Ralph climbed the steps to the restaurant. A part of him was in disbelief, the other felt like celebrating.
“You really didn’t have to make that much of an effort just for the crummy old me,” he said to Seraphina finally. “I would have worn a different shirt if I’d known you’d dress up and all.”
“Well I do work here, so I can’t let our customers see me unless I’m at my very best,” Seraphina explained nonchalantly.
“Yeah, about that… I figured it might not be the best idea to bring you to your workplace for a date,” Ralph admitted. “But the thing is, this restaurant is the most romantic place in town. Hence my predicament.” He shrugged.
“Oh, don’t be silly, this is perfect,” Seraphina replied sweetly. “Not to mention we get freebies.”
Carly who was headed to the restaurant for her shift bit her lip as she walked past them. Sera really seemed to be making an effort to be… well, not Sera.
Sure, that’s what Carly banked on when she helped Ralph get that date, but still… did her sister really hate her so much that she had to try this hard at impressing a guy she didn’t particularly care for? Apparently so.
“I did bring you another rose,” Ralph told Sera. “I really dug myself into a hole by setting that as a precedent, didn’t I? I better try to get a deal with a florist if this becomes more of a regular thing,” he smirked.
Sera forced herself to smile. “We’ll see about that. Let’s go inside!”
Hallie welcomed them in a professional manner, not letting the other patrons know she may have a couple thoughts of her own about the newcomers.
“Is that a new dress, Sera?” Hallie asked once they were out of earshot of the other customers.
“Yeah. It’s from a special deluxe collection. Limited offer from last year.” Sera pointed out.
“Clearly it’s not that limited if you still managed to get it now,” Hallie seemed underwhelmed. “It’s nice.”
“Thanks. I guess.”
Hallie opened the door and looked around her shoulder. Ralph was still indoors.
“I know what you’re doing,” she quickly said to Sera. “And it’s going to blow up in your face.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Sera got defensive.
“Sure.” Hallie shook her head and turned around.
“Thanks for getting us the good table, Hallie,” Ralph emerged from the building.
“No problem,” Hallie uttered. “Try to have fun… if you can.”
Ralph looked after her as if he was going to say something, but he decided against it. He sat down at the table with Seraphina.
“So a new dress, huh? You’re really going all out to impress me, aren’t you?” He joked. “I can’t blame you, with my dazzling looks and charm…”
“Oh shut up,” Seraphina interrupted him. “You know very well I only agreed to go out with you because you tricked me into it. I do not have a thing for you!”
Ralph seemed to find that very funny.
“What are you laughing at!?”
“You’re so predictable, Sera,” he grew more serious. “As soon as your sister is out of sight, the switch is off. Must be exhausting to be you. And I didn’t trick you into anything. You said you’d come out with me all on your own, even though your reasons for it are pretty questionable.”
“Oh, you know what my reasons are?” Seraphina’s voice jumped a pitch higher. “Well, if you know that so well and you still decided to come out with me, then who are you to judge?”
“That’s a fair point.” Ralph nodded. “Ok then. We both know you’re here with me just for show. So tell me, who’s winning, Beavis or Butthead?”
Now it was Seraphina’s turn to laugh.
“Beavis or Butthead? That’s hilarious… but fitting!” The girl relaxed completely.
“Funny you should say that. You know who came up with that? Lottie.”
“Carly?” Seraphina looked at him incredulously. “No way! She’d never make fun of anyone like that, that’s way too evil by her standards! Next you’re gonna tell me she’s come up with some sort of a scheme or something! Carly… pfft!”
“You’d be surprised.” Ralph shrugged.
“Anyway, to answer your question… Beavis or Butthead…” She giggled involuntarily. “It’s neither. I don’t really care for either of them.”
“Hmm,” Ralph tilted his head. “Too bad you’re stuck taking one of them to the Spooky Day party with you.”
“Ugh, don’t remind me! Let’s just have a nice evening, shall we?”
Ralph arched his eyebrows in question. He didn’t really comment though. “You got it.”
At the corner of her eye, Sera noticed that Carly wasn’t looking too cheery when she brought her food.
Her eyes followed Carly as she returned back to the restaurant.
“Hm?” Ralph looked up from his plate.
“You know what? You win,” Sera announced. “You get to take me to the Spooky Day party.”
“Oh do I now?” Ralph asked quizzically.
“Beats going with Beavis or Butthead.” She shrugged.
“I guess we’re finally on the same page,” Ralph chuckled. “You do remember you called me a loser, though? Is that really an improvement on Beavis and Butthead?”
“I’ll tell you a little secret.” Sera whispered with a smirk. “I call everyone a loser. It doesn’t really mean that much.”
“That’s hardly a secret.”
Sera was grinning at the end of the night. She’d had a great time in spite of herself.
“You know, I did kiss the other boys…” She told Ralph flirtatiously.
“Makes me feel all special.” Ralph said dryly.
“It was only for comparison purposes,” Sera explained. “To make an informed decision. So really, I should kiss you too…”
“I thought you’d already made your decision.”
“Well I do need to know what I got myself into…” She attempted a joke.
“Ah well. I’m getting kinda tired. Good night, Sera!” He waved casually.
“Wait, what? Where are you going?” Seraphina called after him.
“I told you, I’m off.”
“Now? But what about…”
“You’ll just have to wait for that kiss till the Spooky Day party!”
He walked away, beaming.