A pretend date from One Little Word.
Luke and I went to see the drama club’s fall presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream together. He got to pretend he was an out and proud athlete, and I had someone to go the show with, so I didn’t complain. I flailed internally at how date-like it seemed, but I covered pretty well, I thought. Good thing he was fun to laugh at.
We were early, so we stood in line and waited to be let in while I watched Luke with a bemused expression.
“It’s set in the woods. You’re sure one of them doesn’t wander off and die?” he asked hopefully. “It’s the perfect horror movie scenario.”
“This isn’t a horror movie, it’s a comedy.”
“They should have done Romeo and Juliet instead,” he muttered. His acting chops weren’t that good, but they were good enough people bought our act, so privately I thought he would make a good Romeo. With passionate green eyes and dimples, I could see how any naïve, young Juliet would follow him to certain death.
I felt nervous and excited just from the awkward hand holding we were doing, but I didn’t say any of that. “You like Romeo and Juliet?” I questioned instead.
“It has swordfights and death. It’s the Shakespearean version of an action flick,” he reasoned.
“Well, this is like the Shakespearean Hangover.”
He narrowed his eyes. “No way.”
I shrugged. “Everyone wakes up confused in a forest and there’s a donkey instead of a tiger.”
He didn’t look convinced but said, “I guess I’ll give it a chance.”
“You’re so uncultured,” I teased.
“Dude, don’t be like that. I’m your boyfriend,” he teased back, but I couldn’t handle hearing him say those words.
“Shut up,” I said, removing my hand from his suddenly.
Luke frowned. “I’m just joking.”
“You suck at it.”
He doubled down, clutching a hand to his heart and imploring, “Oh, I’m so sorry, baby. Can you ever forgive me?”
I did not melt. I fought a smile while saying, “Pretty sure you’re hopeless.”
“But you love me anyway.”
The words caught in my throat.