Diary of Secrets

Calum thought soccer was everything.....until he read Sam's diary.


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28. Etoile Noire

 

Sam was adamant about going out tonight since I no longer had an important soccer game to stress about. Knowing what I knew about my scholarship, I agreed. So I’ve been searching in my closet for the past twenty minutes for fancy attire to wear at the place I wanna bring her to. I’ve warned her to dress in her best and that seemed to stir something, because instead of being able to pick her up in ten minutes, I have to wait an hour. 

Grabbing a plain white button up shirt I toss it on my bed. I then turn to my dresser and open up the top drawer. Searching inside I move around various tan pants till I find the black ones I was looking for. Tossing them onto my bed as well I step out in the hall and walk in my parents room. I stare at my father in bewilderment, blinking repeatedly. He looks over from his bed and with a confused expression on his face, sits on the edge of it.

 

“Something you need son?” He asks in a small voice. I start to open my mouth and quickly close it. How do I ask this? I swiftly look at his closet and wonder if I can steal a blazer and run back to my room. How much of a task could that be? Sighing to myself I nod in response.

 

 

He stares at me anticipating for an answer.

“Dad, do you have a blazer I could borrow?” I ask sheepishly. This would’ve been so much less embarrassing if he wasn’t in here. He chuckles in response and gets off his bed.

“Is that all!? Of course I do.” He walks over to his closet and opens it up. Following beside him I see a mixture of his and my mothers clothes.

“Is there a certain color your looking for or do you just need a blazer?” He ask, moving hangers from one side to the other.

“Well I was hoping for a black one, but a dark color would be nice.” I answer honestly. 

 

 

Staring up at him I see him smile. This is a side of my father I haven’t seen yet and I’m not sure how to take it. Then this was my first time asking my father to borrow fancy attire. That could be the only reason why he’s in such a chipper and giving mood. He stares at several blazers and shakes his head at quite a few. I wonder if he has one that’ll fit me, let alone be the color or shade I want.

 

 

“A ha!” He says, grabbing a dingy gray one from the back. He brings it out and holds it in front of him. The elbows are sewn from previous holes and there’s a stain on the collar.

“Here ya go. Just your style.” He answers. I stare at the blazer and then at him.

“Dad. You do realize I have to be seen in public with that right?” I ask slowly. He bursts out in laughter and nearly drops the garment in his hand.

“I know, I know. I‘m just kidding son. This is your date with Sam right?” He asks, returning the blazer to the closet. As I nod in response he clears his throat.

 

 

step out of the way as he digs deep in his closet and struggles only slightly, to grab the article of clothing.

“Yupp. This should do.” He says, looking it over once more. Once it’s out for me to see, my eyes widen.

“Dad it‘s perfect.” I say without thinking. He chuckles in response and hands it to me still on the hanger.

“Try it on, see if it‘ll fit.” He says with a smile in his voice. With a small smile I shrug into it and stare at myself in his mirror.

“Perfect fit.” He says with a wide smile.

“I knew it would be. It‘s the same blazer I wore on my first date with your mother.” He answers in the same tone.

 

 

 

With me borrowing from my father I expected the blazer to hang loose or the sleeves to be too short. Instead he finds this one and it hangs like it’s supposed to and the sleeves fit perfect. I even think it’s almost the exact same shade as my pants.

“Why don‘t you keep it?” He asks after a moment of silence. I look behind me at him.

“Are you sure?” I ask, uncertain. He simply nods in response saying

“Yeah. What is it going to do? Collect more dust in my closet? Look at me. Do I look like I‘m going to fit in it any time soon?” He asks with a chuckle, patting his protruding stomach. I smile in response, shaking my head. He shakes some more dust off my shoulders. 

 

 

I can’t help but stare at him in the mirror now. My father and I haven’t always been the closest but tonight, it’s as though we’ve been best friends all along.

“Thanks dad.” I say in a small voice. He stares at my reflection in the mirror with a smile.

“You‘re welcome, son.” He answers with the same smile.

“Calum. Do you mind my asking something?” He wonders, still shaking off my jacket.

“Sure.” I reply.

“Is Sam….you know….the one?” He asks, staring at me expectantly in the mirror. 

 

 

I never anticipated this question from my father. Truthfully I never even thought about this topic of conversation. I don’t know how to respond. My phone goes off and to escape the awkward tension in the room, I look at the screen and see that Sam’s ready. I also notice that if I don’t leave the house in five minutes, we’re going to be late for our reservation.

“Sorry dad, I gotta go.” I reply, and bolt out of his room. 

                                                    *******************

 

God. I still can’t get over Sam. Her dress doesn’t help the tent that’s trying to form in my pants. I try to focus on simply driving to the restaurant, but I find myself staring at her repeatedly. Her short peach dress that falls just below her knees, and the sparkly fabric that clings to her chest. It’s hard to look away. 

 

Because of the chill she wore a small black sweater that clings to her, it matches the black flats she wears. She wore her hair up tonight, something she never does and I can clearly see all of her face. Which tonight seems even more beautiful, I didn’t think it was possible but it is. She wears the same black pencil on her eyes but tonight there’s a black layer thinly brushed along her eyelids, making them stand out all the more. Her lips which are normally bare besides a thin layer of chapstick, are covered in a dark red color and there’s nothing I want more than to kiss away the pigment.

 

 

When we finally reach the restaurant I open the car door and help Sam out. The outside is a red brick building that are slightly concealed by the green vines draped around it. It has an old rustic feeling to it that you’ve been here before in another time. Within seconds Sam knows where we are.

“You remembered.” She says in a voice so small I almost miss it.

“Of course I did. You wouldn‘t let me forget it.” I tease, closing the door and offering her my arm. She bows her head slightly before linking her arm in with mine and we walk inside, with me holding the door open.

 

 

The inside is even more beautiful than the outside. Small black tables with black metal chairs all surround the restaurant. Decorated on the table and chair legs are leaves that branch out, almost matching the exterior. The walls are adorned with paintings of landscapes or beautiful half naked women. Small lights are hung at the corners and the sides, giving enough light to see, not blind you. Each table has a small candle in the center for those who’s eyesight aren’t that great. I watch as an elderly couple lays their menu flat by the candle.

 

 

 

“Hello, welcome to Etoile Noire. Do you have a reservation?” A man behind the podium asks. Sam stares up at me and I nod in response.

“Table for two under Hood, please.” I explain, the man takes a look inside a large book and once he spots my name he nods. He waves a woman over who guides us to a table in the back. We’re seated directly next to a window and can see the lights of nearby restaurants and buildings. I pull out Sam’s chair and help scoot her in before taking my place at the table.

 

 

“A waitress will be right with you.” The woman says handing us our menus, before walking off. Sam looks up at me and then back at her before asking

“She‘s pretty, right?” In a whisper. I chuckle softly and shake my head in response.

“She‘s alright. But I personally think my date is hotter.” I say with a smirk and look over the menu. I pretend to ignore the blush settling in on her cheeks as she tries to hide her face with the menu. She’s so cute.

 

I stare at the prices and wonder if I’ll have enough to cover the bill. I brought everything I had saved up and that still only left me with a couple hundred. Reaching into my pockets I grab for my wallet to make sure I brought it with. There’s a paper in my left blazer pocket. Taking it out I realize it’s fifty dollars. What the hell? Dad. Did he plan that? Or did he slip it in while we were in front of the mirror? I smile and stuff it in my wallet in my pants pocket. 

 

 

 

With a smile on my face I ask

“Anything sound good?” Sam looks up from her menu and there’s a tinge of pink still left over on her cheeks.

“I‘m not sure. I haven‘t found anything that doesn’t sound like it isn‘t served with something from the ocean.” She answers with furrowed brows. I laugh in response and say

“I‘ve been searching for dishes with some kind of pasta in it. There‘s one here with linguini.” I offer, knowing Sam’s distaste for fish.

“But it‘s served with squid.” She reads. I sigh and continue looking.

“We‘ll find something.” I say with a smile. She returns it and reaches across the table for my hand. I give it to her gladly and watch the way the tiny electric candle lights up her tan skin. 

 

 

 

“Hi, welcome to Etoile Noire. My name is Kathy and I‘ll be your server for this evening. Is there something I can get you guys to start with?” A small woman blurts out in a hyper and high voice. She fumbles with her notepad before finally looking down at us.

“Oh. You guys are young.” She says in a surprised voice. Sam giggles in response and continues to look at the menu.

“Can you give us some recommendations?” I ask, still looking over my menu. 

 

 

There’s a silence and I almost think I have to repeat myself. But when I look up I see she’s still staring at us in bewilderment.

“Kathy?” I question, wondering if she has a hearing problem.

“Oh. I‘m sorry. I‘m just not used to having such a young couple to serve. Are you sure you guys are at the right restaurant? Most everyone who comes in here is over thirty.” She says without thinking and in the same hyper speed as earlier. I chuckle lightly in response.

“It‘s our first time here.” I explain. She nods in response and names off their most famous dishes. All of which contain fish.

 

After about the fifth dish she sighs and leans in close to us.

“Keep it between us. I‘m not a big fish person myself. But I do know they have amazing appetizers here and the desserts are just as fabulous. You could order two appetizers to share and then split a dessert?” She offers with a whisper. I got the feeling this isn’t normally done here. Looking to Sam for confirmation, she nods and we accept her offer.

 

 

“Wonderful. So, with that out of the way. How can I start you off tonight?” She asks with a wide smile. We order two soft drinks and a little bit of everything on the appetizer menu. With such a small selection I don’t see how it’ll leave a big dent in my wallet. Sam continues to smile throughout the entire interaction, I watch her eyes light up in response to the waitresses’ explanation of their most popular dessert. Once it’s decided we’re having the cherry jubilee, the waitress leaves.

 

 

Sam’s smile is still wide after she’s gone and I’m thankful she’s having a much better time.

“Feeling better?” I ask, squeezing her hand lightly. She nods in response and stares at our hands.

“Can I ask you something?” She wonders. I nod in response giving her a small smile.

“What‘s with the theatrics tonight?” She asks. Theatrics? What is she talking about?

“What theatrics?” I ask in response.

“Holding open doors for me, scooting my chair in. The whole bit. I mean don‘t misunderstand, I really enjoy it. It‘s just not what you normally do.” She says in a rush. I look down and think over the last few times we’ve hung out and realize she’s right. 

 

 

“I‘m sorry.” I answer.

“I should‘ve been doing that throughout this entire time.” I explain, looking up at her again. She rubs her forehead with the palm of her hand.

“Damn it, Calum.” She giggles and I wonder what it is now.

“You don‘t have to go out of your way to do this stuff for me. I just wondered why you decided to start doing them tonight of all nights.” She says in a hushed giggle. I can’t help but chuckle softly in response.

“Well, I just figured if this was going to be our very first date I should.” I answer defensively.

 

 

She smiles in response and squeezes my hand. Looking down at our hands I rub my thumb along her knuckles. In return her thumb makes small circles on the top of my hand. As I look up at her I realize she’s giggling.

“Have you heard a word I‘ve said?” She asks in between giggles. I can feel the heat rise in my cheeks. She was talking? When? I shake my head in response.

“No. I‘m sorry Sam.” I answer sheepishly.

“It‘s alright. It wasn‘t important. You know, this is a nice change.” She says. Confused I ask,

“What is? Going out to eat?” She shakes her head in response with a small smile.

“No. Being looked at by you, in the same way I used to look at you.” She responds.

 

 

Oh. Is it that obvious? Wait. Used to?

“Used to? Does that mean you don‘t anymore?” I ask, concerned. She laughs lightly. The waitress returns with our drinks and appetizers. She quickly leaves to assist another table and the smell of the food reminds me I’m starving.

“No, no. I still do. I just mean it‘s nice to have it returned. Sorry, I suck with words.” She says, letting go of my hand to take a drink and make her plate. Giving her a questioning glare I say

“Right. Let‘s read your earlier diary entries and have you say that again.” I tease. She’s anything but awful with words. Her eyes fall to her hands in her lap as I make my plate.

“I really am sorry you had to read those.” She says with a small voice, still not looking at me.

“I‘m not. Look at where we are now because I did. Sam I don‘t regret opening that diary for one minute.” I explain with a small smile, trying to find her face again. She looks up at me and returns the smile.

 

 

As we eat Sam strolls down memory lane. Thinking back to the time when we first spotted this restaurant.

“Do you remember what Michael said?” Sam asks, giggling and hiding her full mouth. I laugh in response replying,

“It looks like a building you buy crack from.” Now the two of us are laughing so hard and loud, that we have other people staring at us. We’re trying to stifle the laughter, only doing so makes us laugh harder because of the snorting Sam keeps doing. Finally Sam and I take a drink and our laughter slowly dies down after small chuckles escape. 

 

 

“That was by far the best birthday I‘ve had in years.” I say after some time. She smiles in response saying

“It‘d been a while since all of us had hung out like that.” I nod and reach for her hand again. After our appetizers were taken away and we had finished the large portion of the blazing cherry jubilee, we decided to head home and watch a movie. With our hands still together, we begin the long drive home on the small freeway toward home in the next town over.

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