As dinner began dad and Mr. Strong were talking on about their college days: finding out that dad was the ladies’ man and the king of beer ping pong was something I really didn’t want to picture. Especially that he was picking up girls at parties, it worked on mom obviously when they met.
Dad being a conservative guy, it was strange hearing that he used to be a player.
Hearing the adults reminisce like they were warped back in time as teenagers caused me to raise my eyebrows in thought.
I heard Mom talked about her Do it yourself hobbies to Mrs. Strong, she had a thing for grouting the kitchen floors when she felt that it was outdated. They seemed to be getting along though, so far so good.
I even found out that Mrs. Strong worked from home as an art seller.
Both of mine and Andrews’ parents were asking us about majors in college. We’re juniors but I was already settled on what I wanted to study: Biology and Business.
Andrew told them he wanted to study Graphic Design.
Interesting, I nodded. Ripping into my dinner roll he took it right out of my hand before I could eat it.
“Thank you.” He shoved the two halves in my mouth. I deeply breathed, taking another one but he did it again.
“Stop!” I yelled in a hushed tone.
“I’m hungry.” He chewed into the roll, mouth opened and teeth exposed.
“So am I,” I swiped one more from the basket and took a bite, chewing furiously on the buttery pastry. He held in a snicker. “Can you pass the salad, please?” I asked.
“Sure thing,” he responded. Reaching across the table he handed me the bowl. I took it, scooping some on my plate. “Aren’t you forgetting something?”
“Slapping you?” I questioned raising one eyebrow.
“If that’s your thank you, then you’re welcome.”
“It’s not,” I grinned tightly placing it back on the table.
His parents and mine continued their chats, barely noticing out banter. I bit into my food slowly eyes on the plate, I felt Andrew’s eyes on me as I ate. I cut into my meatloaf clenching my jaw, deciding to ignore him the rest of the night.
I volunteered to get dessert after dinner was over, rocky road ice cream, and gave everyone a bowl. I plopped his bowl on his lap, drops of ice cream landed on his chin and shirt. “Oops,” I innocently said with a fake smile sitting in my seat. I caught his glare before tucking my head down eating my ice cream. Payback for stealing my rolls, jerk.
Conversations about the headline news from the adults I tuned out as I ate. Andrew’s younger sister rubbed the frozen treat all over her face while eating made me giggle, she reminded me of my nine-year-old nephew. Her mom wiped it away with her napkin.
Andrew sat right near me, I scooted away trying to ignore his presence as I ate my dessert slowly. He scooted closer, I sighed carefully spooning the frozen treat in my mouth.
“May I get some more ice cream?” Lydia asked sweetly.
“Me too,” Andrew spoke.
“Of course. Rachel, please get them some more,” mom instructed.
“Sure.” I stood up taking their bowls I headed to the kitchen. I plopped them on the counter. Grumbling under my breath, I grabbed the ice cream out of the freezer in a hard smack and began to scoop some. Hearing footsteps behind me I turned, Lydia with wide eyes staring at me and her brother behind her.
“Oh,” I giggled scooping one more in her bowl.
“Here you go,” I smiled handing her the bowl.
“Thank you.” She took her dessert and skipped away.
“Lyds, no running,” Andrew directed. I turned back scooping some in his.
“How many scoops do you want?” I questioned.
“Three, ” he answered. His steps coming closer, he leaned against the counter next to me. His arm near mine, smelling his strong cologne. I glanced up to him, his stare soft and lips into a smirk.
I cleared my dry throat, cupping the last scoop. “All done,” I said quickly sliding the bowl across. I dropped the scooper in the sink and placed the ice cream in the freezer. I marched out at a fast pace and sat back on the couch. I itched my forehead eating a big bite of ice cream, letting it melt in my mouth.
The night ending with handshakes and exchanging numbers. The new neighbors were getting ready to leave.
“This was fun, let’s do this more often!” Mrs. Strong exclaimed with a bright smile.
I scoffed silently shaking my head, hell no.
“It was, right honey?” Dad asked mom.
“Right!” She agreed, “Rachel you should get to know more of Andrew.”
“Mmm.” Eyes squinted and cheeks high but mentally rolled my eyes.
“You know, school is starting for the kids on Monday, we should talk about transportation. Maybe Andrew and Rachel can carpool since they will be going to the same school,” Mr. Strong suggested, my eyes widened.
I protest! No, no no! I opened my mouth but Andrew spoke before me, “that would be wonderful! Save money for gas, save the Earth,” he smiled snidely to me. I let out a low growl.
“I can walk, it’s not that far,” I finally defended.
“Nonsense! Carpooling is better, plus you can show him around town.” Dad recommended.
I didn’t even get a chance to speak as everyone voiced their opinion of agreement. He squeezed my shoulder hard, pulling me close and chuckled. I let up, stepping back.
I really don’t like him.