A Date For Liquor
The trip to the store took a good three hours, including checkout and loading it up in Louis.
Then it took another hour to get the liquor because Carlos, the son of the store owner was giving me hard time. Which wasn’t unusual but today, it was just plain weird.
It went like this:
I strolled into the grime concrete building that used to be white and the bell went off. Carlos, a buff but short dude with cropped black hair ran forward with crooked smile coated on his face.
“Hi Lila, how’s going?” he shouted even though we were only a few feet away.
“It’s going alright, Carlos. How are you?” I responded, digging in my leather hipster for the list my brother gave me for the alcohol.
“Fine, Fine. How’s college?” he asked, digging his hands into his ripped jeans.
“It’s fine. Carlos, can you help me find the mike’s hard lemonade?” I said, not gazing up from the list.
“I will if you look at me,” he answered.
I gaze up at him and his eyes are roaming up and down my body and suddenly, I felt uncomfortable.
“Carlos?” I whispered, my voice shaking. What was he doing, looking at me that way?
“Has anyone ever told you, your beautiful?” he blurted, splotches of red tinting his round cheeks.
“Umm…not recently,” I stammered, crossing my arms.
“I find that hard to believe, I mean, seriously you are the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen!” he proclaimed, sweat beading on his square forehead.
My face turned a ripe shade of red tomato and I looked away and said “Thanks. That’s one of the nicest things someone has ever said to me. But, seriously, can please you help me find the hard lemonade. I have to get it for my brother’s party tonight.”
“Sure, but only if you go on a date with me,” Carlos stated, running a hand through his hair.
“A date? Why?” I asked, he had never shown interest in me before and I am pretty certain I haven’t changed over the years.
“Isn’t it obvious? I like you and want to take you on a date,” he answered.
“Oh. Well, I guess one date won’t hurt in exchange for liquor. But, I am not promising anything.” I replied. I mean, he is cute, why not give it a try?
He smiled a real smile and said “Fair enough. How about next Friday at eight pm?”
“That should work. Do you want me to meet you here?” I asked
“No, I’ll pick you up. What’s your address?”
I tore a piece of paper from the notepad and scribbled it down and then handed it to him.
He pocketed it and smiled.
I smiled back and then asked, “Can we go look for the liquor now?”
So, I ended up with a date next Friday at eight pm. Hopefully, I won’t regret it. When I reached my house, there was already five cars there I didn’t recognize in our driveway and I had to park it in the street. Which, not to mention, was not only inconvenient but almost impossible with fifty bags of groceries. But, I managed. Of course, mother nor brother cared about this feat and instead decided to complain about what I didn’t do.
“You forgot the cheddar cheese!” my mom yelled while I was working on some music theory homework.
“You didn’t write cheddar cheese on the list!” I replied, putting my pencil down, stretching my fingers.
“I did too!” she argued, stopping in my doorway.
I sighed and searched for the list and showed it to her. She threw it back in my face and slapped me.
“Don’t be fresh me. Go get me cheddar cheese,” my mother demanded.
And so, I hopped in my car and retrieved cheddar cheese.
Later, I was laying in my bed, reading World War I poems for my history paper when my brother barged in.
“Where are the Condoms?” he bellowed his face the color of a plum.
“Condoms?” I asked, quirking an eyebrow.
“Yes! Where are they? I wrote them on the list!”
“Ah…no you didn’t.” I snapped, making a note to use this line in a poem by Wilfred Owen in my paper.
“Yes, I did!” he argued.
I handed him the list he wrote for me and continued reading.
“You must have erased it then!” my brother accused, pointing a meaty finger at me.
Turning my head away from my laptop I gave him a death glare and said
“You wrote the list in pen.”
He strode forward, fist clenched, ripped my laptop out of my hands and slammed it against the wall and inches away from my face, whispered, “I never lie.”
And so, I went to retrieve condoms which not only was difficult because I had no idea which ones to buy, but it extremely awkward. The saggy Chinese lady was giving me a scowl and the fetus blond boy was sizing me up with his dull blue eyes. However, it was the price I had to pay to live peacefully in my household.
Not like there isn’t ever peace, there is when it’s a Saturday morning and both my mother and brother are out, sprawled out somewhere on the front lawn downtown, covered with the stench of beer and marked by hickeys.
Multiple times the phone rang, at some hour before the sun had even peaked it’s eyes open, with the annoyed nasal voice of the bartender, Mickey or the raspy voice of my brother’s best friend Josh. To this day, it never ceases to amaze me that both Mickey and Josh still put up with my family. But, I guess there, is an exception for rich people, since my mom is a very well-known lawyer.
The phone rang this time and it was for the first time, not telling me one of my family members was passed out cold on their pristine, emerald, lawn. One call even called it their “beautiful carpet” and that my mom, in this case, was tainting its beauty. It was my friend Rebecca.
“Hey Becky, what’s up?” I said, plopping on the closet leather couch to the kitchen.
“Did Sara talk you?” she blurted.
“I saw her at Giant, why?”
“Well, she’s convinced that we should go to your brother’s party.”
I groaned and she laughed, her laughter reminding me of bubbles.
“I think we should go.”
“No!” I deadpanned, laying back my couch.
“Why not?” Becky asked.
“I am not explaining myself again. If you talked to her, you already know why,” I snapped
“But, you’ve never been nor have you met any of the lax players. I heard they’re hot.” Becky whined.
“I don’t think I need to experience one of my brother’s parties. And, lax players aren’t my type.”
I switched my phone to my other ear and walked into the kitchen for a snack.
“You are such a prune!” Beck exclaimed, and I swear I lost all the hearing for a second in that ear.
“I don’t care,” I replied, searching in the wooden cabinets.
“Well, you better care.”
“Why?” I questioned, removing the box of microwaveable smart popcorn.
“Because,” she pouted.
“That’s not answer,” I commented, unwrapping the plastic covering and placing it in the microwave.
“Well, the truth will hurt so I just said because.” She responded.
“Just tell me the truth, no need to sugarcoat.” I pressed the timer and the microwave buzzed to life, the disk inside creaked and started to rotate clockwise.
“Fine, you should care because no one wants to be friends with a prune.” Becky snapped, a clipped tone in her voice.
“Well, aren’t you my friend?” I asked, unsure of where this was going.
“Yes but all we do is watch old movies. We never go out or anything,” She complained.
“You never had a problem with that the past year we’ve been friends,” I stated.
The microwave beeped, signaling my popcorn was ready to be eaten and I swung open the rectangular door.
“Yeah, well. There are only so many old movies to analyze and talk about. Plus, that’s more what you like to do, not me.” Becky argued.
I felt tears coming on at that point and stared at the hanging light above the counter.
“Ok, so you never liked any old movies?” I asked.
“That’s not what I am saying, I just want to live a little. And to be honest, it’s not normal to spend every weekend watching movies.” She answered and I bit my lip.
“Well, I never said I was normal,” I countered.
She sighed through the phone and said, “Can we just go to this party just once?”
“Sure. Why not.” I responded.
“Really? Your giving in that easily?” Becky chirped and I smiled.
“Yeah, I don’t want to lose my friend to old movies,” I answered.
“Awesome! I, Sara, and Dereck will be there around 10 pm!” she shouted and I pulled the phone away from my ear.
“I’ll be here, I guess.”
“Great! and make sure to wear something cute!!” Becky reminded before the call went dead.
Cute? Did she know me? Not that I was bad at fashion. I think I have a decent hippie/alternate style but I often fell behind with the trends. The jeans I have are from my sophomore year of high school and some of my shirts predating middle school. My old neighborhood friend once told me I dressed like a grandmother while my mother said I looked Amish.
So, it would be safe to say, Becky’s “cute” and my “cute” might be two different things. I ripped open the popcorn bag and shoved a handful of popcorn in my mouth. I guess I should probably figure out what to wear and finish my homework. Picking up a ginger ale and the popcorn bag, I exited the kitchen and headed to my room.