Chapter Eight; Part Two
I take a long, luxurious shower then stand in front of my closet to decide what to wear. I have plenty of time before my date, but I want to make sure I look tip-top. I haven’t dated in five years, and I’m nervous. I pull out one outfit after another, rejecting each of them for flaws only I can see. One dress is too short, but the next is too long. One blouse is too frilly, and the next is too plain. I finally settle on a pair of crimson velour pants that flare at the hems and ride low under my belly paired with an emerald green silk blouse that shows an appreciable amount of cleavage. I put large gold hoops in my ears and declare myself done. I shake my hair out so it falls gently to my waist. I am conscious of the thirty extra pounds padding my body, but I clean up nicely if I say so myself. I still have an hour and a half before I have to leave, so I go downstairs to brew myself a hot cup of Earl Grey. The cats are right at my heels, assuming they’re going to get more treats. They are sadly mistaken, but I’ll give them a few each before I head out to Victory 44. I’m meeting Rembrandt at the restaurant because it’s my policy not to relinquish driving control on a first date. If things go badly, I want to be able to leave at any time. Hopefully, it won’t come to that, but I’ve been in dicey situations before, and I don’t intend to ever be in a similar one again. I watch episodes of Iron Chef America until I have to leave. I stop at Walgreens to pick up some condoms on my way to the restaurant—I like to be prepared.
“Megan. You look fantastic.” Rembrandt can’t take his eyes off of me as I approach the table. Once again, I’m struck by his David Bowie eyes, which are filled with lust.
“You look terrific, too,” I reply, looking him up and down. He’s wearing black khakis and a dark brown button-down with the top two buttons unbuttoned. His hair is slicked back, but there’s a cowlick that refuses to be subdued.
“I’m famished,” I say as I sit down. I haven’t eaten since breakfast as I skipped lunch in anticipation of dinner. I glance at the menu, but I’m sticking with the Spicy Clams & Spaghetti. Rembrandt orders the Perfect Burger, so I resolve to steal a bite or ten.
“How are you feeling?” Rembrandt asks, concern shining in his eyes. “You must still be in shock over your friend’s death.”
“I am,” I say, my heart suddenly heavy. “I can’t believe she’s gone. I know it’s trite, but it’s true.” I shake off the gloom with effort. “I don’t want to talk about that right now. We’re on a date. Tell me about your day.”
“I had the craziest client in the afternoon!” With that, he’s off. He only stops when the server brings our dinners. The spaghetti is amazing, and Rembrandt’s burger is, indeed, perfect. We have the Banana & Peanut Butter for dessert, which is a great way to cap off dinner. I find out that Rembrandt enjoys Tarantino films, but no one’s perfect. I wax rhapsodic for my love of musicals, which he doesn’t care much for, I can tell by the look in his eyes. We both agree that superhero movies are overdone, but that doesn’t stop either of us from loving graphic novels. We spend a large chunk of the evening talking about our respective cats, and the time flies by. I feel a stirring in my pussy that I have a hard time ignoring. After dessert, we have a light-hearted squabble about who’s going to pay the bill. Rembrandt insists, saying I can pay the next time. I allow him the win this time, and we leave with our arms around each other.
“Nightcap?” He asks, lifting his eyebrow as we near my car.
“Yes,” I say.
“It’s in Loring Park. Follow me.” He watches as I get into my car before getting into his. I take a second to text Liz with Rembrandt’s deets, and she immediately responds with a thumbs up. Then, I follow Rembrandt to his house. We’re there before I know it. I’m nervous because it’s been many years since I’d had sex with a man. I’m not sure how good I’ll be around the equipment. I sigh and get out of the car, locking it behind me. I’m just going to assume it’s like riding a bike, and I’m going to have a good time doing it.