Paraphrasing Q on the bridge of the Enterprise:

She is baaack!

On July 29, 2001, she told me that she was moving away and I wouldn't see her anymore (since I only saw her at the restaurant where she worked).

Tonight, I felt like going out for dinner, and after rejecting a couple of possibilities, decided on my old standby, Red Robin. Despite the fact that I was alone and carrying a book, the ditzy hostess started leading me to the bar section, where they do have a few tables where they serve meals but also has loud televisions. With two hints I managed to make her realize that I wanted to sit in the restaurant section (which was less than half full). After an about face, she led me to one of the two-person booths there, rather than one of the many four-person ones that were available.

I was kind of irked at the seating, and it didn't help that my server was an obsequious young man who, without doing anything wrong, just seemed to rub me the wrong way. I asked for a strawberry lemonade before perusing the menu, then placed my order upon his return.

I was settled into my book when an employee walked past, dropped a folded to-go check on my table, and just kept on going. This seemed odd. I unfolded it and read the message written within:

I've heard the seafood pasta is greasy here…
My hormones surged — that could only mean one thing. Unless there was a noder there who recognized me and had memorized my early writeups, the only person who could have written that was Rebecca! I put down my book and waited. A minute later she came around the corner and said "It is you!", and was greeted with what had to be the biggest smile she'd seen in at least a week.

We talked a bit; she said that the commute from Santa Maria to Santa Barbara (where she attends UCSB) was a bit more than she had bargained for, so she was back in town. I didn't ask how long she'd been back, but it's probably been at least four months since I went there for dinner. She didn't mention not seeing me there, so for all I know her return was quite recent and all of the events of the evening that directed me into her presence are the evidence of fate's hand preparing us for a long and happy life together.

Not! But I was still very happy to see her, and I can predict with great certainty that I'll be a regular Red Robin customer again for the foreseeable future.