The door chimed as he entered the restaurant and gently closed it behind him. He looked around to see that it was empty except for an older couple at a corner table who shared a meal and a woman with salt and pepper hair standing at the wooden host stand in front of him.
She looked thrilled to see another human being. “Good evening! Just the two of you today?” The woman pulled out two menus from beneath the host stand as she looked past Evan with a big grin.
The door chimed again. Evan turned to see Samantha standing behind him with a sincere smile. With her long curls pulled back into a high ponytail, she wore a light pink romper that showed off her curves.
He hadn’t considered if he’d be dining with Samantha that evening. Frankly, he just wanted his wallet back. A grumble in his stomach made him think otherwise. He turned around to the woman at the host stand. “Yes, two of us.”
Evan let Samantha go first as the woman lead them to a table in the center of the room.
“I’m sorry, but do you mind if we sit at that table?” Evan pointed to a small corner table, practically out of sight.
“Of course,” the woman responded. “That one is much more romantic.” She offered a wink to Evan and then Samantha, who blushed at the statement.
Once they sat down, the woman left to fill their drink order.
Samantha crossed her legs and leaned her elbows on the table, staring attentively at Evan. “I have a confession to make,” she began. “I haven’t been able to get my mind off of it all day.”
Here we go, Evan thought. She’s going to confess her love for me.
“I think I drugged you last night.”
“Excuse me?” Evan asked, narrowing his brows.
“It’s just that; I think I gave you my Vicodin. It was a total accident, and I’m so sorry!”
“Are y’all ready to order?” The server set their drinks down on the table and removed a notepad from her apron.
Evan welcomed the interruption.
After they ordered, Samantha was the first to speak up. “Are you going to say anything?”
“Look, this is embarrassing that I don’t remember, but did we sleep together last night?”
Samantha smirked. “No, you fell asleep before anything happened.”
Relief washed over Evan, followed by guilt. He should have stopped Samantha from climbing on top of him that morning. If he had, he would have absolutely nothing to feel shameful for. “Listen, Samantha, this morning was a mistake. I have a girlfriend.”
“Can I ask you a question, in that case?”
Evan watched as Samantha reached for her hair and took a piece between her fingertips. Flashbacks took him back to Dr. Nelson, sitting in her chair directly across from him, twirling a long curl around her index finger. It was the first time Evan realized just how much Samantha resembled Dr. Nelson. Shaking those thoughts aside, he responded with hesitation. “What’s that?”
“Why did you come to my house last night?”
“I wanted to find out how we knew each other.”
The server placed their meals in front of them. “Enjoy!” she said with a smile before walking away.
“You could have just asked me over the phone.” Samantha picked up her fork, stuck it in her plate of spaghetti, and turned it round and round before bringing it to her mouth.
“You’re right. I could have. I should have. It was stupid for me to come to your house. I’m guessing Amanda’s pretty pissed?”
Samantha shook her head with a frown. “She is, but she shouldn’t be. She broke up with you, didn’t she?”
“She did, but it was a little more complicated than that.”
“What happened between you two?”
Evan narrowed his brows. “She never told you?”
Amanda shook her head before taking another bite of spaghetti. “She never wanted to talk about it.”
Evan thought back to the one time Amanda had spoken about her cousin, Samantha. She had told him they were close growing up but grew apart their sophomore year in high school. Amanda felt like Samantha was always trying to compete with her. Since Samantha was now pursuing Evan, he realized Amanda might have been right. Given the circumstances, he was surprised they now lived together. He wondered how long that would last.
“If she wanted you to know, she would have told you. It’s not something I care to talk about.” Evan lifted the burger in front of him to his mouth. He planned to eat quickly and leave. Then he remembered Samantha still had his wallet.
“Why did you want to meet me here? Were you afraid your girlfriend would see us?”
She was so full of questions. It made Evan uncomfortable. “No, it’s not that. I had a meeting in the area.”
“On a Sunday? What do you do for work?”
Evan shifted uncomfortably in his seat. The last thing he wanted to do was make small talk.
“I work in HR.”
“Oh, cool. I have an aunt who works in HR.”
This conversation is unbearable. Evan shoved the last two bites of his burger in his mouth. “I hate to eat and run, but I should probably head home. I could use some sleep.”
“Yeah, considering some crazy bitch drugged you last night,” Samantha dryly stated before cracking a smile.
Evan laughed and felt the tension in his shoulders lessen. “I have to admit; I was pretty sure you drugged me, and part of me did wonder if you might be crazy.”
“I have my moments. Don’t we all?” Samantha raised her brows before taking the last bite of her spaghetti. Moments later, she reached into her purse. “Let me get dinner.”
“Oh, you don’t have to do that.”
Samantha pulled out Evan’s wallet and flipped it open with a grin. “What card should I use?”
Evan laughed again and reached for his wallet. “Very funny.” He paid for their meals, and they left for the parking lot. “Thanks for driving all this way to meet me.”
Samantha opened her door before offering him a sincere smile. “You’re welcome.”
“Drive safe.” He opened his door and started to climb into the driver’s seat.
Evan looked up to see Samantha still standing outside her vehicle.
“If you ever change your mind, I can be discreet.” She slid in, closed her door, and drove off, leaving Evan to wonder if Samantha wasn’t all that bad to be around, after all.