It all started on the stuffy Tube while I was en-route to work in the summer heat.
With commuters packed like sweaty sardines, I somehow managed to lock eyes with a tall, olive-skinned stranger whose wavy black hair framed their defined jawline.
As if it was a sign from Cupid himself, Mr Jawline later stepped into the same coworking space I happened to be hot-desking at.
Noticing me eyeballing the newcomer, my colleague Sam nudged me and made me confess my sudden infatuation for this random stranger.
Sam is pretty outgoing, so it wasn’t a surprise that she had a casual conversation with Mr Jawline in the office’s kitchen, and decided to play wingwoman.
Turns out, Mr Jawline went by the name Dev*. He was also the newest member of the company next door. The most crucial part of that short conversation, however, was the fact that he also happened to be single.
Noticing that Dev was staying for after-work drinks, I decided to join in the fun, too. Sam then introduced me, and we started talking. Just the usual: ‘What do you do? Where are you from? Do you like pineapples on pizza?’
I tried so hard to play it cool, it must have worked as Dev didn’t make any attempts to run away.
Over the following weeks, we became closer, joining colleagues at after-work drinks, parties and brunches.
Then one night, after a few playful exchanges by the bar, Dev and I shared an intoxicated kiss. With a little Dutch courage, I asked him if he wanted to go on a date and he agreed. I was giddy with excitement.
We opted for the cliché first date – bowling – and I have to admit, it was fun. We did a little celebratory dance for every strike and spiced things up with a little trash talk (though it was more flirty).
While getting some food, he asked if I wanted to chill at his place after the date. Assuming there was Netflix involved too, I was sold. At this point, I was obsessed and desperately wanted to hit second base.
Dev’s soft brown doe eyes were easy to get lost in and there was no denying that I had some serious case of ‘fanny flutters’ every time he pulled that charming crooked smile of his.
But it wasn’t all physical attraction. We happened to share some common interests too – Wes Anderson’s whimsical symmetry, Radiohead’s OK Computer, and cats. Once the conversations started, there was no awkward moment. It just felt… right.
Everything was – as promised by Dev – chill at first. Candles were lit, the takeaway was tasty, and a rom-com was on. Like every ‘Netflix and Chill’ session I’ve ever experienced, there was never a quiet moment.
We would either play film critic, share similar experiences of whatever was going on onscreen, or well, as you can imagine we fulfilled the ‘chill’ element. It was perfect. What could possibly go wrong?
The mood suddenly changed when Dev decided to hit pause on the film. It wasn’t yet the witching hour, but something instantly felt strange.
Dev started talking about death, which didn’t faze me as I’m someone whose ideal first date is a trip to the cemetery. It’s usually seen as a maudlin place that houses death and grief, but it’s also a place that has been the backdrop of many superstitions, urban legends, clandestine happenings and other rare oddities. Plus, it makes a great conversation starter.
But what pulled me deeper into the underworld was what was said next.
As if this was a confessional, he started talking about the supernatural.
‘I’ve got demons,’ Dev told me.
Thinking that Dev meant it as a metaphor for something like an addiction, I said: ‘We’ve all got demons,’ to which he responded, with slight annoyance: ‘No, I’ve got real demons. I know their names.’ They looked deadly serious – no pun intended.
I’m a spiritual person and I’ve heard stories of demonic possessions, but I’d never experienced one in the flesh and was looking to keep it that way.
At this point, I was in two minds – either my date was playing around, or showing signs of a serious issue.
I offered him my listening ear, not wanting to brush it off – especially if it was the latter.
Instead of talking it out, he began to grunt and grind his teeth. Our eyes unlocked, and his rolled back. I didn’t know what to do.
Feeling a little scared, I prayed that this was all just play-acting to keep me on my toes. My anxiety levels began peaking, but I was careful to not let evil smell the scaredy cat scent on me…
Like I did at the start of our relationship, I tried to play it cool – sitting unmoved on their undeniably comfy sofa.
With a firm voice, I called out his name: ‘Dev.’
Then, he snapped out of their state as if he’d finally broken free from whatever was ‘controlling’ him. This left him confused at first but, after realising what had happened, he became apologetic.
‘I’m so sorry. Sometimes they take over me,’ Dev continued.
Fearing for a repeat of what had happened moments before, I decided to take control of the situation by changing the subject, and promptly called it a night. I’ve never been so happy to get an Uber home.
All I wanted to do was take a long warm shower, wash the day’s strange episode off of me and recalibrate. I forced myself not to think about it.
The next day, when I saw Dev at the coworking space, I approached him as my usual cheery self. I asked how he was feeling, but to my surprise, he seemed nonchalant as if nothing happened the night before.
There was no mention about the demon. Not even an apology for turning a heavenly date into the stuff of nightmares.
I was disappointed. He seemed like the sort of person who would be an adult about it and have a proper conversation. Granted I was a little optimistic about it being a thing of the past. Kiss and make up. But I was wrong.
I also felt a little at a loss because a part of me was scared to continue pursuing Dev, but another wanted to help him and remain in his life.
As much as I wanted to talk about that day’s events to Dev, I decided to hold my tongue to avoid any awkward encounters.
I didn’t want people to think I was over exaggerating, or worse, spreading rumours to tarnish Dev.
I took it as a sign to ease my way out of it.
In the end, I took a step back and we slowly drifted apart, becoming just hi-and-bye friends. I would even go on to say that he eventually ghosted me, leaving me on read when slid into his Instagram DM to wish him a happy birthday. Nonetheless, I took it as a blessing in disguise.
I danced with the Dev-il, and thankfully didn’t miss a step.
So, How Did It Go?
So, How Did It Go? is a weekly Metro.co.uk series that will make you cringe with second-hand embarrassment or ooze with jealousy as people share their worst and best date stories.
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