99% Faking It (Dating Dilemma)(16)

By: Chris Cannon


“It’s funny,” Lisa said. “But we already do a lot of things that couples do.”

“You mean like hanging out with Nina and West?”

“No. Like walking to homeroom and eating lunch together.”

She was right. “I never thought of it like that.”

“That’s probably why Clarissa thought we should date.”

“Probably.”

“Here’s a question. What happens when we break up? Do we still meet at my locker and talk in the morning?”

I hadn’t thought that far ahead. “Maybe not at first.”

“I guess we’ll figure it out as we go along. See you later.” Lisa turned into her homeroom and I kept walking.

Leaving things to chance didn’t seem like a great idea, especially when Nina seemed determined to give me grief. Normally, I was all about going with the flow, but maybe we could set some ground rules. I’d ask Lisa about it at lunch.

At lunch, once we were seated I said, “Are you busy after school?”

She shook her head no, since she’d just taken a bite of her turkey sandwich. After swallowing, she said, “Why?”

“I thought we could hang out and talk—figure out how this dating thing is going to work.”

She grinned. “You don’t like improvising, do you?”

“No.”

“I’m not sure you can plan these things, but sure. I don’t work tonight, so we can get together.”



After school, I followed Lisa back to her house. I’d never been to her place before. It was in an older section of town…still nice, but man, the houses were small. Not like my house was huge, but it was comfortable. Lisa’s house looked like something a kid had built out of brick-colored Legos.

I parked my truck in front of her house. The good thing about this end of town was streets were wide and parking was easy. Somehow, the wide expanse of pavement made the houses look smaller. Maybe it was an optical illusion. I followed Lisa in through the front door where I walked across the living room in five strides. Not an illusion. This place was tiny. Two small recliners I’d be afraid to sit in and a small couch filled up the entire space. “This place is like a doll house.”

“We’re small people, so we don’t need a lot of space,” Lisa said in a way that could have been defensive, but it wasn’t. She was stating a fact and wasn’t really bothered by the size of the house.

We headed into the kitchen. I hoped it would be bigger. Nope. If I stretched my arms out I could almost touch both walls. I was starting to feel claustrophobic. Sliding glass doors showed blue lawn chairs and an umbrella table set up on the back patio and that was where I wanted to go.

“Can we sit outside?” I’d been cooped up inside all day at school and I wanted to breathe some fresh air.

“Sure.” She flipped the latch and slid the glass doors open. I stepped outside, taking in a lungful of air that smelled like wood smoke and grass. There was nothing but grass in the front and backyard which seemed kind of sad. “You guys need some landscaping.”

“You might like playing in the dirt, but my mom doesn’t and neither do I. We pay the guy next door to mow the grass. It works for us.”

She sat in one of the blue chairs, and I did the same.

“What did you want to talk about?” she asked.

Why did it feel like I was on a job interview? “Well…we kind of jumped into this,” I said. “We might need a game plan.”

“Is that what we’re doing?” She tilted her head and studied me. “Playing a dating game?”

I nodded. “Pretty much, and when this is over, I still want to be friends.”

“Me, too. So do we put a time limit on it? Like if Trey doesn’t make a move, we give up after a month and tell everyone we worked better as friends?”

“Sounds good.”

“You realize we’ll have to double-date with Nina and West,” she said.

“I know you told her the truth.”

“I did,” Lisa said. “But she’s been dying for me to find a boyfriend so we could double-date. You’ve met her, so you know there’s no point arguing.”

“I used to think West was stubborn, but she’s worse.”