-

It's just me and Penny now, what with Janet gone and Banky in Michigan with his new job. He calls me regularly, and now has a girlfriend with whom he is engaged. I wish I could say that about my relationship with Penny. We're together, and have been for the last two months, but there's just something still in the air.

"You're the rebound, man," Banky tells me. We have this conversation at least once a week. "Janet's indent in the bed isn't cold yet and now she's banging you? Sorry to say it, dude, but you're gonna get burned."

Banky's my best friend. He wouldn't steer me wrong. But – "It's been a year, the indent's not only cold, it's totally gone. Kaput. Finito. I'm the indent now, bro."

"I just don't want to see you hurt. You saw her with Janet. Their love was for real."

"Wasn't real enough, was it?" Where's Janet? Where's their love? All I see is me and Penny and how we're happy together.

"Okay, man, I know they broke up." There's a voice in the background and Banky hollers away from the phone. "Listen, I gotta go, the future mother-in-law's birthday tonight." We sign off and I hang up the phone.

It's date night tonight, so I pick Penny up and we hit a new restaurant that just opened last week. It's already a popular, high-end joint, so we're invited to wait at the bar while our table is being set. "Two o' clock," Penny murmurs. One great thing about dating a girl who's been with other girls is that she'll check women out with you.

Two o' clock is a stunning blonde in a tight black dress and matching heels. She see us looking at her, and then smiles, looking away before repeating the process. Penny nudges my elbow. "I think she's into you," she says into my ear, and I laugh.

"Sure."

"Quick, stop being a dork, she's coming over."

The woman glides over to us, smiling. "Hi. Waiting for a table?"

I nod. "You?"

"Just about to leave, actually," she replies. "But I wish I could stay a little longer now." She looks over at Penny, and her smile grows a little bigger. "I love your dress."

"Thanks," Penny says, smiling too. "Yours is great. Chanel?"

"Yes, actually," the woman husks. She leans in and touches Penny lightly on the elbow, whispering in her ear. Penny laughs and glances at me, and says something to the woman in return. The woman's grip on Penny's elbow tightens for a second before letting go. "Well, I must go, I'm late for an appointment," she says. Maybe she's a call-girl to have an appointment at 8 P.M. "It's lovely to meet you both," she says, but her eyes are on Penny as she leaves.

"What was all that about?" I ask when we're seated.

"All what?"

"All the whispering and the giggling." I imitate their laughter and raise an eyebrow.

"Oh, nothing. Just talk. Listen," Penny says, as the waiter places the napkin on her lap, "She told me she's going to be singing at Hearth later. We should go and have a drink or two there after this."

THE END.


The challenge:

Challenge 22:
Genre: Romance, Comedy
Rating: Any
Things Wanted: Well developed supporting characters, quirky yet realistic main character, humor about death or killing people (but no actual killing).
Things NOT Wanted: Teenage/School drama, absent/disappearing parents especially if main character is underage, unbelievable over the top drama
Quotes: Reference to the Large Hadron Collider (doesn't have to be a huge thing, could just be a passing reference), "You pretty much make me dead" or as an alternative "You're pretty much dead to me" (bonus if both are used in the same conversation), "I just felt that now was the most appropriate moment to let you know that my socks are, in fact, much better than yours."