He arrived late. There was traffic. There was rain. I was nervous.
He parked in my driveway, leaving room for another car to fit beside him. I gave him a hurried ten cent tour of the house before I grabbed my things and got us into my car. My bag was heavier than normal; I stuffed everything into the one rolling case.
Since we’d lost an hour, I wasn’t sure where we’d eat. And I needed gas.
We got on the road. I briefly stopped for fuel. We decided to just head to the city and find food nearby. As we got back onto the interstate, traffic slimmed, and we found ourselves in the city with an hour before the party started.
We both wanted steak. We choose a nice restaurant I had actually visited a few times. I mentioned this, noting that I ate there during special occasions with my father and brother.
“I could be your Daddy.”
“I…Ah…No comment.” If I could have, I would’ve turned beat red.
We walked through the chill wet air to the restaurant. We sat in a booth at the bar.
“Do you want to see me do something dorky and cute?”
The table between us was huge. I got up, nudged him over, and sat beside him.
“Wow, that is dorky and cute.”
“Does this freak you out?”
“What do you think?”
“Yeah, you don’t get freaked out.”
I sat back on my side.
He wanted a drink, which made me want a drink. We ordered our food and our booze.
I tried to take a cute picture of myself for FourSquare, but the lighting wasn’t right. I settled on a shot of our drinks, which arrived rather quickly, and his hand. After I checked-in, he pulled out his phone and, using his flash, took a picture of me. I sipped my Platinum Margarita; he drank his Blue Moon.
Our server brought over bread. I waited, wanting him to have the first slice. He could see this, and asked me if I wanted bread. I told him he was hungrier. I had had food more recent than he, therefore, to be polite, I wanted to wait for him to eat first.
“What’s the phrase? Ah, yes. My Momma raised me right.“
“Eat the bread.” I split the slices in half and started nibbling. He ate his portion too.
He told me, for the party tonight, I should do whatever I wanted.
“But that’s not what you said before. Before, when we spoke on Wednesday, you said the rule was I was to not worry or check up on you. I like to follow the rules, so which is it?”
“The rule is do what you want.”
Our food arrived. He got his steak medium well; I got mine medium rare. I tried not to judge. The lobster mashed potatoes had a sauce on top that looked like it could be cheese based. He doesn’t like cheese. (Once again, I tried not to judge.) I ate some off the top.
“Could you move that a little closer to the center?” I didn’t realize I had monopolized our shared side dish. I pushed the bowl in the middle.
I ate my three asparagus spears, which were seasoned perfectly. He looked down at my plate and asked me if I had received my vegetable. I confirmed I had. He remarked that I ate too fast. I argued that, for me, my eating of the asparagus had actually been slow.
As the meal progressed, I started following his bite rhythm, waiting to eat another morsel until after he’d cut off a piece for himself. He noticed, and told me I should just do what I wanted. I wanted to follow his bite count.
He ordered a second beer. I drank his and my water; pre-hydrating.
As the server passed by, we asked for the check. We gathered all the plates and cups into a neat configuration for her to collect them. We left our credit cards at the end of the table. She split the check evenly. I said, since my half was $44, I would make it an even $55 with the tip. He paid $55.01.
We got up. He held my coat for me as I put my jacket on. We lazily walked out of the restaurant.
I was giddy and happy and excited. My belly was fully, I had a slight buzz from my drink, and I was taking the Gent to his first play party. We were on our way to Dirty Things.
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