Chapter 005: A Monosyllabeled Dinner
Her breath caught in her throat, her pulse pounded in her ears as long suppressed memories washed ashore and beached themselves upon her conscience. Those distant films of mental recollections played soundlessly in her mind's eye. Everything from Warped Tour the summer they met, to their first and last Christmas together, until the last dusty memory reeled into action; the day it all came down. Surge upon surge, the memory played, broken over time of trying to forget it. But that alone was enough to bring the taste of bile to the back of Mina's already taut throat as she struggled to breathe. She immediately looked to her lap to try and compose herself as Quinn struck up conversation.
"Frankie, funny seeing you here." Quinn said almost too readily.
"I was just in the neighborhood." Frank shrugged with his hands jammed into the pockets of his jeans, averting his gaze to Mikey who winked mischievously.
"Wanna join us for dinner?" Mikey asked in, what seemed like, an impromptu invitation.
"As long as Mina doesn't mind...?" Frank replied in a questioning manner, his gaze now intent on the top of Mina's blonde head which shook 'no' in response before hiding behind the large, chic menu.
"Great, park it right here." Quinn quipped as he patted the seat next to him and across from Mina.
In the fortress of the dinner menu, Mina attempted to regain any self control she had left in her so as not to throw an uncharacteristic hissy fit in the center of a restaurant. 'Why is he here of all places?!' her mind screamed indignantly. 'Its not like I hate him or anything but... okay maybe I do, a very, very little bit of myself hates him for leaving the way he did, but honestly, who in their right mind wouldn't?' She sighed minutely before making a silent resolution, 'I'm going to pretend everything's alright and it will be just that, alright.' And with a heavy heart she slowly lowered her menu to find, much to her relief, that Frank was busy speaking to Quinn about something or other.
Things were going smoothly as Mina and Frank did not directly talk to one another and the tension lightened by a fraction. But it was after they had ordered, and Frank had excused himself to the men's room, when trouble reappeared on the horizon with the ring of Quinn's cell phone.
"This is NASA, how may I direct your call?" He said operatorishly, "Hey Jeph... oh man you what?!" he began to laugh hysterically clutching his cell phone to his ear. "Dumbass, I'll come get you, just stay put okay? Later." He ended the call and wiped a few tears from his eyes.
"What was that about? And where do you think you're going?" Mikey probed suspiciously, watching Quinn put on his jacket rise from his seat.
"Jeph locked his keys, wallet, and phone in his car so I've gotta go get him." this caused the both Mikey and Mina to laugh.
"Well how far is he from here?" Mina asked wondering how Jeph managed to do that, he was usually well minded of his belongings
"Brooklyn, Smith and Ninth, I think he said." Quinn replied.
"That's kinda far from here but I know where that is. I'll go with you." Mikey said, also getting up just as Mina realized something.
"Wait, how would he call you if he locked his cell and wallet in his car?" Mina asked, giving Quinn a suspicious look.
He visibly went rigid as he cast about for an explanation, "Um... he called from a... a nearby store, yeah a nearby store. So just tell Frankie dinner's on us and we got ours to go, okay? Be good." he said quickly after giving her a pat on the head and a squeeze about the shoulders.
"We have to hang out again, yeah?" Mikey suggested, giving Mina a kiss on the cheek as well as a hug.
"Definitely, we still have a lot to catch up on." Mina agreed, not suspecting a thing now.
With that, the pair left the premises and Mina in a predicament. Here she was, engaged and having dinner with her ex-boyfriend; how picturesque.
'I must have been scandalously cruel to someone in my past life....' Mina thought listlessly as her salad was placed before her and Frank's across from her. She considered taking leave also, but that plan was crushed when the said ex-boyfriend slipped back into his seat.
"Where'd the other two go?"
"Jeph got locked out of his car in Brooklyn so they went to the rescue and took the bill with them." Mina said shortly, poking at her greens, intently avoiding any eye contact.
"That's weird, isn't Jeph the responsible on in that group?" Frank said, still trying to make some form of small talk.
Most of their dinner went by silently with a few more attempts at pleasantries from Frank. But with passing endeavor, the ever impatient man grew more and more frustrated with the matter at hand. Finally, he snapped, right in the middle of the main course.
"God, Mina, would it honestly kill you to talk to me?" he hissed across the table.
"Excuse me? I am talking to you, it just so happens that I am eating simultaneously. So, unless you want grilled salmon all over your face---" she began coolly.
"You call this talking?" Frank gestured curtly over the table with a hand, "You call a string of monosyllabled answers talking? From what I can remember, you and I used to talked for hours. But I guess being with Pete has dumbed down your vocabulary."
Mina's fierce expression changed at the speed of light to one of immense hurt. Her perfectly shaped eyebrows slanted downwards as her bottom lip trembled.
"Look, Mina, I didn't mean it like that, its just, " he breathed deeply, collecting his thoughts into coherent words, "I want you back, God dammit." and in a single, fluid motion, his lips met hers once again.