She's late. Not good. But on the bright side, I have time to find the least messy item on the menu. Not a burger, definitely not a kebab. I don't want to resemble a landslide. Spaghetti and noodles are too tricky. I can't sit around spinning my fork into my food. I've got serious charming to do.
Especially considering how badly our last, first, date went. Or how good it completely failed to go. We went to see a movie. She didn't know it actually was a date until the cashier told her I'd paid for her ticket. Good thing she didn't ask me to clarify, God knows what I would've said. She just assumed. I like that uncomplicatedness in a girl.
I was so close to putting my arm around her... until the sex scene happened. I froze and looked sideways at her. Couldn't really tell what she was thinking, from the side of her face. She might have chewed her popcorn a bit slower. That could mean... curiosity?
We didn't kiss when we said bye, but we did hug. It was a great hug. Very soft and warm.
I waited a few days before texting her. Hoped she'd text me first, but she must have been playing the same game. It seems to me that a second date on Valentine's day can either be the best thing ever, or a disaster. High stakes. But not going out on Valentine's day would definitely ruin my chances. So I summoned my courage asked her to dinner.
"hey... wanna eat together at the foodcourt in West Park Mall?? :)" Then I realised I'd forgotten to specify when. "OOPS forgot the time.. friday at 6? ;)" That winking smiley is a sly reference to it being Valentine's day. Smooth, right?
She replied three hours later: "k sure :)" She smiley'd at me! Although it might just have been in polite response to mine. We haven't texted since, and I haven't seen her in school either. That's cool, I don't want to start a conversation with her only to watch it die.
I've decided. I'm going to get a Hawaiian pizza. It shows how laid-back I am.
Holy shit, she's here. Should I pull out her chair? No, that's weird! I should stand up and hug her. Do I dare kiss her cheek? Her face is coming towards me, it's now or never...
No, I chickened out. Probably for the best. Might have seemed like a creepy uncle.
"Hey, Alicia!" I say. Her top is cut really low. Wow.
"Hi Peter," she says. She didn't catch me staring. "Did you order already?"
"No, I was waiting for you."
"Okay, watch my bag, I'm going to get a kebab."
She disappears. I close my eyes and try to slow my heart-rate. She reappears fifteen minutes later holding a kebab in a bun. "You can go order or whatever."
I return with a remote-controlled disc that will buzz when my pizza is ready. Alicia has a half-eaten kebab in one hand, her phone in the other.
"So where have you been these last few days? Haven't seen you in class," I say.
"I couldn't be bothered to come in... Mr. Lee told me the highest grade I could possibly get is a D, so why even attend, y'know?"
She hasn't looked up from her phone.
"That really sucks. You're good! We could do the next lab together if you want. If it'd help."
She snorts and finally looks at me. "You know he'd give you a good grade for it but he'd never give me one."
I don't know what to say to that so I inspect my pizza-disc. Thankfully, it buzzes. By the time I'm back with my pizza, Alicia has finished her kebab and has both hands around her phone. It looks like she's messaging someone.
I start eating my pizza with a knife and fork. "You do anything fun while you were skipping class?" I ask.
"Doing anything fun this weekend?"
"The usual. Hanging out."
She laughs at something on her phone. I don't ask what. Munchmunchmunch, gulp. Check watch. I give up on the cutlery and start to eat with my hands.
I try to trace the outline of her bra with my eyes, but my heart's not in it. I can't wait for this "date" to end.
You know what? I have better things to do with my time than waste it here. I stand up suddenly and reach for my coat. Alicia looks up, startled.
"I didn't see any point in sticking around."
Alicia looks at my half-eaten pizza. "Hey, wait." She puts her phone in her pocket. "Sorry, I've been rude. As usual." She sighs. "Stay a little longer, please? I don't wanna go home just yet, it's lonely there."
She offers me puppy dog eyes and cleavage. Goddamnit. I sit down.
"Aren't your parents home?" I ask.
"Yes. They are." She gives me a look.
"Listen," she says. "I have a bottle of wine in my bag that I stole from my sister. Wanna go sit in the park and share it?" There's a sparkle in her eyes that I've never seen before.
"I'll bring the pizza, " I say, while my insides melt.