John shook his hands, wiggled his fingers a little too. While the mall was never silent, he didn’t register the din of people moving, talking and shopping. His mind was rehearsing what he was going to say. He may have passed the first impression test, asking the question in a good way was also imperative.
Once he was sure his hands wouldn’t shake, John finally turned the corner into the food court. He scanned the collection of tables and people until he found Hannah. Sitting at a table with some other track girls, she was sipping a boba tea, grinning at her friends.
Squaring his shoulders, John walked between the tables. With his eyes on her smile he repeated his question in his mind over and over. He smiled when her eyes caught his approach, waving too when she stood up and stepped around the table.
“Hey John.” She spoke first, lifting her drink towards him before taking another sip.
“Hey Hannah.” He rubbed his hands on his jeans, taking a shaky breath while he steeled himself to ask the question. “With me meal would you to share like?” John grit his teeth in a grimace, and tried again while Hannah snorted. “I mean would you like to share a meal with me.”
“Are we talking a full meal, somewhere nicer than this place?”
“Of course.” John rubbed his hands on his pants.
“So a date date.” She swirled her drink.
“Yes, a date date.”
“How fancy are we talking here?” She smiled and John started to relax. “Am I whipping out the sparkle dress, or the bohemian skirt?”
“Of middling fanciest… I think?” John tilted his head and looked Hannah over. “I’m sure you’ll look amazing in whatever you decide to wear.”
“Do you have plans for after the meal?”
“I’m open to possibilities.”
“I’m free Saturday. You?”
“Saturday it is.” He nodded and pointed past her, at the table. “I’ll see all of you though at the meet on Friday.”
“Don’t expect me to find you in the stands.”
“I mean, I may be one of the only ones there.” Hannah snorted and gently pushed John’s hand back towards him. “Kidding.” The two of them laughed. “So I guess we’ll be seeing a lot of each other this weekend.”
“First you’ll be a cheerleader,” Hannah pumped her empty hand in the air and hiked a foot behind her to mimic a pose. “And then my date date.” She poked his shoulder. “Meet’s at four, and then date date at seven?”
“Don’t be late. To either of them.”
“Roger that.” John saluted, Hannah giggled, and they parted ways until the upcoming weekend.
Word count: 445