Twenty Four: Kisses

In a fancy restaurant in the city center, I stand behind Gerard with my arms crossed. I’m wearing a black dress, with black leggings and black shoes, with a pearl necklace. My black hair is tied into a side ponytail. Gerard is alos dressed completely in black with the exception of his white and black striped tie.

He argues with the waitress in a low voice.

“You don’t understand. We booked this table a few weeks ago.”

“Yes, I know Mr Way. But we had to give the table to someone else – you were fifteen minutes late, and the restaurant was filling up,” the waitress insists. “I’m sorry, but there are no tables available right now. Come back later?” she suggests.

“But we –”

“Gerard,” I sigh, resting my hand on his arm. “Come on, we’ll find somewhere else to eat. It doesn’t matter, really.”

Gerard shoots me a defeated look and turns away from the waitress. We walk out of the restaurant onto the street. It’s a street for pedestrians only. In the winter, at night, there’s a German market lining the pavement; a similar one is on in the summer during the day. The street is lined with smart restaraunts, fast-food outlets and expensive boutiques.

“They’ll all be full by now,” Gerard sighs. I slip my arm through is and rest my cheek against his arm.

“We don’t have to go somewhere expensive, you know,” I tell him.

He stares down at me.

I gesture at the McDonalds across the street from us. He laughs. “Won’t we look a bit out of place?”

“Who cares?” I drag him into the ‘restaurant’.

“Fine, fine...Go on, get a table. I’ll order.”

“You don’t know what I want,” I argue.

“I bet I can guess.”

I open my mouth and Gerard recites my favourite – okay, it’s the only thing I’ll eat – meal at McDonalds. “You told me a while ago,” he answers my curious gaze.

“I did? I don’t remember. Must have been a long time ago.”

“It probably was, but I have a good memory.” He pushes me gently towards a table and I sit in one of the chairs and wait, slightly impatiently, for him to carry the tray of food over to us.

Later, we both exit the shop laughing after being thrown out when a waiter slipped on coke that Gerard had spilt on the floor. Apparently, food fights in public places are a safety hazard and we were endangering the lives of others by trying to start one. Personally, I don’t see how some sachets of tomato ketchup could kill someone, but there you go – I don’t make up the rules.

“Where do you want to go?” Gerard asks me now, wiping a smear of tomato ketchup from under my eye.

“There’s a nice park near here,” I suggest.

“At least, it was nice the last time I went,” I find myself saying a few minutes later as we walk through the tall, ornate gates of the park. The park is filled with dog walkers, toddlers and prams, idotic boys on bikes and ice cream vans; litter twirls over the ground mingling with leaves on the ground. Whereas the lake in the center of the park used to have a lot of ducks on it, there are none there now (just a beercan).

“Nevermind,” Gerard says lightly. “C’mon, we’ll walk around the lake.”

“Are we going to talk now?” I ask him, linking arms with him.

“Umm, no.”

“Gerard! You said we would!”

“Yes. I think I remember that agreement.”

I whack his arm.

“Then, why aren’t we talking?”

“Because, Layla, I’ve worked something out, me being the intelligent guy I am: there’s no point in talking! We already know what we’re going to say, so...” He grinned at me. “I think I know how you feel and I think you know how I feel. What’s there to talk about?”

We came to a stop next to the lake.

“There’s plenty to –”

He silences me with a kiss. My first thought is – oh, I guess this is his idea of talking (indeed, I’m learning more about how he feels about me from the kiss than anything else), and then – he’s quite a good kisser, for a vampire. I find myself overwhelmed with the urge to giggle at that statement that popped into my mind, but then the moment passes and I can actually enjoy the kiss.

It’s not like a kiss I’ve shared with a man before. There was no other implication behind the kiss; he wasn’t after anything else other than this. It was gentle, it was soft, but it was passionate. He meant it.

Just then, one of the ‘idiotic boys on bikes’ rode past us, jeering, riding so close that Gerard was knocked into by him. Gerard lost his balance, and we were pulled apart.

Gerard fell into the lake and, because he had such a tight grip on me, he pulled me in with him.