A Single Touch

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Pip Pip Cheerio

"Just choose a place."

"I already said I don't care where we go."

"Riley for the love of everything holy and pure just choose somewhere to eat!"

"Aah! Okay, okay, what about there?" I pointed to a neon flashing sign.

"McDonalds? No. I'm talking sit down restaurant where we wait for beautiful well-cooked not plastic food!"

"Ellie," I sighed. "Fine. What about the one next to it?"

"Joe's? Hmm, okay. I haven't been there in months." She flipped on her signal, turning into the driveway happily. After she parked, we both stepped out of the car and closed the doors, Ellie pressing a button and smiling when the 'beep beep' of the car confirmed it was locked. "That is so satisfying." Ellie commented. I shook my head at her jokingly.

We walked into a dingy looking bar that was almost vacant, aside from two or three people scattered about. One was sitting at the bar, the other two playing a game of pool. As we sat in the squeaky bar stool, a grubby man with a curled mustache greeted us with cheer.

"Ah, Miss Ellie! How good it is to see you again! Who is your friend?" His voice had the slight shadow of an Italian accent, his eyes gleaming a joyful blue.

"Joe, this is Riley. She's my roomie at TWDU, and enjoys being antisocial."

"Ellie."

"She also enjoys typing nonsense on her computer, and-"

"Ellie."

"Most of all she loves to tou-"

"Ellie!" I flushed. "I can speak for myself." The bartender Joe let out a hearty laugh. "It seems like you two are fine friends. What'll it be, ladies? First rounds on the house!"

"What? Are you sure? We can pay you know." Ellie's eyes raised in surprise.

"Nonsense! I know how you are with money Miss Ellie. Your drinks are on the house, but I'll let you pay for the meal." his eyes twinkled when he smiled, revealing the rows of his teeth. I noticed that he had many fillings, perhaps the result of one too many sweets.

"Oh alright. You can't keep treating me like this, okay?" she sighed. "I'll just have a Coke, I'm driving tonight. Riley?"

"Water, please."

"Riley," Ellie gave me a look. "Water is free here as it is. Please at least have one drink."

"You are really trying, aren't you?" I mused. "Have it your way then, I'll have a Jack Daniels mixed with Orange Crush soda, please."

Ellie raised an eyebrow. "Jack Daniels, huh? I don't know you were into that stuff."

I chuckled. "I had it once in high school, I guess the taste stuck with me all the way through."

Joe returned with a clean glass filled half with the alcohol and half with the soda. He left the soda can beside the drink. "Feel free to mix it as you like. Would you girls like menus?" Ellie nodded, taking a sip of her own drink.

I glanced to the side, observing the man a couple seats away. He had a troublemakers smirk on his face, untidy brunette hair and emerald eyes. The man wore a baggy hoodie that bore the TWDU crest on the left shoulder, as well as a dirty pair of jeans that I suspected he'd probably worn throughout the week. He caught my eye, smirking, and I turned back to my drink. Weirdo.

"We're you looking at him?" Ellie startled me.

"No. I was merely observing him."

"That's the same thing."

"Shut up."

Just then Joe arrived with our menus. Thankful for an excuse to avoid Ellie's questioning gaze, I looked at the sandwich selection. BLT, Club Chicken, none of it appealed to me. I glanced over my menu, only to see the smirking guy staring at me. I glared at him, trying to keep my eyes on my menu.

"I gotta pee." Ellie announced, smiling at me and retreating to the ladies room. Gee, thanks best friend.

I kept my eyes firmly on one item: a double cheeseburger. But he kept staring. I sighed.

"What?" I snapped.

"Me?" he said, checking over his shoulder jokingly.

"Yes, you. Why do you keep staring at me?" I scowled.

"Aww, come on. Don't look so grumpy. You were a lot better when you smiled."

"I suppose you want me to take that as a compliment."

"That would be the ideal outcome." his eyes shone with interest. I made an 'ugh' sort of noise. "Well, you'll have to go find someone else that will buy your corny act, because it definitely isn't working on me."

"I'm Pip," the guy said. "Some of my friends call me Pip Pip Cheerio as a joke."

"I can see why it would be made as a joke." I retreated to my menu, ultimately deciding on a simple burger. Damn it all, I thought. I know your intentions are good, Ellie, but you didn't have to leave me here with this prick.

"Say, what's your name? I'm honestly just curious. You are rather pretty."

"I'd rather not say." I buried my face further into the menu.

"Well, I'll guess then. Hmm..." He narrowed his eyes, as if peering farther at me than normal. Wait, that is farther than normal. Is he..?

"Are you looking at my boobs?" I interjected, staring at him crossly. He instantly blushed. "Wh-What?! No! I'm not that sort of guy!"

"I call bull. Why were you staring so intently then?!"

"Have mercy on me Riley, please?" He placed his hands together, begging for my approval. I felt something sink into the pit of my stomach, and it wasn't my drink. "How did you know my name?"

"Lucky guess?" I gave him a contempt look. "I heard your friend say it."

"Alright. If you swear to stop being a jerk, I may consider you as an acquaintance. That means I'd rather not talk to you anymore tonight, so don't push it." I gave him a final glare, but Pip seemed happy enough, returning to his own drink and taking a swig. Ellie walked back to her stool, a smug grin on her face. "Well?" she asked.

"You didn't have to leave. In fact, it may have been better if you stayed. I don't like him."

"That bad, huh? Hey, guy!" she called over to Pip. What are you doing you idiot?! "You're a TWDU student too, right? Feel free to visit us in our room anytime. We're in room 20B. I'm Ellie, her roomie."

He smiled. "You're a lot more friendly than Riley, for sure. I'm Pip. I'll definitely be seeing you two in the future." he chuckled warmly, downing the rest of his drink. "Ah, I must be going. Enjoy your dinner, ladies!" Then he left, waving as he went.

"You didn't."

"I did."

"I hate you."

"Liar."

Joe came back, ready to take our orders. I got my burger, and Ellie got the Chicken Club sandwich. For the rest of the night she kept asking me questions about Pip, disappointed that I wasn't into him. "He's fairly cute," she said. "I think you'd do good to get in a relationship sometime."

"No," I kept saying. "It would only add more stress to the giant load I have already. Besides, I want to wait until I find the one."

"How do you know he didn't just leave?"

"The number of times you've said that in the past is astounding, you know?"

We finished our food, which was surprisingly delicious, thanked Joe and paid, and then were back in our dorm in no time. I flopped on our couch-bed, the warmth of the sheets pulling me into sleep. Ellie curled up beside me, instantly blacking out. I wished I could fall asleep that easily. I yawned, and let myself relax until sleep finally pulled me under.

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