Writing Challenge, Day 15
Flashback to Bryan's [technically] first date. Past perfect tenses are so hard!
* * *
Be there in 5 mins, Bryan had typed on his cellphone before pressing Send. He'd lied back then, too, he recalled, as he remembered just crossing Aurora Boulevard and walking along Katipunan when he sent that message. It would take him at least ten minutes to reach the nearest overpass, cross it, and go inside Starbucks, where the guy he was meeting for coffee--and possibly for other... things--was waiting.
Bryan couldn't remember the guy's name anymore, but he did know that he--was it Lenny?--was a college freshman and a History major. They had met online, through another online friend. The friend was stalking Lenny, and had asked Bryan to, for lack of a better term, investigate. A couple of IMs later, they agreed to meet up for coffee, their other friend forgotten.
The university was holding its annual alternative class program that day, and Bryan had decided to skip the session he signed up for, even if that would merit him one absence credited to his Philo class. As he approached the coffee shop, Bryan had hoped his date will be worth almost jeopardizing his Philo grade. As he entered Starbucks and saw the guy in brown button-down shirt and black pants, he felt slightly disappointed.
Ah well, he had said to himself. Pictures lie sometimes.
Bryan and Lenny (or was it Larry?) spent the next hour trying to fill awkward first-date silences with topics ranging from TV shows (they both enjoyed Will & Grace and most of the TV show lineup the UHF channel aired on Mondays), to which classes they have taken or are taking (a tricky subject, considering their three-year difference), to--inevitably--sex. Bryan didn't have much to share in that area, which he felt was slightly embarrassing compared to the other guy who achieved second base in high school. Despite his initial disappointment, Bryan had felt their meeting was going along just fine.
It was then that Lenny/Larry had brought up the topic he had proposed during their last IM. Bryan had expected that this will come up in their meeting but the bluntness of both the term and the proposal still caught him off-guard. He had panicked and answered what was on his mind at the time: thanks but no thanks. He was just not prepared to take that next step. Even if he was horny.
It was Lenny/Larry's turn to get disappointed, but he said he gets it. Bryan had tried to explain further, about how he wanted his first time to be special, with someone he loves. Looking back, Bryan understood why Lenny/Larry laughed at that statement. He had thought of the guy as someone who was too young to be jaded. Perhaps he was just realistic.
Bryan and his date both left Starbucks together. As they walked towards the campus, the small talk returned, this time focused on music and movies. When they reached the main avenue, they parted, each heading off to their respective study halls.
Bryan never saw Lenny/Larry again.