Refreshing

Nate’s not sure what’s going through his mind.

It’s 9 at night and he’s sat at a restaurant, the poshest one he knows and he’s waiting for a date. He hasn’t dated anyone in a while and fed up of his excuses, his pain-in-the-ass sister took it upon her to find her elder brother a perfect lover. He loves Estelle, he honestly does, but when she interferes in his pathetic excuse of a love life, he can’t help but want to kill her. When she skipped over to him happily across the hallway, squeezing her way through the ocean of people, a toothy smile suffocating the words she was trying to say, he couldn’t say no, she was too excited. She squealed, wrapped her arms around him and started gushing over the cute couple they would make.

The date was scheduled for 8 pm and Nate knew this perfectly, having repeatedly asked her when it was, getting antsy as the date drew closer. But it was 9:00 and he didn’t see any ‘hot chunk of ass’ anywhere here. There was a group of guys just a few tables down from his and one of them, his silver hair glowing in the dim lighting, had caught his eye but that was beside the point. He had been stood up and it didn’t feel good.

Nate’s never been stood up before. He hasn’t dated enough people for that to happen. He’s stood a few people up before, his anxiety getting in the way of a perfectly good relationship and now he just feels terrible. The fading hope, the creeping realisation that they aren’t coming, the hushed whispers, the stolen looks, it’s all too much for him and he can’t breathe. He feels like there’s someone, something choking him and he cannot. Is he not good enough for a relationship? Does no one like him? Will he ever find someone? Is he destined to be alone? Nate can hear all the people around him, whispering about the poor man sitting there alone, and he can almost feel the pitied glances the waiters are giving him, he’s sweating into the startched white shirt he pulled out from the very back of his closet and he can’t, he can’t, he can’t. His blood pressure’s rising and he tries slowing his breath down.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Inhale.

Exhale.

His breath’s slowing down and he’s better now. Not fine, but better. (Never fine.)

Nate picks up the glass of water next to his shining white plate, drinking it slowly, the cool water relaxing him. A waiter walks up to him, a notepad in hand, a stereotypial French pencil moustache above his thin lips.”Are you okay, sir?”

“Yes, thank you, I’m fine.”

“Would you like to order now?”

The menu’s lying on the table next to him, but he thinks he needs to wait for some time. Just to make sure, to be certain.”Just a little longer, please.”

The smile plastered on his face droops a little, but he nods.”Sure, sir.” And he’s gone.

Nate buries his face in his hands. Asking them to wait a little longer isn’t going to make his blind date come. He might as well leave. The back of his neck’s prickling as if someone’s staring at him and he looks up, his eyes sweeping over the group of guys. The silver-haired one’s looking at him, and a jolt runs down his spine. He has the most beautiful blue-grey eyes and Nate thinks he’s drowning. He grips the chair he’s sitting on, feeling like he’s going to lose his balance all of a sudden. Silver hair smirks a little as if knowing what was happening and Nate’s confused as to why he’s looking at him. Silver hair stands up, excusing himself from the group of his chattering assumed to be friends. He looks like he’s been hit with something and Nate’s scared for once. He walks over to Nate’s table, seating himself on the empty chair across him. Silver hair moves around, trying to get comfortable and Nate has no clue what’s happening. From up close, the only word he can use to describe him is beautiful. His features are sharp, cut by a knife, his lean body doing wonders to his brain and it’s just him.

“Hi, honey, sorry, traffic was murder,”He speaks out loudly, his deep voice sending shivers down Nate’s back, as if wanting those around them to hear him.

They live in a small town, the population barely crossing 1,000, the number of people who get out of their houses even less and it’s a shitty excuse. But he takes it, thankful for Silver hair coming to his rescue.”It’s alright, babe, as long as you’re here now.” The terribly overrated nickname slips out and he sounds like he’s reading from a teleprompter but he honestly doesn’t even care.

He leans forward as if conspiring and whispers,”I’m Axel. What’s your name?”

“Um, Nate. Nice to meet you. Thanks for this. I had this date and he didn’t come and-”

“Hey, it’s okay. You don’t need to explain it to me.”

“Thank you so much.”

“You owe me though.”

Nate can see Axel’s friends turning around every now and then to stare at them and he decides to ignore them. He’s not sure how to talk to Axel, the antisocial person he is and he nods.”What exactly do I owe you?”

He smirks at him.”How about this date?”

For the first time in so long he doesn’t know what’s happening and it’s refreshingly heavenly.

 

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