4 || dinner meet and greet
After we are that delicious vanilla cake, my parents and Luke "surprised" me by taking me to my surprise birthday dinner. Such predictable people. My parents, Luke and I are at the Cheesecake Factory already sitting at a booth, not waiting an hour for a reserved table, since dad made a reservation the night before.
Mom and dad are sitting next to each other while Luke and I are sitting together side by side. This restaurant is loquacious because everything is crowded with people talking. Then again, it's normal for a restaurant to act like this I guess.
"So how's your birthday so far honey?" I heard mom ask me, interrupting my train of thought.
"I love it already because you guys are here." I answered honestly.
"That's such a cliché answer." Luke chuckles.
"Shut up." I hit his arm for like the tenth time today and he rubs it to make it feel better.
"I know." I smile at him sweetly.
A waiter walks by our table with a writing pad and pencil in his hand. He looks so young, probably around my age. He's like an inch shorter from Luke and has brunette hair with green blue eyes.
They're really extravagant to look at.
"Hello, my name is Ashton and I'll be your waiter this evening." He smiles at all of us and gets his pencil ready to write down our order. "Are you ready to order?"
"Yes we are." Mom responded. "I'll have a double cheese burger with crinkle fries and sweet tea please." Mom ordered while Ashton writes it down.
He turns to my dad next, "And what would you like, sir?"
"The same thing, except no tomatoes and just a root beer." He points at mom and Ashton writes it down.
He looks at Luke for his order. "Yeah, me and this lady here will have a chicken sandwich, one lemonade and one Coke." He ordered for both of us. Aw, that's sweet he ordered for me and he knew what I wanted too. He knows me so well. "Also, she will have your birthday special since it's her birthday today."
I'm gonna kill him.
"Luke." I hissed at him feeling embarrassed.
"Oh really? Birthday girl today huh? . . . How old are you?" Ashton asked smiling. Great, this is embarrassing.
"Well, Happy Birthday." He smiles.
"Thank you." I nodded being polite.
He looks at all of us. "Well I will get your orders ready and bring the food right back to you."
We say thank you in unison and he walks away getting our food.
I stare at everyone at my table and glare at them. "Thanks a lot guys." I complain.
"I didn't do anything this time." Mom puts her hands up in surrender.
"Me neither." Dad chuckles.
"Come on, Bella, you need attention today. It's your birthday." Luke joins in while swinging his arm around my shoulder.
"But you know I hate getting attention." I say, giving him a flat look.
"Well . . . now you are." He smiles and I squint my eyes at him, giving him a dirty look. "Don't stare at me like that, you know I loveee you." He cooed.
I can't help but grin at his words. "Yeah, yeah, love you too." I stick my tongue at him and he sticks his tongue back at me.
"You two are so childish." Mom says shaking her head.
"It's not my fault Luke started it."
"You're the weirdo who doesn't like getting attention on her birthday." He countered.
Our conversation was interrupted twenty minutes later with our waiter coming back with our food. "Alright guys, your food is finally here," He grabs two plates of our pasta from the cart thingy, then he rests the plates in front of Luke and I. "Two chicken sandwiches and two double cheese burgers, one with no tomatoes." He rests the burgers in front of mom and dad.
"Two cokes, one lemonade, and one root beer." He puts our glasses on the table for us to take. "I hope you guys enjoy your meal and have a great birthday, miss." Ashton says to me. "Your part of the meal will be on the birthday discount."
"Thank you." I say smiling. That's nice of them to do that.
"You're very welcome." He walks away and we enjoy our big meal.
"See? It feels nice being mentioned huh?" Luke questioned. "You're welcome."
"Whatever." I shake my head while I get my fork out of the napkin with the other utensils and I start to eat my food.
Everyone is eating their expensive food, mom and dad talk about random stuff, while Luke and I talk about boring school since we have to go back from a week long break.
"I really don't want to go back to school on Thursday." I complain.
"I know . . . dumb ass teachers and the dumb ass food." He mutters without letting mom and dad hear him. I giggle silently because of his true logic.
"Don't forget the dumb ass classmates we have."
"Them too." He shakes his head. "Speaking of dumb ass classmates, has anyone wished you happy birthday yet?" He asks eating half of his sandwich.
I doubt it.
I take my phone out of my purse and I unlock my phone, going to the Facebook app, looking at my page reading Happy Birthday comments.
"Yeah, just four people." I responded, putting my phone away.
"Just four?" He questions surprisingly.
"Yeah. You, mom, dad, and some random person." I shrugged.
"That's . . . embarrassing." He breathed out. I look at him and furred my eyebrows together.
"How is it embarrassing?"
"Because you usually have more comments than that."
"Well I'm not that popular, Luke. I'm not Kim Kardashian with her fake ass and boobs because she decides to get useless surgery and decides to be in a porno."
He chuckles, "Well, yeah she's famous because of that reason. You're normal because you're all natural." I roll my eyes and I take a sip of my lemonade. "But you're famous today because it's your birthday." He kisses the side of my temple.
"Yeah, yeah." I smile without looking at him.
I hear Luke's phone ringing with the constellation ringtone, signaling that he has a call. Yes, I know his ringtones to everything. He takes his phone out and looks at the caller ID. His face turns pale and I hear rapidly fast breathing coming out of his mouth.
"Hey, are you okay?" I asked worriedly.
He snaps his head at me and looks petrified. "I'm just gonna take this call, excuse me." He says while standing up from our booth and walks away to the front of the restaurant.
What's wrong with him?
Now I'm starting to get worried.
I look at my mom and she stares at me looking puzzled.
"Is Luke okay? Where did he go?" She questions.
"Uh, someone called him and I guess it was urgent so he took the call." I responded. I don't know about his face expression, but he did look afraid once his eyes landed at me after he saw who it was on the phone.
"Oh okay . . ." Mom trails off and continues talking to my dad. I look at the front of the restaurant to find Luke talking on the phone, looking upset.
Who is he talking to . . . ?
Now I see him hanging up the phone and puts his phone back in his pocket with a blank expression on his face. Oh no, what happened? Did something happen to his aunt or something?
If I haven't told you before. Luke lives with his aunt, Nicole. It's probably not my place to say but, his father died when he was three years old after a gunshot wound to the chest. No one knew who shot him; however, I just know he's heartbroken all the time because he didn't get to know his father. In addition, his mother is not in his life anymore. I don't know why because Luke didn't explain that imperative detail. So his aunt is all he got after his parents not being here.
He walks back to our booth slowly, looking laconic. He sits back down and is not looking at any of us but looks down at his lap.
Okay, something is really wrong with him, he's not talking like he used to. It feels like the first time I met him when he was shy and not talking at all when we were kids. I think my parents are noticing his lack of speaking also, they look confused as the air between us feels tense.
"Luke . . . ?" I asked softly. He tilts his head up, then slowly turns his head looking at me. I look straight into his eyes and they look miserable and watery. "Are you okay?" I asked worriedly. I've never seen him look so depressed before.
". . . yeah . . . yeah, I'm fine." He said as he scrunched his nose. Why is he lying? He gives me a sad smile while I look at him feeling worried. "It was just my aunt, nothing bad." He says sniffling. Now I know he's lying.
"Luke . . ."
"I'm fine, I promise." He pushed while looking down. He picks up his glass and takes a sip of his Coke. I just stare at him trying to figure out what's wrong with him. He was happy and enthusiastic a few minutes ago, now he looks unhappy and down. I wonder who he was talking to to make him change his mood.
I'll talk to him about that later. Now I just want this dinner over with, so I can talk to him alone.