“Just don’t do it!”
“Okay fine,” he said. She ripped the splinter from his foot. “Ah, fuck! God damn it.”
“What the fuck does blinking have to do with anything?”
“I don’t know. Just to give you something else to focus on,” she laughed.
He started bleeding from the gaping hole that the sliver of wood from her apartment porch rented in his foot. She went to the bathroom to grab some gauze and bandage wrap. He couldn’t recall if he even owned band-aids. She came back and wrapped up his foot. He wanted to cry but he wouldn’t. He did a poor job of hiding it.
It was the morning after their second date, if you counted the first one as a date. The first one they were hanging out at a small get-together at a mutual friend’s house. They developed an immediate rapport, he with his insistence on dominating a conversation whilst trying to be funny and she with her actually being funny. They spoke only to one another. They got so lost in their conversation the host had to kick them out, as everyone but them had already left. Upon leaving she asked him if he wanted to go to a bar or something for a nightcap, he declined.
Their second date was a real date. Dinner. Movie. He wasn’t that creative. She didn’t appear to mind. During dinner they were rapt in the the same rapport they had developed at the party. He asked her what she was going to order before their waiter came by. When it was time to order, he ordered for her. She was not impressed. She told him it didn’t count as charming if she had told him what she wanted to order. He apologized, she said not to sweat it, she was just joking. At those words his heart rate settled back down, he was worried he had blown it.
The movie they saw was one of those ensemble comedies where some famous comedian and his friends smoke a bunch of weed. It was only okay, but they laughed through it. They agreed they’ve both spent $20 on worse things.
After the movie, he drove her home and she invited him upstairs. He relented at first, but she insisted. He relented at his relenting. They went upstairs and drank some more, talked some more, and they had sex. It was good. He could see himself doing so again. She said she enjoyed it, which he took as either true or indicative of her grace that she would bother to lie to him about it.
That next morning she got up and made him coffee. She brought it to him in bed, telling him that she would be out on the porch if he was ready to get up, if not, that was cool too. She was wearing a big t-shirt that went a quarter-way down her thigh. As she walked away he had to follow. He got up and threw on his shirt and pants and followed her outside. He was barefoot and with the first step on to the porch the wood bit him. He yelped.
After she cleaned him up and he came to his senses beyond the pain in his foot, he could smell something from the kitchen.
“Hey, what smells so good?” he asked.
“Oh, I’m making cinnamon rolls.”
“Awesome, how much longer until they are ready.”
“I don’t know, thirty minutes?”
“Oh, okay,” he said. He looked at his phone. It was 9:30 am. He had to be at work by 1:00 pm.
“Do you not like cinnamon rolls?”
“No, it’s just that I have to get to work soon and, yeah.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. I was just hoping we could hang out for a bit and I could do wifey stuff for you.”
“Oh, well, I can hang out for a little bit, I guess.”
They chit-chatted while they waited on the cinnamon rolls, but it wasn’t the same kind of conversation they had at the party or at dinner the night before. It was small talk. Work. Where they went to school. It was boring. When the cinnamon rolls were ready he ate his before it had cooled off. He inhaled his before she reached the third bite of hers.
“Wow, dude, do you want another one?” she said. She smiled. She thought it was cute.
“I wish,” he said, “but I’m cutting it close now.” It was 10:15 am. Her smiled turned to a pout.
“Are you sure you don’t want to call in and hang out?”
He wanted to more than anything.
“I’m sorry, I can’t.”
“Oh, okay then.”
He went inside and she followed him in, watching as he put on his socks and shoes. She walked him to the door and they agreed to call each other later that night. They kissed. He got into his car and drove home.