The Pothead

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Friday swings around
before long, bringing with it
the inevitable double date.
Natalia squeals in excitement
nearly every time she sees me,
and when he passes me
in the halls, Seth
flashes me a knowing smile.
It kind of makes me
a little uncomfortable, but
I put that down to
the fact that he's going
to be my date for tonight.

I finally bring the date up
with my parents
after they get home from work,
and they're surprisingly
okay with it.
Then again, I don't
mention Natalia at all,
considering Dad's reaction
the first time she'd
driven me home.
"I'm going out with friends,"
is all I say, and
they seem thrilled
to know that I'm doing something
social for once.

Eunice, however,
sees right through it.
"You have to look nice
for your date!"
she insists after I
pull a t-shirt and jeans
out of my closet.
"Make a good impression
on Seth, or else
your relationship will
go nowhere."

"And how would you
know anything about that?"
I retort, though
the reminder that everyone
who is in on Natalia's scheme
seems to think that I'll
end up dating Seth
in the end
makes me feel a little
lightheaded.
"What's the longest
you've ever dated someone?"
I ask her, trying my best
to push that thought back.
A week?
Maybe two,
at best."

"That doesn't matter,"
my sister shrugs dismissively.
"Everyone knows that
you have to dress
to impress.
Save the street clothes
for after you're married."

I choke on nothing
for a split second -
but Eunice doesn't notice,
as she's already pulled out
a blouse and
one of the very few
skirts I own
and is in the process
of examining them.
"This will look nice,"
she says at last,
flashing me a smile.
"Not the best,
but it'll do.
If I had known that
it was this Friday, we could
have gone shopping
earlier in the week."

I don't bother to tell her
that I wouldn't have gone with
since I hate shopping,
especially for clothes.
She doesn't give me time, anyway,
and soon is pulling me up
from my seat on my bed,
thrusting the outfit
she had picked out
into my arms.
"Hurry, or you'll
be late,"
she insists as she
skips out of our room,
pulling the door
shut behind her.

Twenty minutes later,
a car honks outside,
to which Euni yells
something incomprehensible
out the front door in response.
She turns to me as I'm
shrugging my coat on
and says in a stage whisper,
"Now Matty,
don't do anything that
you would regret doing tomorrow..."
It takes me a moment
to understand what
shes implying with that -
but by then, she's
already giggling under her breath
as she runs away into the kitchen.
A few minutes later,
when I get into the
passenger seat of Seth's car,
the other two occupants
of the vehicle turn to me
with very confused expressions.

"Who was that?"
Seth asks me first,
referring to Euni
and her earlier antics.
"And why is your
face all red?
You didn't have to rush -
we would have waited for you
if you weren't ready yet."

I hadn't even realized
my unconscious reaction to
Euni's earlier warning;
reaching up, I
pat my cheeks,
which are still hot to the touch.
Thanks a lot,
Eunice.

Luckily, I'm saved Frome explaining
as Natalia speaks up from
the backseat.
"Hey, Matty!"
she laughs,
oblivious to my discomfort
and Seth's confusion.
I wouldn't expect
anything else from him, though -
he obviously doesn't
know my sister.
She's confusing enough
even if you do know her.
"You look nice,"
Natalia continues.
"Ready for the best night
of your life?"

Seth snorts out a laugh
in response to her description,
while my cheeks redden
even more from the compliment.
"Best night of
her life?"
he asks disbelievingly.
"We're going to
a pizza place -
and not even a
very good one, at that.
How is that even
remotely noteworthy?"

"Because I was
the one who planned it,"
Natalia argues.
"Besides, I have
it all worked out -
you two are gonna have
a nice evening,
and then you'll fall in love,
and I'll be a bridesmaid
in your wedding -
and it will all be
because of me."

At that, Seth
bursts out laughing.
I just fidget
a little uncomfortably
in my seat.
I'm still not sure
how to feel about
Natalia trying to organize
my love life.
I'm definitely uncomfortable
with the second mention
of Seth and I being married
this evening.
I barely even know him,
after all.
"If I were you,"
Seth says when he
catches his breath,
"I'd worry about
my own relationship
before someone else's.
Where's your boyfriend,
anyway?"

"Taking his car,"
Natalia shrugs dismissively.
"He lives further away,
so he said he'd meet us there.
And you practically live
next door to me,
so it makes sense to
carpool like this."

"Well, whatever,"
Seth says in a tone
that makes me think
that he doesn't believe her.
He doesn't argue her logic,
though, and instead
focuses his eyes
on the road ahead.
"We're almost there,"
he tells her after a moment,
"so let's hope Mr. Manny
gets there on time-"

"Manny?"
We've just stopped
at a red light, so
Seth turns around to
squint back at her,
uncomprehending.
"I'm not dating him
any more,"
Natalia shrugs under
our driver's inquisitive gaze.
"He cheated on me
with that Tessa girl
in his grade.
You know, the cheerleader."
Oddly enough, she doesn't
seem too bothered by the fact
that her boyfriend did
such a terrible thing.
"I'm dating Tyler Robbins now -
jeez, this is such
old news, I'm surprised
you didn't hear already."

"Tyler Robbins?"
Seth echoes dubiously.
"You mean that really tall kid
on the basketball team?
The one who nearly got busted
for selling pot last year?"

"The one and the same,"
Natalia confirms.
"He's really cool, though.
Isn't doing pot
any more, from what he's
told me -
and he has a nice-"

Seth abruptly stops the car,
breaking her off midsentence,
conveniently enough.
She glares at him
for a moment
before he gestures outside
and says, none too subtly,
"We're here.
Now, let's go find
your pothead before
he gets into any trouble."

Scowling at him,
Natalia stiffly moves to comply,
shoving open her door
and abruptly pushing herself out
into the parking lot.

×

To be continued in the next chapter...which I still have yet to write. Oops. But anyway, im excited to write these next few chapters because of character development and such - it's gonna be great. I have some great stuff planned, it's gonna be wild. I'm psyched, man.

Anyway, if you guys liked this chapter, id love if you would vote and leave me some feedback! It would be very much appreciated <3

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