Charlie and Patrick finish up their first date.
I gawked up at the looming, grandiose beach house that sat in front of me. This boy lived here? What 22 year old inhabited a place like this?
"You're not a drug dealer, are you?" I asked as we walked up the driveway. He laughed and shook his head.
"Not quite." He responded as he opened the front door and led me inside.
"Wow, look at this place. Very nice." He nodded.
"Yeah, it's OK. My friends and I are just renting it for a while." I arched an eyebrow at him.
"Your friends aren't drug dealers, are they?" He shrugged.
"Not that I know of." I followed him into the living room. A huge, plush, dark blue couch sat against a lighter blue wall. Across from it was a giant plasma flat screen mounted on to the partition. Modern paintings decorated the space, adding an artistic flare. No, no 22 year old could possibly live here. Unless he dabbled in the sale of narcotics.
He headed to a cabinet filled with DVDs. I trailed after him meekly, desperately trying to soak in my new environment.
"You're renting? Does that mean you don't live in California?" He looked up from the movies and grinned.
"No, I do not live in California. Far from it, actually." I nodded, feeling slightly disenchanted. I just couldn't foresee a long distance relationship working out. "I grew up in a little Chicago suburb. But I'm actually looking to get a place in New York." I nodded and plopped down on the couch. It was just as soft and comfortable as its appearance suggested.
"So what's a Midwestern boy like yourself doing in L.A?" He smiled and shook his head.
"Band stuff. So what movie did you want to watch?" Was he avoiding my question? This just might be a red flag. We settled on a flick that I had never heard of, but thought the synopsis on the back of the case was interesting and he sat down on the couch; Me on one side, Patrick on the other.
"How long are you in L.A. for?" I questioned, hoping to get a little more information on my date.
"I'll be here for a while. Six months. Maybe longer." I nodded.
"Wow. I'd be so homesick." He tilted his head slightly, showing off a small grin.
"I am every now and then. But I've got my friends here. They make it easier on me." He spoke with a soft stutter, making me smile.
"Do I make you nervous?" I asked, emitting a slight blush from the male.
"A little. But I think it's a good nervous."
The blaring white letters of the credits had long since rolled, but there we were; still talking and laughing. I almost didn't realize how much time had gone by. Almost.
"I think I should be going." I said before standing and smoothing my wrinkled dress. He followed suit.
"Let me walk you out." He grinned and led my outside to my car. The moon hung low in the inky sky, giving off a soft white glow that seemed to illuminate the night. I leaned against the cold metallic door of my vehicle.
"I had a really nice time with you, Patrick." I swore to abstain from uttering those clichÃ© first date phrases, but I couldn't help it. They just toppled out of my mouth.
"Really?" He asked incredulously as he shoved his hands in his pockets. "I was terrified you'd find out what an awful date I am." I smiled at his humble behavior.
"You're not so bad. And you clean up nicely too." I boldly leaned in a placed a small, simple kiss on his rounded cheek before opening up my door.
"I'll talk to you later." He whispered, adding a slight wave.
"Alright. Bye." I started my car and watched as his figure slowly disappeared into the house. A permanent smile sliced across my face as the giddiness set in. I felt like a teenager again, eager to spill to my sister about my first date. After a short drive, free of police, I parked in my driveway. Deni was stationed on the couch with Jocelyn fast asleep in her lap. She smirked and waved, careful not to wake her niece.
"You will tell me everything, you know that, right?" She whispered, her eyes remaining serious. I nodded and scooped up my daughter. The small girl stirred briefly but didn't open her eyes. Gingerly, I lowered her on to her bed and pulled the blankets around her.
"So? How was it?" She asked as I sat down on the sofa next to her.
"It was great. I had a really good time." She frowned.
"That's it? Was there a kiss? Or one of those ass-out awkward hugs?" My face burned at her question../Look at me. Blushing at 32 years old. /
"I kissed him. On the cheek. No ass-out hugging." She wrinkled her nose.
"That's it? A kiss on the cheek?" I rolled my eyes.
"What did you expect?" She shrugged.
"I don't know. Something juicy, something sexy. You could have at least lied to me."
"Sorry to disappoint you with my boring, unsexy date."
"Well, that's the least of your problems. Your son is not happy with you." I sighed. I knew I'd have to face the inevitable. I might as well get it out of the way.
"I'm going up to talk to him. I'll call you later." She nodded and patted my shoulder before getting up to leave. I made the slow trek up the steps and down the hall to his room. Light peeked out from under his door. I knocked softly and listened for a response.
"Come in." Came his muffled reply. He was perched on his bed, reading a book. A frown formed on his lips at the sight of me.
"Hey you." I whispered as I cautiously advanced into his room.
"Hi." He said simply, his eyes returning to the book.
"Are you mad at me?" It was safe to assume his surly silence meant a big yes. "That's OK. You can be mad at me. I just came in to say goodnight." I turned to leave, hoping he would spend the night stewing in his teenaged angst and be fine by morning.
"I wanna meet him." I stopped dead in my tracks.
"What?" He stared me down, a serious look upon his face. In that moment, he reminded me of his father.
"I. Want. To. Meet. Him. I have a right to know who's banging my mother." My mouth dropped.
"No one is banging your mother. And I better not catch you talking like that in front of your sister." He nodded.
"When do we get to meet him?" There was a menacing quality in his voice that made me a little uneasy.
"I don't know. We'll see how it goes." My gaze traveled to a poster adorning the light blue walls of my son's room. Four men stood, clad in ridiculous furry costumes. *
My eyes grew wide at the man standing in the foreground, his head tilted slightly and a cap was sitting on his mop of light brown hair. It looked as though he was in the middle of a sentence when the picture was snapped. My date was staring right back at me.
"Oh. My. God." My son raised an eyebrow and lowered his book slightly.
"What?" Why was Patrick on that poster? And why the hell was he wearing a bear suit? My drug dealer assumption was way off. "Mom?" My head snapped to the 13 year old.
"Yeah?" I asked, my vision finding its way back to the poster.
"What's wrong?" I shook my head and blinked, hoping it would somehow make my delusions disappear. But it was still my date peering at me from a shiny piece of paper plastered to my teenager's wall.
"Nothing, baby. I'm going to bed. Goodnight."
*Want to see the poster? http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.interlude-magazine.com/images/FALL%2520OUT%2520BOY%2520COVER.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.interlude-magazine.com/&h=864&w=648&sz=160&hl=en&start=1&tbnid=UExNcm3QXpItfM:&tbnh=145&tbnw=109&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dfall%2Bout%2Bboy%2Binterlude%26svnum%3D10%26hl%3Den%26sa%3DG
I know it's long, but browser that mofo and scroll down a little. It made me giggle.