Chapter 22: Real Or Not Real?
“Well, you’re looking pretty today.” My dad peeked up at me for just a second from where he was sitting in the living room. He had a bowl of cereal in one hand and a silver spoon in the other. On the TV was some sappy Sunday afternoon soap opera about who knows what – probably just another poor lad getting diagnosed with cancer again – and I grimaced, wondering why in the world my dad always watched it. Despite the fact that it was half past two, he was still in his pyjamas, his hair sticking up in random cobwebs as if he hadn’t brushed through it for days.
“Don’t you have anything to do today?” I asked. “Like work?”
“Writer’s block,” he muttered. Shoving another spoon of cereal into his mouth, he turned to me again and raised an eyebrow in curiosity. “You avoided the topic,” he said suspiciously. “Why are you looking so pretty today?”
“I look pretty everyday,” I snapped. Gathering my hair up into a high ponytail, I quickly secured it with a hair-tie before patting down my floral-patterned skirt. My dad’s eyes kept following me around apprehensively, and as much as it made me uncomfortable, I kept my lips shut for the reason of not repeating what happened Saturday morning.
About an hour ago, Marshall had called me up and invited me out on a date. Considering the fact that I had tons of time on my hands now that my work at the theatre had ended, I was actually glad he had called and quickly agreed to meet him at the Mean Bean café down the block from the mall. “And not that I’m complaining,” he had muttered, “but I’ve never seen you wear anything cute and girly.”
“Would wearing that… somehow make me fall in love with you faster?” I had asked.
“Sure,” he had replied. “Who really knows?”
So that was what happened. I dug through the closet I had only cleaned up the night before and found a skirt I hadn’t worn since eighth grade. Surprisingly, the skirt still fitted me effortlessly minus the fact that it was a bit short, but I managed it okay. Pairing it with a spaghetti strap that tied into a bow at the top of each shoulder, and then a touch of eyeliner and mascara, I was ready to go. I even added a bit of snazzy lip-gloss just for kicks, not that it was noticeable enough to be the highlight of my face.
“I’m going out,” I muttered as I slipped my feet into some flip-flops.
I could hear him grumbling through the walls since he probably suspected I was heading out to see Marshall. I mean it wasn’t like I dressed up to go visit Todd that was for sure. “Are you coming back for dinner at least?” He shouted.
Spreading open the door, I winched at the sunlight before heading outside. It took me a good several minutes to drive into town, and then a few more towards the mall because of the traffic, but eventually I made it to the Mean Bean and found Marshall sitting across from Jeremy at one of the back booths of the café. At once after stepping in, the aroma of coffee beans overwhelmed my nose, and the sound of loud blenders roared in the background in a violent dance with the jazz and blues the café was blaring.
Marshall waved for me to go to him and I made my way down, nodding my head when Jeremy flashed me a smile. “Sorry I called you out instead of picking you up,” Marshall mumbled when I approached the table. “I’m severely traumatized from what your dad did to me the other day so I probably won’t be going anywhere near your house… for three days.”