Quinch Your Thirst
"So, you want to go out to dinner?"
"Sure. Where do you want to go?"
"Okay, how 'bout Applebees"
"Sounds good. I'll see you about 6?"
"Okay, I'll meet you on the front steps."
The commander dismissed us late that day but I've always been fairly low maintance, and only had to shower and change and brush my hair and I was ready. I had a no nonsense hair cut - short to save me time and harrassment about my hair touching my collar and I didn't wear make-up then (I miss the flawless skin of 21). I was ready in 20 minutes.
I meet him on the front steps to his barracks, which were across the quad from mine, and he drove us to Applebees in his silver Thunderbird that he treasured.
We talked and bantered and bullshitted. Somewhere in all that smack-talking, Charles told me that I had better watch out or he was only going to order a cup of water for my dinner. I laughed and gave him a look that said "Yeah sure."
We arrived at Applebees and seated ourselves. The talk flowed about all the different dishes we loved there and how it was a favorite restaurant of both of us. I told him to stop copyin' me. He threatened me with a cup of water. I smiled and lit a cigarette.
We were in the back of the restaurant, hiding in a booth, enjoying the dim emptiness and we were easy with each other, relaxed and we talked about work and people at work.
The waitress arrived and gave us menus and asked for our drink order. I quickly interjected "I'd like a Coke please. He'd like a glass of ice."
Her eyes almost popped out of her head...just like Charles' were.
"A glass of ice?"
"Yes please." I don't think she could quite grasp what was happening....and for that matter...Charles couldn't either...his eyes were on the verge of rolling down his face and landing in the condiment organizer. She flicked her eyes to Charles and then back to me.
"Just ice? No water or anything?"
"Hmmmmmm" I said, pretending to think about it "No, he just wants ice."
She nodded her head vaguely and muttered something that sounded like OK, but I could be wrong, and walked away.
Charles was still sitting across from me with bulbous eyes and a slack jaw. I grinned and waggled my eyebrows at him.
"You ordered me ice?" The incredulous look on his face was giving me endless joy.
"Yes, I did."
"Think you're funny do you?" he couldn't stop the smile.
"Yep. You deserved it and you know it...threatening me with a glass of water. You're just mad that I thought of the glass of ice and you didn't."
It was then, at that moment, that both of us knew that we'd be going out more...but we didn't know that the other felt that way at the same time until years later when we rehashed that infamous first date.
I liked it that he could take a joke.
He liked it that I joked with him.
Apparently, we're perfect for each other.