, “Hello Cheryl, I’m Tracy”, he said, as he put out his hand to Cheryl. There was not any chance for awkwardness, he had moved so fast and been so direct. Cheryl put her hand in his without any hesitation. Tracy was very handsome, and nicely dressed. Cheryl was adorable looking.
The hostess was there with two menus, “Would you like to be seated now? Right this way.” Having some sense about these two, the hostess offered to seat them in a booth, where they would have more privacy, which was fine with Tracy and Cheryl. The hostess mentioned to the waitress, that this appeared to be a first date, and they might not want to be rushed.
It was good luck for Tracy and Cheryl, that their waitress was not an idiot, she did not interrupt them every two minutes to disrupt their conversation. Dinner was the last and least important thing on their minds.
As Tracy and Cheryl sat across the table from each other, Cheryl thought to herself that it had been a very long time since she had seen a man as handsome as Tracy, and so nicely dressed. Tracy was thinking to himself, that never in his life before had he seen a woman like this, she was so attractive, healthy, well groomed, professional, and sophisticated. He began to feel like an imposter, that he was not worthy of her, he was just a kid.