Then, we were done. Somewhere along the way Lauren had turned me away from the bathroom mirror, detaching me from my reflection, and taking away my knowledge of how I really looked. I wasn't a religious person, but I was silently praying.
I had kind of (note the 'kind of') relaxed, and sunken into a deep daydream. I was thinking about getting a job, something I was still working on after moving to London. I had told Lauren I was working on it, but I think we both knew I was only sitting at home and watching YouTube videos.
I did earn a bit of money from posting short films on YouTube, though I really only got enough money to pay for food and other essentials. I currently had fifty thousand subscribers and counting, for twenty videos.
"Chlo! Turn around!" yelled Lauren. I looked up at her, annoyed, and turned to face the mirror again, spinning in the rolling chair.
"Wha- Que?" I asked, shocked at my own reflection. I had expected to look normal, or maybe a little funny, but no- I looked pretty good. I speechlessly leaned towards the mirror, tilting my face to different sides. I could hear Lauren laughing at my amazement behind my back.
"How did you... What?" Even my eyes were different, changed from their usual crap color to a coffee brown with caramel rings around the center. My eyelashes framed them like a raccoon, but in an attractive way.
"Did I do good?" she asked. I nodded earnestly, still completely taken by my own face. I no longer looked like myself, but I almost liked it. My cheeks had been turned a shade of pink I would have been scared of before, but looked nice to me. I discovered that the pain I had felt about halfway through had been the ripping out of my eyebrows, now nicely trimmed from the angry caterpillars they were before.
"Lauren Nightingale, you are a miracle worker." I laughed, slowly getting over the shock of my face. I turned around in the chair, giving her a hug.
"I love you cous..." I whispered. Lauren hugged me back.
"You ready to go?!" she asked, her excitement showing in small leaps out the door and down the hall.
"I guess..." I muttered. The makeup actually making me look nice, I had a little more confidence than before. I was now a little past the "No Way Am I Going" mark and in the "OK Maybe..." mark. A little better, I guess. Now the only thing that was necessarily holding me back was fear. Ever since I was a kid, I have definitely not been a 'risk taker'. Yeah, no skydiving or bungee jumping for me. More like sitting on the couch and Tumbling all day. I guess that contributed to my whole non-dating situation as well.
I trudged out the bathroom door, not quite dragging my feet, but taking an "extra moment to notice everything". The lights had all gone out in the tiny hallway, but I could still see the light blue walls pretty well. I had brought some various photos from my previous photography career, a lot of our house, and hung them up. I smiled at one shot of our old dog, Zelda. I had decided on the name, though the rest of my family had only agreed on it because it was pretty.
"C'Mon Chlo! Date's at six!" I looked down at my Pikachu watch.
"Coming!" I yelled down the hall and out to the living room, "Why did you even tell me that late?" I ran as quickly as I could, panting as I reached the door out to the street. God, I was out of shape... I knew that the only thing keeping me from being five hundred pounds was the ability to eat anything and not get fat.
Lauren stood on our tiny porch, holding her car keys. A wild assortment of girly key chains were attached to it. I had never seen so much pink zebra stripes in my life.
"You ready?" she asked. I gave her a very 'You have to be kidding" look. She seemed to get the message, and didn't wait for a reply. We loaded into the car and turning on the radio, ready to sing to our hearts content for a bit. I have to say, I probably was a little better than Lauren. Just a little.
I watched the streetlights and building go by, the edges blurring as we went faster and faster. A few people wandered around the pavements, but it had rained a little and no one had dared go outside since. A few minutes in it began to sprinkle, my vision distorted. I felt like I was in a dramatic movie, and just on time, "Demons" by Imagine Dragons came on. I only hummed along, making sure not to spoil the moment.
Ten minutes later, Lauren pulled up in front of a small Italian restaurant and stopped. I felt my pulse quicken and my head began to pound. Taking a deep breath, the symptoms lessened but were still present. My stomach began to churn, and I knew it was a safe bet that I wouldn't eat tonight.
"Kay'," murmured Lauren, checking her phone, probably for the address, "This is the place. You ready?" I shrugged. She patted my shoulder, a rare side of her coming out.
"Hey. You can do this, right?" she asked, although the question was rhetoric. I placed a hand on the door, ready to go, but mostly not ready.
"So you later, right?" I asked, butterflies in my stomach swelling up as I opened the door and got out. Lauren nodded.
"Yeah, just call me when you're finished. I'll be shopping nearby." I would've normally laughed at Lauren, of course she would be shopping, but today was a definite exception.
"Bye." I said, but my voice cracked and it came out more of a whisper.
"Hey. You'll be fine. Just don't freak out too much," she said, and winked. I wasn't exactly sure what she meant, but she began to slowly drive away, and I was forced to shut the door and move back. Then, turning around, I surveyed the restaurant. It was small, with a deserted little patio. About the door was a large red-lettered sign, reading Mario's. I smiled thinly, reminded of my old favorite video games.
"May I help you?" asked a man's voice. I looked around, to see a young-looking Italian man with olive skin, his dark hair slicked back in a wannabe quiff.
"Um, yes actually, I'm here for a blind date? Could you possibly take me to wherever I'm supposed to go?" I asked. He looked a little puzzled, but seemed to get a clue.
"Yes, of course. Just follow me mam'," he said. I cringed. I despised being call 'mam', thinking of it as a term for old women and teachers. He grabbed a pen and notepad from the stand he had outside, which looked soaked. I pitied him, having to sit out there in the rain all day. He did seem a little upset.
We went through the door, the smell of pizza, pasta, and cheese filling my nose. I took a deep breath. Yum. I couldn't wait to eat.
"He's back there," said the man, pointing towards the very back of the restaurant, "A booth, the very back one. You'll know it when you see it." I nodded, reaching into my purse and pulling out some money for a tip, and handing it to him, left towards my date.
Walking to the back, I began to wonder what Lauren had meant. "Just don't freak out too much?" The guy couldn't be that hot, right? My question was answered as I found the booth, nestled at the very back of the restaurant in a corner.
Sitting in my booth, holding the menu and probably looking out for me, was
Oh my God. I was going to die.
YOU ARE READING
Not My IdeaGeneral Fiction
One year ago, LA resident and photographer Chloe Nightingale was broken up with by her boyfriend. Suffering from heartbreak and a nervous wreck, she moves to London with relatives. Her cousin, constantly trying to send her on dates, finally finds he...