Monday, January 7, 2013

Fifteen Years Ago Part 2: The Christmas Party Cont.

*This is a continuation of Friday, Dec. 5, 1997. Part one can be found here.*

Throughout the rest of the evening, she noticed that Mister Coffee Shop would catch her eye, which wasn’t all that hard since she seemed to be staring at him whenever she wasn’t working. He would offer to help her and even invited her to sit next to him on the couch where there were a few people congregating to chat.

She cautiously accepted his help and his invite. Her mother had warned her about guys like him. Really good looking guys who want nothing more than another notch in their belt. He already had a gaggle of women around him and wanted to prove he could get one more. Well. She knew better than to fall for that old trick. Her mother raised her up right. A man needs to be a gentleman and do all the asking, paying, and even calling, just like Mr. W. did. She was never to take the number of a guy unless he took hers, first, and she certainly wasn’t to be the first one to actually call him because she was not a floozy.

As the party wound to an end, she was going to catch a ride with her friend, the one who ran the coffee shop, to her car which she had left at work. Mister Coffee Shop saw her getting ready to go and went to the door to say good-bye. And then he hugged her.

She couldn’t believe what just happened. It’d never happen to her before- getting hugged by a virtual stranger, and a guy at that. Was he some sort of pervert like her mother warned her about?

As she was debating how to handle the situation- either hold on tightly while inhaling his intoxicating scent, or wrangle him into a headlock and punch him in the throat like her daddy taught her- he told her and her friend that he and his roommate were going to Bennigans and asked if they’d like to join them.

Bennigans. That den of sin. She’d never been to Bennigans. Never been out this late and away from home, actually. She had lived a very sheltered life and had no idea what the heck was going on tonight. A hug from a stranger. A call from her coworker who wanted to “just talk” to her. Did her Chucks somehow turn into glass slippers without her knowing it?

Since her friend had a crush on his roommate, they agreed to go out with the guys and, in doing so, ventured for the first time into this unknown world of college people “hanging out.”

But first she had to call her mother.

She was afraid her mom wouldn’t let her go….or at least she was counting on it. That way she didn’t have to make a fool of herself in front of Mister Coffee Shop. However, to her surprise (and dismay), her mom was happy for her and told her it was ok…but had she called Mr. W. first and shouldn’t she call him back like she said she would?

 Dude. Another strange event for the evening. Her very strict mother not only allowing her to go out with others- and boys at that!- but also encouraging her to call another guy? What was this world coming to?

All four of them ended up driving together in her friend’s car. She and Mister Coffee Shop were in the back so her friend could try and make time with his roommate. They arrived at Bennigans where she knew the true test of the evening was to come. Would he buy her something to eat or drink?

He asked what she was going to order and she, ever so awkwardly, asked, “Why? Are you buying?”

“Oh no,” he replied. “I only buy fine girls something.”

Her heart sank and her self-consciousness flared as she nervously tucked her hair back into its messy bun.

“Soo….I’m not “fine” then, huh?" she awkwardly giggled, hoping it sounded like confident, playful banter instead of the nervous, hurt feelings it truly was.

“Oh no. You’re waaay below,” was the heart-ripping reply as he smirked and gestured with his hand below the table to further illustrate how repulsed he was by her.

She was crushed.

After ordering a pineapple juice and sitting back, waiting out the time for this tortuous night to end, he kept trying to engage her in conversation and then he did something that made her completely speechless. He took her juice and drank from it.

THE NERVE!! Now she had his arrogant cooties on her juice, which she bought with her own non “fine” money. UGH. She knew she should have punched him in the throat when she had the chance!

He playfully laughed and continued to chat with her, as if his amazing smile and gorgeous eyes and charming laugh could make her forget that he was a big meanie who owed her $2.50 for the pineapple juice. A really, really cute meanie who had asked her, and not the blonde bimbos, to join him tonight. She just didn’t know how to read this guy.

They all got back into the car and were driving back to the BSU to drop the guys off. She had finally taken her hair down and put her black scrunchie on her wrist and was looking out the window.

“What’s this?” he asked as he snapped the scrunchie on her wrist.

After informing him it was called a “scrunchie” he proceeded to try to take it off her hand and said, “A scratchie, huh? That’s a funny name.”

“No. A scrunch-ie,” she corrected him as she tried to get both her hand and her stylish accessory back away from him.

“I like scratchie!” he said as he pulled on it again.

They went back and forth like this- he trying to take it off her, she not letting some guy win a wrestling match- she would make her dad proud- until he stretched the scrunchie over his hand and then let his hand fall. It didn’t escape her notice that his hand landed on hers. Though he didn’t take her hand…they just both openly ignored the fact that they were kinda-sorta-not really holding hands for a good portion of the ride.

He started the conversation back up and asked if she had a nickname. She told him her family called her Dean. He wrinkled his nose saying, “That’s a man’s name- much too masculine for you. It’s kind of a tradition to take the first two letters of someone’s name and double it for a nickname- I think I’ll call you Gege.”

Gege? What a silly name. That’d never catch on. But, she didn’t mind if he called her that- it would be his special name for her and nobody else would ever know. 

He eventually started doodling smiley faces on the foggy winter window. She followed his lead and doodled a smiley face on her window, as well. Then it became some sort of weird, foggy window doodling competition where the smiley faces eventually turned to frowny, ugly faces. And then, he went for the jugular.

GEGE STINKS was his next addition to the competition.

Horrified that she truly had forgotten her deodorant that morning, and that he thought she was both ugly AND smelled bad, she retorted with MR COFFEE SHOP IS A FRUITY FLAMER.

That'd show him. The jerk. She knew how to hit below the belt, too, though she didn't know how to stop when she was ahead.

Once back at the BSU, she was surprised when he offered to drive her back to work- so her friend didn’t have to go out of her way, he said. Even though it was agreed that she would stay the night at her friend’s house that night since she had to work early the next morning (she had called her mom to get permission at Bennigans), she agreed to let him drive her.

He took her to her car and then noted that she worked directly across the street from where he lived. Both buildings were just off of campus and were both renovated frat houses. His house was owned by his church and rented to several guys who attended the University.

IT’S A SIGN! She thought. We are destined to be true loves forever and ever!!! Though, out loud she said, “That’s cool.”

He then asked her if she could reach in the glove box- there was a pad of paper and a pen in there.

This is it, she thought. He’s going to ask me for my number!

Instead, however, he gave her his number. She jotted it down and then kept the paper out, pen at the ready to write down her number once he asked. Then, her heart sank when, instead of her number, he asked her to put the pen and paper back in the glove box.

Yep. He was definitely one of those guys her mother warned her about.

She got out of his car and, when he had disappeared across the street, she crumpled up the paper and tossed it aside. Her mother raised her right. If he didn’t ask her for her number and pursue her, then he didn’t deserve her.

Mr. W. had pursued her. Mr. W. had called her. She still had a huge crush on Mr. W. and so she’d give him a call later, as she said she would.

And with that, Mister Coffee Shop was out of her life....

(Part Three of this tale can be found here.)

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