Short Story Sunday 155: Familiar

Short Story Sunday: Familiar

            “Hey, don’t I know you?” a petite woman asked.

Penny eyed her waitress suspiciously. “Nope. I don’t think so.” She shook her head and looked back down at her menu. She had never been to this restaurant before so she had no idea what the waitress had been implying.

Penny didn’t go out much. Aside from going to school, she stayed in her house most of the time. She enjoyed lying in bed reading books or watching movies. She didn’t care too much for the outdoors or to even meet with other people. She liked to keep to herself and she was much more comfortable being in her own home.

However, an upperclassman had asked her out. She had a crush on him since middle school, but was always too afraid to say anything. He was the exact opposite of her. She didn’t think he even had a home on account he was never there. If he wasn’t at school, he was out doing something with his friends whether it was eating out, going to the movies, bowling, or just walking around the town. She saw him walk by her house all the time with his large group of friends.

She didn’t want to be out in a restaurant in the first place, but she wanted to make a good first impression. That and her mother made her.

“It will be good for you to finally get out of the house for something other academics.” She had told Penny right before practically shoving her out the door.

The car ride was awkward after Jim picked her up from her house. Now she was sitting alone while he was in the bathroom to “freshen up.” Penny wasn’t too sure if she should tell him how girly that made him sound, but she hoped that he was just as nervous as her and that was his way of coping. If he was nervous, then he must really like her, right?

“No, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you around somewhere…” the waitress tapped her chin with her pen and looked upwards deep in thought.

Penny sighed into her menu as she tried to hide. This was one of the reasons she hated to go out. Someone, somewhere, always recognized her. She ran into teacher and students all the time in places such as the grocery store. They would always have to come over and say hi and make idle chit-chat. Why couldn’t people just let her live in life in peace?

If she and Jim make it to a second date, they were definitely staying at her house and watching Netflix. Sure, she would go out with him sometimes, but relationships were about compromise, right? They could alternate picking their dates. Penny’s choice would just always be the same.

“It’s Penny, right?” the waitress asked.

Penny peered out from behind her menu and nodded. Of course the waitress knew her name. They went to school together! “Can I order my drink, please?”

“Oh, sure.” The waitress seemed to forget their conversation if only for the moment.

Penny let out a sigh of relief. “I’ll have a water with lemon, please.”

“Sure,” the waitress nodded. “What about your date? Do you know what he wants?”

“I’m back!” Jim sat back down in his seat quickly. “Are we ordering food or just drinks?” he looked up at the waitress and then stiffened, a look of horror glazing over his face.

Penny raised her eyebrows and looked up at the waitress, who, instead of a look of horror, had a look of anger.

“Jim?” she said through gritted teeth.

“Oh… Hey, Babe…” he chuckled nervously.

Babe? Penny put her menu down and rolled her eyes. Of course. Why would she think that this date would be so simple?

“No wonder I knew you… You go to my school.” The waitress turned to look at Penny.

“Yes, we’re in the same math class.” Penny muttered.

“And you’re dating my boyfriend apparently!” she raised her voice.

Penny immediately looked at Jim. “Are you kidding me? You’re already in a relationship? Why did you ask me out?”

Jim shrugged his shoulders and then looked at the waitress. “Listen, Babe… I’ve been meaning to talk to you…”

“Okay, I’ve had enough.” Penny stood up. She wasn’t going to sit around and listen to her date break up with his current girlfriend. She didn’t want to get in the middle of anything. Besides, who was to say Jim wouldn’t do the same thing to her once he was sick of their relationship?

“Penny, wait!”

Penny kept on walking. She could heard her waitress, whatever her name was, arguing with Jim.

She stepped outside and took out her cell phone to call her mother to come pick her up. She would have to apologize to Netflix when she got home.

Words: 808

I hope you enjoyed this story! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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11 thoughts on “Short Story Sunday 155: Familiar

  1. A great story, Rachel. Even though she was asked on a date by the guy she had had a long-term crush on, Penny didn’t lose all reason and throw herself at him. Her dignity was worth more than some fun times with the school jock. Was your choice of name for her deliberate? Penny: the smallest coin, the one least valued?
    With admiration, Rich

  2. Penny definitely deserves better — not only did the guy already have a girlfriend, he apparently didn’t pay enough attention to her to know where she worked!

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