I smoothed my hair and gave my reflection a once over. My dark blue striped, button down shirt was precisely pressed and sat neatly over my chest. My black slacks fit loosly around my waist, cascading down my diminutive legs, and ended just over my shined shoes.
It wasn't perfect, but it'll have to do.
Butterflies infested my stomach, fluttering about shamelessly. Is it normal for your fingers to tingle? But there was still one thing I needed. Cologne.
"Aw, look at you. My baby's all grown up." Joe cooed as I entered the living room.
"Oh Joe, don't embarrassed the boy." The drummer said upon strolling in from the kitchen, a glass of orange juice in his hand.
"Thanks dad." I muttered and threw in an eye roll. "Do you guys know where Pete is?"
"Your sister is up in his lair. Probably on the computer chatting with boys again." OK, this game has gone on long enough. I hurried up the stairs to Pete's designated door and knocked softly. From behind the mahogany, I heard his muffled permission to come in.
"Whatcha up to?" I asked to the back of his head. As Joe had predicted, he was glued to his illuminated laptop.
"Basking in the glow of 14 year olds fawning over me like I'm some fucking God or something." I sighed. Ah, his favorite pastime. He loved nothing more than to donate hours of his precious time on our website and fuck with the drooling idiots. Not to say all our fans are mentally impeded adolescents with salivation issues. I just truly believe that some of them harbor interests in our band that aren't purely based on our music. That's all.
"Messageboard*?" He didn't bother to look over at me as he nodded.
"I am what I am. And apparently I'm hot. With two T's no less." I wanted to believe that Pete wasn't as self centered as he makes himself out to be. But sometimes, I'm not so sure. He had this way of saying things and you're never really sure if he's kidding or not. At this point, I could only pray it was his sarcasm shining through.
"Listen, can I borrow some cologne? I'm all out." He twirled around in his swivel chair and faced me, a grin upon his mug.
"Sure." He grabbed a nearby bottle of whatever and tossed it to me. With two spritz, I was ready to go.
"Thanks. I'll see you later."
"Have fun...and remember: no glove, no love."
"I mean it. No missionary position, no doggy style, no Italian chandelier, no dirty Houdini raspberry swirl, no cross legged mutant, and absolutely no-" Dirty what?
"Goodbye, Peter." I suppressed my urge to vomit and scurried down the stairs. With a quick good bye to the guys, I was off on my date. Was it a date? She never actually used that word...per se. OK, she didn't use the word at all. What if I'm going about this all wrong? Why am I feeling so fucking nauseous?
I shook my harrowing thoughts away and got into my car. The drive to the restaurant was a short one, allowing me to arrive just on time. With one final deep breath and a once over in the rear view mirror, I headed to the entrance of the quiet little restaurant.
An older woman with deep crimson hair and a big smile greeted me.
"How many, sir?" I looked up at her looming frame.
"Just two please." I said with a touch of pride in my voice.
"Will that be smoking or non?" I went to open my mouth, but stop abruptly. Does she smoke?
"Smoking." The word sounded awkward and foreign as it slipped from my tongue. She looked over her chart briefly.
"OK, it'll be a 10 minute wait. Is that alright." I nodded and thanked her before sitting down in the lobby along with a few other couples. At least this will give Charlie some time to get here before I'm seated.
But my 10 minute wait quickly dissolved, but she was still a no show.
"Alright, sir. Your table is ready. Follow me." I trailed behind the rather tall woman to my table tucked away in a dimly lit corner. A long white candle stick sat in the middle of a small, squared off wooden table, an orange flamed flickering and dancing on the fresh wick. I sat on the antique, vine patterned chair and thanked my giant hostess. She grinned and handed me a menu before placing Charlie's at the seat adjacent to me.
"Your server will be with you in a moment."
I checked my watch.
OK, so she's a bit late. No need to get upset. I mean, she's got young kids. They probably did some...young kid thing that resulted in her tardiness. Yes, that is my reasoning and I'm sticking to it.
A young female in a white dress shirt, black pants, apron, and tie approached. A mop of alarming dark curls sat on her head, poorly restrained by a hair tie.
"Hey, I'm Alex. I'll be your waitress for the evening. Can I get you something to drink?" Why did she look so familiar? And why did she smell like garbage?
"Hey, aren't you that girl who-"
"No! Can I get you something to drink?" I arched an eyebrow at the woman, but decided it was best to leave it be.
"I'll have a Coke please."
"Sure. One plonk coming right up."
"Excuse me?" She grinned.
"One Coke coming right up." She sashayed away, her hair bobbing along crazily. Please don't be a shedder.
I picked up my menu and began to read through in an attempt to focus my attention from my watch.
"Here you go. Are you ready to order or do you want to wait for your date?" She asked as she set my glass on a coaster in front of me.
"I think I'll give her a few more minutes." She just smiled. Maybe it was my imagination but her gesture seemed laced with pity.
The opaque wax from the candle split over the sides and slowly rolled down the length of the stick. I watched intently as it melted.
She's not coming, is she?
*I was tempted to join their little messageboard...until I lurked around. Then I decided that I didn't want my brain to explode. So with that said: to all the "boardies" that may be reading this, which I guess suggests that you can in fact read, if you're offended, you should be. I'm just kidding...well, kind of.
P.S. Shout out to my DoJers. Miss you!