“Here’s the nectar, gorgeous,” he smiled as he handed her the fresh glad.
Seraphina sighed happily. This was going extremely well.
His name was Anthony. He was quite the looker, but also smart and successful, with his hot shot Corporate Raider job. And he treated her like a princess. It was hard to believe they’d only met a couple days ago, at this very venue.
Though of course, their paths had crossed before.
He’d first approached her at the bar when she ordered a large glass of Granite Falls Grapo Blanco.
“Good choice,” he’d said to her. “I’m more of a red nectar guy myself, but still, you don’t see people order nectar in this bar.”
She laughed. They were in what used to be predominantly a teen lounge, except that now that the teens had grown up, they’d still continue going there out of habit. Hardly a classy establishment by any stretch of imagination.
“Of course, it’s hardly surprising Sera Bloomer would only choose the best,” he continued.
“Have we met before?” Sera asked. She couldn’t place him anywhere.
“I went to Magnolia High, just like you,” he explained. “But we never really talked, no. I’m not surprised I wasn’t o your radar. But everyone knew you…”
Here we go again, Sera thought. Now he was going to talk about the awful person she was in high school, just like the rest of them.
“I mean, you were difficult to miss,” Anthony carried on. “You were the prettiest girl in the whole school.”
“Oh, you think?” She asked, almost shy. She could feel herself blushing. She wondered if this was what it felt like to be Carly.
They chatted for a bit, and agreed to go on a proper date soon. Seemed that Sera would actually get to go on a date that would not turn into a disaster, for once.
And here they were. Back at the lounge. Actually having a conversation. And actually having chemistry. This was not how Sera’s first dates usually went.
“Too bad I didn’t notice you back in high school, Anthony,” Sera said flirtatiously.
“Oh, I don’t blame you.” He grinned sheepishly. “You were way out of my league. Actually, you still are.”
“I wouldn’t be so sure about that.” Sera giggled. Boy, the nectar was strong.
“Aren’t I lucky,” Anthony whispered in her ear. “The prettiest girl in school has a bit of a crush on me, it would seem.”
Sera felt giddy. Who cared if it was him or the nectar, or the combination of the too. It’s been a long time since somebody called her pretty. Since she felt pretty.
“I wonder what she’d do if I kissed her,” Anthony went on.
“I guess you’d have to try and see,” she winked.
So he did. And it was perfect. She forgot all about the world for a moment.
“You’re a good kisser,” he told her.
“You’re not too bad yourself,” Sera laughed. “This has been fun. I’ve had a great time, Anthony. I almost don’t want the date to end…” She blurted out.
“It doesn’t have to end, does it?” He pointed out. “We can go somewhere else.”
“I do live right across the street. And there’s definitely a bottle of red nectar at my place. Though I’m not sure if it would be to your liking.”
He looked directly into her eyes. “I’m sure it’s delicious.”
“So, this is my place,” Sera said as they walked in. “What do you think?”
“I like it,” Anthony nodded approvingly. He made himself comfortable on the chair.
“Should I get you that nectar?” She asked. “Or anything else?”
“I wouldn’t mind if you came a little closer, actually…”
Sera giggled to herself when she finally climbed from under the bed sheets.
“So, what do you want to do now?” She asked Anthony.
“Oh, I think I’m gonna dash,” he replied casually, climbing out of bed.
“Oh. Right.” She felt a hint of nausea. She wasn’t sure what to say. “I guess I’ll see you sometime…”
“Sure. Whatever.” He shrugged. “You seen my pants anywhere?”
“No I haven’t seen your pants!” She blew up. “What the plum? I bet you were dying to drop the act, huh?”
“Oh come on, they were just a few innocent lines. Not my fault you ate them up… I was kinda surprised, actually.” He chuckled.
“Oh aren’t you smooth…”
“Look Sera, no offense, but it was pretty obvious where this was headed.” Anthony said. “What did you expect? I hated you in high school. Everyone did. And for a reason. I only went after you because I’ve heard you were easy. Which, clearly, you are.” He let out a slight laugh.
“Oh, sorry I didn’t get that, I figured if you were only after one thing, at least you’d be good at it.” Sera spewed. “That was pretty mediocre woohoo, at the very best.”
“Hey! I’ve never had complaints in the past…”
“Well you know me, I’m the bitch from high school, I say it like it is!”
“Whatever, just let me find my clothes and I’ll be on my way,” Anthony backed off.
“Get out!” Sera yelled.
She practically chased him out of the house.
“If you’re gonna be a slimy creep, you have to be prepared to deal with the consequences!” She screamed.
“Oh come on, at least give me a second to find my pants, ok?” Anthony backed away from her. He looked as if he thought she was about to hit him. “You’re not seriously gonna make me walk home just in my underwear…”
“I don’t give a plum about your walk home,” she dismissed him. “I want you to get the plum out of here, now! Your plumming clothes aren’t my problem!”
“One more reason for you to leave!”
Carly had heard the fight, so she went outside to see what was going on. She didn’t venture far from her door though. She just watched the scene play out in disbelief.
The world had gone mad, she decided. This was all a bad dream. That’s why all these things were happening over the past few days.
She’d give anything to wake up.
Just a few more punches, and it would all be better, Sera told herself. It had to be. Who the plum cared anyway?
She didn’t even notice her sister walk up to her.
“Hey…Sera,” Carly waved at her cautiously, scared to get too close.
“What do you want?” Sera lashed out.
“I, uh, overheard the fight,” Carly said, looking nervous.
“So what? You here to talk about your moral superiority?” Seraphina yelled out. “Did I make you feel uncomfortable? Well guess what, I overheard your fight the other day! And plum, that was ugly! You have no right to judge me! Your own love life is a mess!”
All the words just flew out. Sera regretted them instantly. Her rage was gone.
“You’re right,” Carly surprised her. “My love life is a mess. So is yours. That’s why I thought we could talk. We should be there for each other, Sera, not go against one another. Who is it going to help if we’re both hurting on our own?”
“I’m sorry, Carly,” Sera replied. “I’m horrible. I didn’t mean to shout at you like that. You’re the one who’s right. I’m the mess.”
Carly shook her head. “We both are. You have no idea.”
Sera looked at her sister. “You wanna come in?”
“So what happened, Sera?” Carly asked once they’d sat down. “Who was this guy?”
“He was just a guy. He doesn’t matter.” Sera tried to shrug it off.
“But you had woohoo with him!”
“So what? It’s not a big deal…”
“Except it clearly is a big deal to you, Sera!” Carly wasn’t deterred. “I’m not saying this to be judgemental. I just hate to see you like this! Do what you want, but I can see you’re hurting yourself, don’t lie! Why would you woohoo with a guy that doesn’t care about you if you’re going to fall to pieces afterwards?”
Sera buried her face in her hands.
“Because one day, one of them will care.” She said quietly.
“Sera…” Carly wasn’t sure what to say. “Wouldn’t it make sense to just… hold off with the woohoo, until you’re sure they care? Why are you so desperate to find love, Sera?”
“Why are you so desperate to push the love you have away?” Sera struck back. “You wouldn’t understand Carly, everybody’s always loved you!”
“That’s hardly true!”
“Yes it is,” Sera disagreed. “Maybe not romantically, but everyone you meet always adores you. Everyone I meet just sees somebody that repulses them. A bitch. A monster. A waste of space. Of course I’m desperate to find love!”
Carly’s heart was breaking for her sister. “Sera, you know that’s not true, don’t you? You’re not any of those things. You’re my sister. I love you. Don’t ever say that again!”
“Besides, love doesn’t make things easy. It doesn’t magically fix everything. Trust me, I know.” Carly sighed.
Sera patted her sister’s shoulder awkwardly. “I do hope you guys can work it out. But you know what? You’ll be fine, Carly. With or without Ralph. You’re much stronger than I am.”
“Sera… I’m pregnant.”
“You what?” Sera was floored. “But… how? You’re not reckless like that!”
Carly laughed bitterly. “Yeah. Turns out, I am.”
Sera observed Carly’s face for a moment, trying to gage her feelings. This was bizarre. Carly always knew what was right. Carly always had things under control.
“So… what are you going to do?”
Carly looked right back at her.
“I have absolutely no idea.”