17- Mood Setting Music
Two more dates left in Stage One!
It’s sad to admit that that was my first thought in the morning. But, it’s the truth. The faster the first stage went by, the faster the rest of the stages could. Plus, the longest stage was indeed the first one, simply because of the constant date I had to go through each day until it was over. I only had Rye and Rhett left to go out with, but I’d be lying to say I didn’t want one more than the other.
I rushed when I heard that I got a text—then slowed down. Where had my uncaring nature gone? Where did my ‘I don’t care’ attitude go just then? Chill out, Thera. Did I talk to myself too much? Nah, I’m good. I searched the list for my name.
Well, although it was the one of two people left I didn’t know, Misty had seemed pretty excited about this guy. Maybe he wouldn’t be too bad today then. One can only hope.
Arriving at school was like arriving to a mini-squeal fest. Misty seemed to be more excited at who my date was today than I was, which—although understandable—was somewhat ironic in nature.
“Girl! Now you’re gonna get to see him and understand why I liked hanging out with him so much. You should have so much fun today!”
“Really?” I questioned her. She still seemed really overexcited for this event. “Is he really that great?”
“Well, he was for me! Just wait until you meet him–you’ll see.” I swear I could see hearts in her eyes. She really liked this kid. Even though I wasn’t planning on making moves towards this guy, I silently vowed that I wouldn’t do anything to try and make Rhett like me. It would be so rude considering how much my friend liked him. Even though I myself didn’t care about most boundaries, there were still many rules apart of an unspoken bro code that I knew I couldn’t break.
So when the time came that he finally showed up, I set things straight right away.
“Hi! Thera, right?” He smiled and held out his hand.
I shook it. “Yeah, Rhett?” He nodded. “Okay, I have to say something right now. I know this probably isn’t a ‘norm’ but... one of my friends in the Games likes you, so I can’t take this date too seriously. It just wouldn’t be right. We can still go out and stuff, or whatever the heck you have planned, but I can’t see this romantically. I’m not gonna be that person.”
Rhett stood blinking for a few seconds before he replied. “Who is it?” I smiled. I could see his little trick, but I wasn’t falling for it that easily.
“That, my new friend, I am not allowed to say. Anyway, where are we off to?”
“Neverland!” He teased. “But on a serious note... I’m not sure really. Want to go to my house for dinner? I’m sure my mother would enjoy that.”
I laughed. “Sure.”
To say his mother was excited would be the understatement of the century. The women was constantly beaming and asking tons of questions. She had no filter!
“So...what do you think of my son? Isn’t he such a nice young man? But dear, why are you even in the Games? Couldn’t a beautiful young lady like you find a date on her own? My Rhett didn’t even want to try, I’m sure he didn’t need the help of this thing. But that’s okay because I get to meet you and all of the other contestants. Do you have enough meatballs? Do you need more spaghetti sauce?”
"Mom,” he constantly groaned, apologizing more than enough times.
“What? Are you sorry that I’m your mumsie? Probably tired of hanging around an old hag like me, I suppose.”
Rhett sighed, dragging a hand down his face. “No mom, you know it’s not that. It’s just... you can be very blunt and say some certain things, and I don’t want them to offend Thera.” I tried to hold in my laugh, but couldn’t. “What?” He asked, his question now directed towards me.
“It’s nothing really,” I said, “it’s just that I don’t get offended very easily. At all. And also on the whole ‘mom, I love you but you’re embarrassing me’ thing, it’s happened so many times to me that it’s funny to actually be on this side of it.”
“See Rhetty,” his mom cooed. “I’m perfectly within my boundaries here.”
“Please don’t call me Rhetty,” was his only response. By the end of dinner, Rhett made sure we got away as quick as we could, even with his mom’s objections to come have some ‘family TV time’.
He took me to his garage and all of the hesitation I had flew away when he opened the door. “Wowie wowzers,” I said looking around. Instruments of all kinds were placed all over the room.
“I’ll take that as a compliment. But yeah, I can play almost all of these. Were there any you might like to hear?”
“Oh nice I see. Mood setting music, of course. Go for the drums first please.” Rhett nodded, sitting down and beginning to bang out a beat. It wasn’t too bad. The next 45 minutes or so were spent on me discovering a new instrument and saying, “Oo, play this one!” He would laugh at my child-like amusement and simply comply.
Rhett was talented, to say the least. He could play the violin, the guitar, drums, piano and a few more. He was also working on learning other instruments like the flute and clarinet. I was impressed.
“Well, I guess it’s time for me to go,” I said later on after all of the different instruments had been explored.
“I suppose it is.”
Rhett—whether being a gentleman on his own, or because his mom scolded him into it—drove me home.
Thinking back on it, Misty picked a great guy. I guess I’ll have to make sure that they end up together in the end.