Alex was shocked but excited when David told him that he had booked a table for the both of them at a restaurant in the busy, metropolitan district of Sim City known as Bluewater Village. He himself would never have had the courage to plan an actual date - even when he had had a girlfriend, the closest he came to going out on a date was at the town's Halloween Party. Because of this, Alex had a small fortune stashed away, and tonight he could finally put some of it to good use. Alex felt a sudden rush of blood elevate his heartbeat, the feeling he always got when he saw David. For a moment, he just stopped to admire him, noticing that he'd had a haircut since the last time they'd seen each other. Alex couldn't help but pinch himself sometimes, he really was the luckiest boy in Pleasantview. As he strode with confidence down the street, Alex Goth almost felt like breaking into song. He was going out on his very first date with a boy and he wanted the whole world to know... as long as the whole world didn't include any of his family! Thinking about that put a dampener on his cheery disposition, since he had sort of promised David he was going to come out to his dad. But Alex was sure it most likely wouldn't come up in conversation, and if it did, he would simply avoid it by changing the subject! "Look at you!" Alex casually said, as he finally approached David.
"Look at you yourself. If I didn't know any better, I'd say someone looks as if they've finally gotten something off their chest." David paid back the compliment, attributing it to Alex's coming out... which Alex knew had never actually happened.
"Not my chest, but I did shave my chin." Alex joked, trying to hide his guilt.
"I take it that means you didn't come out to your dad?" David sighed, but with a forgiving smile on his face.
"I'm sorry." Alex mumbled, as he avoided eye contact with David.
"It's okay." David reasoned.
"No it isn't." Alex persisted, not wanting to be let off lightly for his failure.
"It is, I never expected you to come out - and before you say anything, it wasn't even my idea." David put his hand up as Alex was just about to speak. "You were the one who told me you wanted to come out before we... I mean, I would have been perfectly happy just to let you leave with a kiss goodbye and a pat on the head for trying." David said sarcastically, as Alex rolled his eyes and smiled.
"I used to get a gold star from school!" Alex retorted, as David nodded his head and laughed.
"I'll see what my budget allows for after tonight!" David said, as he confidently took Alex by the hand and led him inside. Unfortunately for Alex, his confidence was simply a bravado, and he wasn't quite ready to be so blatant in front of everyone in the restaurant. Thinking of an excuse, Alex let go of David's hand and held back before the entrance.
"I'll pay for it all, you know." He offered.
"Wow, my very own sugar daddy!" David said, still under the assumption they were both throwing jokes around.
"I didn't mean it like that," Alex quickly assured David, "I just meant, if you want me to."
"How about we each pay for whatever we eat?" David suggested. Alex agreed, but to him that just didn't feel like a proper date.
"What if we share a drink, could I pay for that?"
"And we get two straws, and one plate big plate of spaghetti which we end up pashing over!" David sarcastically joked.
Alex gave a serious pause of thought and raised his eyebrows, "I wouldn't say no to that!" Alex suggested, as David smiled contently and proceeded inside, this time without holding Alex's hand. Although, looking around at the near-empty restaurant, Alex scolded himself for being so stupid as to get embarrassed about holding hands with David in public. After all, he liked David and someday wanted the two of them to go steady. How would he ever get to that stage in their relationship, when Alex couldn't even hold David's hand without turning as red as a beetroot. Well that's it, Alex thought to himself, enough is enough. He was going to march right up to David and grab one - no, both of his hands, and hold them for everyone to see. "So," Alex started, getting David's attention. "Have you been here before?"
"Nope, but my mum suggested it." David said whilst waiting in line to be seated.
"Your mum!?" Alex repeated with shock. "She knows about us dating?"
"Yeah! I wasn't going to say anything, because I know how you feel, but she kind of put two-and-two together and figured out why you were calling me all the time." David replied with a coy grin on his face which made Alex blush.
"Oh, sorry." Alex apologised.
"Don't be stupid, she's just glad I'm finally not complaining about us moving here anymore." David laughed. This was it; it would be now or never, Alex thought. As naturally as he could, Alex moved his arm out in front of him and curled his fingers around David's hand, squeezing it ever-so-slightly, just in case David didn't realise how much this meant to Alex.
"I can't imagine my life without you." Alex gulped and stuttered. Had he really just said that? What kind of a freak must David think I am, Alex thought, as he felt his cheeks growing hot with embarrassment. Chickening out, Alex retracted his hand and instead griped tightly onto his arm, as if shielding his body from being hurt. "I mean, I can't imagine... had you not moved here. I mean, you're a good friend... to have in this town." David stared at Alex, not saying a word. Great, Alex thought, table for one lonely-loser. But suddenly, across David's face broke a wide grin, and he reached forward with both of his hands.
"I think moving us to Pleasantview was the best decision my mum ever made." He said, prying Alex's hands away from his chest and holding them both. For what felt like hours to Alex, he and David just stood in the middle of the busy restaurant holding each others hands. Alex didn't want to be the first to let go, but he got the feeling that David didn't either. A short, sharp cough from behind the two lovebirds finally brought Alex back to reality, and he let go. David turned around and saw a old man standing behind the service counter, his head tilted down. He realised the cough, the sort of disapproving cough that only know-it-all-elders could make, had come from him. Just as David was about to ask the man if their table was ready, he turned and began to walk away. "Excuse me!" David called. The restaurant clerk stopped in his tracks and grunted a little before turning his head to see whom it was that had called his attention. "I booked a table earlier: David Asher." David said, feeling a little resistance from the man.
"Yes, yes, I'll go check." The man sighed, as he continued walking off towards the employee area.
"Well that was rude." David proclaimed, as he turned towards Alex and placed a hand on his hip.
"We didn't really make it easy for him, I think he got bored waiting for us to finish..." Alex trailed off with a slight laugh.
"You don't have to make excuses for people like him." David offered Alex.
"People like him..?" Alex asked, a little confused at what David was getting at.
"Oh, how should I put this? It's just, there are people in this world who think that people like you and me shouldn't be seen out together in public." David presumed, as he huffed and looked down at his shoes. Feeling a little more confident now, it took no time before Alex found himself guiding David's face upwards with his hand so they were staring at each other.
"Well, it must suck to be one of those people." Alex smiled, as David suddenly snapped out of his bad mood and figured he wouldn't let anything that snooty old man said bother him anymore. Walking back over to the service counter, the restaurant clerk coughed once again to get David's attention. "I'm sorry, it appears there was a slight mix-up with the actual number of tables available for this evening and I'm afraid we're not able to offer you a place anymore." David opened his eyes wide in shock. Anything but that, he thought! That was just the icing on the cake for David. There was no problem with the number of tables, David guessed, he could just tell that the clerk had made up that excuse so he didn't have to spend the rest of his night in the presence of two gay teenagers.
"If you don't mind, I'd like to take this matter up with the manager." David said sharply.
"I'm afraid there's nothing we can do, other than offer you another booking at a later date." The man replied.
"Well I don't believe that." David said, getting ready to tell the clerk what he really thought of the matter.
"David." Alex motioned, feeling the tension in the room quickly rising.
"It is the truth." He told David.
"I'd like to hear what the manager has to say on this." David repeated in confidence.
"You just did." The manager replied in a matter-of-fact tone, as he turned his back on David once again, thus signalling the end of their conversation. Alex almost thought David was about to reach over the service counter and grab the manager back by his hair, but instead, David just turned around on one foot and walked off. Sensing his anger, Alex decided to approach David with caution.
"Are you okay?" Alex asked. David turned around and sighed.
"This is not how I planned tonight would go," was the first thing David said. "He can't do that... it's... it's..." David stuttered.
"Just the way some people are?" Alex offered, seeing the hurt beneath David's eyes, something that he'd never seen before. He always thought David was so confident, he never realised that sometimes he probably got the exact same ashamed, alone kind of feeling that Alex felt. And upon realising this, Alex felt something grab him inside. He realised that no-one should ever be made to feel this way. Being carried by the momentum of this sudden empowerment, Alex grabbed David by his hand and rushed out of the restaurant, almost sweeping David off his feet.
"Whoa, where are we going?" David asked, as Alex stopped outside the restaurant window.
"Nowhere, absolutely nowhere!" Alex smiled, as he took David's hand and began to guide him. Now he grabbed his waist, and David was confused to feel himself being positioned like a mannequin.
"What are you doing?" David asked, as he began to laugh.
"I'm showing that stupid restaurant owner that sometimes he can't always get what he wants." Alex suggested with an evil grin.
"And how exactly are you going to do that?" David asked.
"I bet he's still watching us, isn't he." Alex guessed, with his back towards the window.
"Like a hawk! Come on, we should just go, I can't stand to be around people like him." David sighed as he attempted to walk away, but Alex grabbed David by the waist with both hands.
"Alex?" David asked, as he felt Alex's arms pull him in closer.
"You can't run away, you have to show him that what he did was wrong."
"What's the point? Besides, I don't want to eat there anyway if he owns the place." David reasoned, but Alex wasn't giving up.
"He may own the building but he doesn't own the pavement!" Alex said with another devilishly evil grin.
"What do you mean? What are you up to?" David asked, a little concerned that Alex was about to do something either dangerous or stupid. Staring into David's eyes, Alex opened his mouth and tried to get his next sentence out with the same amount of confidence that had helped him along so far.
"I want to kiss you."
"What?" David asked, as he backed out of Alex's grip.
"To show him that he hasn't won, I want to kiss you right here. He thinks that by turning us away we're somehow going to realise the error of our ways and stop being gay. Well, I want to show that him that he hasn't won." Alex attempted to approach David, but he felt a hand blocking his path. It was David's.
"No, Alex. You can't kiss me." David simply said, as he found his gaze resting upon his ever-familiar shoes.
"But, you can't just give-up like that." Alex protested.
"I'm not giving up anything," David argued. "If we kissed just to prove a point to him it'd feel cheap and meaningless. And I don't want my first kiss with you to be like that." Alex paused for a second, processing David's words. As he sighed, Alex dropped his shoulders and let his head fall down.
"I'm not very good at this, am I? Dates; Coming Out; Kissing - I can't seem to do anything right." Alex announced glumly.
"That's why you've got me!" David reassured Alex, as he reached out and squeezed his arm.
"Come on, let's just go back into Pleasantview, and just get a coffee or something." David began walking off. Alex slowly followed behind him, feeling like a complete idiot. David's 'just something's' had made it sound like their romantic evening was over before it had even begun. And Alex figured that he probably wasn't going to get another chance, with all the mistakes he'd been making. Who'd want a boyfriend that was as inexperienced as he was, Alex thought to himself. Whilst he felt David would continue to be there for him as a gay-friend, Alex's hopes of having him as his boyfriend seemed to be well and truly over.