Chapter 13 : Disaster
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I believe that I have some substantial evidence backing up my theory of having the six-sense. No, I cannot see dead people, but rather have the uncanny ability to predict when the universe is going to take a shit on my life. It happens too often for comfort.
I didn’t want to be right this time, but I was. Spencer’s Life Sucks, Episode DCXLVII. My terrible luck strikes again.
And you know what? I feel cheated. Today was supposed to be a good day. Today I was supposed to wake up to fucking birds singing, the sun gloriously shining into my room, eat an exquisite helping of Lucky Charms for breakfast, put on the outfit Robyn let me borrow, and stare at the clock for hours upon hours until James picked me up for our date.
But no, the universe had other plans for me.
Instead, I woke in a pool of my own blood, there was no sun but rather it was pouring outside, I found a huge zit on the center of my forehead while washing my hands in the bathroom, discovered that Freddy had finished the Lucky Charms while I was at Robyn’s yesterday, wished that Robyn’s outfit had included sweats instead of a tight skirt, and had cramps so bad that I was delirious enough to consider calling James and rescheduling.
I hate my life, I really do.
It was around five o’clock in the afternoon – an hour and a half until date-time – when my mum found me. I was lying on the bathroom floor; the coolness of the tiles felt good against the side of my burning face.
“Spencer, dear? Are you okay?” She addressed me softly and cautiously as if speaking to a hurt animal.
“Leave me to die in peace, woman.” I drew my legs closer to my body forming something that slightly resembled the fetal position. I can’t really explain it, but this pose made the cramps less painful. I was kind of hoping that my mum would leave me to my misery, but knew that she would never do such a thing. At times like these, she liked to show off her medical wisdom by lecturing me about health, and reminiscing about her days as a medicine major. I was never sure if this was her way of reminding me that she could have been a rich pediatrician instead of a receptionist in a pediatrician’s office if she didn’t get pregnant with me and had completed medical school. And considering that this little swerve off the course of her life plan resulted in my existence, I can’t really say that I was all that sorry.
My mum gave me one of her oh-you-little-scamp type smiles that looked a bit on the forced side if you asked me. I think my personality reminded her too much of my dad at times. “Why don’t you take some Midol? I’m always telling you to take Midol. Here, let me go get you some.”
“No need – already took four.” Worthless piece of shit, too. Five minutes after taking it and I still felt like gutting myself with my toothbrush.
“Four?” she shrieked.
I lifted my head off the floor, slightly started by her reaction. “What?”
She looked positively mad; her hands fisted in her hair and a slight twitch to her wide eyes. To be perfectly honest, it was a bit alarming. “Spencer! You’re only supposed to take two! How many times am I supposed to tell you that before you actually listen?”
This clearly wasn’t the answer she was looking for.
“You know, Spencer, one day you are going to take too much of the wrong medication and it’s going to kill you! You are lucky to have someone like me around who knows what they’re talking about when it comes to this sort of thing and you don’t even listen to any of the things I say! When I was in medical school, I knew a girl who took too much of her medication –”
“Was it Midol?”
“Not the point! But she overdosed and died! Do you want to die and have me sobbing ‘I told you so’ over your grave? Do you? Because I certainly don’t! That’s why you have to listen to me! But you don’t! And on top of that, you don’t even read the bottle’s instructions on the proper dose!”
You know, as I lay there practically dying, the last thing I wanted was to be lectured. I knew that I messed up and all, but she didn’t have to be such a bitch about it and rub it in my face.
My eyes narrowed. “Yeah, well, sorry if it’s a bit difficult for me to read on the days that I am continuously bleeding from my –”
I rolled my eyes and hugged my knees closer to my chest as another wave of pain swam through my abdomen. “So what’s the verdict, doctor? Am I gonna make it?” I asked sardonically.
I have the tendency to be a bit of a smartarse when I’m menstruating.
My mum stared down at me long and hard but I didn’t waver under her gaze. “You’ll be fine; a bit hyper, maybe.”
My eyebrows furrowed together. “But I don’t feel hyper.”
“Just give it a few minutes.”
It’s a really nice day outside today; couldn’t have been nicer! Don’t you agree? IT’S SO NICE OUT. I love summer, I mean, it’s the greatest season of them all and – PANCAKES. I SMELL PANCAKES. I DON’T KNOW WHY I SMELL PANCAKES BUT I LOVE PANCAKES – I mean, winter is ugly and, like, too cold to function; fall is all yucky-poo; and during spring, it’s not summer. Therefore summer is the best and, like, way more awesome. PLUS THERE’S THE BEACH; I LOVE THE BEACH. Except, you know, the constant threat of sharks. I don’t like sharks; they’re scary. But I watch Shark Week every year because I believe in knowing your enemy. AND SHARKS ARE THE ENEMY. I especially like watching the jumping sharks. Despite my deep dislike towards sharks, it’s really cool to watch. They just jump into the air and go WHOOSH –
“Spencer, would you stop that?”
My internal rambling and shaking leg came to an immediate halt and I looked up at my mother from my seat on the couch. It was weird; I didn’t remember her ever being in the room with me. Based off of her expression, I couldn’t tell if she was more mad at me or just plain weirded out from whatever gesture I was doing that offended her. But nonetheless, I really couldn’t say that the look she was giving me was all that comforting. “Stop what?”
“Muttering under your breath like that; you sound like a mental patient.”
“Oh.” That was also weird; I didn’t think I was saying all that stuff out loud. I knew that ever since my mum pulled me off the bathroom floor and made me somewhat presentable for my date by doing my hair and make-up for me as well as helping me get dressed, I felt a bit off. There was this strange stirring inside me, a spark, an energy threatening to boil over. My mind was racing; I couldn’t sit still. My skin felt tingly and as if my spirit was going to burst from its seams. But there was nothing I could do about it so I just kind of shrugged and my leg resumed its previous rhythm.
“And stop bouncing your leg up and down!”
I stopped abruptly. “Okay.”
…And when they jump, they go WHOOSH and then BAM – they’re back in the water and it’s just SO COOL to watch. It almost makes sharks cool but then again, they eat seals and they’re really ugly – SO UGLY. And they –
“Spencer, I thought I told you to stop muttering under your breath!”
I blinked. I had been doing it again and I hadn’t even realized it.
My leg began to bounce again.
“Spencer! I thought I –”
Suddenly, the explosion my body seemed to be waiting for:
“PICK ONE OR THE OTHER, WOMAN; I CAN’T STOP BOTH!”
My mum’s eyebrows disappeared into her fringe. “Oh, dear, that Midol has really gotten to you, hasn’t it?”
“I FEEL LIKE I CAN RUN AROUND THE HOUSE FOURTEEN AND A HALF TIMES!”
“Why fourteen and a half?”
There was a moment of complete silence where we just stared at each other, neither of us saying anything. My heart was beating frantically, my body twitching every few seconds while my mum was just frozen in place, staring at me with a worried expression. Her eyes were wide and she was so still that she could have been made out of wax.
Which probably should have been creepy but in the meantime, all I could do was convulse every three seconds and think about pancakes.
This was such an odd sensation – a totally mind fuck that I wouldn’t recommend. I mean, I was pretty hyper on a regular basis, but not anywhere near this severe. I constantly felt like I needed to be in two places at once and my mind was racing with more thoughts than my brain could handle. It was like being on the verge of spontaneous combustion and it driving me mad.
The beat of silence was soon broken by the sound of the doorbell ringing, to which we each jumped about a foot into the air in surprise. Our eyes wide locked.
Shit. No. No, no, no, no, no. Not now. Not when I’m like this!
“It’s him!” I whispered in horror, my arms lifting into the air in a spastic jerk, nearly succeeding in smacking myself in the face.
I am so full of win.
I looked frantically around the room, blood pressure rising, looking for something to hit myself over the head with; maybe if I knocked myself out, he’d have to leave. I lunged for the lamp…
…But was intercepted by my mum.
That woman knows me too well.
“Okay, calm down,” my mum whispered in a way that reminded me of a police officer talking to a wacko with a gun. The lamp was held out of my reach and behind her back. “Don’t panic.” It was clear that she was still a bit freaked from my outburst but she was prepared to take charge. “You stay right here and I’ll go get the door. Do you have enough tampons?”
I nodded my head up and down, up and down as my body overheated from nerves. I was now walking around the coffee table in a circle, my hands fisted in my hair, just for the sake of doing something. I felt sick to my stomach and I suddenly had the urge to pee even though I had already gone not even ten minutes ago.
This was going to be an interesting evening.
With a final nod in my direction, my mum left the living room to greet the leading man of the motion picture of an evening’s disaster that was soon to ensue. My heart pounded against my chest with astonishing power, nearly breaking through my ribcage and bruising all in which it made contact with, as my ears listened for movement. Seconds later I heard the familiar creak of the front door and I froze in place, overcome with the sensation I usually get when playing Hide and Seek. You know, the one when the person who’s It is only a few meters away from where you’re hiding? That odd mixture of adrenaline and the feeling that you’re going to piss and shit your pants simultaneously?
Anyway, my mum opened the door and I could hear the faint sounds of pleasantries being exchanged and my heart nearly exploded. I started doing the Pee Dance in place – but not because I had to pee (the sensation had passed), but rather that I couldn’t, for the life of me, stand still.
But I was actually pretty proud of my mum; she hadn’t been too thrilled about the date with James when I first told her about it because of the whole Ned Knickerbocker thing but from what I could tell, she was acting very cheerfully and politely towards him. I was quite impressed, I have to say – a bit confused, as well. I mean, my mum isn’t afraid to give you the Stink Eye if she thinks you deserve it and believe me, anyone who severed the relationship between myself and the still imaginary Ned Knickerbocker deserved to be given the Stink Eye, according to her.
Maybe she was charmed into Play Doh by his incredible good looks.
If that was the case, I couldn’t really say that I blamed her. And I was too hyped up on Midol to really be mad about it anyway.
I was soon forced to snap out of my thoughts by the sound of my name. My mum had called it from the door, her voice tentative. After wiping my sweaty palms on my skirt, I took a deep breath and stepped forward, exiting the living room and entering the foyer.
Scariest four seconds of my life.
…Except not really.
The scariest moment of my life was probably the solid minute and a half that I thought I had gone blind because my eyelashes were stuck together.
Going to sleep without taking my mascara off? Never again.
Even though it wasn’t the scariest moment of my life, it definitely made the Top Five. I felt like I was walking the plank or something equally horrify like being force-fed asparagus. Yeah, that bad. It was like I was on my way to the fucking gallows. This, I felt, was a bit wrong seeing that I was actually going to greet my date, not be karate chopped in the gut the moment I entered the room. But I couldn’t help the feeling of dread that had settled in the pit of my stomach. And to add to my heap of issues, I also felt like running around the room twelve times – and then some. All of my impulses were mixed up; my body seemed to be torn as to what to do. So maybe it wasn’t the scariest moment of my life, but it was certainly the most bizarre.
When I entered the foyer, I vaguely saw my mum beaming at me like a psychopath – yep, she was definitely high off of the Sexilicious-Bloke Drug – but once my eyes found James, they didn’t seem to want to look away. My mum wasn’t in the room anymore – just me and him. From the way his black shirt had been haphazardly tucked into his black jeans, to the blue, button-down over shirt that was rolled up to his elbows, and to the way he had clearly tried to flatten his hair with no avail (the evidence was in the various strands that were still sticking up), he was a mess, but he was perfect. Not classic perfect-perfect, but my kind of perfect.
Aside from looking mega hot, the semi casualness of his outfit made me feel better about mine. Robyn had loaned me this fabulous ensemble of what others would probably call clothing but what was really woven genius, but unfortunately, it had to be slightly altered in order to accommodate my current situation. I had opted out of wearing the black lace leggings for bare legs and swapped the killer heels for a pair of clean-ish trainers (alright, so there was some dried up mud on them from a legendary Man Hunt game). I knew that the outfit had been degraded from sexy to cute by doing this, but given the circumstances, one of them had to go: the period or the heels. And seeing that the period wasn’t going to going away for a few more days, the heels had been victimized to the confinements of my closet.
But James wasn’t dressed super fancy so maybe tonight wouldn’t be so bad. Maybe we’d ride off into the sunset bobbing our heads up and down and singing show tunes. And maybe my tampon will hold its end of the bargain and my evening would end without a bloodstain on the back of my skirt.
And in the end, that’s all a girl could really ask for.
James’s eyes locked with mine and wide, goofy smiles spread across our faces simultaneously. God, we’re idiots. I took a few steps forward.
…That was much louder than I had intended it to be.
James quirked an amused eyebrow at me, his smile morphing into a smirk as my face began to heat up. “Hi,” he replied in a normal, perfectly reasonable volume.
Ihatemylife. Ihatemylife. Ihatemylife.
I wished that I could just blame it on the Midol (goddamn Midol) but then I’d have to tell him about my period and that would just be stup-
“You’ll have to excuse, Spencer. She’s a bit on the hyper side this evening,” my mum chimed in. I eyed her suspiciously – unsure of where she was going with this but couldn’t seem to catch her eye. “You see, her cramps took a turn for the worst so she took some Midol. Unfortunately, she took too much so if she experiences any dizziness, fatigue, or any signs of an overdose, would you be a dear and take her to the emergency room?”
…You have got to be kidding me.
WHAT IS MY LIFE?!?!?!
I stared at the daft woman before me in horror. In what universe was this a good idea? Was she out of her fucking mind? To most blokes, the mention of ‘cramps’ and ‘Midol’ would mean nothing, but James had a sister! He had a bloody sister! He knew exactly what ‘cramps’ and ‘Midol’ meant!
The heavy silence that followed was a testimony to my thoughts. In the corner of my eye, I saw that James was pink in the face and running a nervous hand through his hair, causing it to stick up all over the place. “Er, sure,” he said uncomfortably.
I wanted to die; I was so unbelievably humiliated. And it wasn’t even my fault this time! I had a heavy feeling in my chest and an overwhelming urge to burst into tears. Why me? Why couldn’t my life have been normal and relatively uneventful like everyone else’s? Why did my life have to be a major load of suck?
I wasn’t sure how to fix the mess that I didn’t create, how to salvage the moment. So I did the only thing I could think of: I ran out the door.
I mean, I didn’t actually go anywhere, but I did run out the door. And I went down the porch steps, down the stone path, and sat down on the ground, placing my arse on my mum’s flowerbeds.
Die, motherfuckers, die.
I positioned myself in a way so that I was squishing as many as humanly possible, knowing that this particular act of spite was strategically the most brilliant as my mum practically nursed her red geraniums like a mother bird. This was as close to a verbal “fuck you,” as I was gonna get.
Settled among the flowers, I drew my knees close to my chest and put my face into my hands. I wasn’t going to cry because that was for later when James was gone for certain and I was alone in my room to wallow in my own misery. In the meantime I just needed to breathe, to slow the alarming pace of my heartbeat, to calm down my person enough to the point where I could stop shaking my legs.
This Midol thing – along with the eager help of my mother – was ruining my life.
Only mere seconds had passed when I heard the sound of footsteps following my path to the flowerbeds and stop before me.
“You know, I’m no longer sorry that I called you a child molester,” I told her. The sound was slightly muffled by my hands but my message was easily understood. And I really meant it; I wasn’t sorry at all. I really wasn’t. And I didn’t think that anything she said would change that.
“I think that title would be more fitting for yourself seeing that you’re the older one.”
My heart gave a start and I slowly parted my fingers, viewing the world through the tiny slits the separation created. Standing before me was not my mum, as the deep-man voice had previously indicated, but rather James Potter. He was a few meters back, his hand fisted in the back of his hair, and a small, nervous smile on his lips.
He didn’t leave. James didn’t leave. I couldn’t believe it. Could he be anymore awesome? My heart swelled at the sight of him and I had to restrain myself from jumping up and tackling him.
I’ve got enough shit on my plate; the last thing I need is a sexual harassment charge.
“Only by three months,” I muttered under my breath after I got over the initial shock of him staying.
I just couldn’t believe it. He was really there.
But after the words left my lips, I was reminded of what had transpired inside and suddenly couldn’t bear to look at him anymore, my face heating up at the memory. My spread out fingers fanned shut over my eyes, masking James completely and secluding me to the darkness once more.
“Oh, c’mon Spencer,” he sighed, and I heard some movement take place in front on me. Before I really knew what was happening, warm fingers encircled my wrists and pulled my hands away from my face. James was crouched down on the ground, his chest centimeters away from touching my knees. He looked a bit uncomfortable but didn’t slacken his grip on me. “Look, I know that you’re embarrassed –”
“That’s a bit of an understatement,” I murmured softly, hyperly aware of the skin-on-skin contact. My wrists felt a bit tingly in the places that he touched.
“Alright,” he said, probably a bit unsure of how to respond to my comment. “But I get it – don’t necessarily want to know about it – but I get it.”
This may come as a bit of a shock, but this pep-talk wasn’t exactly making me feel any better…
But no matter what shade of red my face turned, James would have none of it. There was a spark of determination in his brown eyes that didn’t seem likely to die down anytime soon. “I mean, whether I like it or not, I’m kind of around it a lot. My sister turns into a fire breathing dragon once a month and I have loads of girl cousins who are the same way. Just…calm down, I dunno, take a chill pill and we’ll be on our way. Okay?”
I don’t know why, but I just burst out laughing. His efforts to make me feel better we admittedly adorable. “Chill pill? James, I don’t really think I should be mixing medications.”
He snorted. “You’re so weird.”
Threading his fingers through mine, he pulled me from my sitting position on the ground and we walked hand-in-hand down the driveway, him leading the way to the mystery location of our date.
And somehow I knew that we were gonna be okay.
In the days leading up to this moment, I had envisioned various different scenarios of what my date with James would be like; I don’t know why, but I figured that he’d take me someplace unconventional or someplace with some poetry to it. Someplace where we could wreck havoc and just revel in the simplicity of the moment. It was all I could have ever wanted, and I don’t know, maybe it was just wishful thinking, but he just seemed like that sort of bloke.
So I guess you can imagine my utter dismay as I stood outside with James, still hand-in-hand, the warm summer breeze tickling my skin, before what looked like a completely fancy and a completely French restaurant.
I don’t want to say that I was disappointed, but if I was being completely honest, I kind of was. I knew that it shouldn’t have mattered where we went, I was with James after all, but this wasn’t at all what I had expected or hoped for.
I just never thought of myself as a restaurant-taking type of girl; perhaps it was the arrogant part of me that thought I was way too interesting for that sort of thing, but in reality, it wasn’t at all me. I was never the sitting-still type and the jitteriness I had acquired from the Midol only made it worse.
And you know what? I was a bit ticked off at James for telling me that we were going to this place; whether I wanted to eat dinner there or not, I was completely underdressed – and I still would have been if I had stuck with Robyn’s original outfit. I mean, you just don’t do that sort of thing to a girl, you just don’t.
I quickly snuck a peek at James in the corner of my eye, not really sure what I was looking for and what I was going to see. He was eyeing the restaurant with as much apprehension as I had been a few seconds before, completely frozen to the spot. Judging by his reaction and his own lacking in the fancy clothes department, it appeared that this hadn’t been what he had expected either which thoroughly confused me.
“Fucking Denny,” I was surprised to hear him mutter, seeing as I had no idea who Denny was and why James was cursing his name. Snapping out of some sort of reverie, he turned his head to face me, catching my eye, and giving me an uneasy smile. “Er, I guess we should go inside.”
I nodded. “Yes, I guess that’s normal protocol when arriving at a restaurant.”
“Yeah, I guess.”
We didn’t move. We looked back at the restaurant, wearing identical grimaces. Sounds of clinking plates and silverware and a blur of mindless chatter emitted from the opening and closing doors as people entered and exited the building, each person clad in some glamorous ensemble that couldn’t be anything less than designer. The longer we stood there in stunned silence, I could have sworn that I identified an orchestral quartet mixed in there somewhere with the boisterous sounds, making my skin crawl. I don’t know why, but that factor made it ten times worse.
“We should probably go inside,” James murmured again, almost robotically, and my response, a stiff nod, was just as forced.
I don’t know how much time passed before we actually thawed from our frozen states and propelled ourselves forward, one foot in from of the other. We went inside and it was just as horrible as I’d imagined.
Upon entrance, I first had the displeasure of practically being blinded, as the ceiling harbored a copious amount of chandeliers, the hanging crystal reflecting bright, white light across the crowded room. It gave the place a dreamland, regal quality, like it wasn’t even real or within my reach. Everything looked fragile, as if the moment I reached to touch something, my mum would appear out of thin air and swat my hand away, reminding me that if I break it, I buy it. The walls and overhead mural were lined with beautiful, expensive art of noble looking people, grand landscapes, and naked angels playing the harp that looked almost majestic as they watched the people seated at the circular, white clothed tables eat. And of course, in the corner of the dinning hall, there was an orchestral quartet.
What a fucking nightmare.
The people seated in nearby tables were eyeing us in a questioning manner as we slowly edged towards the haughty looking maitre d’ – which I couldn’t really say that I blamed them. If I was a high society woman, I’d probably be wondering what two scrappy looking teenagers were doing in this restaurant, as well. Actually, as a scrappy looking teenager, I was kind of wondering the same thing.
The maitre d’ was tapping his foot in a rather condescending matter as James and I grudgingly made our way over, his nicely groomed eyebrow raised as he examined us from head to toe. “Bonjour,” he drawled unenthusiastically in a thick French accent when we stopped in front of him. “Ve do not take valk eenz,” he said dismissively.
Now, I had no idea if we had a reservation or not, and believe me, I would much rather that we didn’t so that we could blow this popsicle stand, but what the crap? How dare he talk down to us like that just because we don’t buy from Chanel or bleach our arseholes once a bloody month! How about you go back to the science lab you were manufactured in over in France mother fucker!
GOD I HATE PEOPLE.
As I fumed silently, I felt James’s grip on my hand tighten considerably, causing me to snap out of my thoughts of homicide and deportation. Out of the corner of my eye, I could visibly see his anger in his body language. He was standing straighter, taller, as if to intimidate and his jaw was set and his eyes narrowed.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more attracted to James. Holy fucking shit, is it hot in here or what? I mean, don’t get me wrong, he always looked good and right now, he looked fucking scary – if I was on the receiving end of that look, I’d be shitting my pants – but damn, he was just radiating sexy. If we had been dating steady for a year and I wasn’t such a virginal prude, I would pull him into the loo and have my way with him.
“We have a reservation,” James replied tightly. “Seven o'clock. Dursley.”
…Okay, who the fuck is Dursley?
I wanted to catch James’s eye and somehow convey my confusion to him telepathically but he was a bit preoccupied with the staring duel he was having with the maitre d’ – whose eyebrow was still raised. Didn’t the muscles in his face ever get tired from doing that so much and sustaining it for such a long time?
Eventually, the maitre d’ – or Gustave as his golden-plaited name tag identified him as – had to forfeit his position in the staring contest in order to check the reservation list. He scanned through the names, until his eyes settled on one at the bottom of the page. He looked back up at us. I didn’t like the smug, snooty expression on his face.
“You are twelve minitz late for your rezervation Meester...” He looked back down at the reservation list. “Durzley.”
I was getting close to losing circulation in my hand. “Well, we’re here now,” James snapped back.
“Er, James,” I whispered softly. He blinked in surprise and turned to look down at me. Something about this told me that he had forgotten that I was even there – which I found weird considering the death grip he had on my hand. “You’re hurting…” I trailed off and looked down at our entwined fingers hoping that he’d get the message.
“Oh! Sorry.” His grip immediately slackened on my hand and I was immediately graced with the beauty that is regular blood flow. But that was nothing compared to the light circles James was tracing on my skin with his thumb – that felt heavenly.
We both brought our attention back to the maitre d’, gazing at him expectantly – we did have a reservation after all. How could he deny us our seats?
Gustave sighed. “Zis vay pleaze.” He motioned for us to follow him as he turned to lead the way.
I gave James the thumbs up. “We have infiltrated the vicinity – success!”
James snorted and gave my hand a light squeeze. “We better go follow him.”
It became very clear that Gustave was a man of spite; the French bastard sat us at the table over by the loo – not exactly the restaurant hot spot. It was the loudest portion of the dining hall with the flushing of toilets sounding like clockwork, and the men’s room door kept hitting the back of my chair as people walked in and out. After the third time, James insisted that I switch seats with him.
Our waiter, Emile, was pretty nice. He, too, had a thick accent, but it came without the hoity-toity attitude that was a package deal for Gustave, which was pretty ace; I was very grateful for that. As at hot as it was, I didn’t think it would be good if James got into an altercation with our waiter.
James and I ordered our drinks and sat in silence as we looked over the menu, making the occasional small talk, but we generally didn’t say anything. I didn’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that this date wasn’t going very well, but I tried to ignore it because the moment I started to think about it, a pang of emotion would flow through me. And if I let that take over, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to stop myself from crying.
I instead tried to focus on my meal, but I was at a total loss as to what to order; everything was in French and there weren’t any pictures to help me out. I snuck a peek at James; he didn’t look like he was doing any better than me.
When Emile came over to take our orders, I had a mini panic attack because I still had no idea what I was going to get. So when he asked me, I just pointed to the least expensive thing on the menu, after a few failed attempts at pronouncing it. James didn’t even bother to try to say it and went straight to the pointing.
After Emile left, I asked, “So what did you get?”
James just shrugged. “I have no idea. You?”
“Not a clue.”
James nodded half-heartedly, something else seeming to be on his mind. I wasn’t sure if it’d be pushy or nosey of me to ask what it was so I remained silent.
After a few minutes, James cleared his throat. “Spencer?”
I looked up from the table. “Yeah?”
“You wanna get out of here and get some fish and chips instead?”
My blue eyes locked with his brown, my heart stopping almost completely in my chest. Maybe the evening wouldn’t be a complete disaster. “Yeah,” I breathed. “I’d really like that.”
James’s mouth twitched and a few seconds later stretched into a wide smile that just about matched mine in its ridiculousness. Reaching into his pocket, James pulled out his wallet and put some cash on the table – it took everything in me not to offer to split the bill – and he stood up, grabbed my hand and we were on our way, James navigating in the lead through the maze of tables.
Once we made it outside, we simultaneously burst into laughter – I’m not entirely sure why. “That place was so ridiculous,” I wheezed, clutching the stitch in my side from laughing so hard.
“I’m sorry about that,” James laughed. “My cousin made the reservation. He conveniently forgot to mention that the place was so refined and that the maitre d’ had a stick up his arse.”
“Speaking of your arsehole cousins, Freddy ate all of my Lucky Charms. I’m going to kill him for that.”
“I’ll be sure to convey the message.”
We were silent for a moment, breathing in and out, catching our breath from laughing so hard when something occurred to me. “Say, how come you had your cousin make the reservation for you? Couldn’t think of any place to take me?”
James shook his head. “Actually, there were loads of places I wanted to take you.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Then why didn’t you?”
He sighed and ran a hand through his hair. “Well, they were all places that only wiz – I mean, Non-Muggles go to, so I couldn’t exactly take you there, you know? And Denny’s a Muggle so I thought he might know of someplace good to take you.” He laughed without humor. “Clearly not.”
I stared at James for a moment. The fact that he had put a lot of thought in this – no matter how disastrous the results – was really adorable. I couldn’t help but smile. But something about what he said was bothering me. “I don’t understand,” I said. “If you’re a Non-Muggle, how can your cousin be a Muggle?”
“Er, it’s a bit complicated.”
And complicated, it was. Upon my request, James went into full detail about what he called ‘blood-statuses.’ There were the ‘purebloods,’ the ‘halfbloods’ and the ‘Muggle-borns’ who were sometimes called ‘mudbloods’ by those who were prejudice against people of that birth. He told me about his mum’s side of the family which was considerably less complicated because they were all purebloods – except for a few of his aunts by marriage. His dad’s side was more intricate. His grandfather was a pure-blood who married a Muggle-born, making his dad a halfblood. And even though it didn’t mathematically make sense, his dad being a halfblood and his mum being a pureblood made James and his siblings halfbloods.
And since his grandmum was a Muggle-born, all of her family were Muggles – Denny included.
“I think that would have made a lot more sense if I knew what Non-Muggles were,” I laughed, once James had finished his longwinded explanation.
He smiled. “Yeah, sorry about that.”
“Why can’t you just tell me?” I pleaded. “You know it’s killing me.”
James ran a hand through his hair. “And you know that I want to –”
“I actually didn’t; I thought you enjoyed watching me fail at guessing.”
“That’s also true.” This was met with a feeble punch to the arm. “Hey! You can’t blame me for enjoying that. Your guesses were so bad.” Another punch. “Alright, I’m sorry, I’m sorry – just stop hitting me.” I gave him one more punch for good measure and let go of his hand, walking down the sidewalk with my arms folded across my chest and a pout on my face. James caught my arm and stopped me mid-step. I looked up to see that his face was much more serious than it had been previously. “I want to tell you, I really do. It’s just in my world we have rules against that sort of thing. I have to really know you before I take that step.”
I guess it wouldn’t be proper Spencer Lockwood etiquette if I didn’t answer that with a severe case of word vomit.
“Oh, so explaining what a Non-Muggle is on the first date is like sex on the first date: you just don’t do it.”
I wanted to die; it was forty-seven thousand times worse than what my mum had said to James about my period. Forty-seven thousand. Why did this sort of thing always happen to me? I wasn’t a bad person; sure, I stole a piece of chocolate from a classmate of mine’s lunchbox in primary school but that didn’t warrant a lifetime of sporadic hell. I mean, who was I in a past life? Anne Boleyn?
And of course, because James isn’t a very nice boy, he laughed at me. He fucking laughed at me! Instead of feeling sorry for my chronic illness of Word Vomitous, he was doubled over laughing, practically rolling on the ground like a dog. Out of all the times I said something stupid in front of him and all of the times he had laughed, this was by far the worst.
I was so humiliated. My face was hot, my palms were sweaty, and I had this terrible sensation that I was going to throw up. Wouldn’t that the icing to the fucking cake? Word vomit followed by actual vomit.
I leaned up against the brick wall of the restaurant, my hands covering my eyes just waiting for it all to stop. And by ‘it,’ I meant everything: the word vomit, the laughing, the desire to cry or to die or to do both. I had never hated being Spencer Lockwood more in my entire life.
In my mortification, I didn’t notice that the laughter had subsided, and before I really knew what was happening, my hands were being pulled away from my face, and James’s lips were crashing into mine.
A/N: So here's chapter 13! I know it's been forever but I hope that the monsterous length of this chapter made up for the wait! So what did you think of the date? Of Spencer's mum? Of the word vomit? OF THE KISS? AHHHHH! The moment we've all been waiting for! Please let me know what you think in a review; I love reading them!
Until next time,
Disclaimer: I own nothing that you recognize. Midol is owned by Bayer HealthCare LLC, Shark Week by the Discovery Channel, Chanel by the Wertheimer Family, Play Doh by Hasbro, and Lucky Charms by General Mills.
Translations: Bonjour, as many of you know, means 'hello' in French, Word Vomitous is Spencer's made up medical term for word vomit, and DCXLVII is the number 647 in Roman Numerals.
Also, I hope that I didn't offend anyone with how sterotypically snooty Gustave was. I have nothing against French people and I'd actually like to someday go to France.
And lastly, even though the only side effect Spencer got from taking too much Midol was being overly hyper, I would strongly recommend that you don't take more than you're supposed to. Be safe everyone!
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