Chapter 15

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  “I really wish I was less of a thinking man and more of a fool not afraid of rejection.” - Billy Joel

We walked along the street and around the corner to where a GPS had told me the restaurant would be. Sure enough, the red and yellow swirled letters marked the spot. I was smiling for two reasons despite my annoyance of the third wheel.

1. The smell if crab Rangoon was in the air, and my mouth was salivating.

2. There was only enough room for two people to walk side by side on the sidewalk, highlighting the fact that Marissa was indeed the third wheel.

So I walked next to Elliot with a pleasant smile on my face and worked very hard to ignore the fact that this wasn't a half-date anymore, it was a couple of co-workers going out for lunch. (To people who saw us.) For Marissa and I, it was more like we were two puppies with only one owner and only one person to give us affection.

The waiter sat us down at a booth. Marissa and I both sat down first on either side of the table and looked expectantly at Elliot. She patted the spot on the vinyl next to her and smiled slyly at Elliot, yet his eyes flickered to me as I pleaded with my eyes for him to sit. I saw his gaze go from Marissa to me and back again, debating quickly. Another second passed before he scooted in beside me. I snuck a sideways glance at Marissa, confident smirk on my face as she glowered at me, perfect red lips formed into a thin line.

A cheery waiter dressed in black came to give us some menus, explaining that his name was Jason and he would be our server today blah-blah-blah. His voice was just a hum over the combination of my exploding nerves still in shock from Elliot sitting by ME and not Marissa, and the conversation the two of us were having with out eyes. And boy, it wasn't a pretty one. It's a good things looks can't actually kill.

“So, Addy, have you ever been here before?” Elliot asked, but I hadn't heard him over the stare-down currently happening between Marissa and I. “Um, am I missing something?”

“Huh?” I muttered, face relaxing as I turned to him, seeing the confusion on his face as he kept looking in between the two of us again.

“No, of course not, Elliot.” Marissa sounded, voice both smooth and confident. She had on one of those winning smiles, the look of a girl who knows she can do anything. I wondered if it was even possible for me to smile like that.

Elliot's eyes were glued to her, in a swift motion she flipped her black hair behind her shoulder and leaned over across the table even more. Adding huskily she said “What do you have your eyes on, Elliot?”

Not even Seventeen magazine could teach me that.

His jaw was slightly open and Elliot was silent as he kept his stare locked on Marissa. (Her eyes, thankfully.) She must not have been that outwardly interested with him before. Flashing neon lights spelling out 'I want you' on her perfect little forehead would have been less ostentatious. I waited for them to break eye contact. The seconds ticked by in my head and Elliot had only muttered things like “Erm... I.. uh.”

I could hardly believe what I was seeing, much less keep down my breakfast as I watched it all unfold.

I felt completely invisible, and not in the good way. Maybe I was overestimating the time lapse, but I felt about a year older. I just couldn't take it anymore, chiming in with forced enthusiasm. “I don't know about you guys, but the sweet and sour chicken looks amazing!” For added effect, I bumped Elliot on the shoulder, breaking the trance that wicked witch had put on him.

He leaned in to get a better look at the picture I was pointing to on the menus. He nodded in agreement, but I could tell he wasn't very interested.

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