Giannis Antetokounmpo nervously went from one room of his apartment to the other, not able to sit still or focus on one thing for more than a minute. Checking the time on his phone, he saw that it was 5:31, which meant that Rachel would be arriving in half an hour. A swig of orange-strawberry smoothie calmed him down a little bit, but not much. This was the first time that he had ever invited a girl to his apartment for a date, and the fact that he was sailing into uncharted waters was causing his anxiety to spike.
They were just going to watch a movie together and drink homemade smoothies, Giannis reminded himself. Nothing more was necessarily going to happen. At the idea of the thought of “more”, Giannis could feel his face become warm. He usually tried to avoid thinking of “more” in the context of Rachel. If he thought about those things now, he would certainly not be in the proper frame of mind to enjoy a date night with the girl from the smoothie store at the mall, a girl that he dearly hoped would soon be his girlfriend.
This line of thinking reminded him of his friend John Henson, who was in Detroit now but presumably just as crude as ever. John had always expressed frustration with Giannis’ desire to take the relationship slowly, but his support had been appreciated nevertheless. Again taking out his phone, Giannis saw that John’s number was still in his contacts. Hoping that his friend’s number hadn’t changed, he dialed it.
“Hey Giannis! Long time no talk! You bang Rachel yet?”
“I wish you not talking of Rachel in such way,” Giannis said, quickly remembering how tiring it was to talk to somebody whose attention was forever directed towards the more carnal pleasures of life. “But Rachel is coming to apartment in twenty minutes and I needing advice.”
“Tonight’s the night!” John exclaimed, laughing raucously. “Tonight, Giannis becomes a man!!”
“I am already man,” Giannis replied. “And we are only watching movie.”
“If you say so,” John said. “Remember, she’s gotta like you at least as much as you like her, given that she keeps on agreeing to see you. And a movie at your place is next-level.”
Giannis had finally gotten past his own self-defeating denial that a girl as pretty and nice as Rachel could want to go on dates with him. Still, it was nice to hear confirmation of that from a friend. “Yes, I remembering your advice from before.”
“Make sure you shower, though. You want to smell fresh just in case the clothes come off.”
“John!” Giannis admonished. Those forbidden thoughts, the ones that involved Rachel with no clothes on, were trying to push themselves to the forefront of his mind. “Do not making improper suggestions of Rachel!” But John was right. He had practiced that day and was still feeling a bit sweaty. How could he have neglected his own hygiene on such an important day? “Thanks for helpful, but I need to pick movie. I call after date is over.”
“Don’t forget, Rachel obviously wants your d-” John started, but Giannis ended the call while he ran towards his bathroom. Luckily, years of rushing through postgame showers to catch a departing Bucks team plane had turned him into an efficient showerer. Ten minutes later, he was dried off, smelling faintly of almonds, and dressed in a hip outfit of dark jeans and a tight-fitting turtleneck. He didn’t have time to contemplate whether he was overdressed or underdressed for a movie at home; it was 5:55 and Rachel would be ringing his doorbell any minute.
Other preparations had already been made: smoothie ingredients were chopped up and waiting in the refrigerator (Giannis always did this for himself anyway); a homemade pizza was on the counter waiting to be put in the oven (Ersan had recommended the pizza as an appropriate intersection between formality and casualness); a Blu-Ray copy of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World was next to his TV (Thanasis said his girlfriend loved it, and it was rated PG-13 so it couldn’t be too risque); and the bathroom was well-stocked and spotless (that was his Mom’s suggestion).
Right as he was organizing his entryway, making sure loose pairs of shoes were out of the way, Giannis heard his doorbell ring. He closed his eyes to calm himself, and also to delay for a few seconds to make it seem like he hadn’t just been hanging out by his front door. When he was ready, he nervously grabbed the doorknob and pulled.
Rachel looked, somehow, more beautiful than ever before in her fashionable skirt-and-blouse outfit. Giannis had to make a concerted effort to force words out his mouth.
“You look great. Come in and I starting the pizza.”
[Ed. note: I am fully aware that Giannis has a real-life girlfriend. This series of video descriptions has, to borrow a term from the fanfiction community, become an “AU” (alternate universe) storyline. And it’s going to stay that way until I finish it, god damn it]