“I am Ebola,” he said, extending his hand with rather too much confidence, as if this was a job interview instead of a date.
She hardly had time to sit down before he continued: “I am currently the most feared virus in the world. I have virtually shut down the Western part of Africa, with more than 5,700 confirmed deaths. I kill more than 50% of my victims, and lately I was even a hot topic in the US election campaign.”
“People all around the world are really scared of me,” he added after a pause which was too obviously planned for its effect. She could imagine him practicing it in front of the mirror.
As he rambled on about infections, symptoms, the lack of vaccines, the fear of medical staff and closed airports, she was no longer listening, checking out other people at the bar instead. It had been a mistake to agree on a date with a guy much younger than herself.
Relief was her first reaction when, after the most boring 45 minutes of her life, he said: “Hey, I am sorry I need to run, but there are more people to be infected.” His faced turned into a big winking smiley, which despite its fakeness invited one to punch him for real.
“That was a very cute story,” she said, knowing that he would hate that word. Her smile was authentic, if scoffing. “My name is the Plague, but I am retired now.” It didn’t seem to register.
As she walked home, alone underneath the misty moon, for the first time in centuries she contemplated making a comeback. Just to put these overeager youngsters in their place.