Chapter 7

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You were at home. Again. Idly sitting around. This was your job for almost 8 years, all lost because of... Ben.

But was it really his fault? Wasn't he just following protocol?

Your mind fought a war with itself. You couldn't decide who to blame for all of this. But you couldn't dwell on that.

You had to find a new job.

This wasn't a simple task. You didn't really like all of the other temporary jobs. Only working in the Parks Department would satisfy you.

"Man, it sucks being fired." You mumbled, getting off the couch to make yourself a sandwich.

.,;,,;,.

"Hello? Who is this?" You asked into your phone, leaning on your kitchen counter.

"Hey, this is Ben."

"Oh hi! How have you been?" There was a short pause before you realized something. "...How did you get my number?"

"I'm sorry (Y/N), I must seem like a creep right now. At least, that's what Donna said. I just wanted to say that I'd like to take your offer for dinner. Is tomorrow okay?" Ben asked, a little nervous about your answer.

"Sure, that sounds fun. How about JJ's at 6?"

"Sounds good, I'll be there."

"Alright," you said. "bye."

"Buh-bye."

You kind of smirked as the very short call ended and you brought your phone down from your ear.

Was this a date?

Surely it was. Dinner, at your favorite diner, eating dinner at a diner eating dinner. At a diner. At a two-person table. What would you order? Spaghetti was messy yet extremely delicious. Salad was a definite 'no.'

You were happy, yet sort of stressed out. You needed to prepare for this special occasion. And you could use some help. Donna for sure would know what to do, but the only place you saw her was at the Town Hall, and that was shut down right now. You were sure Donna wouldn't come to your house, though, as messy as it was.

You shook your head, willing the thoughts away. You needed to stand up, shut up, and do it yourself. This was your date.

.,;,,;,.

You pulled up to a parking spot right in front of JJ's Diner. You climbed out of your car, smoothing out your black dress before walking inside.

"I'm looking for Ben Wyatt."

"Right," the waitress said. "you must be (Y/N). Follow me."

You smiled kindly and followed the waitress around the corner to a booth in the corner. There sat Ben Wyatt.

"I'll be back in a few minutes to check on your guys's order. Take your time, and thank you for choosing JJ's Diner!"

You nodded in acknowledgement before sitting across from Ben. He smiled.

"You look nice."

"Likewise." You said. He wore a brown plaid shirt and a thin black tie.

"... So, it looks like we've visited every week so far."

You laughed. "Really? That's crazy."

Ben chuckled, nodding.

"If you don't mind me asking, what was the deal about the "business stuff" that you couldn't do dinner last week?"

"Oh, well, I still have to work on the town's budget so Town Hall can be open again."

You perked up, "Does that mean I could get my job back?"

Ben's expression saddened. "Unfortunately, no. There's still no need to be paying for an extra person in the Parks Department while all roles are currently filled."

"Damn, well, that's alright, I guess. I'll manage." You sighed.

The waitress returned, pulling out her small notepad and clicking her pen, asking for your order.

"I'll have the chicken parmesan casserole with a side of mixed vegetables and water." You said, looking up as the waitress turned to Ben.

"I'll have the "Original" Calzone with a Pepsi, please."

The waitress scribbled down your orders, "Great! It's that all for today?"

We both nodded. The waitress waved goodbye and left you two alone.

"So, a Calzone." You held your head in your right hand, your elbow resting on the table. "I don't mean to criticise, but why? What's so good about Calzones? Why not pizza?"

Ben chuckled at your slight outburst, "Calzones are the very thing keeping me alive. They're a portable, delicious meal that is it's own container. It's a whole new spin on Italian casual dining. Amazing."

You laughed at his burning passion for Calzones. But you wished this love went both ways. You weren't necessarily fond of Calzones, it's crust too hard to eat and the cheese too stringy and melty-

"I see that look in your eyes. You don't love Calzones like I do."

You looked up to see Ben staring. You shrugged, "It's just pizza that's harder to eat, that's all."

Ben looked infuriated, but it seemed like he was merely joking. Before he could say anything, however, the food arrived, along with the drinks.

You both thanked the waitress, beginning to eat your guys's food once she left.

.,;,,;,.

You chatted while you ate. It was fun, but you couldn't help but notice the two of you conversed like a couple. It felt like you were dating. Weren't you? You guessed it wasn't official, but you had already been on "dates." You would talk to Ben about it later.

Right now, you were enjoying this evening.

"... but I always thought it was weird in the original because the upper lips never moved. Kinda ruined the movie, you know?"

You blinked, unsure what he was just talking about. "Oh yeah, definitely."

Ben nodded, and continued talking. This time, you paid attention.

.,;,,;,.

It was time to go, seeing how you both finished eating and had been talking for the past ten minutes. It was already getting late.

The two of you headed outside, but Ben stopped you before you could head out to your car.

"Hey, (Y/N), I wanted to ask you something." Ben said, rubbing the back of his neck awkwardly.

You nodded, urging him to continue.

"Well, you know how we've already been out together a few times before this? I was wondering if you'd like to be my girlfriend." It looked like he had just swallowed a rock. Nah, it wasn't blunt at all.

Yet, you smiled, "I was hoping you'd say that."

You and Ben looked ecstatic with joy. You went in for a hug before waving goodbye and heading to your car with red hot cheeks.

Wow, what a wonderful day it was for you.

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