A Genius

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Over our pizza, Seth and I
discuss ways to lose Euni
for the rest of the evening.
“We could just
get up and leave,”
Seth shrugs at one point.
“It’s not like she
could run after us and
order us to stop.”

The idea of Euni
chasing after Seth’s car
is a little amusing, but
I soon shake my head.
“She has to
get home somehow,”
I tell him,
“so if we ditch her,
it can be only temporarily.
But it has to be in a way
that makes her think it’s
her fault that she got left-”

“Hey!”
a voice interrupts me.
When I look up, I
find a boy standing not far away,
his hand raised in greeting.
Not to me, of course -
Seth calls out a reply
and stands from his seat
as the guy strides over
to our table.

“How’s it going?”
Seth asks as they
do one of those
bro hug things
that I’ve never understood.
“Its been a while -
what’s the weather like
in California, man?”

“Wouldn’t know,”
the stranger grins,
“since I’m not there right now.
Last week, it was
a lot warmer than this, though.”
He pauses for a second,
peering over at me.
“And who’s this
pretty little lady?”

“This is Matty,”
Seth introduces us
as my face turns red
from the compliment,
“and Matty, this is
my cousin, Freddie.”

Freddie and Seth don’t
look very much alike.
While Seth’s hair and eyes
are both dark,
Freddie’s are light -
blonde and hazel to contrast
my date’s black and blue.
I guess Freddie is
kind of cute, in the way that
most blonde-haired boys
seem to be, but
I don't really think
too much about it.
Or, at least,
I don't until I catch
Euni's stare from the table
across the way.

And then an idea
suddenly starts to form.

“I know how we're
going to get rid of Eunice,”
I tell Seth all of a sudden.
“And nice to meet you,”
I add for Freddie's benefit,
suddenly remembering that
I hadn't yet said
anything to him.
Seth's cousin just
flashes a confused grin.

“Who's Eunice?”
he asks, obviously perplexed.
“I think I'm missing
something important here.”
What a genius.

“Matty's sister,”
Seth explains,
“who just so happens
to be our...chaperone
for the evening.”
He nods towards Euni's table
and Freddie, following his gaze,
nods in acknowledgement as
he catches sight of her.

“Ah,”
he says,
“that sucks.
So you're trying to
get rid of her?”

“And you're going
to be helping us,”
I add, earning
a confused look from
both the boys.
“Look,”
I sigh,
“Eunice is single, right?
And pretty boy-crazy, too,
if anything.
Freddie, you're pretty cute,
so I'm sure that if you-”

“Woah, hey,”
Seth protests good-naturedly,
“I thought that I
was your date tonight.”

“Oh, shut up,”
I retort sarcastically -
and Freddie laughs unexpectedly,
followed by a wry grin
on Seth's part.
“You know what I mean -
now, are you going
to let me finish?”
When neither says anything,
I continue.
“She'll definitely find
you attractive, Freddie,
so if you go over there
and talk to her,
keep her distracted from
watching Seth and I,
we could probably slip out
without her even realizing.”

“But won't she realize
that it's a ruse since
I've been standing here talking
with you guys for ages?”
Freddie wonders.
“I mean, I would
see right through that
if I were her.”

“She's pretty oblivious,”
I shrug.
“And anyway, you can
always pretend to be leaving,
and then go up to her
like you just-”

“Seth,”
Freddie suddenly bursts out,
interrupting me,
“I think you're dating a genius!”

“We're not dating!”
I protest at the same time
that Seth bursts out laughing.
“And anyway,”
I mumble as my
cheeks start to flame
yet again,
“I just know
my sister really well.
That's all.”

Neither of them really
acknowledges my protests,
as they've already lapsed into
another topic of conversation.
Picking at my pizza,
I listen to them argue
about girls they've dated
in the past, or something
vaguely relating to the conversation
we'd just been having,
and wonder how exactly
I had gotten myself
into this situation.
Natalia, I decide.
It was all because
of Natalia.

Half a second later,
I mentally kick myself
for thinking of her
when I'm supposed to be here
with Seth.

Finally, Freddie makes up his mind
to carry out his end
of our plan.
After wishing us goodbye,
he starts to walk away
while Seth and I pretend
to start talking about whatever
while watching him out of
the corner of our eyes.
Freddie starts towards the door,
only to double back towards
Eunice's table after
staring for a second too long.
A laugh bubbles up
in my throat, but I
struggle to keep it down
as Euni glances up
from her phone.

I can't hear any of
their conversation, but
I think Eunice is a little surprised
that a guy is even
giving her the time of day,
considering they rarely ever do.
Across from me, Seth
snickers under his breath as
Freddie seats himself
across from my sister,
still chatting up a storm.

“I think we're clear,”
he says at length,
when Euni hasn't looked
our way in a few minutes.
“Let's hurry and get
out of here before
she notices we're leaving.
And I'll text Freddie and
tell him to keep an eye on her
until we come back
to pick her up,”
he assures me.
“I promise.”

So after putting down
some money for our food,
Seth and I stealthily stand,
put on our coats, and
head for the door.
Euni still doesn't notice -
she has that look in her eyes
that says that she's fully
focused on the guy opposite her,
and nothing else.
Perfect.

We make it outside, and
Seth lets out a whoop
that attracts the attention of
the few other people
in the parking lot.
I can't help but laugh as
he flashes me a goofy,
yet triumphant grin.
“The date crasher
has been taken care of,”
he informs me
with mock seriousness.
“Where to now,
my lady?”

I only shrug,
returning his smile with
a shy grin of my own.
“I don't know -
anywhere but here.”

And like the gentleman
that I didn't know he was,
he opens the passenger door
of his car and
motions me inside.
Maybe chivalry isn't
so dead, after all.
“Happy to oblige,”
he says airily as he
closes the door behind me.

×

New character! Again! There are so many characters in this story (compared to Misalignment, at least) and it's honestly kind of hard to keep track of them all, especially since some are pretty minor. Oh well. Hopefully it's not too confusing for you guys.

But we're getting into the good part now... I think you guys will really like the next chapter. Or else you'll just scream at me, I don't know.

If you guys liked this chapter, I'd love if you would vote and leave me some feedback!! It'd be very much appreciated c:

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