Talking to Chris is already something that I knew had to be handled delicately. As sweet and as caring as Chris could be when he was in the mood for it, he could be twice as nasty when he wasn't. Even when it came to me. It was something that I definitely had to learn the hard way since we've been...um...'friendly'.
The strange thing is, the more I tried to think of a calm, non-invasive, way of talking to Chris and maybe asking him to do me and my mom a solid by letting her cook for his dad...the more Mitch's words got to me. It was like they just kept burrowing in deeper, all the way to my bone marrow, hoping to expose me for the total loser that I am. I mean...I'm not taking advantage of Chris' connections. Well...I AM, but not for the heartless reasons Mitch said I was.
If that was the truth, then why do I suddenly feel so bad about it?
I found myself slowing my pace down as I approached the gym locker room. I knew Chris would be in there, early as always. And I knew that he was, basically, expecting to see me there. It was a daily routine that had been going on for the whole school year so far. It would be MORE suspicious for me to break the habit than it would be to just go and stumble clumsily through a conversation that may, or may not, result in anything special.
Damn you, Mitch! Your little heartbroken tirade just fucked up everything I was planning to say to him now! Ugh!
Ok...I'm just going to wing it. That's all. Just talk to him and hope for the best.
I walked to my locker, feeling a bit of a nervous shiver as I saw Chris standing at his own locker right next to mine. He already had his shirt off, his flat stomach and perky nipples in full view. The moment he looked over at me and then turned away without so much as a shrug, I began to feel clunky and clumsy about approaching him at all. But...it might be worth it. Just don't get too pushy, don't be too forward, and just mention it casually. You know? How hard could that be.
Oh! And whatever you do...DON'T mention Tanner! Chris HATES it when I talk about Tanner.
"Chris. Hey..." I started.
"Hello." He said under his breath. He didn't really look at me, but that might be because he was taking his gym shirt and shorts out at the time.
"Gym, huh?" I said. Ok, so that was stupid. Chris just gave me a strange look and went back to getting dressed. As he was pulling his gym shirt over his head, I tried to start again. "I'm really not in the mood for a whole bunch of running around and stuff today. I'd much rather relax."
"Sucks to be you, then." He said.
"Yeah. I s'pose." I saw Chris undo his pants and he bent over as he was pushing them down to his ankles to step out of them. Red briefs today. Some rather 'small' ones too. I made sure to look away though. I always felt awkward looking at him, cuteness and all. It felt like an insult to him, you know? I shouldn't be interested. "So...what's new with you?"
"What do you mean?"
"Just...you know...what's, like...going on?"
Again, he gave me a suspicious look. Then he just said, "Nothing's 'going on'. I woke up, I got a ride to school, and I've been here ever since. What kind of magical adventure did you expect me to have since yesterday?"
I tried to lighten things up with a bit of a fake laugh at his statement, but I think that only made things stranger. I didn't really know how to segue into talking about my mom, or his dad, or anything at all...but as I watched him squeeze those delicious round butt cheeks into his gym shorts, I knew that he wouldn't just stand there and share an uncomfortable silence with me for much longer. I had to think of something to keep him there for another minute or two.
"Can you believe what they fed us for lunch today? Baked ziti? What the heck is baked ziti? It was just weird. It took me two whole sodas to swallow it down." I said, but Chris just seemed to be ignoring my nonsensical chatter at this point. "My old babysitter made better lunches. Heh..." Come on, Derrick, turn into the spin already. "You know, my mom makes a really kick ass mostaccioli dish sometimes. Oven baked. With meat and cheese and this super thin parmesan crust on the top..."
"What?" Chris asked, slightly annoyed.
"Just...my mom...she makes good stuff. Like, remember when I was telling you how much she likes to cook? She loves it. She totally makes an art out of the whole thing."
With a sigh, he said, "Yeah, well...everybody thinks their mom's cooking is the best."
"Well, it's not just ME. I mean other people think she's amazing too. I hear people say she's the best all the time." Don't lose him, Derrick. Keep him talking. It started off a bit cumbersome...but if I stay on this path, I think everything will be...
"I take it that Tanner is one of those people." Annnnnd...my path of conversation just skidded off into a ditch.
"Huh?" I said, trying to buy myself a second or two to think.
"He was so anxious about being invited over to your house for dinner. Isn't that what you said?" He asked. His voice was pretty monotone, but I could hear the hurt in it anyway. "I just figure he must have left happy."
It would have been an insult to try to squirm my way out of it now. So I just said, "Yeah. He did. But other people too. That was just...it was a special occasion."
"Yeah. I'll bet." Chris said quietly.
I waited for a brief pause to pass between us before I started saying, "But all that aside, back to my mom..."
"Is there any reason that you're being so weirdly talkative today?" He asked with a bit of a sneer. "You usually just rush in here, undress, and hurry to get dressed in your uniform so I won't be able to perv on you." I wasn't quite sure what to say to that. He gave me a look and said, "Yeah. You don't think I notice, but trust me...I notice."
"Don't. Ok? It's fine. I'm done with it all." With a subtle shrug of his shoulders, Chris softly told me, "I want something I can't have. So what? I'll deal with it. You're taken. And Tanner? Tanner's...a great guy." There was a darkening mood surrounding us, thickening the very air we were breathing at the moment. But that's when Chris said, "Besides...it's not like you're packing THAT much in your jockey shorts. Don't flatter yourself. Geez!"
I saw a little smirk curl up on the side of his lips, and it put me at ease...if only just a little bit. "So you do perv on me while I'm getting dressed, then?"
He sighed and rolled his eyes. "You're hot, Derrick. I can't help it. It's strictly a series of involuntary peeks." He almost giggled for a second, but he cut it off and held back from letting me see it. Then, he finally turns to me and says, "So, are you gonna tell me what this is all about or are we going to bullshit through another five minutes of discomfort? I kind of have a class to go to."
Alright, I guess I wasn't going to get a better opportunity to give him my improvised sales pitch. So I said, "Listen...I wanted to know if, maybe, you could do me a small favor?"
"Well that's not very hard to figure out. What is it?" He asked.
I cleared my throat, "Your dad...ummm...?"
"What about him?"
"He's still opening that new restaurant here in the area pretty soon, right?"
Chris said, "Yeah. Probably in about a month or so. Construction's pretty much finished. Just needs to be licensed for being up to code or whatever."
"Has he...like...hired all of his kitchen staff yet? I remember you said that he was going through some...'select clientele'. Right?"
He was like, "No. My dad is really picky about his kitchen staff. They've got to be able to make the whole menu to perfection before they even get on the short list." Then he asked, "Why?"
Might as well just ask him. "I was wondering if maybe you could talk to your dad about giving my mom a shot."
"A shot at what?" He asked.
"A one of the kitchen jobs. Maybe even as a chef or something."
Chris scoffed at the idea, a little snicker escaping him before he could catch it. "Seriously? Are you kidding me right now, or are you being serious? Besides, why can't she just go in and take her own shot?"
"Come on, Chris...you said it yourself. You're dad is only looking for 'select clientele'. My mom doesn't necessarily have the kind of resume that grabs the attention of people like...well, like your dad." I hope that didn't sound as cringe inducing as it did in my head.
Chris replied, "That's putting it lightly. She serves burgers to truckers and teenagers for a living. I wouldn't exactly classify her as a big player in the culinary arts industry."
Grrrr! Ok, I know that Chris doesn't mean to be mean. That's not who he really is on the inside. Still...the things that come out of his mouth sometimes. UGH! Just ignore the condescending words and appeal to his heart. "That's exactly why I need you to talk to him. All she needs is a chance to show him what she can do. She can take it from there."
"Dude...you know that I have a near impossible time saying 'no' to you, no matter what you ask of me..." He said. "...But there's no WAY my dad is going to risk the reputation of his brand new opening restaurant on hiring a random 'slop waitress', Derrick. Certainly not just because she happens to be my friend's mom."
"I'm not asking him to just give her the job, Chris. Just the opportunity to try out. That's it!" I told him. He groaned a little bit, but I could tell that I at least had him considering it. If I can just keep him on the fence long enough, I might just get him to cave. "What has he got to lose, right? Look, if my mom cooks for him and knocks his socks off...then he gets the best damn chef in town to work in his new restaurant. If she fails to impress him, then he skips over her and moves on to someone who looks good on paper instead. Someone with the kind of references that would make them a part of his whole selective clientele idea. What do you say?" He was quiet at first, so I added, "All she needs is a chance to get her foot in the door. Once she gets behind a stove...it'll be her who's doing him the favor. I swear!"
Chris sighed out loud. "You know...I might be a lot more suggestible if you'd make out with me."
Dammit! "Hehehe, I'm not making out with you, Chris."
"Well, I'd settle for you letting me give you a blowjob, but kissing is so much more intimate."
"CHRIS! Come on, dude..." I whined.
He saw the pleading look in my eyes, and found it hard to even pretend to fight back anymore. "Get me some paperwork. TOMORROW! And you'd better have a believable lie ready for me to give my dad, just in case he asks."
"I WILL! Anything you want! By tomorrow! I promise!" I said, feeling a high dose of adrenaline rush into my chest! "You won't be sorry! You'll see!"
"I'm already sorry." He grunted, closing his locker. "Now I have to have a heart to heart with my old man. Psh! Fun times..."
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