Best Friend For Hire, Entry 43

I found out that mother was in on the plot when she showed up with father and Aaliyah, wanting to take more pictures.  They were dressed up as well, which was explained a moment later by mother.  “Your father and I are chaperones for the dance, dear.  Regina asked us a while ago, and we couldn’t possibly pass up seeing you dance at your senior Prom.”  Aaliyah was gazing up at Regina with her big, blue eyes and said, “You’re beauuuutiful!”  Regina’s smile was dazzling when she looked down at Aaliyah and thanked her.  “I like your dress.  What’s your name?”  Aaliyah ducked behind me to hide, so I spun around, scooped her up in my arm, and introduced her to Regina.  “Picking up another girl while still on the clock, James?  And I thought you were a gentleman,” said Jarod with a laugh.  Luckily, Aaliyah looked confused.  I rolled my eyes at him while Regina attempted to suppress a laugh.

“She’s such a cutie, James.  How do you know her?” asked Regina.  Aaliyah hugged me and told her “He’s mine.”  Regina looked at me inquisitively, so I explained “Aaliyah’s the daughter of one of my clients.  I babysit her off and on.  He got stuck out of town, so my parents agreed to look after her while I work tonight.”  Regina walked to my side opposite of Aaliyah and hugged my arm.  “Work?  Don’t you mean while you enjoy my company?”  She looked so completely stunning in her strapless dress, but Aaliyah still managed to get my attention by tugging on my ear.  “James!  Put me down!  Picture time!”  We all posed together for more pictures with Aaliyah joining in for most of them.  I also took pictures of her with my parents at her request.  In some ways, she was becoming like the little sister I never had, a sister who seemed almost jealous when Regina was stealing my attention.  “We truly must be off.  Father was so kind getting us reservations.”

I could tell that Aaliyah was disappointed when my parents said she couldn’t come with us.  I gave her a hug and told her that I truly would hang out with her when I returned.  “And I get to see the dance at least!  I won’t ever get a Prom.  My school doesn’t have them, and I’m past high school anyways.” she told me.  Then she stuck her tongue at me, smiled, and ran off to my parents.  “Come on, James.” called Regina.  She was already in the car with the others.  As I sat down, part of me wondered what the point of a school without dancing was.  I loved dancing., even if I was against pink tutus.  The idea that Aaliyah would never have a school dance was depressing too, especially knowing that she loved to dance as well.  Of course, the thought that a little girl was already far ahead of me in schooling was a bit depressing as well.  Regina brought me back to the moment by kissing my cheek and leaning against me.  “Mind pouring us a drink, Jarod?”

For a moment, the golden foil made me think he was pouring us champagne, but I caught the label and realized it was only sparkling grape juice before I protested.  I caught Regina smiling at me.  She probably knew exactly what went through my mind.  The girl could read me very well.  Too well, I felt some days.  “So where are we eating?” I asked.  “The Intergalactic House of Awesome Sauce,” Regina said with a grin.  Jarod nearly dropped the glass he was handing to me.  “Seriously?  We’re getting in there?” he inquired with obvious shock and excitement.  I couldn’t blame him.  Despite the ridiculous name, the restaurant was suppose to be the most exquisite place in the world, as well as the most expensive.  I was exceptionally glad that Regina’s father was paying for the meal and felt ecstatic at the idea of actually eating there.  My parents never believed that any food could be worth the expense the place was rumored to have, so I had never been there.

The building looked extremely plain to my eyes, a square building of shiny brick with a flat roof.  The sign was every bit as ridiculous as the name.  There appeared to be something similar to the Milky Way with a smiley face in its center and its name to the side.  When we went inside, I was completely shocked.  I gathered that the others were shocked as well from their gasps.  There was a single, oak table elaborately engraved and set at the center of an enormous room with candles flickering off mirrors around the walls.  A sparkling, crystal chandelier hung over the table, gently illuminating it and what appeared to be a Persian rug beneath it.  The chairs surrounding the table were of a matching engraved oak and appeared to have luxurious, thick cushions on them.  I was so engrossed by the room that I failed to notice the waiter in his fine suit standing by us until he coughed.

“I am Abdel.  Please have a seat.  Your dinner will be served momentarily.  Tell me if you need anything.”  He waited for Jarod and me to hold the chairs for our respective dates and seat ourselves, but then he simply walked off without taking any orders.  “This place is definitely not what I was expecting from the outside.  How did you manage getting us an entire room to ourselves?” I asked.  Regina gave me a small smile and then said, “I didn’t know we would.  I’m not complaining though.  This place is gorgeous.”  Something about the shade of red lipstick she wore on her lips really brought out how splendidly they were shaped.  I was still staring at them when Abdel returned with a laden cart.  First he set out drinks for each of us in crystal goblets.  Then he set out plates in front of each of us; none of which appeared to have the same food.  Without a word, he walked away, leaving us looking at one another in surprise for a moment before our appetites gave in to the magnificent smells and sights.

My plate appeared to have some sort of stuffed grouse, a type of sweet potato dish, and a couple things I wasn’t confident in placing.  When I asked, Laura told me that what she was eating tasted exactly like a type of swordfish dinner she once had when out with Regina.  Regina was eating a pulpo a la brasa, a Spanish style octopus dish.  I had to roll my eyes yet again today at Jarod, who was happily devouring some form of macaroni and cheese.  “Seriously, James.  This is the BEST I’ve had.  Mom’s gotta get this recipe.”  By the time I finished eating, I was more than happy to say that every last bite was superb.  The blend of flavors was absolutely to my taste.  I had to ask “How did you know what to order for all of us, Regina?”  She winked at me and said, “A girl needs her secrets.”  The girls took off to the restroom together before we headed out.

“So James, why was Regina so upset when you arrived at my place?”  I smiled and leaned toward him conspiratorially.  “I may have claimed that you mastered the technique in five minutes.  You know how competitive she can get.”  At first, he looked shocked.  Then he started laughing.  “Dude, I still can’t even see a thing, and I try all the time!  Why did you do that to her, other than because it’s funny?”  I shrugged and told him “I wanted to test her.  If she thought it was easy for us, then she would likely do it nearly as quickly if she knew how.  If she managed it, I would be more inclined to suspect she purposely hurt Emma.  As things stand, I believe she didn’t mean to hurt anyone.  Honestly makes me feel a bit guilty about the past few weeks.”  Jarod was still smirking when the girls came back.  Abdel was only a moment behind them.  He made sure we were satisfied and wished us to have a good night.

I was more than a little shocked to see my parents and Aaliyah walking toward father’s car as we stepped out.  Aaliyah turned around and waved.  Then skipped up to the car without saying a word to my parents.  While we waited for the limo to pull around, I was startled by an elderly man with a tremendously long beard clearing his throat to my side.  “Sorry for that.  Throat gets all sorts of problems at my age.  I forgot to give these to little Miss Aaliyah.  Sweet kid that one.  Mind seeing that she gets them?”  I thanked the strange man and looked at the papers he had given me after holding the door for him to go back inside.  “Who was that, James, and what did he give you?”  I shrugged cluelessly and told her “I have no idea, but Aaliyah gets to eat here for free.  Twice.”  As the limo drove us to the school, I wondered how the man possibly knew that I could give the tickets to Aaliyah, how she knew where we went, and how she convinced my parents to eat there.  The girl wasn’t suppose to be so distracting when I wasn’t babysitting her.

“She’s such a cutie, James.  How do you know her?” asked Regina.  Aaliyah hugged me and told her “He’s mine.”  Regina looked at me inquisitively, so I explained “Aaliyah’s the daughter of one of my clients.  I babysit her off and on.  He got stuck out of town, so my parents agreed to look after her while I work tonight.”  Regina walked to my side opposite of Aaliyah and hugged my arm.  “Work?  Don’t you mean while you enjoy my company?”  She looked so completely stunning in her strapless dress, but Aaliyah still managed to get my attention by tugging on my ear.  “James!  Put me down!  Picture time!”  We all posed together for more pictures with Aaliyah joining in for most of them.  I also took pictures of her with my parents at her request.  In some ways, she was becoming like the little sister I never had, a sister who seemed almost jealous when Regina was stealing my attention.  “We truly must be off.  Father was so kind getting us reservations.”

I could tell that Aaliyah was disappointed when my parents said she couldn’t come with us.  I gave her a hug and told her that I truly would hang out with her when I returned.  “And I get to see the dance at least!  I won’t ever get a Prom.  My school doesn’t have them, and I’m past high school anyways.” she told me.  Then she stuck her tongue at me, smiled, and ran off to my parents.  “Come on, James.” called Regina.  She was already in the car with the others.  As I sat down, part of me wondered what the point of a school without dancing was.  I loved dancing., even if I was against pink tutus.  The idea that Aaliyah would never have a school dance was depressing too, especially knowing that she loved to dance as well.  Of course, the thought that a little girl was already far ahead of me in schooling was a bit depressing as well.  Regina brought me back to the moment by kissing my cheek and leaning against me.  “Mind pouring us a drink, Jarod?”

For a moment, the golden foil made me think he was pouring us champagne, but I caught the label and realized it was only sparkling grape juice before I protested.  I caught Regina smiling at me.  She probably knew exactly what went through my mind.  The girl could read me very well.  Too well, I felt some days.  “So where are we eating?” I asked.  “The Intergalactic House of Awesome Sauce,” Regina said with a grin.  Jarod nearly dropped the glass he was handing to me.  “Seriously?  We’re getting in there?” he inquired with obvious shock and excitement.  I couldn’t blame him.  Despite the ridiculous name, the restaurant was suppose to be the most exquisite place in the world, as well as the most expensive.  I was exceptionally glad that Regina’s father was paying for the meal and felt ecstatic at the idea of actually eating there.  My parents never believed that any food could be worth the expense the place was rumored to have, so I had never been there.

The building looked extremely plain to my eyes, a square building of shiny brick with a flat roof.  The sign was every bit as ridiculous as the name.  There appeared to be something similar to the Milky Way with a smiley face in its center and its name to the side.  When we went inside, I was completely shocked.  I gathered that the others were shocked as well from their gasps.  There was a single, oak table elaborately engraved and set at the center of an enormous room with candles flickering off mirrors around the walls.  A sparkling, crystal chandelier hung over the table, gently illuminating it and what appeared to be a Persian rug beneath it.  The chairs surrounding the table were of a matching engraved oak and appeared to have luxurious, thick cushions on them.  I was so engrossed by the room that I failed to notice the waiter in his fine suit standing by us until he coughed.

“I am Abdel.  Please have a seat.  Your dinner will be served momentarily.  Tell me if you need anything.”  He waited for Jarod and I to hold the chairs for our respective dates and seat ourselves, but then he simply walked off without taking any orders.  “This place is definitely not what I was expecting from the outside.  How did you manage getting us an entire room to ourselves?” I asked.  Regina gave me a small smile and then said, “I didn’t know we would.  I’m not complaining though.  This place is gorgeous.”  Something about the shade of red lipstick she wore on her lips really brought out how splendidly they were shaped.  I was still staring at them when Abdel returned with a laden cart.  First he set out drinks for each of us in crystal goblets.  Then he set out plates in front of each of us; none of which appeared to have the same food.  Without a word, he walked away, leaving us looking at one another in surprise for a moment before our appetites gave in to the magnificent smells and sights.

My plate appeared to have some sort of stuffed grouse, a type of sweet potato dish, and a couple things I wasn’t confident in placing.  When I asked, Laura told me that what she was eating tasted exactly like a type of swordfish dinner she once had when out with Regina.  Regina was eating a pulpo a la brasa, a Spanish style octopus dish.  I had to roll my eyes yet again today at Jarod, who was happily devouring some form of macaroni and cheese.  “Seriously, James.  This is the BEST I’ve had.  Mom’s gotta get this recipe.”  By the time I finished eating, I was more than happy to say that every last bite was superb.  The blend of flavors was absolutely to my taste.  I had to ask “How did you know what to order for all of us, Regina?”  She winked at me and said, “A girl needs her secrets.”  The girls took off to the restroom together before we took off.

“So James, why was Regina so upset when you arrived at my place?”  I smiled and leaned toward him conspiratorially.  “I may have claimed that you mastered the technique in five minutes.  You know how competitive she can get.”  At first, he looked shocked.  Then he started laughing.  “Dude, I still can’t even see a thing, and I try all the time!  Why did you do that to her, other than because it’s funny?”  I shrugged and told him “I wanted to test her.  If she thought it was easy for us, then she would likely do it nearly as quickly if she knew how.  If she managed it, I would be more inclined to suspect she purposely hurt Emma.  As things stand, I believe she didn’t mean to hurt anyone.  Honestly makes me feel a bit guilty over the past few weeks.”  Jarod was still smirking when the girls came back.  Abdel was only a moment behind them.  He made sure we were satisfied and wished us to have a good night.

I was more than a little shocked to see my parents and Aaliyah walking toward father’s car as we stepped out.  Aaliyah turned around and waved.  Then skipped up to the car without saying a word to my parents.  While we waited for the limo to pull around, I was startled by an elderly man with a tremendously long beard clearing his throat to my side.  “Sorry for that.  Throat gets all sorts of problems at my age.  I forgot to give these to little Miss Aaliyah.  Sweet kid that one.  Mind seeing that she gets them?”  I thanked the strange man and looked at the papers he had given me after holding the door for him to go back inside.  “Who was that, James, and what did he give you?”  I shrugged cluelessly and told her “I have no idea, but Aaliyah gets to eat here for free.  Twice.”  As the limo drove us to the school, I wondered how the man possibly knew that I could give the tickets to Aaliyah, how she knew where we went, and how she convinced my parents to eat there.  The girl wasn’t suppose to be so distracting when I wasn’t babysitting her.

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