|Nod and Smile
Author: Nikkithedead PM
Small and perpetually confused, the life of Seth Rogers is made all the more difficult when Kyle, his best friend with whom he's been in love for several years, catches the eye of a cute girl named Casey Carter.Rated: Fiction T - English - Friendship/Romance - Chapters: 22 - Words: 48,739 - Reviews: 84 - Favs: 14 - Follows: 14 - Updated: 10-16-12 - Published: 04-14-12 - id: 3013616
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Chapter 5: Date with a Girl
Character: Kyle Barnes
Saturday night, Casey and I go to a movie. It's a romantic comedy, staring one of those actresses that's everywhere nowadays despite displaying little to no ability to actually act. But I thought it was probably the kind of thing Casey would like, and according to the review in the Times it's "this seasons best date movie."
The movie's about an eight on the "fuck this is boring" scale, and I have a hard time concentrating on it. Sometimes I think that movies like this are jokes Hollywood is playing on the general movie-going population. Somewhere, deep in a tall sky scraper in L.A, there's a room full of big-shot producers laughing hysterically.
Through out the whole thing, I can't stop thinking that this is exactly the kind movie Seth would hate. The jokes are too subtle, half of them based on tell-tale looks exchanged between characters, or missed social cues and inappropriate reactions. Too much of the sort of thing that would go right over his head and leave him sitting there utterly perplexed about why everyone else was laughing.
I smile, thinking about the look of confusion he'd be wearing on his face right now. Sitting through this thing would almost be worth it if he was here, just so I could watch his expressions as every gag and zinger bounced over his curly head.
If I'm being honest, Seth's perpetual lack of understanding is one of the things that I love about him. He's just so utterly Seth. The only person I've ever met that would spend three hours trying to decipher the comic merit behind poop jokes. The only person in the world who could wear such an honest to god serious expression on his face when he demanded that I "explain Katherine Heigel to him."
I couldn't help him out with that one. Still, I can't deny that it's pretty great for the self-esteem, to be the one that gets to explain everything to him.
Casey, at least, seems to be enjoying the movie. She laughs when the independent, career minded woman exchanges witty banter with her childish, but ruggedly handsome male counter part, and when the hopelessly single best friend gives an over the top eye roll at the mismatched pair.
When the movies over, I hold Casey's hand as we walk out of the theatre (thankfully she didn't want to wait until the end of the credits to leave. Usually that's something Seth and I insist on, but I felt it wasn't necessary with this particular film—the thing was long enough as it was).
"Did you like it?" I asked, swinging our arms back and forth. Casey's hand is soft and warm, and strangely delicate feeling. My own hand feels awkward around it, like it's too big and blocky to try and fit with hers.
Casey shrugs. "It was alright, I guess." She says, surprising me. It had sure seemed like she'd liked it. "It was cute, but kind of dumb."
I smile at her. It's probably a bad thing that I'm kind of relieved she didn't like it, but I can't help it. It gives me hope for her taste. "The dog was cute though," I say.
Casey looks up at me, a huge smile on her face. "The dog was cute!" She says, suddenly animated. "When he knocked over the wedding cake, and then sat there with that look on his face like 'what? What I'd do?' I swear, I almost died."
I laugh. "Movie should have been about him instead."
Casey nods eagerly in agreement.
After that we go out to dinner, at a small local restaurant called "Cheddar." During the meal I learn a bit about who Casey is.
The first thing she tells me is she wants to be a veterinarian when she's older, and she loves animals (which I was sort of figuring). She can't decide what her favourite movie is, and ends up saying it's a draw between the Lion King and the Princess Bride. Her favourite colour is light green, but not the minty kind, and at home she has a large collection of kitten paraphernalia. This, she tells me, is the result of once mentioning to her grandmother that she liked kittens. She's worried she might have to say something about it soon, because she's running out of place to put all the statues, posters and other merchandise, and to be honest kittens haven't even been her favourite animal since she was 12. Currently this position is held by the platypus, which she loves because "it doesn't even know what to do with itself."
In return I tell her about the time Seth and I suspected our 6th grade teacher of being an alien, and started a club called "Private Alien Investigation Unit," where we would spend all our free time "compiling data" and "going on missions" to determine said teachers extraterrestrial origins and intentions on Earth. I was King of PAIU, and Seth was President (when I tell Casey, I leave out the part where Seth was originally Queen, until a day when his mother heard us playing and explained that it was inappropriate for Seth to be Queen. After that Seth was "Secret Queen," and "President" became his official title).
At some point during the year, said teacher gave me detention after school (for what I don't remember). About halfway through the detention, Seth, suspecting the teacher of holding me captive so he could perform evil alien tortures on me, burst into the classroom holding a super-soaker full of blue kool-aid, which he then proceeded to empty all over the teacher whilst screaming for me to run for it.
Casey laughs at me story, and I smile, but I feel strange. Sort of sad, or...empty? I don't know what it is, but suddenly I kind of wish Seth was here.
For the rest of the meal I can't concentrate. I'm too busy wondering what Seth's doing, and how weird it would be for me to sneak off at some point to call him, just to check in. Probably weird, since I'm on a date and all.
After dinner I drop Casey off at her house, and walk her to her door.
"I had a really nice time tonight, Kyle," Casey says.
I nod. "Yeah, me too." I say. "We should do this again, sometime."
Casey looks down, smiling coyly. "I'd like that," She says quietly.
"Great," I say, grinning at her. "I'll call you soon, alright?" Casey nods, and we look at each other for a moment, then I turn and head back to my car.
The moment I get home, I take out my phone and call Seth's cell. It rings a few times and then goes to his voicemail. I hang up and then dial again, but the results are the same. My brow furrows and I stare at my phone for a few minutes, wondering what the hell Seth is doing that he can't bother to answer his phone. Seth always answers his phone. At least, he does when I call.
In the end I just send him a text message asking him what's up, and then I toss my phone onto my dresser and crash on my bed to watch TV.
Now I really can't help wishing Seth was here. You wouldn't know it by looking at him, because he's so short and skinny, but Seth is actually the worlds best pillow. I couldn't even count all the hours we've spent watching TV together in my room, with me resting my head on his stomach. Sometimes he runs his fingers through my hair and, well...it just feels nice, I guess.
Not that we'd ever let anyone—like my parents—see us like that. They might get the wrong idea.
I lie alone on my bed for a long time, not really watching anything and thinking about Seth and the way we'd left things on Friday. The more I think about it, the things I said and the way he'd looked, the more I start to worry that I've screwed things up even more than I'd thought.