Derek watched as Chad climbed out of the car and closed his door. He undid his seatbelt and looked over his shoulder to see Chad coming around to the passenger side to open his door for him, making him feel extremely uncomfortable. But while they were waiting to be seated in the restaurant, Chad chatted away to him about football and his old school, and the uneasy feeling went away until Chad placed his hand at the small of his back, making him jump, as they were being led to their table.
"So, what are you going to have?" Chad asked.
"I've never actually had sushi before." Derek turned the menu over and tried to figure out what, if anything, he'd be able to eat.
"Then let's stick to something without raw fish."Chad waved the waitress over and, much to Derek's relief, ordered for them both. The yam and avocado rolls he ordered sounded safe enough.
"So, where do you live?" Derek refolded his napkin and looked nervously around the restaurant, noting it was practically empty at this time of day; except for a few business people.
When Chad didn't answer Derek looked up to see that Chad was studying him intently. "Chad?"
"We're up in the estates on Hillside," Chad replied finally.
"Wow! Are you rich or something?" Derek laughed and squeezed a lemon into the water the waitress had just dropped off.
"Or something." Chad leaned back in his seat and crossed his arms. "Derek, I'm having trouble figuring you out."
"What do you mean?"
"I'm getting all sorts of mixed signals from you."
"What kind of signals?" Derek examined the plates of food that had just been set on the table and cringed as he realized the only utensils they were going to be getting were chopsticks.
"The clothes, makeup and the mannerisms tell me one thing," Chad replied. "But then I try to touch you and you jump."
Derek had just taken a sip of water and was now coughing loudly into his napkin. His mind began raging furiously as he looked at the stereotypical teenaged football jock in ripped jeans and baseball hat sitting across from him.
"Alright... jokes over," Derek said. "This wouldn't be the first time one of you jocks has tried to make a fool of me. I'm not that stupid, and we're going to be late getting back to school." He threw his napkin down on the table and made to push his chair out when Chad reached across the table and grabbed his arm.
"Whoa... Derek. I'm not joking around. I was being perfectly serious." He slid his hand down Derek's arm and grabbed onto his hand and squeezed it. "Believe me, I'm the last person that would try to make fun of you." He let go of Derek's hand and reached for his chopsticks. "Now, have you ever used these things before?"
"Here... watch." Chad showed Derek how to hold the chopsticks and carefully manoeuvre the sushi into the soy sauce and then into his mouth. He tried not to laugh as Derek dropped a piece, spraying soy sauce all over the white table cloth.
"You just need to practice some more," Chad said. "I'll have to bring you here every week until you become a pro."
Derek set his chopsticks down and leaned against the table.
"What are you doing?" he asked. "Why did you bring me here?"
"Honestly," Chad replied. "You seem like a really nice guy. And you've got the most amazing eyes."
"My eyes? You're definitely fucking with me." Derek leaned back, heavily, and crossed his arms. "Guys like you do not go around telling guys like me that you like our eyes."
"Yeah, you're right. Because as I was sitting here, watching you eat, I suddenly realized it's your mouth that's driving me crazy."
"You're a fucking idiot, you know that? We're late and I don't want to play your little game anymore." Derek motioned to the waitress and spoke quickly to her. "Could we get separate checks please, and could you call me a taxi?"
"Wait... no, just ignore him," Chad interjected. "One check, please." He waited until the waitress left before reaching out to grab Derek's hand again. He had to grip onto it tightly to keep Derek from pulling away. "You've got me all wrong. I'm not pulling your chain, honestly." He relaxed his hold.
"Why don't I believe you?" Derek pulled his hand away and crossed his arms. "Do you have any idea how many times I've been screwed with over the years? Guys like you. You haven't got a clue what it feels like to be tormented and made fun of, because you're usually the ones doing it. So, don't tell me "I have you all wrong". I know exactly who you are."