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The Misadventures of Johan O’Malley: Chapter 12

I was feeling really confident about the date tonight. I made Jared handle the reservations at the fanciest French restaurant in Manhattan…that my mom could afford. I traded in my trusty skinny jeans for the suit Arthur bought me a few months ago. Instead of a stupid taxicab, I tried to hire a limo, but you had to be 18 to make a reservation. Oh well, my mom would have been pissed anyway.

When I told Jared what happened the night before, he asked what idiot would confuse his female date with long dark hair for a waiter with a buzzed head? With Noelle in heels, she and the waiter were almost the same height, but that only made Jared laugh more. 

I thought about posting a selfie on Instagram to show off my new handsome look, but a picture of Tory with some of her Philly friends made me stop in my tracks. Obviously, Mike commented first saying I miss my beautiful girlfriend ❤. Girlfriend?! They spent one week together and kissed on MY couch and now they were in a relationship? She lived 300 miles away from us and he already had a commitment. This just made me more nervous for the date because Mike, my weird friend who is terrible with women, got a girlfriend before I did. By the time I showed up for senior year, I needed a girlfriend of my own. 

Trying to shake off the surprise, I put my phone in my pocket and gave myself an internal pep talk. 

I told myself how cool I was and how much better with women I was than Mike. I kept reminding myself how good of a dancer I was and how Noelle should be lucky that I am taking her out on a date. I knew she would be obsessed with me by the end of the night, which included a moonlight stroll through Central Park and maybe some kissing on a secluded bench. 

I decided to meet Noelle in the lobby tonight instead of outside her room. When I stepped off the elevator, I found her standing by the glass door in a colorful cocktail dress with stiletto heels. We made our way outside and were walking through the streets of New York. It was the perfect night for a second first date. We were holding hands and talking when I saw what looked like a homeless man standing outside of our restaurant. I decided to show Noelle how charitable I could be so I slipped the man a $20 thinking he would just say thank you. But then he slips me a small ziploc bag with oregano. I figured it would go well with my meal so I put it in my back pocket and we headed into the nice restaurant.

Unlike last night’s quiet romantic spot, the restaurant tonight was for people to be seen. It was already packed tonight and everyone dressed up nicely. I knew the fashionable wealthy crowd would impress my date. Thankfully, we sat near a window, giving me the perfect lighting to see the difference between our waiter and Noelle. I had to prove to Noelle I could be her dream guy, so I bit the bullet and ordered us two steak frites, which cost $45 EACH! I then ordered an appetizer of escargot to look super sophisticated. I figured the oregano could make snails taste better.

When the escargot came, I offered Noelle the first one but she made a wrinkled face and told me I could eat it all myself. I tried one and it was a little bland. I sprinkled some oregano on the second one and realized whatever it was I sprinkled on was not oregano. But I spent $20 on it and it seemed to calm my nerves so I kept sprinkling it on and before long I was starving! Our meal seemed to be taking forever.

When the entrees finally came, I was too hungry to engage in any small talk about how good the food looks. I just devoured the food and was still so hungry, so I asked Noelle if she was going to finish hers. She looks at me confused and goes “Um, I’ve only taken a few bites.” I told her it was fine. We could split it. She reluctantly gave me half her meal and I finished my half before she could even get a few bites of hers. She saw me eyeing her food like a hungry vulture. I admit I was also drooling a little, partially because her food looked good but also because my mouth was starting to go numb. She then rolled her eyes and slid her dish over to me.

Even after eating most of Noelle’s food, I was still starving. So I rushed the waiter over and paid the bill as quickly as I could, pushing Noelle out to the street as fast as her heeled feet would go. We went outside and I thanked the guy for the special seasoning. He smiled and said “Anytime man!”

About halfway there I started to feel a little dizzy so I asked her if I could lie down in the park for a bit. But Noelle said she was really hungry, so we walked in the front door of Magnolia’s Bakery and I read through the entire menu. Everything looked amazing, so I ordered one of each for me. Noelle ordered two for herself and we went to sit in the park. While sitting and talking I suddenly become very confused. “Sorry Melody, where did you say you’re from again?”

“Who is Melody?” Her face began to crumble. But I just shoved more cupcakes into my mouth and started giggling uncontrollably. Everything about the world was funny…even Melody, my beautiful date. 

“I’m Noelle,” she said. 

“Oh yeah, that’s right. I should have kissed you at the Prom.”

Her face started to twist and a single tear fell from her eye and ran down her cheek. This could only mean one thing. She cried because I didn’t kiss her that night. Now, here in this beautiful and mysterious place, I leaned in to kiss her soft pink lips. But she pushed me away, causing me to fall off the bench and onto the dirt path.

“Melody, I thought you wanted this too?”

Melody stood up and gave me her hand so I could stand straight. I brushed the dirt off of me and the world started to spin. “I can’t believe I gave you a second chance, Johan.”

“You’re giving me a second chance Melody?” I couldn’t hide my giddiness. But maybe it wasn’t giddiness. I figured she wanted to try and kiss her again so I leaned in but then I felt something coming up. I tried to turn away but before I could, she screamed “Oh my god Johan!”

 I opened my eyes to see her neck covered in vomit. Since I blacked out for a minute, I asked her “Did you just throw up on yourself? Here, let me walk you back to your room.” But as I reach to take her hand she goes “No, you idiot, you just threw up on me. How do you not remember that?” Jeez. I didn’t know what to do at that moment, so I just ran away.

It was about twenty minutes later when I found my building in Midtown. I was lucky I didn’t get mugged because I probably looked like an easy target. I counted my blessings and went right to my comfortable twin bed. I was grateful there were no classes the next day because I slept for 14 hours. I guess whatever that guy gave me was pretty strong. I couldn’t remember much about that night, but I’m pretty sure I nailed our second first date. 

#

I walked to Noelle’s room to recap our date when I saw the police at her door and her friends consoling her.Tears streamed down her face, leaving a trail of black mascara. This was my chance to show her what a great guy I could be. 

“Noelle, come here sweetie,” I yelled from down the hallway. I expected her to run into my arms. And I was right! She started running down the hall toward me. I assumed to give me a big kiss for such a nice evening. I close my eyes and puckered up when I feel a hard right hook come across my face and knock me down.

#

I woke up ten minutes later to find myself staring up at her from the ugly green carpeting. “Do you have any idea what happened to me last night?!” Noelle asked. 

“Yeah, we had a great time and then I walked you home and gave you a good night kiss.”

“No, that is not even close, you Lunkhead. You abandoned me in the park and I got mugged!”

“What! Oh my god. What happened?”

“Thankfully nothing. He made me hand over my purse bag and he started rummaging around in it, but then he took one whiff  of your leftover vomit and immediately passed out so I called the police and an officer came and arrested the guy and brought me back to campus. He was much more of a gentleman than you were last night. At least he didn’t call me Melody.”

Then the young cop with overly styled copper-colored hair gave her a wink. “What is he still doing here?” I asked. 

“He came back so I could give an official statement. He wanted to make sure I was okay. We’re going to dinner tonight.” 

Crap, I thought. This guy was seriously good looking, in excellent shape and older than me. There had to be a way to stop this lunacy. 

“How could you cheat on me?””

She looked like she was going to hit me again, so I took a few steps back. “Mark my words, Noelle. I’m going to win you over this summer,” I accidentally said threateningly. But it was too late to take back. I walked down the hall to start planning my next move. 

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