The Boyfriend Games

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9- Date Three

“We’re doing what?” I questioned Graham on our way to first period. Our classrooms were right next to each other’s, so it worked out fine. Graham laughed and repeated the location for tonight’s date. You have got to be kidding me.

“I don’t think you understand-” I started, but he cut me off.

“Just give it a chance, Thera. You may end up loving it out there. It’s not like I’m forcing you to turn into some Southern Belle that’s spends all her time with her cows, wearing camo or button ups, greeting people with, ‘Howdy ya’ll’.”

Despite myself and my seriousness on this issue, I laughed. The way he said it simply sounded silly. “Fine, Graham, I’ll give it a try. Just promise me I won’t step in any cow poop in my fancy beat up sneakers.”

“Don’t worry, I’ve got that covered,” Graham said.

I eyed him suspiciously. “Should I be worried?” I asked.

“Not one bit. See ya later ’gator.” With a tip of his imaginary hat, Graham disappeared through the classroom door. I was still baffled when I reached my seat and it took me a few moments of just sitting and blinking to pull myself together. Graham was taking me to his house tonight, but we were going to spend time somewhere near the barn he had in his backyard. He said that was where he kept two horses and three cows. A few chickens, I think, as well.

I was not someone to spend time in a barn.


Truly I meant this with my heart, seeing as I had only seen cows when driving in a car, and horses on TV. End of discussion, I wasn’t that much of an outdoor person either, especially when it came to the animals there and the idea of labor. Sure, I did happen to love animals, but having no pets of my own I’d never really had much hands on experience with them. Certainly not with something as large as a horse.

However, Graham had assured me that I wouldn’t step in poop, so that was a plus. Whatever he had planned was something he was excited about and since I’m stuck doing this I may as well try to enjoy it. Let’s just hope that the Rucker family keeps good on their word and that I survive this evening.

Amanda came scurrying over to me at lunchtime. “So?!” she asked rather loudly.

“So, what?” I had no idea what she was talking about when she got so excited like this. I just couldn’t follow her short sentences and fast words.

“How have your dates been? What’s happened on them? Have they all been dreamy? Are there any terrible habits surfacing from the pits?” I clamped my hand firmly over her mouth and looked her dead in the eyes.

“First of all, you need to calm yourself. Secondly, there have only been two dates and one I left halfway through, no regrets.” Amanda’s eyes bugged out and she grabbed at my hand.

“You what?” Her eyes seemed like they could pop out of her head in that moment. “You can’t just leave halfway through! I can’t believe you...Who did you do that to?”

“Giovanni,” I said simply. She shrieked a shrill sound that had me cringing. “What now, lady?”

“You left the Giovanni Scott on your first date with him?” I had to fight the urge to roll my eyes at her, and trust me it was a hard fight to conquer.

“As far as I know there is only one Giovanni in the whole Boyfriend Games thing, so yeah. And of course I left, he was incredibly annoying.”

Amanda wouldn’t take my word for it. “But he’s so dreamy.”

I stopped her by holding up a hand. “No he appears to be, but don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Giovanni is more like a wolf’s in sheep’s clothing. He’s an egotistical jock who only cares of himself.”

At this point the bell rang, leaving me with the final word.

“I got it mom!” I yelled after the doorbell rang. I don’t recall ever bringing up the arrangement Amanda and Hope had set up in conversation to my parents, and this would be an awkward way for them to find I was forced into dating 10 different guys multiple times. I guess it had never really even crossed my mind to try and tell them, even though it’s the issue I’m plagued with right now. Even so, it was still better to try and keep the two of them out of this until I had a chance to come up with something better to say in explanation. Something like, “Oh and by the way, the past seven days I had to do this thing, but don’t worry my week is up and I am out of there!” Everything was working smoothly with mom staying in the living room and dad in the bathroom.

Smoothly that is, until I opened the door.

“Hey Thera! Where are your parents? It ain’t right if I don’t meet them first, shake your dad’s hand.” I quickly shushed Graham.

“No, that would be a very bad idea,” I told him in a rushed whisper. “Lets just go, yeah?” But he wouldn’t take no for an answer. My trying to push past him just resulted in me tilting him back onto his heels. I guess he has had heavier things to deal with working with cows and all, but I should at least be able to knock him back a little, right? Nope. Not one bit. It just came out looking awkward when my mom showed up behind me.

“Who’s this, honey? Why are you leaning on him like you can’t stand up?” I quickly jumped into an upright position as my mind started sending the red signal throughout my whole body.

Abort mission.

Red alert.

Leave now.

And then dad showed up. “Excuse me, sir, ma’am, I just wanted to introduce myself to you before tonight. I’m sure it’ll be hard getting ten new names in this short span, but I’m Graham if you ever need anything.” He held out his hand to my dad and he stared at it as if it were a viper.

Well, this oughta be a fun conversation.

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