Marisol was having second thoughts. She was getting worried about agreeing to this blind date her cousin, Annika, had arranged. This might really be a nightmare!
Annika really wanted to go out with Travis and Travis had scarcely believed it when she agreed to go to the dance with him, but Travis had to take his cousin along. Travis’ mother had decided that Travis’ cousin Johnny, who was new in town, needed to get out and meet people, this was her way of making it happen. Travis had asked Annika to the dance and explained the problem. It was Annika who had suggested that Marisol might be convinced to go on a blind date with Johnny.
Nobody knew what Johnny looked like. He had just moved to town, after all. He hadn’t even started at the new school yet.
When Travis, Annika, and Johnny pulled up in front of her house Marisol struggled to take a look at her date from the window but it was impossible, she couldn’t see him. Too much reflection on the car window glass. Annika ran up to the front door and crashed through the way she always did.
“Mari,” she called. “Come on, we don’t want to keep the boys waiting!” she spotted her auntie, Marisol’s mom, through the opening to the kitchen. “Hi, Aunt Donna,” she called.
“Hi Annie,” she looked at her niece and shook her head, “Does your mother know how you’re dressed? That skirt is sooooooo short!”
“Please don’t tell on me, Aunt Donna,” Annika implored.
“Go on,” Donna said, “you girls have fun, but be careful.” The girls went out the front door and walked quite elegantly and unhurriedly down to the curb.
“Johnny’s pretty nervous about meeting you,” Annika told her as they moved down the sidewalk. When they got to the curb, Annika opened the passenger side door of Travis’ mother’s Ford Taurus.
Marisol leaned down, “Hi Travis,” she said.
“Hey, Mari,” he answered back, “this is my cousin, Johnny.” Marisol swiveled her head towards the back seat to take a first look at her date.
Johnny was certainly dressed for a dance. He wore bright green trousers, with a white button down shirt. A red and green plaid sport coat with sleeves that were just ‘that much’ too short topped it off and the entire outfit was accented with a blue and black Swiss dot bow tie. He wore thick black plastic framed spectacles that he kept pushing up on his nose, and had a zit on his chin that resembled an angry volcano.
Marisol smiled, stood up where the boys couldn’t see her face and shot dagger eyes at her cousin. Then she pulled open the back door and with a sigh, climbed into the back seat with Johnny.
She sat in a chair next to Johnny, in the gym for the entire dance. He talked to her, they didn’t dance. He told her stories, they talked about music and movies. They talked about books that they both had read and enjoyed. He laughed like a donkey. Marisol realized she was having a great time. Annika and Travis disappeared and when the dance was over they were nowhere to be found. Johnny offered to walk her home and they talked the whole way. She told him some of her stupid jokes and he actually laughed. He told her jokes and she laughed. She even snorted a few times and wasn’t embarrassed when she did so.
When they got to her house he shook her hand, “I really enjoyed meeting you,” he said. “I hope I can see you again.” She rifled through her bag and found a Sharpie that she used to write her phone number on the back of his hand.
“Call me tomorrow,” she ordered.
He snorted, “Really?”
“Please,” she said. “How are you going to get home?” she asked him.
“No,” she said, “wait here.” She ran inside and when she came back out her mom was with her, she looked a little sleepy and was jangling her car keys.
“Me and Mom will give you a ride.” Marisol told him.
“Mom and I,” Johnny corrected her.
Mom took the driver’s seat and Marisol sat in the back with Johnny. They told each other stories and jokes, snorting at all the appropriate places. Mom watched in the rearview mirror and smiled.