John Henson paused his video game and looked up at his friend, who had just re-entered the apartment. “Ladies’ man Giannis is back!”
Giannis set his empty smoothie bottles on the kitchen counter. “I’m back,” he confirmed.
“So. Did you bang her?”
Giannis shook his head. “I wish you not say crass thing about Rachel.” But his good mood after the successful date could not be suppressed for long, and a smile filled his face. “She like the movie! Can you believe?”
“Well, duh, of course she liked the movie, because she got to see it while going on a date with you,” John replied. “Did you even make out? You had to at least get to first base, right?”
Squinting in confusion, Giannis repeated, “Make out? First base?” First base sounded like something that would happen in baseball, a sport of which he had very little knowledge. ‘Make out,’ he had no idea what that could be.
“DID YOU KISS HER OR NOT?” John yelled.
Giannis felt his cheeks become warm with embarrassment. “No,” he answered meekly. “I don’t know how kissing a girl.”
“OH, COME ON,” John shouted in exasperation, throwing his arms up into the air. “You’re like eligible bachelor numero dos in this city. I’m numero uno of course. I can think of fifty girls right now who would cheat on their boyfriends to mash their lips against yours, and none of them would care if your technique sucked. Rachel is one of those girls. You blew it.”
Giannis struggled to parse the meaning out of his friend’s rapid-fire tirade. “Oh. She probably wanting me to kiss, but instead I just wave when date is over.” His good mood became more sullen. “Maybe she not wanting more dates. Maybe I stop going to smoothies store.”
John lay himself lengthwise on the couch. “Dude, don’t be so dramatic. Playing the slow game can work out too. It’s just not my style. What I’d do if I were you is text her right now with a bunch of kissy flirty emojis and-”
“I need smoothie,” Giannis interrupted, walking into the kitchen. The routine was so familiar that he made an entire blenderful of smoothie on auto-pilot, his mind continuing to replay the date with Rachel. She hadn’t seemed at all disappointed at the end of the date, she just had waved in her usual inextinguishably-happy way.
After a large gulp of mango-banana smoothie entered his mouth, Giannis’ high spirits had returned. He exited the kitchen and sat down next to his teammate, who had resumed his video game.
“So, as I was saying, just text her with some emojis and try to line up another time when you can go out again,” John said, not looking away from the television screen. “Now, you’re already committed to the taking it slow, but if you wanted to ramp up the intensity you would pull down your pants and take a picture of your d-”
Giannis leaned back on the sofa, sipped his smoothie, and closed his eyes. “Shut up, John.”
“Fine. Do it your way. I’m just saying, what I’m saying is, you gotta give a girl what she wants, and what Rachel wants right now is the d-”
– – –
Giannis stared at his phone, a blank text message to Rachel staring back at him. He had written ten different things and deleted them all. He had half a mind to ask John for advice, but John’s previous recommendations on the matter had been to risque for Giannis. Finally, he began typing again:
“We should have another date and I can take you to”
Giannis stopped typing there. Where would the next date be? Should he not even suggest a place? What if Rachel wanted to choose? What other things could you even do on a date besides see a movie? She already had said she was tired of smoothies, otherwise he would just suggest to go to the food court at the mall and drink smoothies at the smoothie store.
Thinking about that made him thirsty for another smoothie. It was not yet lunchtime but he had already drunk three of them, and it was likely he would skip lunch entirely; most of his meals these days were smoothies. After a quick excursion to the kitchen where another smoothie was created, he returned to his phone with an ending to the sentence in mind. One hand poured the drink from the glass to his mouth while the other tapped out the last few words:
“We should have another date and I can take you to a nice restaurant”
Hitting “send” on the text, Giannis relished the calm, contented feeling that smoothies gave him. The effect didn’t last very long after the smoothie was consumed, but it was pure bliss whenever a smoothie was in his hand. It made it much easier to send a text to a cute girl like Rachel.
Giannis’ reverie was interrupted when his phone dinged its telltale ding. He grinned as he read Rachel’s response.
“Would love 2! How about Tuesday? ;)”