Emerson Lake Palmer (sadly it’s his real name) has been dating Brooke Preston for about a week. It’s been a busy week, with one thing and another, and he really wants to get laid badly. Unfortunately, Brooke is a virgin and she has a very overprotective father. Lake has promised her father he won’t push her into anything she’s not ready for, but he dearly wishes she’d be ready sooner rather than later. One morning, before their college classes begin, they go out to breakfast.
Toby’s Restaurant is family owned and has the best food around at low prices. We ordered a cup of coffee and talked over the menu as we waited for the waitress to come back. After placing our orders, we chatted quietly for awhile, talking around what I wanted to know, but not quite ignoring it. The waitress brought our orders, and I’d made up my mind to ask Brooke outright what her dad had said.
“So,” I began, but she put her hand over mine.
“Dad had a lot to say after you left. He wasn’t mad. He was just. . . .”
“Concerned,” I finished for her.
“He has every right to be. I made no pretense with him the first time we talked about our relationship. He knows where I stand.”
“Yes, he told me. What he didn’t know was where I stood. That was what he most wanted to know.”
“And what did you tell him?”
“That I’m ready to make a commitment and so are you.”
“Did that upset him?”
“Not as much as I thought it would. He actually encouraged it.”
“What? He wants us to. . . .” I lowered my voice because I’d said that pretty loud. “He wants us to fool around?” I hissed.
She giggled, blushing like crazy as the people in the restaurant went back to their meals. The waitress refilled our cups of coffee and left more cream on the table. We ate a couple minutes, then I asked her again.
“Not in so many words, but he said, Brooke, if you don’t give that man what he needs, he’s going to explode. I couldn’t believe it!”
I scooted my plate across the table and let my head fall to the tabletop. The waitress came over to check on me.
“Are you okay, honey? Is the food all right?”
My head popped up and I smiled. “The food is great. I’m boned, but the food’s fantastic.”
To prove it, I took a big bite, a gulp of coffee and chewed, much of it running down my chin. The waitress handed me some extra napkins and gave me a really funny look. The people in the restaurant stared at me again as I wiped myself down.
“I’m having a personal crisis,” I said in a friendly manner, waving to them. “Not serious, life threatening, or contagious. Go back to your meals, don’t mind me.” I waved again and turned to Brooke.
She was red in the face trying hard not to spew her coffee all over the table. After a struggle, she swallowed, her eyes glittering as she tried not to laugh.
“Am I so pathetic that your old man is telling you that I need to get laid?”
I whispered intensely, cutting my pancakes with enthusiasm and stuffed them into my mouth. I was to the point that I really didn’t know what I was doing, trying to eat, drink coffee or flip out. All three seemed viable but didn’t coexist terribly well, especially the coffee and the flipping out. I was making a terrible mess.
“Are you all right, Lake?”
“I’m manic depressive. No, probably bipolar. Or I have some sort of serious emotional problem due to lack of intimacy. Something has affected my hearing, because I thought I heard you say that your dad was condoning us fooling around.”
“He sees how hard you’re trying to respect his wishes and not take advantage of me. He talked a long time with Grady, he knows we didn’t do anything the night you came over.”
“How would Grady know? Did he stay outside the bedroom door all night?”
“Apparently, he took his duty to protect me seriously. He put a chair in the hallway and sat there all night long. He said he never heard a thing. He also told Dad that you were too damn tense the following morning to have possibly had sex.”
“God, even the security officer thinks I need to get laid. Mike said the same thing. Am I that big a wreck?”
The waitress, an older black woman, came over to check on us again. She carried a fresh pot of coffee and our bill. She heard what I said about needing to get laid and looked between the two of us. She focused on me. Smiling pleasantly, she patted me on the shoulder.
“Yeah, baby, you’re that big a wreck. You need to take this girl somewhere nice and private and have some fun before you completely blow a gasket.”
“Thank you,” I said, my pride totally trashed. “Now the waitress thinks I need to get laid too.” I said that a little louder than I intended.
Everyone in the restaurant was ogling our unfolding drama. I glanced around the restaurant at all the curious faces. There were no kids in there, mostly people my parents’ age and older. A couple college kids had just walked out. Not caring anymore, I stood up and turned around, examining them all and letting them get a good look at me.
“I assume you’ve been listening.” I smiled sweetly, letting them know it was all right even if it wasn’t. “So, are you all of the same opinion?”
“Get fucked,” an old man said with a big grin.
His wife smacked him on the shoulder, smiled politely at me and nodded. Everyone else agreed.
“We can’t go against popular opinion,” I told Brooke as I sat down. “I think we need to go have sex, honey.”
I kissed her deeply, giving her the best kiss I could. It made me tingle all over, I hoped it was having the same effect on her. The people in the restaurant cheered, whistled and clapped. One man, about my dad’s age, handed me a twenty dollar bill to pay for breakfast.
“Son, if you’re stupid enough to let this beautiful young lady get away from you, well then you’re a goddamn fool.”
I handed the waitress the money which paid for breakfast and a nice tip. Amid clapping and cheering, we walked out of the restaurant. I didn’t know if I should be humiliated or not. Brooke didn’t say a word until we got to her car. Once we were inside, she burst out laughing so hard I thought she was going to pee on herself. Tears ran down her face as she clung to the steering wheel.
© 2014 Dellani Oakes