"I'm so glad you moved back to Vroom. You know, it was unbearable for the year without you. I've missed you so much," Judy said.
"I know, babe," Mark replied. "I've missed you so much. Can't believe we've gone a whole year without seeing each other."
They kissed. It was so good to have Mark back. So she could lie down in his arms and not worry about anything else because he was there to protect her. It was good to have Mark back, be Judy couldn't help but think about Maple.
Over the year that Mark had moved away, Judy had found someone else to grieve with. Maple was a sweet farm boy that was there when Judy needed it. They spent many nights together, stargazing, until one day they kissed out in the field. It was like an electric shock, Judy had not felt so connected to another person as she did that night. From then on, they were 'together.'
That was, until Mark came back last week. Judy didn't know what to do, she thought he would never come back but now that he was, she had to choose between the two. Did you go back to her very first love that she hadn't seen in a year or did she go with the boy who helped her through everything?
"Mark, I have something to tell you," Judy stuttered. This was it, he would probably break up with her but she couldn't lie to him. "When you were gone, it was just so long, and I didn't know you were going to come back, so I met someone else."
Mark stayed silent. This was even worse than yelling or anger, she knew he was disappointed. "You just met someone else?"
"But, I didn't know you would be coming back. I didn't know. I'm so sorry." She waited for it. The words that would end their love indefinitely, but instead she felt his soft lips back onto hers. "Aren't you mad?" she said.
"No, I could never be mad at you," he replied.
* * *
What did people normally wear on 'friend dates'? Why did Melissa agree to this? She didn't want to seem stupid in case Opti decided to bring her somewhere nice and she was in jeans, but she also didn't want to be overdressed if they were just going to like McDonald's.
She decided on a casual dress. That way she wouldn't look to over and under dressed depending on where they went. Opti was supposed to pick her up at 7 o’clock, so she had half an hour to get ready. She didn't want to look too nice because Opti might get the wrong impression, but she didn't want to seem like she didn't care about this.
At 7 o’clock, Opti pulled into the driveway. She got into the car with caution. "Okay, Melissa. Remember, don't lead him on. He probably still likes you, so just act like friends," she told herself.
"Hi lovely. You look great," he said.
"Oh, thanks," she replied. Maybe he was trying to charm her into liking him. Well, it wasn't going to work.
"How are you tonight?"
"Fine," she replied bluntly.
"Well we're going to this really nice little Indian restaurant downtown. The food is delicious there."
"I don't really like Indian food," Melissa said. She didn't want to make any regular conversation with him.
"Oh, well we can go somewhere else if you like," Opti said. Why was Melissa being so cold? He thought they had already established that this would just be two friends having dinner, nothing else. "Look, Melissa, I'm sorry but before we go through the most a night of awkward attempts at conversations, please tell me what's up. I thought we were going out as friends."
"We are," she said. "I just, I'm sorry. I don't know how to react to this. I thought you were still treating this like a date."
"Come on Melissa, You know I wouldn't do that. You said no, so no. We're just friends now. Promise?"
"Fine," Melissa replied. She still sounded harsh but she relieved. Thank goodness Opti felt that way, maybe they could rebuild their friendship tonight.
"Damn it," Opti thought. He had really hoped that he could put down subtle hints and maybe Melissa would see that going out with him wasn't so bad, but obviously this wasn't going to happen.
They arrived at the Indian restaurant. Opti hoped that Melissa would like the food here, even though she didn't like Indian food.
"Alright," Melissa thought. They were just friends now. She could relax and enjoy his company like before.
* * *
"He's in there, Erin," Henri whispered from the outside of the Indian restaurant.
"This is weird," she replied. "Like, he'll know I came here on purpose. I just don't eat at random Indian restaurants! Besides, there's a girl there, I think they're on a date."
"Well then you have to go in there and strut your stuff! Come on! If he ends up with this other girl then there's no chance for you Erin," Henri urged.
"Alright then, let's go get a table," Henri said. With Erin preoccupied with attracting Opti, this may be like a first date for him and Matt. Maybe he could flirt a bit and hope Matt liked him back.
As they entered the restaurant, they asked for a table of three. Erin started to walk over toward Opti and his date. They seem to be in deep conversation. Suddenly she started to run back towards them as fast as she could her in pumps. "He's here with Melissa!" she was yelling.
What. Henri froze. Melissa and Opti were dating now? How could that be? Melissa wasn't a 'relationship' kind of girl. He was gonna give Opti a piece of his mind.
"Hey! Opti!" Henri yelled across from the restaurant. All the other customers in the restaurant fell silent. "What the hell do you think you're doing, going out with Melissa?"
Opti looked up and saw Melissa's cousin, Henri, from across the room. He didn't really know Henri, but he had met him a few times when he had dropped Melissa off at class.
"Oh, hey Henri, what are you doing here?"
"Don't you play innocent with me. How long have you two been going out? Huh? HUH? Melissa what the hell do you think you're doing with this guy. Have you guys been dating for long? You know, he just broke up with his girlfriend a couple days ago. He was probably dating her the whole time her was you!"
"Henri! Please! Stop, you've got it all wrong!" Melissa cried. This was turning into such a disaster.
"Come on Henri, you've for it all wrong," Opti said raising both his hands up in the air in surrender. "We're not dating, we're just having dinner together."
"Save it scumbag!" Henri yelled as he suddenly punched Opti in his face. Opti fell back into his chair and immediately clutched his face.
"Oh my god! Henri! Calm down!" she yelled as she stood up and tried to block Opti. "We're just friends! And what does it matter anyway?"
"Doesn't matter, you say? I don't want you to get hurt Melissa. Come on, don't go out with this guy," he replied. Opti was still clutching his face, being in stinging pain. "Let me at him!" Henri yelled as he tried to get around his cousin.
"Henri! Stop!" Erin and Matt yelled as they ran over and tried to restrain their friend.
"What has gotten into you?" Matt yelled as he pushed Henri down to the ground. Henri couldn't help but notice how strong Matt was and how easily he was able to take him down. But thinking about Matt and his strength was something he couldn't ponder now. He had to get to Opti.
"Larin?! What are you doing here?" Opti said when he noticed Erin standing there.
"I'm sorry folks, but you're causing a disturbance in the restaurant. We're going to have to ask you to leave," a very angry waiter said to them.
Matt carried Henri out who was kicking and yelling, wanting to get another swing at Opti. Opti was now clutching a bag of ice to his face that the kitchen staff kindly brought out for him. Erin and Melissa followed the others in awe at what just happened. As soon as they got out of the restaurant, Henri was able to wiggle out of Matt's grasp. He sprinted towards Opti and started kicking and fighting him.
Opti tried to protect himself without hitting Henri back. He knew it would not look good if he hit Melissa's cousin. But before he knew it, Matt had pulled the violent boy off of him once again and was restraining him once again.
"You bastard you. If I see you with my cousin ever again, you're dead. DEAD. Melissa, come with me. Matt will drive us home."
* * *