Just My Type
Oh! do not attack me with your watch. A watch is always too fast or too slow. I cannot be dictated to by a watch. - Jane Austen
Darcy looked out the window as we drove to the club. I watched him as discreetly as I could. I wondered what was going on in his head. Passing by a billboard featuring a scantily clad woman, he cleared his throat and looked down. I tried to hide my smile, thinking it was cute how uncomfortable the advertisement made him. I did not believe it made matters any better if I told him it was for a movie. The poor man was calm about all this, but I had a feeling he was freaking out on the inside. Morality was not future society's strongest point, and I think he could tell. There were so many things he did not know or understand. Mr. Darcy of Pemberley could not comprehend the situation he was in, and I was sure it bothered him to no end.
The car turned, and Pirhana pulled into a parking garage. It was dark, and shadows played upon the walls, a car door shutting echoed within the depths of the garage. When Darcy and I got out of the car, he took hold of my hand, and I had a feeling it was meant to protect me. I knew he would never admit it, but he seemed scared as well. Parking garages were frightening places at night. I squeezed his hand and smiled at him. He sent me a small smile as we waited for Pirhana to get out of the car.
Soon, we began our walk to the club. It was two to three miles away. Darcy found it strange we even had to walk. In his day, carriages would drop you off at the gates or door of your destination. I wondered to myself how he remained in such perfect shape without working out. Then, I reminded myself he was a fictional character. Everyone knew there was some unwritten rule where fictional characters had to be gorgeous, well, for the most part.
We met Michael outside of the club, leaning against his motorcycle. His eyes flicked from Darcy and me, and to our holding hands. He straightened his stance and sent me a knowing grin, "What took you guys so long? Did Pirhana drive?"
"I'm a cautious driver and you had a head start." Pirhana tilted her head to the side, biting her lower lip, "Now about your motorcycle..."
"No." Michael shook his head, "We can talk about that later. Let's not ruin the night."
Pop music blared from outdoor speakers, giving us all a taste of what was going on in the nightclub. The line to the club was long, and we stood there for half an hour. A girl, ahead in the line, kept on looking our way. The young woman and her friends were wearing neon bodycon dresses and enough makeup that a spatula would be needed to scrape it off. She whispered something to her friend and they giggled. My brow creased when they walked towards Darcy and me.
"Hey cutie," the girl simpered at Darcy.
I stole a glance at Darcy and made sure our holding hands were visible. The girl ignored it as she continued to flirt, "Save a dance for me, yeah?" When she received no answer from Darcy, the girl's eyes narrowed, "Hey, can you hear me?"
Darcy looked at the young woman, "I appreciate your invitation to dance, but, I must decline."
"Why?" The girl demanded.
"I am committed to the woman standing next to me." Darcy lifted my hand and kissed it.
Committed? Did he mean it or was he making sure the young lady would stop bothering us? I had yet to iron out the kinks in our complicated relationship. I knew I was overthinking it. Call me old-fashioned, but, to me, commitment meant marriage. Did Darcy still want to marry me? I had a sinking feeling matrimony was not in the cards. The script had changed. All my decisions and actions had changed the narrative so much. I was ashamed of it. Why couldn't there have been easy choices like a choose your own adventure novel?
"Awwww!" She smiled, "You are so lucky! I wish I could get a boyfriend as polite as him! All my boyfriends have been absolute fools!"
Before I could explain he was not my boyfriend, the line moved. The girls rushed inside, their glow in the dark necklaces shining amidst the dark atmosphere. We walked inside and found a table to sit. Darcy pulled my chair out for me as Michael and Pirhana exchanged looks. She cleared her throat.
"Well," she nodded towards her chair, looking at Michael.
"What?" Michael sent her a puzzled look.
"Really?" She looked at Michael, "You're confused? You're actually confused?"
Michael looked at Darcy and I, "What did I miss?"
"I guess you'll have to pull your chair out on your own, Pirhana." I laughed.
"Oh!" Michael exclaimed, "Oh! Sorry, love."
He pulled the chair out and Pirhana sat down. She playfully pouted, "I wanted him to figure it out for himself."
"He never would have. You'd be standing all night." I snickered, "Men can be such imbeciles."
"I resent that." Michael nodded towards Darcy, "He does too."
Darcy explained, "Our species can be oblivious to the needs of women. Perhaps, we should pay better attention?"
"Hey, man," Michael laughed, "you're supposed to back me up here."
"You are on your own," Darcy smirked.
"I take it Jane Austen never wrote about this."
"Jane Austen was classier than that."
"Says the guy wearing a t-shirt and a tie," Pirhana laughed.
"Touché," Michael smiled.
A woman walked towards us, "Hello, I'll be your waitress tonight. What would you like to drink?"
"Champagne for me, please."
"Live a little, Amanda Panda," Pirhana suggested, "Like Rum and Coke?"
"No, I'll stick to champagne."
"No surprise there," Michael teased. "Why not try something different? If you don't like it, I'll buy your champagne for you."
"Fine. One Rum and Coke." I recoiled in disbelief. Did I just order a mixed drink?
The waitress looked at Darcy. Darcy looked over at me, unsure if alcoholic beverages were different from his time. "Do you have a menu?"
"Yeah," the waitress handed him a drink menu.
He looked over the drink list until he found a familiar name. His face brightened when he saw the name, happy to see something from his world, "A pint of Guinness, please."
Pirhana ordered water, "I'm unwillingly the designated driver, living responsibly."
The waitress laughed at Pirhana's joke and took Michael's drink order. Darcy leaned towards me, holding the menu, "These drinks have the strangest names."
I smiled, "Like what?"
He pointed at a name, "Fuzzy navel."
I burst out laughing, "Don't knock it until you try it."
Darcy sent me a little smile, "I would rather you try it first."
"Oh no," I winced, "it's bad enough I'm trying rum and coke."
A song came on at the club and Pirhana exclaimed she loved the song. The song had a neo-disco sound. The beat reverberated through the club to the point where you could feel it in your chest. Or, was it only me? Was my heart beating from sitting so close to Darcy?
Pirhana stood up and held her hand out to Michael, "Come on, I have to dance to this song!"
To my surprise, Michael stood up and walked to the dance floor, holding Pirhana's hand. He was not the best dancer. The fact he was willing to dance with Pirhana meant he liked her. I had a feeling they did not know their feelings for each other. It was refreshing to see a love with no drama. He may have liked her more than he ever liked me. It did not make me jealous. It made me happy to see two people I cared about falling in love.
Perhaps it was the music or the drinks, but I felt an intense desire to reach out and caress Darcy's cheek. Seeing Michael and Pirhana together encouraged me to follow through, and as I did so, Darcy turned towards me. Our eyes met, and I smiled at him, but he did not return the smile. I looked down, blushing, and attempted to move my hand away from his face. Still, he got hold of my hand and leaned forward as if he was about to kiss me. He came closer and closer. I waited with bated breath. Longing to feel his lips on mine once more, I leaned forward. The tension hung in the air as we slowly, agonizingly, drew closer and closer. As cliché as it sounded, it felt as though a magnetic force was pulling us together.
Glasses clinked upon the table as the waitress placed our drinks on the table. Darcy moved back in his chair and I reluctantly looked down at my drink. Why had I chosen rum and coke? Nothing good ever came from mixed drinks. Actually, nothing good ever came from drinking, period! I picked up the cocktail stirrer and began to stir my drink. He picked up his glass of Guinness and took a sip.
I pushed my rum and coke away. I fished my cell phone out of my purse when I realized I had not called my mother. She would have been worried sick. I had not looked at my messages since I got back. I found the phone on the kitchen table right where I had left it. The battery was in red. An exclamation point of doom lingered over my battery symbol. I should have charged it before I left but, the thought had not crossed my mind. I cursed under my breath and scrolled through my notifications until I found several missed calls and messages from my mother.
I listened to the voicemail. My mother's voice shook on the recording. She was worried sick and she had every right to be. I had not been able to communicate with her. I had not come over for tea and sympathy. I was certain if I called her, my phone would die so I texted her instead.
Am ok. I will come over soon.
She texted me back right away. Come over now. I have something to tell you.
My brow creased. I knew it was easy to misconstrue the meaning behind text messages. But, this message concerned me. I had a feeling it was monumental. I could not ignore its urgency.
I turned to Darcy, "We need to leave now."