Match Made

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TWELVE

We pick the second restaurant we see and walk in. I have the impression Christopher isn’t the type of guy who usually picks restaurants by the order he sees them in, but I’m impressed he is able to adapt to my strange habits.

When we are seated and looking at the menu, I ask him what he thinks of the restaurant.

“It seems nice,” he looks around, “I like the cafe feel it has. Kinda cozy.”

“Seems like a family place,” I gesture to the paper placemats sitting in front of us. “All we’re missing are some crayons.”

When the waiter comes over to take our drink order, I tell him we just got married and ask him to bring us some crayons.

“Of course, Ma’am,” he smiles before turning to leave.

“I can’t believe you did that!” Christopher’s face is turning red as he speaks, “We aren’t really that married and we aren’t children.” He buries his head in his hands, but I can still see the red creeping out over the tips of his fingers.

“Well, the fun of this game,” I smile as he continues to stare at his lap, “Is to get something for free. And I just got us crayons. And maybe desert. We’ll see.”

I pick up the menu and immediately struggle with what to eat. Christopher follows my lead and picks up his menu, hiding his face behind it.

The waiter returns in what seems like no time at all.

“Have you decided or would you like a little more time?” he puts the drinks down on the table in front of us and then hands me a small pack of crayons.

“Thank you,” I smile, taking the crayons and placing them on the table beside me. I look over at Christopher to see he has lowered his menu, so I answer for both of us, “I think we are ready to order.”

Christopher ordered spaghetti, and I picked some kind of sandwich thing. I don’t know exactly what it was, because I just took the waiter’s suggestion. Though I had played the restaurant game before, I had never gone so far as to order whatever the waiter suggested. So far, it is pretty fun!

As we wait for our food, we sip our drinks and stare at each other for a while.

“Well,” I say, unpacking the crayons, “I’m going to colour. If it’s not too cool for you, you can join me.”

He stares at me, his mouth slightly open and smiles, “What’s gotten into you? You’re always so shy and precise and then today. . .”

I smile back, “Well, today I am comfortable being myself around you. So get used to it because this is me. Well, not really. But I do like taking adventures. And when I’m on an adventure, I’m usually up for trying anything once.”

Christopher shakes his head and laughs, “I’m impressed.” He takes a crayon and starts to colour.

I look up at him and raise my eyebrow, “I was going to use that.”

“Tough,” he grins, “What’s yours is mine, remember? Plus, I just decided I’m going to join you on this adventure.”

He tucks his chin down and starts colouring the path on his paper placemat. I watch him struggle with a part of the maze. I giggle and return to colouring my cartoon farmer.

* * *

When we leave the restaurant, the sun is barely peeking out over the top of the horizon.

“How did it get so late?” I wonder aloud.

“I think it was the epic battle over the word search,” he smiles, reaching for my hand. I accept it to keep up appearances for our neighbours. The last thing we need right now is someone reporting our marriage as not genuine.

“Or maybe it was the free dessert I got us for being newly married,” I smile again and admire the pink and orange light dancing across the clouds in the distance.

We walk silently for a few blocks, admiring the view from our neighbourhood.

“It really is beautiful here,” I sigh as we round the corner onto our street, “You picked an exquisite spot.”

He smiles, “Best view in the world.”

We stand on the corner of our street, holding hands, watching the final rays of sunshine disappear over the horizon. To anyone walking by, we must look like any newly married couple. In some ways, I guess we are. We might be one of the most unconventional married couples ever, but I am really happy to have him as my friend.

A couple minutes of standing on the corner is all I can take before I start to shiver from the cold air brushing my arms.

“Let’s get you home,” he says as he shrugs off his jacket and wraps it around my shoulders, “You look like you’re freezing.”

“Yeah,” I pulled his coat tighter around my shoulders, “I guess we should get me inside before my pretty little fingers freeze off.”

He smiles and slides his arm around my shoulders, pulling me closer to his side as we walk. He’s really putting it on for the cameras. Hopefully, we can keep this up until Match Made releases us from their grasp.

Only four more tasks to go. One of which will start the moment we walk in the door. I don’t know whether I want to drag my feet to stay outside or run to get to the next required date.

“Here we are,” he lets me walk through the front door first, “Would you like me to get you tea or hot chocolate?”

I’m still deciding when he adds, “Or I could light the fire.”

“Hot chocolate, please,” I give him back his jacket, “And I wouldn’t mind the fire, too.”

“All right, I’ll be right back. You pick out your favourite movie and get comfortable.”

I slide off my heels and walk over to the TV. Picking my favourite movie would probably be the easiest part of the whole night.

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