16- A Redo?
I recognized that voice. Who was it? Looking back I saw a familiar wide-eyed blonde.
“I’m so sorry!” she said. “I-I just wanted you to stay in the Games, and that was my first thought. I didn’t realize how bad it would be.”
“You leaving would mess up all the numbers, please just stay and finish. You’re almost through Stage One and Stage Two and Three aren’t nearly as bad for you.”
I sat up from Ian’s lap and tried to not think about that detail. “You really expect me to stay after threatening me to?”
“Pleeeease?” She seemed pretty desperate, and I didn’t know why. I stared into her blue puppy dog eyes. No. I wasn’t going to...but maybe it won’t be as ba—What am I saying? Well...
“Fine,” I grumbled, looking away. “I’ll finish the Boyfriend Games.”
“Yes!” She exclaimed, just as the bell for first period sounded. Couldn’t have happen a few minutes ago? I thought angrily at it.
“But you owe me a cookie at lunch everyday for a week!” I called to her half-skipping form.
“I’m okay with that!”
I turned to look at Ian.
“So?” He asked, and I swear the awkward was tangible.
“You still have my number?”
“Yeah.” I didn’t know how to feel about that, so I skipped over it.
“Cool. Find out where you’re taking me and text me the when and where. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get to class.”
“Where’s my cookie?” I demanded.
“What? Oh, right. I haven’t gotten it yet.” I glared at Amanda, then looked away giving an evil laugh.
“You say that like your life doesn’t depend on me getting a cookie. Which in fact, it does.”
“What are you talking abo—ow!” Hope’s inquiries were stopped by Amanda’s elbow.
“Remember that thing I told you about?” Amanda tried to whisper (keyword ‘tried’).
“Oh. Oh! Okay, nevermind.”
“I’ll go get your cookie,” Amanda told me.
“I want one with sprinkles!” I said.
“You know none of them have sprinkles.” I huffed.
“It doesn’t hurt to ask,” I said, practically pouting.
When Amanda came back, she wasn’t alone. With her she had brought Oscar and another girl who were chatting but gave little bumps to each other on the way over. They were either really good friends or a couple.
“Hey Thera,” Oscar said with a wave, his camera permanently around his neck by the strap.
“Hey Oscar,” I greeted back. “Who’s this?”
“Oh, hey, I’m Olivia,” she replied. “I’m actually Ossie’s date for the Games today.”
“Ossie?” I questioned. I hadn’t ever heard someone give him a nickname.
“Oh, that’s my nickname for him. We’ve been friends for forever. That’s why we’re taking this day nice and easy, not too seriously. Isn’t that right Ossie?”
“...What?” I contained a laugh at his confusion. You see the thing was, Oscar had been staring at Olivia and not actually paying attention to the words she said. An obvious not-only-just-friends move. However, Olivia seemed oblivious and just smiled as he replied. “Uh, oh yeah. Whatever Oli says, she’s right more times than I am anyways.”
“Not about this,” I said quietly in a sing-song voice.
“What was that, Thera?” Hope asked.
“Nothing! Nothing at all.”
“Good,” Amanda replied. “Well Oscar is here to take a picture as I hand over the cookie. You know, for the video? This may or may not be in it, but we’ll have a picture just in case.”
“Okay, cool, as long as you give me my cookie.”
“Just look natural,” Amanda coached.
“I’m gonna look like I want my cookie!” I said, reaching out for said cookie.
“Smile!” Amanda cheered as Oscar pulled up his camera. Amanda put on a cheesy smile as she held up the cookie to me and I reached for it, giving the camera a cross-eyed look. As soon as the camera gave its little ‘click’ I snatched the cookie bag from Amanda’s hand and began eating it. Don’t mess around after you’ve promised me something, especially when it’s food. And even more so when the promised food is compensation from THREATENING ME. But that’s besides the point.
Just as I was about to finish my cookie, my phone buzzed. I pulled it out to see a text from Ian. I frowned thinking that I had forgotten to delete his contact all this time.
~A redo? The date that went wrong? Olive Garden, 5:30? I’ll pick you up from your house at 5?
•Okay. See you at 5.
I opened the door after hearing the bell ring.
“Whoa,” he gasped out. “Stunning as usual.”
I tried not to get angry. “Please Ian, it’s going to take time to get to a friendly level. You can’t just say things like that.” Before he could reply, my mother rushed to the door.
“Oh! Who is it ton—what is he doing here?”
Let’s just say my mother and father both knew about my relationship with Ian, and knew my understanding of the fall out. I hadn’t had the time to disclose the recent developments of this morning.
“Mom, I don’t have time to explain now, but things are different. The things I told you were misunderstandings on my part.” I tried to explain without having to go into detail—who knows how long that would take. I held up a hand when she went to argue. “I promise, it’ll all be fine. And besides, we’re not doing anything crazy, just going to have dinner.”
Her nose twitched. “Fine. But you’ll explain things better when you get home.”
“Yes ma’am,” I said, knowing I couldn’t argue about it. “Bye, have a nice evening.”
It felt odd to be going out with Ian again, even if it was just for this one date. When we made it to Olive Garden, he held the door open for me, and tried to pull my chair out when we were seated.
“Ian,” I said with a sigh. “It’s okay, I can sit on my own.”
“I know, I’m just...I’m trying to do things right this time,” he said.
“You know we won’t get back to how close we were, at least, not for a long time.”
“It doesn’t hurt to try.” Things were a little awkward in the air for a few minutes until it was broken by the waiter coming to get our orders.
“So... what have you been up to these past few years?” I asked to try and break the tension.
“You didn’t hear?” I shook my head no. I mean obviously I wouldn’t ask if I already knew. “I started a gang.” I nearly spit out my drink as my eyes went wide.
“You what?” He did good for a while, I’ll give him props, for keeping a straight face. Then he burst out laughing.
“Geez Thera, did you actually believe me?”
“I didn’t know what to believe!”
“Well don’t believe that,” he chuckled. “On a more serious note, I started a club. Like book club, only with motorcycles.”
“So, you have a motorcycle gang. Great. I’m on a date with the bad boy, and I may not live to see tomorrow.”
“Oh hush now,” he said, gently hitting my arm. “If you don’t live to see tomorrow it has nothing to do with me.”
“Mmhm,” I falsely agreed. “That’s what they all say before they kidnap and murder you.”
The rest of date was kept lighter. If any topic came close to hitting the unspoken but agreed upon ‘forbidden’ subject, one of us would veer it in a different direction. Needless to say, by the time I made it back home, I was actually in an okay mood. Even having the conversation with mom and dad didn’t damper it too badly.
Maybe, just maybe, I would survive these little games.