“Dude, you’re hair is fine. It is just a lunch date,” Chase said pulling the comb out of my right hand.
“No Chase! It’s not just a lunch date, it’s a lunch date with Danny, and I really really like her and I don’t wanna blow it!”
“Yikes. You’re really going crazy. Better call the psych ward,” Chase teased and I shoved my wallet into my left pocket.
“I’m not crazy,” I mumbled and picked up my phone.
“You’re related to me, it’s in your blood,” Chase said through a laugh.
Eventually we made it out of the house, and got into the car. After a few minutes, I was saying goodbye to my brother, and facing Danny’s door. I lifted my hand and then let it fall to my side. I lift it again and then jump when the door opens. “Nervous lover boy?” Mikey welcomes me into the house and I wipe my hands off on my jeans. “I’ll go get her,” he says and walks upstairs. I hear some commotion and Danny walks into view.
“Hi,” I say, my voice shaking. Can they hear how nervous I am? I sure hope not.
“Hi,” Danny answered back and I shove my hands in my pockets.
“Hi,” I say back and she bites her bottom lip.
“Are you guys ever going to get past hi?” Mike makes his presence known and Danny looks up at him.
“Yes, we were just about to leave,” Danny snaps at him and grabs my hand.
“Don’t talk to strangers!” Mikey shouts before closing the door. Danny and I began to walk out of her neighborhood and onto one of those forest paths we have all over the city. It was a perfect California day! The sun was shining through the trees, and it wasn’t too hot, like it usually is in the early fall.
“So, where were you thinking of eating lunch, Jackson?” Danny broke the silence.
“There’s a diner around the corner and they have some of the best grilled cheese and tomato soup,” I wrap my arm around her shoulder and hers went around my waist. Her eyes lit up at the mention of grilled cheese. “You like grilled cheese?”
“Is that even a question? That’s just my favorite food in the whole world!” I laughed at her response and we kept walking. We arrived at the front of the restaurant and I could smell the fresh tomato soup in the air. “It smells AMAZING! I’m so excited, I can’t wait!” Danny squealed with excitement. I held open the door for her and she walked up to the host.
“Hi, how many?” I look up before Danny.
“Carlos? From Islands?” I looked at him with confusion.
“Oh hey guys! Long time no see!” he smiled.
“I didn’t know you worked at Gil’s Diner,” I say and he shrugged.
“Life is rough out here. I need two jobs to support my family and attend college,” I nod and he seats us by a window with a view of the forest path we came on.
“Your server will be with you shortly,” he says while placing menus in front of us, “It was good to see you guys again!”
“Thanks Carlos!” we said in unison. The server came by and took our orders and of course we got the aforementioned grilled cheese and tomato soup!
“Have a great rest of your day!” Our server says as he clears away our dishes. We walked back up to the front and hand Carlos our check. We said goodbye to Carlos and walked back to Danny’s. The whole way back, she couldn’t stop raving about how delicious lunch was. How adorable.
We still had about three hours until the movies tonight, so we decided to watch a few episodes of Friends. Once we watched Friends to the point where we forgot which episode was about what problem Joey had this time, Danny pulled out some video game controllers and turned on Mario Kart. “I’m warning you, I’m extremely competitive when it comes to any type of video games,” I said taking the controller from her left hand. I could see a small smile forming on her lips as she sat down next to me.
“I’ll try not to kick your butt to hard then,” she said while picking her character and kart. Once we had picked our characters and their vehicles, the race was on. Three! Two! One! Go! I slammed on the button for the acceleration, and I left Danny in the dust until...
“Quit throwing blue shells at me Danny!” I said while banking another turn and sending a red shell back at her. She gave me the stink eye and threw a squid at me, “Gosh darnit Danny, that’s not fair!”
“Jackson, since when was Mario Kart ever fair?” she laughed and pushed me off the track. I pushed her back harder, giving me the time to pass the finish line before her.
“No!” Her controller went flying and she huffed in defeat, “I can’t believe I lost!”
“Oh, but you did! The sweet taste of victory is mine!” I cheered.
“Not if I can help it!” she tackled me to the floor and we both started laughing hysterically. Knock knock! Brett knocked on the door. We moved apart and she went to answer the door.
“Hey Brett,” she said as she gestured for him to come in. We fist bumped and Danny ran upstairs to grab her purse.
“Sounded like you guys were killing each other in here.”
“Well, more or less,” I said staring daggers at Danny. She laughed and nudged my shoulder.
“Only because he beat me at Mario Kart!”
“Dude you poked the monster. The unspoken rule is that you let her win at all costs. Otherwise she will attack you because her competitive nature takes over,” Brett explained and I couldn’t tell if he was joking or serious.
“I’m not that competitive, Brett. I just like to win.”
“That’s the definition of competitive Danny,” Brett said, “All right, we should all get in the car and get going, otherwise we’ll miss the movie!”
We all piled into the car with Ed, his date Stacy who’s in color guard, and Victoria, who’s been with Brett for about two years. Brett turned on the radio, and we were off. Of course, Victoria sat in the passenger’s seat with Brett, the middle row had Ed and Stacy sitting next to each other, leaving Danny and I in the back. “Keep it PG back there okay? I don’t need to see smoochin’ in my rear view,” I rolled my eyes at his comment and wrap my arm around the back of her seat. After about fifteen minutes, we made it to Avenue Mission Mall and walked over to the theater.
Danny pulled out her wallet and I stopped her quickly, “I’m paying,” she smiled and put her wallet away.
“I thought chivalry was dead, but I guess not,” she joked, while also looking at me with gratitude, “I’ll buy the popcorn then as a thank you.”
“Thanks, Dan, but you accepting my invitation was thank you enough,” I said patting her head. We walked over to the concessions where I bought us two small drinks and a large popcorn to share.
“So, what movie are we watching anyways?” Danny asked me.
“It’s called The Apocalypse, so I hope you like zombies,” I told her.
“I love them. I love blood and gore, they’re like my thing,” this didn’t really surprise me. This is one of the many reasons I like her so much.
“This is great because I know you’ll actually watch the movie instead of hide behind me the whole time like a coward.”
“That, Jackson, is something I’m not.” We walked into theater and took our seats. Because we came to see a horror movie, all of the trailers were for the newest horror films. Most of the people in our group were already freaking out, and the movie wasn’t even going to start of a few more minutes. A gory movie trailer came up, where a family was getting hunted down one by one, and Danny just laughed.
“This trailer looks so good,” she whispered and I smiled at her.
“Guess we will have to go out again to see it, oh well.” I said sarcastically.
“What a hassle. Oh darn,” she continued our little game of sarcasm. The lights darkened and the movie started. Danny stared at the screen with a huge smile on her face waiting for the first jump scare to happen.
“Where did his head land?” Danny asked and I stared at her. I’m on a date with a crazy person. But craziness aside, she is cute.
“Why are we watching this Brett? It’s way too scary,” I hear Victoria saying and Stacy was nodding in agreement, tears welling up in her eyes. They both stood up and run out of the theater.
“Why are girls always like this? It’s just a movie,” Brett said I shrugged and looked at Danny.
“Maybe not all girls,” I state and I can feel Danny’s eyes on my face. She smiled, and I felt her hand rest on mine. I grabbed her hand and lace our fingers together. We stay like that for the remainder of the film, and when the credits begin rolling, we headed out to find Stacy and Victoria waiting outside the theater with venti starbucks frappuccinos.
“How do they drink those, I don’t think my body could handle all that sugar,” Danny whispered in my ear. I tried not to laugh, but it exploded out and everyone turned to see Danny and I having a laughing fit in the middle of the mall.