Chapter 10:

The Wheels Of Promotion Were Set Into Motion

I Know It Might Be Wrong, But...

“It’s almost nine o'clock, are you really not going to go home?”

“I already told you, I’ll wait all night if I have to.”

“And I keep telling you, the one you’re waiting for is not coming home until early tomorrow morning.”

“I bet she’s just coming home from working overtime.”

“It’s amazing how much faith you have in that being true.”

“Well, it’s still a while until the last train, so we’ll see if you’re telling the truth or not.”

“So, what are you going to do if she doesn’t come by then?”

“Nothing because I know I’m right.”

“The TV just went to a commercial; humor me for a minute.”

“I’ll still wait, maybe your mom is coming home on a taxi.”

“Does our home give you the impression that my mom can afford to take a taxi willy-nilly?”

“Once in a while shouldn’t hurt, no? Tonight could be one of those times.”

“Then, what if she doesn’t come home by then?”

“Like I said-”

“Look, there’s another commercial.”

“I told you, I’ll wait until she comes home. I skipped practice today, so it would be a shame if it came to nothing.”

“Even after midnight?”

“Even after midnight.”

“I see.”

Then, the conversation between Stacy and Steven died naturally as the commercial break on the TV ended. The show they were watching returned on the screen.

The show was not something either of the two were religiously following, but they had heard enough good reviews from their respective friends that they thought to check it out to kill time. Unsurprisingly, neither of them were particularly invested as they were coming into the middle of the story without much context on how it had played up until the episode that was airing. But, they watched anyway as they did not have much else to do. There was nothing better on as Stacy’s TV was not new enough a model for it to be connected to the internet nor does it have cable.

It was not like they did not have any other thing they could do though. Stacy did not own any gaming consoles, but the two of them still had their smartphones to play with. A simple chat was an option, too. But, they have been together for almost five hours. They already grew bored of playing and the topics have simply run out.

Daydreams and fantasies were also fair game, and Stacy surely came up with plenty in the first few hours. She mostly wondered to herself if the situation she found herself counts as a home date. Of course, that is ignoring the fact that Steven was only at her home because he wanted to be introduced to her mom, and not because he wanted to hang out specifically with Stacy. But, even if she realizes it in the back of her mind, it did not stop her from enjoying this small event that she even thought to herself that it was similar to a married life as the two of them simply sat in front of the TV quietly and comfortably with each other’s presence.

Stacy’s enthusiasm wore down over the hours, however. She initially had thought that she could make Steven think there is something interesting about her aside from the fact that she was the daughter of his crush. They were in her house, after all; she had home-field advantage, maybe it could work even a teensy bit.

First, she tried bringing up her small book collection, which was neatly stacked in a shelf in one corner of the room, but she would soon find they had different tastes in genres. Stacy was into conspiracy and horror thrillers, Steven was into fantasy adventures. But, what really killed that topic was that he was more interested in the books Stacy’s mom was into.

For the record, Stacy still answered Steven’s inquiries. She showed a row of books which contained her mom’s favorites, including the novel which inspired the movie they saw together the previous weekend. She was even giving him a quick rundown of what the titles that have caught his eyes are about.

Of course, she was able to do this as her mom had an influence on her tastes in fiction. Growing up, the books that her mom was bringing home were the only things she had easy access to, which were conspiracy and horror thrillers. By the time she learned how to borrow from libraries, that was all she was reading.

Despite being seemingly interested though, Steven had not thought of picking up one book from the shelf for the moment as he thought he would not be staying long. He was satisfied with taking mental notes of the titles so he could read them for later.

The next thing Stacy tried was to put on her favorite movie. Her TV may be an old model, but it can still be hooked up to a DVD player, which she has. Her mom also had a small collection of movies, in which some had become Stacy’s favorites.

However, Steven did not seem too keen on watching it. What Stacy put on was a popular classic horror film, which she had confirmed he had not seen yet, so she thought he might like it despite being told that it was a movie her mom was indifferent to. But, contrary to her expectations, she just found him looking at his phone for most of the movie, only taking glances whenever a loud noise blasts from the TV.

Unsurprisingly, he could not give a comment that was not vague when Stacy asked what he thought about the movie. He was not even trying to hide his disinterest, which caused her to forgo bringing up the sequel that she initially intended to play afterwards.

Regardless, it was close to supper time when the movie ended so she sought to move on to her next plan - to get Steven through his stomach.

As her mom had worked nights, it was up to Stacy herself to make her own food in the evening. Initially, when she was younger, her mom would cook all three meals in the morning once she got home. But, lunch and dinner would end up the same as she wanted the food to be done quickly so she could sleep. Eventually, Stacy got tired of having the same meal twice in one day. She knew at an early age how important sleep is for her mom, so she never complained. Although, some time during fourth grade, she could not take it anymore and asked her mom to teach her to cook so she could make supper for herself. Once she had become decent enough, she had free reign in the kitchen during the evenings.

With plenty of years of experience under her belt, Stacy was confident in her cooking. For this round, she looked to prepare some chicken curry with rice, which is the dish she is most proud of. However, just as she was making preparations, Steven told her he already ordered some takeout for the two of them.

They had a little back and forth to argue about what they were having for dinner, but in the end, Steven won out by virtue of the delivery getting there before the two of them could reach a resolution. Stacy conceded because at that point, the order could no longer be canceled and she did not want to waste food.

Steven ordered pizza, which Stacy was fond of so she still enjoyed it, albeit begrudgingly as she felt robbed of an opportunity to impress.

After that, she had nothing else planned. Apart from books, movies and cooking, she did not have any other hobby, so she had nothing else to use to make an impression towards her crush.

It did not mean she was out of options yet, however. There was still a way for her to bond with him. She noticed that he was playing some game on his phone. She thought she could try getting into it so she asked him to teach her how to play. But, she was unable to make heads or tails with the gameplay and eventually gave up.

Her last resort was making small talk. It was nothing spectacular, but it was still something. But, as with their date before, half of their conversations were about Stacy’s mom, which is a subject Stacy was not particularly fond of. Apart from that, the two did not really share many interests nor did they have many common friends they could talk about. It did not take too long for them to run out of topics for conversation.

As a result, she opted to turn the TV on to drown out the silence, which is where they are currently, making random comments about what was on and asking each other which channel they wanted to see because neither were interested in anything that was being shown anywhere.

So, now that Stacy has exhausted all her options to make a positive impact, she was left with no other choice but to go with scorched earth tactics. She was reluctant, but when the idea of making one last hurrah came to her earlier, she thought that, if she cannot have Steven, she was going to make sure his chance with her mom is going to be zero or at least close.

She was reluctant because the thing she was planning would not only make her relationship with Steven awkward, it would also risk getting her in major trouble with her mom. This is why she asked what Steven’s plans are for the night in hopes that he would give up and go home so she would not go through with that plan of hers.

Then again, there was the advice that her mom gave the other day which gives the impression that she did not mind if her daughter was hooking up with someone. This was also giving Stacy doubts about the plan as she was banking for that aforementioned conversation to be some mother-daughter banter and that her mom does not actually approve of her having illicit relationships as a minor.

Either way, for better or for worse, Steven was determined to meet Stacy’s mom, and he was going to hang around until he got that. Stacy felt she had no other alternatives but to go with her plan.

The plan this time is to take Steven into bed with her and, in the morning, let her mom find the two of them together once she comes home. They do not need to perform the act. Stacy knew full well he would not agree to it despite being offered nor could she simply drag him into sharing a bed with her. Regardless, lewd stuff is not a requirement for the plot, but she still had to find a way to get him to the bedroom at least. The only way for that to happen is to wait for him to go to sleep and offer him one of the beds. Or, in the worst case, wait for him to fall asleep on his seat then physically drag him there. It will be difficult considering her physique, but it would be easier without resistance.

Once she pulls it off though, there would be nothing else to do but get into bed with him and sleep. She did not know what time Steven normally gets up, but she was confident her mom would be home before he wakes. Then, upon finding her daughter in bed with a boy, she would surely blow a fuse upon the two of them, perhaps even banning the latter from setting foot in the apartment ever again.

That was Stacy’s most optimistic hope. She was aware it was overly optimistic, so her most realistic expectation is to make her mom think Steven is her boyfriend which could cause for any advances he makes to seem like he is only making an impression on his girlfriend’s mother.

Regardless of her mother's potential reaction though, Stacy’s real aim was that her plot would make Steven become distrustful and stop depending on her to make his romance come to fruition.

But, as with most of her plans so far, things were not playing out as she thought it would. It is almost one o'clock in the morning. Her mom had not yet come home as she had expected, but Steven is stubbornly staying awake.