The tomato splattered across my face–ow.
I didn’t even have time to react before the whole crowd burst in terrible uproar, the rageous screams of my best friend Ashley making up most of the situation.
Before I could even begin to comprehend the reality of the rising commotion around me, I felt a hand, quick yet gentle, grasp the hood of my now tomato soaked gray hoodie, pulling me downward.
At that point, time didn’t even seem to exist anymore. All that remained was me, tumbling towards the ground in perfect slow motion, flailing arms, stuck out tongue… Like a cutesy love scene in a rom-com movie.
However… NOWHERE near as adorable.
As this daunting special effect finally decided to fade itself away (no doubt the imaginary filming cameras poised directly on the goofy delights of my face) I felt a faint ripping sensation coming from behind me (as if the hoodie wasn’t ruined enough) just as my dripping, tomatoey hair smashed into a prickly piece of fabric that smelled of mint and lemon.
Which, I mean, as we all know goes PERFECTLY with tomato(!)
Before I could even lift my head to see whose pants I’d just ruined, I was ushered silently under a bar table next to me, the sudden surrounding darkness momentarily blocking out the air of screams coming from above. And as my body slowly calmed down and the rush of adrenaline finally subsided, my mind was once again ready to offer me new thoughts and ideas about the entirety of the situation:
Thanks a lot mind.
The thing is, the person who threw the tomato at me was none other than my crazed ex-girlfriend Hayley Carson.
She hates me, to keep it simple. I mean who knew that coming out to your oblivious and totally unsuspecting girlfriend would bring forth such a terrible thirst for chaos?
And revenge… let’s not forget revenge.
I mean, how did she even find me? The only logical explanation would be that she and her flimsy group of friends had been on my tail all evening. They must’ve followed us; Ashley, Brian and me, all the way from the Waffle House around the corner.
Great. Just great.
And now I was stuck, huddled under a bar table with my face ruining a strangers fine pair of leather jeans, on what was supposed to be a fun night during my first time ever in a gay bar, shyly flirting with a cute boy who had kindly offered me a drink and at this point had basically stolen my heart.
And as my mind silently cursed Hayley for her untimely interruption, another thought began to knock at the doors of my frazzled mind.
My whole body trembled as the sudden realization ripped itself through all that was left of my central nervous system and, although I had no desire to do so, slowly willed my head to remove itself from it’s cushion of pant legs and forced me to gaze into the eyes of the very same boy whom I had previously credited for having stolen my heart.
As the sinewy remains of the tomato slid down gracefully onto the empty space between us, a smile broke across his lips, making the light blue of his eyes shine even brighter beneath the darkness.
“So,” he finally said, breaking the silence “Where were we?”
His tone was charming, playful… Perhaps even a little amused.
Having not excepted this, I stuttered, trying to get my words in order when his hand suddenly whipped across to the side of my face, his fingers underlining the thick gloppy pile of tomato nestled underneath my eyes, scooping it away ever so gently.
It was at that point that I finally decided to check from underneath the curtains the current events still unfolding around us.
Which, turns out, was a mistake.
The entire bar had now completely erupted into a full-blown food fight, drinks of every color flying through across the air.
No longer interested in the happenings around me, I darted back inside, having chosen the dark den of awkwardness to whatever form of chaos the outside had to offer.
“I-uh,” I stammered as I settled back in next to the boy (Warner) “I guess we were talking about- uh… food.”
While I cringed at the complete irony of the subject, Warner seemed to pick up the topic almost instantly. He went on about how he ESPECIALLY loved vegetables. And was able to do so oblivious to anything else. The guy seemed perfectly happy talking about the 100 different ways that you could make stir fry.
Once he was finished, he started to get out from underneath the curtain, his beckoning eyes asking me to do the same. And as I obliged, poking my head out to see what he was doing, I noticed a new and fresh tomato now resting on the inside of his palm.
“But tomatoes,” he leaned in. Whispering as if answering my unasked questions. “Tomatoes are my favorite.”
And then he kissed me.
And time stopped once again.
But this time, there weren’t any zoom-in cameras or comical laughter… but merely one thing:
Because as his mint lemon lips collided with my own tomatoey ones. I no longer felt as if anyone was watching.
As we slowly broke apart, I didn’t even have time to catch my breath before he was gone, dashing quickly across the battlefield with his newly acquired fruit weapon still in hand.
In my daze, my intended shout came out as only a whisper, but still valid all the same.
“But… tomatoes are fruits.”
While I was skeptical on whether he’d heard me or not, I was quite sure on one thing.
Vegetable or not, a tomatoes smashing potential remained the same.
And I had no doubt that the one in Warner’s hand was meant for the likings of no one else, but Hayley.