Chapter 28: Her
It was a pretty great dinner date. Yeah. Date. Bleck. Gosh I hate that word. Dates are a nasty fruit that I simply cannot stand. But spending time with him was nice. Having good conversation, thick and bright. It was awesome. Enjoyable, I mean. I meant fun. Am I even allowed to have fun? Yeah. I guess I am. I’m a grownup in the USA. I’m allowed to have fun, just so long as I don’t break any of the government rules, right? Of course right.
I don’t even know what I’m saying. Just ignore that last paragraph.
Anyway. Jack and I have a lot more in common than I thought. He’s a stalker, for sure, but he’s not totally lethal. He has made no advances beyond a desire to get to know me better. For some reason, he thinks I’m a good person. Which is odd, because it states very clearly in the Bible that there is no such thing. Yet he thinks I am one. Well, that logic will just have to work itself out.
He took me back to the church after our date. He was very charming too, as he said goodnight. It seems almost like I’ve known him for longer than I really have. It seems that we’ve been friends forever and I’d just forgotten. But we haven’t known each other for forever. I just met him last week. Or was it two weeks ago? The days are blurring together. I am forgetting what day it is, how long I’ve been here… and I am running out of clothes! I need to do laundry. Oh. How long has it been since I’ve been trapped here? How long have I been lost in New York? I don’t remember! AH! I DON’T REMEMBER! My memory, so helpful and useful has failed me! I’m forgetting time and enjoying myself! I must be out of my mind.
Regardless, Jack has asked me out to breakfast. I accepted. Now to tell my parents. Yay me.
I pick up the phone and dial my mother as soon as I can. Sure, they already know a little bit about what’s been going on and Mom is really worried about my safety in the snowstorm, and Dad is already threatening Jack. He’s fascinating. It’s been a very long time since someone has held my attention so firmly in one hand. He’s charming, funny, and certainly won’t leave me alone. Which is good, because I absolutely hate being alone.
He’s become more of an open book to me and I’m really, very impressed with him. I pull up the document I keep the “Boyfriend Requirements” in and start reading through, making comparisons between my demands and Jack. I once created a character based on these requirements once, just so that I could actually see what this person would look like. Lo and behold, Jack’s awfully close. Very close. He has a few things to work on, but overall, he’s met the requirements. He’s special enough that I’m willing to be interested in him. He seems to be able to handle me when I need to be, but otherwise is just moving along with himself.
I turn of the light and go to sleep, images of Jack spinning in my head.
He turns up for breakfast the next morning, and a light snow has fallen. New York seems odd to me, because their snow is very different than the kind I’m used to. Their snow is almost… ashy. Back home, our snow is crisp, cold and more blizzardy. Not here. Just fluff and slush. Yuck.
“Good morning, Miss Rein.” Jack smiles.
“Morning, Jack.” I walk down the steps briskly. “Where are we going for breakfast?”
“The little café I brought you to before. Do you remember? On your first day here?”
“Yeah? That seems forever ago.” I exclaim, just happily going along with him.
“It does, doesn’t it. So, I was wondering…” Jack seems nervous but in a fairly good mood, “if I could have your dad’s phone number.”
“Oh, sure. Let’s get some food and that fantastic hot chocolate first.” I say. We get to the little café and who should be waiting for us in their regular booth but Thomas, his arm around a bombshell blonde, who must be cold, because that neckline plunged to her navel.
“Oh no.” Jack mutters.
“We’ll just sit somewhere else. Come on.” I push him across the room, totally ignoring Thomas with every fiber of my being.
“Hello, Miss Rein. It’s good to see you again.” Timothy comes over with another beautiful cup of M&M heaven for me and a tall glass of water for Jack.
“Hello Timothy. How are you?” I ask, making polite conversation.
“I’m just fine, thank you. Marcus is really enjoying your book. He’s pretty mad that he can’t tell others to go buy it. You really should have it published.”
“Yes, well, I attempted it and ruined some of my chances to do that. Thank you though. I’m glad he’s pleased.”
“You’re welcome.” Timothy slides off to attend to his duties some more. I just drown myself in the cup of hot chocolate for as long as I can before Thomas and his hired girlfriend appear. Oh good gravity, where did she get that skirt? Off a child mannequin?
“Fancy meeting you two here.” Thomas’s clip is very annoying to me. I ought to smack that self-righteous grin right off his face.
“I don’t fancy it at all, actually.” I snap. “I find you rather pompous and presumptuous by showing up here and demanding our attention. We were quite fine before you walked over, thank you.”
“Hey! Don’t get on your high horse either, Miss Eliza Rein. Haven’t you seen your face all over the news yet? Or was it America’s Most Wanted? I forget.” He sneers at me.
“I haven’t, because I am not on either of those places. I’m a blogger, not a newsperson, thank you very much. But perhaps you cannot acknowledge that since you’ve drunk all your brain cells away. If you hadn’t, perhaps you could have remembered that I don’t like you very much and have no reason to keep your company. Thus, I do not seek it.” I rise in my chair, attempting to be intimidating. Jack rises from his when I do.
“Get out of here, Thomas. Please, just leave us alone.” Jack asks politely. He’s quite cute when he’s defensive.
“I just wanted to introduce you both to Caroline.” Thomas feigns innocence.
“Pleasure, I’m sure.” Caroline has a high-pitched, nasally voice that immediately scrapes my eardrums. “I’m such a big fan of yours, Miss Rein.”
“Oh really? How much of my work have you read? One paragraph? Two?” I snap at her.
Caroline’s face falters, like she wasn’t expecting me to say anything back of that nature. “Well… well, none. I just heard about the debate.”
“Oh the debate. So you’re a fan of my ability to shut people down. Do yourself and your date a favor, sweetie and leave me alone. Unless you’d like to become my opponent in a debate right here and now? I would love to shame the both of you to the point where you will never show your faces in public again. Oh, do, just try me. I am in no mood to deal with these childish dating games.”
Thomas’s face grows red. “Childish dating games?!” He roars at me, drawing everyone’s attention. “Is that what you think this is?!”
“I know that’s what it is, you fool! You brought her in here to make me jealous, so I would attempt to flirt with you to replace her. I don’t know what funny notions you have in your head about me, but I am not the least bit interested in you and seeing her by your side does not change that one iota! Do yourself a favor and go away. You need to—” Midsentence, Thomas strikes me.