… to the marriage of true minds admit impediments.” (Bill Shakespeare)
Pick up from here.
– Let’s not get ahead of ourselves, you seem kind of confident… says Iunia trying to concentrate real hard to find the character flaws as if they were displayed on his face. Someone told me recently that being over-polite is so last season!
– We’re not getting anywhere, don’t worry! I found it amusing and quite frankly I was bored with my friends.
– Okay, Benji! Can I call you Benji? Iunia’s disposition quickly recomposes and now she seems a different person. For the trained eye, ‘cause anyone else would’ve just missed the forced confidence boost.
– Yes, you can call me Benji, although it sounds like a pet name. Ben caught the sudden flicker in her eyes and decided to indulge her.
– Would like to be my pet? she asks and the corner of her mouth raises in a taunting smile.
– No, I am not one of those guys. Sorry to disappoint you… would you like something to drink?
– So are you one of those other guys?
– What kind is that? One that still has some manners? You, determined women of these times, are not acquainted with a man bringing you a drink?!
– Oooo, are we there yet? I haven’t even dreamt of hitting the soft spot so early in our conversation… again she seems pleased with herself and the tension raises a bit among the two…
– You seem to be engaging in some kind of fight, but I haven’t challenged you, baby! Ben notices.
– Don’t call me baby, it’s such a cliché!
They haven’t even noticed that people around them are starting to leave the party, is almost 9 o’clock and the mall closes at 10.
– You seemed in need for someone calling you baby…
– As I have already said, please don’t make assumptions. We’ve met like three seconds ago and you already know what I need! Wow, just wow!
– Even the fact that you clinging to one single word confirms what I have just said… And stop looking at your phone, you are not a child!
Iunia raises her eyes from the phone startled.
– Yes, you are right. That was kind of impolite. It’s my friends, we have this group chat, I apologize.
And there it is: for the fifth time this evening she totally changed personality, now she’s a shy girl scolded by her daddy.
– I would like a Coke, please!
Iunia starts rolling her wooden ring in a poor distraction attempt from her phone. When he goes to get her drink, immediately looks at the conversations she missed and a large smile decorates her face, as she writes back: I feel like I am a teenager… I might have met someone
– You couldn’t resist or what?
– I had to tell my friends about you, she admits sincerely. No big deal, right?! We are grown-ups!
– What did you tell them? Ben seems kind of reluctant concerning the course of this discussion.
– I told them I met an older man, what else? I tell the truth most of the time… don’t you? and laughs.
– If that was the truth you should’ve said: I met a wiser man of only 42! Tell them you met a man that makes you uncomfortable…
– I will! But what lead you to this conclusion?
– I am a grown man and kinda of present in the moment, probably unlike all the men you met…
– Uhhh, the plot thickens… Iunia looks at him highly amused. Oh, Benji, we are going to get along just fine!
– Feels that way… how old are you, Iunia with N?
– 35 but I only declare 32 since as you have guessed just right, I only date younger men!
Ben weights the information for a brief moment.
– Would you say this is a date?
– No, definitely not! Would you like to ask me out?
– Actually no! I would like to take you home and teach you some manners, but as you are too old, seems pointless!
– Ok, point made! My place or yours? Do you promise to put me in my place? ‘Cause I can’t even recall a time when a man taught me something, nonetheless putting me in the right place!
– I’d say you are scared shitless right now by this perspective… your move! Ben’s eyes are focused on hers.
– I never enjoyed chess, it’s a man’s game. This is just a battle of the sexes and out of goodwill, I will let you win!
Her cheeks turn pink in a matter of seconds giving away her flushed body. She knows it and the colour deepens. Ben laughs pleased by this small victory.
– A gentleman would’ve never laughed! You are an ass!
Ben’s laughter dissipates the tension, followed shortly by a peace offering:
– Baby, I never said I was a gentleman! I will take you home anyway, by the looks of you I fear for any Uber driver.
– Fine! I accept, Benji, but just because it’s cold and I live really close, just around the corner.
– Thank you for not fighting anymore! You let me win in a way I feel I lost! What do you do for a living, Iunia? Whose mind are you fucking with durind the day?
– Well, I thought you never ask: I am a trainer specialized in front office customer care for airlines.
– Really? And you teach people the politics of The client is always right? This is hilarious, you don’t strike me as a well-balanced, unbiased person! Were your employers drunk when they hired you or… let me guess: are you a free-lancer?
– Let me correct what I said earlier: You are an ass-hole and no, I am not self-employed! Let’s go before I literally strike you!
As they walk through the halls, Iunia’s eyes flood with tears and she looks up to stop them. She inhales deeply hoping Ben didn’t catch this. Unfortunately he did, and now he repents his behavior. Maybe he should’ve put less pressure on her, but at some point he became cocky and missed the teasing limit.
– Don’t you have another jacket? You’ll be cold!
– Don’t worry, I will be ok! and adds in a smaller voice: I am always ok!