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G&B: Apologies to Sting

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

short story: small town romance..

The large cafe that looks like it came out of a 1970's porn movie loves to entertain during the midday. That's why they get all the local University students. The small town in Southern Ontario gathers at The Cafe to have lunch, sip tea, get more energy by drinking coffee and listen to the local entertainer strum their guitar, sing, or do some cool beat poetry. It's been customary for years now. The owners wouldn't have it any other way. You have Pete and Jenn. The married couple. They've been coming there for more than 25 years. Now, their youngest is the GM at the joint. Maria makes ceramics and she has a little office down the street, but goes to the Cafe to take orders and sell some of her latest works. Over there is John who is the popular guy in town. His Dad owns the barber shop that everyone goes to. John says he has swept up everyone's hair at one point or the other and jokes that they all owe him a drink. Great guy. His son, Darryl, always sits at the same back corner doing his homework. He's majoring in Psychology while minoring in Physical Education. His plate is always packed which doesn't leave him with much of a social life. However like a typical young man, he does have his thoughts about some girls around campus.

The Girl's name is Janice. They don't talk a lot. Not like they don't know each other. They do. They know each other very well. It's just that he doesn't really want to wreck anything. Not with her but with his first love. School. Darryl seems to think that with no relationships in school, he would find it easier to study and keep his mind on work. It's been working fine so far, but he feels like he needs to give her a hint. Or something about how he feels. Nothing seemed to happen till the other day when he saw her shopping for groceries. They spoke for a while. She ran up to him asking him how his day was and where were the veggie burgers hiding. Darryl shocked by her surprise hello, told her he was doing fine and his day was fine and that they're by isle four on the left hand side. They spoke for a while longer, while Darryl always wanted to ask her out for coffee. To a movie. Somewhere. But just couldn't. Years before he would've been able to. They were attached by the hip, but he just knew that this little outing would change everything.

"Should I? Shouldn't I? Umm.." Darryl was pondering the situation with two handfulls of grocery bags on the way home. When he arrived he decided he will. Will give her a call. He picked up the phone and dialed the phone numbers. However, like a 10 year old boys first crush, he hung up the phone as soon as somebody answered. Good thing he blocked his digits. He didn't understand why this was happening. He decided to take a rest from the whole thing. He showered, got changed, had something to eat and hit the books.

Fast forward almost 48 hours later, Darryl was still hitting the books and trying not to think about Janice. Until now. As Darryl got up to get his fifth large coffee, he saw her. They shared a glance as she went to her favorite seat to drop off her purse and her books. She also goes to his University but doesn't think it's that important - with Dad's money and all. Which is another reason why Darryl is scared to date her. Scared that she will get him off of his studies and more on more into the dating scene - which he can't afford to happen. Darryl looks over and sees Janice flustered. Flustered about something. He walks over and asks her.

"Large, double double with a hint of honey, right". Darryl smiles.
"Umm. What? Oh yeah. Sure. That's it. Umm. You remembered?" A shocked Janice asked while looking for something.
"Of course. I was there the first time you ordered it. When we were twelve or something". He said with a fond smile.
"Oh yeah." Janice laughed thinking about the old days. "Umm. Thanks. I would love one."

Darryl goes over to the counter to order both of their poisons while Janice continues to look for something in her purse.

"What you looking for?" Asks Darryl holding two hot coffee cups.

"Tickets for the football game tonight. Can't find them. This guy canceled on me. I need to go though, my sisters are part of the cheer squad and I promised I'd be there to support them. Hey" Janice looks up as if she came up with the best idea of the century. "Why don't you come with me? Got anything to do tonight?"
Darryl looked puzzled. What to say?

"You do still like football, right" Janice asks while thinking about the days in fall where they would throw around the ball in the freshly colored leaves on the huge lawn of his.

"Of course. Yeah. Um. Well. I still got to do some proj---" He gets interrupted by the anxious soon-to-be date for the night.

"Project Smorject. Don't worry. We're going to have a goodtime tonight. Football first, then maybe a movie? My treat." Janice looked half desperate half sincere with the invite.

Darryl couldn't say no. He obviously obliges and they set up a time to meet up. As the evening progressed, they got along great enjoying every minute with each other. They finally decide to end the night in front of his house on a canopy where they used to eat ice cream and play hide and go seek. They talk for a while and also sing some songs that they grew up with. They talk about the old days and embarrass each other with old stories they've heard. They talk about family, and school and life. He tells her about the girls. She shares with him stories about the guys. As the evening ends, Darryl admitted his feelings to her. Finally. She got up and admitted she knew and that she didn't know how to do it either.

"Do what?" He asks.
"Ask you out, silly" Janice hints with a flirty smile.

As she walked back to give him a good night kiss she whispered something in his ear.

"There was no other guy. The tickets were for him for the whole time."
Janice walks off with a smile knowing that their friendship will change after this night. Forever.