Date From Hell

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My nerves were shot by the time Erik arrived.

Standing in the hall just outside of the living room, I watched Joey torture Erik with asinine questions and sarcastic remarks. Joey must have felt that the proverbial intimidation torch had been passed onto him since my dad was working late. However, this was not at all how my dad would handle Erik. My mother couldn't get a word in edge-wise and Natalie stood in the kitchen door stifling giggles as she sipped her soda. I cleared my throat and took a few steps forward to break it up. Joey, my mom, and Erik all twisted around to see me enter the room and Natalie began gulping her drink to hide her laughter.

Erik stood up and walked over to me in his confident and tall stature. "Wow! You look absolutely breathtaking."

Oh, brother! I felt my eyes roll as I dropped my head in embarrassment at his remark. I was well aware of what I was wearing and there was nothing breathtaking about it. A polo and a pair of shorts. Joey, however, chuckled and I slapped him on the back of the head.

"What movie do you two plan on seeing?" Mom was finally able to squeeze in a few words as Joey continued his chuckle.

Natalie immediately jumped on the subject at hand. "Jules hates comedies," she warned.

Smiling at Natalie, I internally thanked her, for I hated today's comedies and wasn't about to spend an evening that included the two hour torture of an unintelligent, vulgar comedy. They were the next worst thing to chick flicks, in my opinion.

"I have no intention boring your sister this evening," Erik assured Natalie. I became rigid as he rubbed his hand on my back, but he remained oblivious.

"Erik, one more thing..." Joey started back in, but my mom was quick to cut him off.

"You kids should get going so you don't miss the movie and aren't late getting back."

Erik shook my mother's hand and led me to the door. As we passed Joey, the two boys exchanged a heated and intense stare.

When the door shut behind us, I could hear Natalie burst into laughter and Joey start a rant on his opposition to my date. My mother spoke in response to both of them, but was so calm and quiet by comparison that her words were muted.

"Sorry about that in there. Joey had too much sugar for lunch or something," I said to Erik as he walked me over to his car, parked in front of the house in the circular drive.

He opened the door for me and I sat on the leather seat. Erik sat next to me and buckled his seat belt quickly before starting the gentle purr of the engine. His poor choice of music thumped and boomed in the car, rattling the windows. It was a slow and sensual beat of a bass, and I hated it.

"Isn't this hot?" He cocked his head over to the side to grin slyly at me.

I cringed at his use of the word hot and at his undeveloped taste in music. It was far from hot. My eyebrows raised in response, hoping it would relax my face. The words "baby" and "woman" were warbled a countless number of times, causing me to squirm in my seat.

As Erik decided to bore me with tales of his football greatness, I slid down into my seat like melted butter when I slowly began allowing my mind to wander to Broderick. It was the only thought that could block out the bad music and self-centered company. I wasn't as angry as I had still planned to be with Broderick. In fact, I wasn't angry at all anymore. For the first time ever, I was incapable of holding a grudge against someone.

Erik knew I hated comedies, thanks to my sister. Guys hated chick flicks, and that simply left Battle over the Pacific and Secluded and both movies were on my wish list, so I thought that my chances for a good movie were pretty strong.

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