Worst Date. Ever.Wednesday, February 11, 2015
All names have been changed.
I watched as he crookedly scrawls across my paper in his messy, small print -
You doing anything tomorrow?I look up into his deep blue eyes. I shake my head no. We've been partners in class for a few weeks, we've hung around the same group of friends for even longer, but I'd never gotten over my nervousness of talking to him. Leaning over the paper he starts writing again.
Do you wanna come over and hang out?He looks at me expectantly. I nod. He smiles, his eyes crinkling.
My dad drops me off at the curb. I wait until he leaves before I ring the doorbell. After a minute,Mort opens the door, all tall and good-looking. We are supposed to watch a movie, hang out. He leads me upstairs where there is a TV, a couch, a tank with a snake, and tons of stoner posters. He shows me his room which is surprisingly bare. It has a bed, a guitar in the corner, and a weight-lifting bar. He escorts me back out to the TV room where we sit awkwardly. He puts some music on, we smoke a bowl, and once the effects take hold, we start talking.
Things are going well. Mort's easy to talk to and I'm happy I'm not sounding like a complete idiot half the time. We don't have a lot in common but we aren't finding it hard to talk to each other.
Out of the corner of my eye I see a door open.
And out walks his ex-girlfriend.
Beatrice smiles at me but it doesn't reach her eyes. I smile back, uncertainly looking between the two of them. "You two know each other right? From school?" Mort asks neither one of us in particular. She doesn't answer. She goes to the bathroom and then goes back to her room, closing the door.
"She's been living here for a bit. My mom's cool with it. We just sleep in separate rooms and it's not like we're together anyway," he says hastily. I don't know what to do. I have no idea what I've gotten myself into. Trying to salvage the situation he takes his snake out of the tank and brings her over to me. I'm still confused, my head is telling me to get out, but he's still really good looking and his eyes are so blue. I hold my hands out willing myself not to show any sort of fear or revulsion. The snake isn't actually so bad. I get used to her crawling and soon Mort is telling me a story. I can almost forget that Beatrice is in the other room, save for her music that is competing with ours.
"...so um then I..." he peters out as his phone rings. He looks at the screen but doesn't answer. He continues with his story. The phone rings again. And again. Then text after text after text. After what must have been the 5th text, he excuses himself and walks into her room, closing the door behind him.
All I can hear are raised voices. Now my head is telling me "I told you so. I told you so." I want to go home but don't have a cellphone to call my parents. I wish the snake was big enough to suffocate me but she's curled up, sleeping in my cupped hands.
When he comes out his whole demeanor is different. He grabs his snake, puts her back in her tank. When he comes back to the couch he sits farther away from me than he did earlier. He looks about as good as I feel at that moment.
"You know, I don't feel good. I should probably go. Can I borrow your cell?" He looks at the screen before he hands it to me. I call my dad and ask him to pick me up now. If my dad is wondering why the date is over so quickly he never asks.
After I hang up we just sit there. There is nothing I can think to say. I'm staring at our reflections in the blank TV wishing the couch would swallow me. Wishing I had a car. Or a license. Enough change to catch a bus. Wings. Anything to get me out of this.
We've been sitting in silence for five minutes. "I think my dad should be here soon," I tell him even though I know he's still a good 10 minutes away, "I should go out and wait for him."
He doesn't protest. He walks down the stairs with me, opens the door. I step out onto his front porch hoping, praying, that my dad has, for once in his life, driven faster than the speed limit. No such luck.
I keep peering around the corner, listening for my dad's car. Mort stands behind me, shuffling. It's obvious he wishes I was gone already.
We both turn around when we hear the front door open. Beatrice stands right in the middle of the open doorway, her long arms gripping the doorjamb. I can see that her eye makeup is smudged and runny, obviously from crying, but when she talks there is no quiver or trace of weakness in her voice. It carries nothing but viciousness.
"Hey Valerie," she says to me while looking right at him, "did he tell you he fucked me this morning?"
I know that her words aren't really meant for me; she's still looking right at him. But that doesn't mean at 16 years old I have any idea what to do. I look over to see Mort slowly shaking his head. He looks like a parent whose child won't behave.
Just then I hear my dad's car coming up the street. I've never been so relieved in all my life. I run up to it and get in before he even has time to fully stop. As my dad pulls away from the curb they are both still standing there, staring at each other.