A Simple Love Story

Tuesday nights are good nights for dinner parties.

Monday is too soon, because the week just started. You’d be too tired to enjoy your company. Wednesday is the middle of the week – it’s not the kind of day you want to remember – hence a dinner party on Tuesday where everyone leaves drunk. Best to spend Wednesday hungover, right? Besides, while there are some people who think the week is “week half over,” there others are “week half started.” Am I right? Of course I’m right – otherwise I wouldn’t be explaining why Tuesday night is dinner party night.

Thursday would be a viable option, but it’s sort of the “last stretch.” The next day is Friday and that means the week is over. Nobody is ever miserable on Friday because they know that the weekend is starting. Some places even let their employees leave early – something that you really only ever see in big professional corporations.

Or, you know, with politicians.

We do these dinner parties once a week – politicians feel as though they need to have a break. I know, though, that these parties are more or less superficial rumor mill gatherings. I’d always hated going, but I never let anyone know it. After my sister’s flub with the pregnancy – which apparently wasn’t even actually her fault – I just smiled and flirted my way through the crowd until I stole enough liquor to stumble my way onto a distant balcony in a convincing enough way to deter all future questions.

“How is your sister?”

            “Has your dad said anything to you about the bill they’re reviewing in the House? What does he think about that nonsense?”

            “Do you think your mother will run any office now that her girls are all finished with high school – she’s quite the motivational speaker!”

            The thing about being a famous politician’s daughter – is that I’m not the teen mom daughter. I get plenty of questions and attention but none of it pertains to me. I can tell you exactly the last time someone asked about me – it was my waiter fifteen minutes prior, actually. He asked me if I had a preference to the chocolate mouse or the chocolate gelato. I didn’t answer him because I was stuffing my face with chocolate gelato. I think he was trying to be funny, but I was too posh to care.

That’s why I go to the balcony, to remind myself that I don’t want to be too caught up in this lifestyle. Soon I’ll be graduating college so that I can be in medical administration. It will be the perfect amount of schmoozing. Convincing people to care about the advancement of medical treatment – easy. Pretending not to be a cutthroat traitor to your co-workers – extremely boring and difficult. All politicians are paranoid, I’d learned.

Once I did make it to my balcony, though, I wasn’t as free as I’d hoped. There was never supposed to be someone there – I chose a very specific and remote balcony ahead of the party so that there’d be nobody around when I snuck to my escape. This time there was someone there already, and it was somebody who looked kind of familiar no less.

“You’re a long way from home.” The person said just be he popped a cigarette between his forefinger and thumb. It was not wrong. Not even just literally but metaphorically. For the first time that night, I genuinely smiled.

I approached the person, a bit of wonder in my mind at the time. The closer I got, the more I recognized the person – well, at least I recognized the outfit. This was one of the waiters. So I remarked to him in kind; “Aren’t you supposed to be working?” Dear god, I was so poshtoo posh! I was embarrassing beyond belief.

And yet – his laugh had been sincere! Puffs of smoke jumped from behind his teeth playfully as he pretended to chuckle. We stood there for a moment, laughing in rotation before finally someone had to say something. So the waiter, clearly a natural, opened, “Enjoy your gelato?”

He kept smoking, and for absolutely no reason that was super fascinating at the time. I just gawked at him until words formed on my lips. I mocked him for his attention to detail; asked him how many pretty girls were snacking on gelato that evening. And that man was smooth as hell; “Only one worth remembering. She didn’t quite fit in with the rest.”

It may sound repetitive, but dear god was he funny! I laughed so hard at him – at his well timed and generic pick up line. No less, I fell for it. Never you mind that I had a boyfriend back school that could have been devastated to see me impressed by this waiter.

Or rather, server – as he so aptly corrected me later when I questioned what a waiter was doing taking up half of his lunch by walking all the way across the building and up three floors. Servers could supposedly take extended lunches if they volunteered to stay behind for clean up hours, so he took his extra time to properly enjoy the quiet.

“Sorry I’m messing with your lunch. I can always leave, if you’d like.” But he stepped closer to me. This man assured me that I was hardly a bother at all. He’d been nothing shy of pleased to have such engaging company. We chatted about the party and how it sucked – how each week sucked.

And then he announced that each month sucked; that each year sucked. Soon he confirmed he’d been working there for nearly three years. Somehow we’d lost track of time during which he shared all about his life – how he would be returning to school to finish his degree to teach soon. I got his number that night and a link to his website, which also doubled as his portfolio. His YouTube account was dedicated to teaching art. I got caught up in it once he couldn’t avoid his responsibilities any longer.

Hours – it was hours that I’d spent watching those videos. Each was more enjoyable than the last, and I failed to even notice that my parents had gotten a ride home without me. I remained at the building to help clean up so that I could spend more time with the server. I learned his name was Gerard before I asked him to give me a ride home. We connected so much over the things we hated about the dinner parties that we set up a date for the following Tuesday – just so that we both had an excuse not to attend.

And that’s how we fell in love.

My boyfriend found out, from me directly, but unsurprised. I’d apparently been distant, which I didn’t bother doubting out loud. It easily could have been true. I hadn’t truly been happy until Gerard weaseled his cheeky little way into my heart. I’ve been with Gerard for about a year now.

I know the story itself is pointless. Nobody cares about our love story. We both come from families with a lot more going on than an honest romance… His family is filled with people who have great jobs at big businesses and firms. My family is filled with activists and politicians who are known around the world. Whatever happens to us is just a filler story at the reunions and dinner parties.

And that’s just fine by us.

We don’t need to be anything bigger than our love for each other.

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