I Know It Might Be Wrong, But...
“Go on a date with me and I’ll tell you if my mom is still single.”
Stacy thought using the thing that Steven wanted to know as bait would be a good idea. After all, he had been persistent and his approach was slightly escalating. She had the impression that he was getting desperate and would take any measures, so she thought that she could take advantage of this.
She was expecting a positive answer, but Steven, without any hesitation, replied with a firm “No”.
Stacy was stunned for a moment. She did not expect the answer. Not to mention, this was the second explicit rejection she received two days in a row, so she took a bit of mental damage. It was not enough to make her run away though, so she remained steadfast.
“Well, you already know I’m in love with someone else.”
“It feels like I’m betraying her if I go on a date with someone else.”
It was a lame response, Stacy thought. “It’s not like you’re dating though?”
“Still, it feels wrong.”
“But I’m going to tell you the answer to the thing you’ve been asking me these past couple of days.”
“Well, I’d be lying to say if I wasn’t tempted, but I would still refuse.”
Steven’s response gave Stacy the idea that he just needed a little bit of push, so push she did. “Are you sure you want to pass this up? I might not offer the answer again.”
Steven flinched. It was a threat that he could not ignore so he gave it some thought, but he could not decide quickly enough.
Stacy, who was growing confident, then added “If you agree to go on a date with me now, I’ll even introduce you to my mom”.
Like a limited time sale, it was a very tempting offer to give in to and forget the consequences until later. But, Steven remained indecisive. It was an internal battle between his morals and his desires.
However, Stacy was not going to wait forever. They were having this discussion in the middle of a busy street. It was loud from the traffic noise, uncomfortable because they were standing exposed to the mid-afternoon sun, and a bit embarrassing as people who were passing by were looking at them. She wanted to get away from where they stand at least, so she started counting down to pressure Steven on giving an answer and maybe end this impromptu gathering.
No reaction from Steven.
Steven, looking a bit panicked, made eye contact with Stacy to see if she was being serious. She was serious.
Stacy paused her countdown to give Steven a bit of a leeway, but he did not take that window of opportunity to give a reply.
“And it’s gone”, Stacy stated emotionlessly. She then taunted Steven to let some of her feelings out. “I guess you don’t like my mom that much”
With her parting words, she started to walk away, but Steven stopped her.
“Wait!” he shouted.
Got him, she thought. All of it was an act to get him to agree on a date and she was pleased with herself that it was going the way she imagined it so far. However, just so she did not appear easy, she acted a little stubborn.
She continued to walk and pretend to ignore Steven, but she was really keeping an ear out. She expected Steven to be persistent like he has been the entire day. While she was aware that a lot of her expectations regarding this boy turned to unexpected revelations, this time she was certain it was going to go as she thinks.
Fortunately for her, she was not wrong this time. Steven raced towards her front. “I said wait.”
“Stop following me home or I’ll report you”, Stacy said as she walked around him. She did not mean it though. It was only to keep up her act. She had intended to sound to be on guard though. But, acting was not her forte so she could only say it in a neutral way.
Her ruse was not found out despite it, however. Steven caught up to her and started talking.
“Can’t we talk about it for a moment?”
“What is there to talk about? The only answer is yes or no.”
“I know, but…”
“Look, if you’re not going to agree to my terms, then stop bothering me.” It was another bluff.
“I promise I’ll stop, but can’t it be another thing?”
“Front row seats to my next basketball game?”
“It’s not as good as what I want.”
“I’m not going to sell out my mom!” she said, raising her voice. She was not acting for this part.
“Alright, that’s fair. I apologize for suggesting it. Maybe I’ll do anything you want me to for the next month instead?”
“Does that include asking you to take me out on dates?”
“Then I’m not interested.”
Steven paused for a moment to come up with more ideas.
“You know that really strict science teacher, the one who humiliates students when they don’t give the right answer to his questions?”
“What about him?”
“There’s a way to prevent him from picking you in class.”
“Really?” Stacy had experienced this teacher's strict approach to education, so she was a bit interested.
“Yeah, he has this secret that if you let him know you know it, he’ll ignore you until you graduate.”
“That doesn’t sound real.”
“It’s true! There was a class that found out about it a few years ago and he never asked questions or had students come to the board.”
“That’s just a myth isn’t it? I’ve heard of it before, but no one knew which batch it was.”
“But I know the secret.”
“Have you used it?”
“Well, no, but I know a few people who knew it too.”
“Are they your classmates?”
“Then if you haven’t seen it happen firsthand, it’s nothing more than a baseless rumor.”
Steven paused again. This time he was out of ideas, but he knew Stacy was running out of patience. So, as a last ditch effort, he asked “What’s the second thing you want after the date?”
“For you to leave me alone”, she replied. Stacy made it sound like a joke, but she seriously wanted Steven to leave her alone if he was not interested in her.
“I can’t have that either, I want to get along with you.”
“Then I’m not budging on that date.”
Steven paused for a third time. He started considering Stacy’s demands as his haggling had failed. It took him a minute to convince himself that it was the right step, but finally decided to agree.
“Alright, I’ll go on that date.”
Stacy stopped walking and smiled to herself before facing Steven. Her plan had worked. But of course, she still had to close the negotiations, so she asked “Really?”.
“Yeah, if that’s what it takes to get me to tell you if your mom is still single, I will go on a date with you.”
The deal was done. Stacy would have jumped for joy if she was not out in public, so she could only scream of success inside her head.
Steven meanwhile continued with his reasoning for accepting. “It’s not the usual order of things, but I guess I could try to get to know my future daughter-in-law first.”
That statement immediately stopped the celebrations in Stacy’s head. But rather than getting embarrassed, she felt more annoyed that he just had to ruin her small victory with that sentence.
She wanted to complain, but held back. Instead, it just strengthened her resolve. Stacy declared to herself that she would make Steven see her as a love interest on this date.
“Alright”, she said with an annoyed smile. “Let’s go out this Saturday and after that I’ll tell you my mom’s relationship status.”