So I’ve finally finished this 3 part story and though it’s a bit awkward in places (or is that just because the characters themselves are awkward…hmm) I really do like how it turned out. Who knows, I might write more about Greg and Lucy sometime in the future, but for right now this is it. I hope you enjoy! 🙂
I’ll admit, I never thought that a date could be considered ‘good’ after getting my leg hit by a car door and stepping into a mud puddle. I was happy though, to learn that it was possible.
Greg and I entered the diner that was across the street from the drive in movie theatre and we were instantly surrounded by the smells of burgers and the sounds of kids having a good time. We got a couple of strange looks as we set our muddy shoes down beside our stools before sitting down at the counter.
“Are people staring at us?” Greg said in my ear so I could hear him.
“Staring? No. Glancing repeatedly and thinking we’re odd? Most definitely.”
“Normally, that would bother me, but tonight it doesn’t for some reason,” he mused.
“Probably because you don’t live here so you won’t have to worry about seeing these people again,” I pointed out.
Greg laughed and agreed. “True. Still, I think it’s all this talk about adventures that’s got me thinking a bit different.”
“That’s not a bad thing, is it?”
“So far, no, but who knows what kind of trouble it might get me into later on,” he winked before looking up at the waitress who had just come up to greet us.
“What’ll it be, kids?” she pulled a pencil from behind her ear and let it hover above her notepad.
“Oh, um, what’s good?” I stuttered, quickly looking at the menu.
“For a couple sweethearts like yourselves, I would suggest our ‘Very Berry Sweetarts Shake’. We’re famous for it,” the waitress motioned at an illustration of a couple sharing the ‘Very Berry Sweetarts Shake’ together.
“Th-that sounds good to me. I’ll have one of those, what would you like, Lucy?” Greg didn’t meet my eyes as his face turned a shade darker than usual.
“I’ll take the same. So I guess we’ll have a couple of those,” I said, feeling my own face grow warm.
The waitress shook her head and smiled. “’Very Berry Sweetart Shakes’ aren’t meant to be eaten separately, dears. They’re meant to be shared.”
I knew for sure that my face turned a bright red then. Thankfully Greg spoke up so I didn’t have to. His voice was surprisingly steady though I could tell he felt as awkward as I did.
“If we can’t get them on their own, then I suppose I’ll just get a strawberry milkshake.”
“You could get them on their own, it’s just not what’s usually done,” the waitress explained.
“No, it’s ok,” Greg said. “We don’t want to stick out-“
I cut him off by muttering quietly so only he could hear me. “Don’t we though? This is an adventure after all. Sh-shouldn’t we do something out of the ordinary?”
He grinned and I felt something in my stomach squeeze in a weird way.
“You’re right. Actually, we’ll stick with two Berry shakes,” he said and the waitress offered no other comment and left to make the shakes. Greg and I exchanged relieved looks.
“I’m not used to going outside of the normal,” I said.
“Me either, but it’s kind of fun.”
“Yea,” I chuckled. “Who knew that part of the adventure would be ordering milkshakes?”
He nodded before looking around. He smirked and shook his head. “I see what she meant when she said that the shakes are usually shared.”
I followed his lead and glanced around the room. I saw several couples bent over the same milkshakes. That’s when I noticed something.
“I guess that’s why they aren’t usually individually ordered,” Greg commented.
The waitress brought us our own large milkshakes, an amused expression on her face. “Enjoy!”
“Thank you,” I murmured, eyeing the light purple mixture with unease.
“Just consider this as part of the adventure. It will be quite the accomplishment to finish one of these,” Greg leaned forward and took a sip of his shake.
“I don’t know as if I or my stomach want that accomplishment,” I said, taking my own drink. It was tart, like the name implied, and it was delicious. “Then again, maybe the Very Berry Sweetart Shake Mountain is a worthy obstacle on the journey.”
“So how are you with dancing?” I asked, watching as a few teenagers took to the dance floor and started doing the jitterbug.
“I’ve had fun with it with my own records at home.”
“Do you want to give it a go? I’ve not danced with a partner that much, but I’m willing to try it if you are,” I stood.
“Why not?” he shrugged.
We made our way to the small dance floor and after getting a sense of the beat, joined in. Greg wasn’t giving himself enough credit when he said he ‘had fun with it with his own records’. Dancing with him was easy, and almost effortless. We both obviously knew the dance pretty well, and it showed.
When the dance ended, I was disappointed. A waltz started, which struck me as sort of odd after such a lively tune. I started to walk off the floor, but Greg pulled me back.
“You don’t like the waltz?” he said.
“It’s not that, it’s just I’m not as familiar with it as I am with the jitterbug,” I explained.
“Well it’s the dance I know the best, so you’re just going to have to suffer through it so I can say I’ve danced it with someone other than my mother,” he chuckled.
I reluctantly took the proper stance and we started moving with the music. During the jitterbug there wasn’t any time, or breath, to talk, but during this one I wondered if it was appropriate to speak. Greg answered my question by saying,
“You’re a pretty good dancer. Are you sure you don’t spend your Friday nights doing this?”
I laughed. “I’m sure. I went to a couple school dances which is where I danced with a partner. Other than that, I’m much like yourself and only dance to a record.”
“So dancing isn’t usually a part of your date routine?”
“No,” I bit my lip awkwardly before continuing. “Actually, the only dates I’ve really been on before have been to the drive in like tonight was supposed to be, and only because Linda forced me to.”
“So you don’t have ridiculously high standards?” Greg sounded surprised.
“What do you mean?”
“I don’t know, I just thought that you maybe didn’t go on many dates because you didn’t think anyone was good enough for you,” he got quieter as he continued to speak, as though he were embarrassed.
“Well, I do have high standards I suppose, because I’ve not desired to go on any second dates with the guys I’ve gone with.”
“So…nobody has piqued your sense of adventure?”
“Not until tonight. You know, this is the first date I’ve actually enjoyed. So thank you,” I focused on his tie, too shy to meet his eyes.
“Me too. I guess having an adventure is a good way to have a first date, huh?”
I nodded and we swayed in silence for a minute. I then remembered something he had just said when the dance had started.
“So your mother taught you to dance the waltz?”
“Yea, I suppose I got all of my dancing skills from her. Whenever she and my father were courting, dancing was their favorite thing to do. So whenever they had me, she started teaching me how to dance almost as soon as I could walk. I hated it when I was younger, but I’ll admit that I’ve kind of grown fond of it by now.”
“That explains it then. You definitely dance like you’ve been doing it for years, and now I know why. Do you still dance with your mother even now?”
“You act as though not dancing with her is even an option. She doesn’t let me go two days without making me dance with her,” he pretended to be annoyed, but his tone had softened.
“You love dancing with her, don’t you?” I said.
Greg smiled. “Yea, I do.”
“You’re a nice guy, Greg,” I said, feeling silly as soon as it came out of my mouth. Was it normal to randomly state that a guy was nice? Probably not, but it didn’t seem like he minded. He merely shrugged.
“What guy doesn’t love his mother?”
The waltz ended and I let him lead me off the floor. We rejoined our now dry mud covered shoes and our half eaten milkshakes. Greg opened his mouth to say something when Linda and Jacob suddenly appeared.
“We’ve been worried sick about you two! Why are you over here?” Linda said, sounding very annoyed, but I saw the worry on her face. I looked down guiltily.
“It was my fault. I suggested we come here instead of go back. We should have told you guys and I’m sorry,” Greg said. He placed a hand on my arm as if to reassure me that it wasn’t my fault.
“It was both of us. I didn’t even think you would notice we were gone. You seemed pretty occupied with each other,” I said, taking some of the blame.
“Of course we noticed you were gone. We spent the last however long searching the drive in and when we couldn’t find you…” Linda broke off and glared at me. “Do you have any idea how anxious I was?”
Jacob put his arm around my sister’s shoulder, trying to calm her down, but I could tell with the pointed looks he was throwing at Greg, he wasn’t too happy either. “Now that we’ve missed most of the movie I see no point in going back. Why don’t we just head home?” Jacob sighed and he and Linda walked back out of the diner. Greg and I looked at each other before following.
We all wordlessly got into the car and started driving home. I glanced at Greg out of the corner of my eye, wondering if this was the last I was going to see him. Tonight might not have been an adventure like Frodo Baggins had when he left the Shire, but it was an adventure nonetheless for me.
“When do you go back home again?” I asked quietly, trying to remember what he had said earlier tonight.
“In a couple weeks,” he replied. We once again lapsed into silence. It wasn’t until we were almost back to my house when he spoke up. “I really did have fun tonight. I don’t suppose…would you maybe like to have another adventure with me before I leave?”
I grinned. “I don’t know. It’ll be hard to beat the adventure we had today. I mean there was the mud, and the milkshakes, and the dancing. Are you sure that another adventure would live up to that?”
“I can’t guarantee it, but I’d sure like to try,” I could hear he had his own smile.
“Alright then.” I said, and in the dark I felt his fingers close over mine. Indeed, this was going to be quite the adventure.
Thanks for reading!
Anna Christine ❤