Ok...I've gotta fix my hair just ONE more time! I want it to look awesome, but not too 'tampered with', you know? Just cute enough to make him think that I just woke up looking like this. Yeah...ok...I'm good. I let out a loud sigh as I triple checked for anything on me that might be wrong. It's not like this is a date or anything, I just want to...
Oh wait, is this a DATE??? We didn't make plans for this to be a date! We didn't make any real plans at all. What if he's expecting this to be a date and I come off as lame and thoughtless for just wanting to hang out? Or...or what if I approach this as a date, and he just wants to hang out...making me look desperate and needy? I swear, I just need to get there. That's all. I've got to stop thinking about this, and just grab my wheels, and skate over to the store before I make myself late and ruin the afternoon before it even gets started.
I took a damp cloth to my sneakers and tied the laces tight. Clean laces. I just put them in last night. And...ok. Here we go.
Please be a good day, please be a good day, please oh please oh PLEASE be a good day!
I boarded my way down to the comic book store and kicked it up into my hands as I nervously approached the door. Did Parker beat me here? Was he waiting on me? I can't see through the windows. Comic book caves like this are the best places to go for true fans of anything related...but they tend to be dark little hovels when compared to most stores. You won't find bright lights and top 40 pop music playing in this place, that's for sure. But I kind of liked that. I guess it's the equivalent of finding that secret little dive bar in your hometown, or that hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon with the best burgers ever! There's a pat of you that owns a piece of that place. And part of that place that owns you. It's the best feeling in the world to be in good company.
"Kev! My man! What's up?" Gary said from behind the counter, still opening boxes from this morning.
"Hey..." I addressed him, sure...but my eyes were roaming all over that place from one wall to the other, checking the aisles to see if I could find my blond Adonis in there waiting for me. Gary seemed puzzled and asked me what I was looking for. "Huh? Nothing. Just..." I trailed off and realized that Parker hadn't showed up just yet. I don't know if that relaxed me or made me more anxious than I was before.
"Whatever. Look...you've GOT to see this, dude!" Gary said. I was too busy looking back over my shoulder to really pay attention to what he was shuffling around behind the counter, checking the door to see if Parker might be on his way in. "HIYAH!!!!" Gary hollered, and when I turned around, he had a big ass SWORD nearly pressed against my throat!
"Jesus Christ!!! What the...???" I gasped, jumping back a little as Gary laughed at my reaction! "Is that a fucking SWORD?!?!?!"
"Yep!" He smirked, giving me a maniacal look! "You like?"
"Totally! It's $199.99 retail! We only got two of them in the shipment, but I bet they sell and we end up getting more with the next order. Look at this. Isn't it killer?" He chuckled, showing it off in the light. "It's a big promo for the "Blade Of Shadows" GFD Netflix series next month. This is an official Tatsuro Myoki sword, folded and sharpened and ready for sale. This is the LAST thing that I expected to come in with the shipment today."
"That looks freakin' insane, dude." I said. "I mean, there's no way in hell I'd ever be able to afford something like that, but even if I could...there's no WAY my mom's gonna let me have an actual sword in my room! Not ever. It's not even a topic that's up for discussion. Hehehe!"
"Ah well, too bad. I think a sharpened katana blade would look good on you." He said.
"I'm betting that the police wouldn't. So maybe I should save that purchase for another day." I turned to look at the door again, and this time he was a bit more curious as to what I was doing.
"Who are you looking out for?" He asked.
"Nobody." I don't know why I felt the need to lie to him. Especially since I immediately grinned from ear to ear when I said it out loud.
"Unh unh! I'm not buying it. Out of all the times that you've come into this store on shipment day, I don't think you've EVER paid more attention to anything other than what I was pulling out of these boxes. So cut the shit and spill the beans. What's going on?" At this point I started to blush uncontrollably, and Gary's eyes widened as his jaw dropped. "Ho-lee SHIT, you talked to Parker, didn't you???"
"Shhhhh! Hehehe! There's other people in here, you know?" I snickered.
"Fuck these people! Tell me a story! What happened? Are you two an item now? Can I start joining your store reservations and orders in the same slot now?"
"What? NO! It's not that big a deal. Not yet. I don't think. I don't know, just...hehehe..."
Gary covered his mouth for a second, then said, "Oh my friggin' GOD! LOOK at you! This is unprecedented! Wait a second, I need to get a pic of this!"
"Don't be a geek!" I said.
"You knew I was a geek when you first met me! Geek, and proud! So hold still!" Gary took out his cell phone and aimed it at me for a picture. At the last minute, I gave him a smile and a sweet pose where I batted my eyes at him and tried to commemorate the moment by bringing as much of my excitement to the surface as possible without looking like some kind of psycho. He took two pics, and then laughed as he saw how much my boyish blush was clearly visible in both photos. Damn HD screens!
"Ok, fun's over. You can erase those now!" I said, but Gary pulled his hand back.
"No way, 'baby cuddles'! I'm saving this shit forever!" He cackled. "You SEE?" I told you that you'd make his list the moment you gave him a wink. But now? Check you out now!"
"Stop it." I smirked. "I don't want to look all shy and flustered when he gets here."
"I don't think you can help it, kid." Gary said. "Here, make yourself useful and put these t-shirts out on the front rack for me. It'll help to keep you distracted until your sweetie gets here."
"I don't get paid to work here, ya know?" I said.
"Consider this your way of staying in my good graces. Just in case you need me for another hookup in the near future."
"Hehehe, cheater!" I said, taking the stack oft-shirts to help him out a bit. "And put that SWORD away. Maniac!"
Ok, so like...when Parker gets here, I'll just play it cool. Like, 'Oh hey. There you are. I didn't expect you so soon.' You know like...NOT like I was waiting on him? Like...'Who me? Nah, I just got here a minute ago. I wasn't in too big a hurry. Just...looking at some t-shirts.' Real calm. I don't him to think I'm too easy when it comes to wrapping me around his little finger. It's a balance of power thing, right? I can't just fall to my knees and bow at his feet just because he walks through the door. That would be crazy.
But then...I heard the sound of skateboard wheels rolling past the store window, stopping just short of the door...the board being kicked up to a 'carry' position. When that door opened, I swore that every ray of sunshine splendor focused all of its radiance upon Parker's shoulders. His light blond hair glowing like a divine halo above those amazing boy eyes of his. He was wearing this deep red shirt...button down. And a pair of glaring white shorts....but they were the thin kind. The ones where you could almost see his skin tone through. White sneakers, red laces, white socks...shuffled down slightly to his ankles. He was stunning. God, I think even his skateboard matched the rest of him!
And yet, the sexiest accessory of them all? His warm and inviting smile when he saw me. Just bearing witness to a smile like that up close was a religious experience. A trap for anyone foolish enough to stare at it directly.
I think this is the precise metaphors that the ancient Greeks would use for Medusa. The idea that she was so beautiful, one look would turn you to stone. And there I was...frozen.
Frozen in stone.