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Rated: E · Short Story · Romance/Love · #2277576
a bingo romance

I have a confession to make, I hate Bingo. But I was as devastated as anyone when the Naples Bingo hall closed due to Covid. And aghast when I learned it would be torn down to make way for a church. I have nothing against churches, but still.

I am a 35 year old unmarried Spanish high school teacher and I live with my mother, grandmother, and the obligatory two cats. My name is Anna and I am an escapee from internet dating. It was my duty and pleasure on Saturdays to escort my grandmother, Gigi, to the Naples Bingo hall, for one of her favorite past times. It left a hole in both of our lives when we couldn't go. On-line Bingo is not the same.

So, after we were both fully vaxxed and Covid seemed to be receding I planned a road trip down 41 to the Miccosukee Gaming Resort to celebrate Gigi's 80th birthday. We planned to stay a night at the resort, play Bingo, and frequent the buffets. We would likely hit Joanie's Blue Crab Cafe and Cylde Butcher's Everglades Gallery on the return from Miami to Naples.

I searched Amazon for matching Bingo t-shirts to celebrate the occasion, but nothing seemed quite right. And then Google produced a miracle---matching polyester Bingo jumpsuits. And they even threw in Bingo ball earrings.

In the bingo room Gigi and I selected our seats carefully, then orderd up a pitcher of Sangria. Gigi was flattered when the waiter carded her.

Halfway through the Sangria pitcher, I noted a tall 40ish man, accompanied by an elegant older woman approach our table. He politely asked if they could join our table as we seemed to be having so much fun! This is mi madre he motioned, " Senora Garcia," and I am Michael. Mama usually prefers to play Loteria, but today is Bingo Day."

Another pitcher of Sangria appeared at the table. Michael didn't immediately set off any Hard Pass reactions in me: no t-shirt, no man bun,, no baseball cap. He looked a bit like Owen Wilson, though that could have been the sangria. And there I was with no make-up, pony-tail hair, and a Bingo jumpsuit and Bingo earrings.

Gigi and Senora Garcia remained intent on their cards. Michael leaned in close to me and whispered, "Mi amor, I have a confession to make. I hate Bingo" and flashed a perfect smile. He smelled like citrus, figs, and expensive Scotch. My heart started rattling like bingo balls in a wire cage. Who needs Tinder, I thought, when there is BINGO!

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