99% Faking It (Dating Dilemma)(10)

By: Chris Cannon

She laughed. “I’d never disrespect books like that. Although I did see this thing on Pinterest where they painted bricks to look like the spines of books and decorated someone’s garden with them.”

“That could be kind of cool,” I said, and then I grinned. “Wait…that’s probably the opposite of cool.”

“Nerd-girls rule.” Lisa sat up straighter. “And we’ll probably end up ruling the world.”

“You probably will. It’s a good thing we’re on friendly terms.”

After school I headed out to the parking lot with West and Nina.

“Can I talk to you for a minute?” Nina asked.

“Sure.” I followed her to West’s car. “What’s up?”

“Don’t mess with Lisa’s head.”

What was she talking about? “You lost me.”

“Seriously,” Nina said. “Pick a lane.”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“You told her she was pretty. You don’t tell a girl that unless you like her.”

I backed away from her. “You’re way off base.”

“Or you’re delusional,” Nina shot back as I headed off to my ride.

Yeah. Right. Like I wanted to date Lisa.

Chapter Five


After dinner, I helped my mom with the dishes while I mulled over what Matt had said.

“What has you so quiet?” my mom asked.

“Just trying to figure out how guys think.”

She laughed and handed me the salad bowl to dry. “Not an easy problem to solve. What’s going on?”

I told her about Trey, and Matt’s spin on the situation. “Any professional words of wisdom?”

She handed me a plate. “I’d say live your life the way you want and eventually you’ll find someone who makes you happy.”

“That is not solid advice.” I dried the plate and put it away in the cabinet above the coffeemaker.

“Let’s look at the big picture. You don’t know much about Trey besides the fact that he’s cute, has cool hair, and occasionally he’s funny.” She passed me another plate. “Matt seems like a solid guy. No matter who you date, you should still live your life with your goals.”

“Speaking of living your life and having goals, what’s the end goal for you and Tony?”

She handed me the salad tongs. “For now, we’re happy with the way things are. We’ve talked about moving in together after you graduate.”

“You know you don’t have to wait for me to graduate.” I liked Tony. He made my mom happy and he didn’t treat me like a little kid. He talked to me like a rational human being.

“Tony and I both have our reasons for waiting. We’re happy with the status quo.”

As I put the salad tongs away, I tried to figure out how to ask my next question. There was no subtle way to do it, so I jumped in with both feet. “Do you still believe in marriage?”

She paused with her hands in the soapy water. “That’s a hard question to answer. I believe in it for other people and I want you to believe in it.”

I leaned my hip against the counter. “After knowing what the sperm donor did, the idea of marriage seems like building a house on quicksand.”

“There are a lot of successful relationships and happy marriages out there. Don’t let what happened to me keep you from following your heart.”

“Right now I can’t even find a guy to date,” I said. “So you don’t have to worry about lifelong relationships.”

My mom’s cell rang. She checked it, frowned, and then let it go to voicemail.

I didn’t recognize the number on the screen. “Who was that?”

“Some guy who keeps booking appointments and then canceling them. After the third time, I stopped taking his calls because he refused to pay the cancellation fee, and he felt the need to tell me how busy he was and how I needed to be more flexible. Someone will make a mint off that narcissistic jackass and they are welcome to it.”

I laughed.

“That was an unprofessional mom rant, so please don’t repeat it to anyone.”

“No worries,” I said.

There seemed to be two kinds of people that went to counselors: those who needed help recovering or getting through a rough patch and those who wanted the therapist to stroke their egos and tell them they were in the right and everyone else was wrong.