Reporting on Date Night
Mike Lawrence did not have the patience for what was going on across the table from him. His girlfriend, Nina Pentiano, was mindlessly typing away the precious minutes of their date night on her cellphone. The best wine the restaurant had to offer was between the two of them, untouched, and her meal had grown cold. Mike's was digesting in his stomach.
"Nina," Mike whispered, trying to delicately set aside his attitude. It wasn't often that they both got the same days off, and it was even less common for them to spend those days out, but Mike had wanted to do something nice. "You should eat your food before we have to send it back to be thawed out again."
Her finger shot up and a short, Mm, escaped her pursed lips. It wasn't the sort of sound associated with thinking or a delicious meal. No, Mike recognized it as the I'm-trying-to-text-and-you're-interrupting-my-focus dismissal sound.
"We promised each other we wouldn't bring our phones out tonight. Remember?" he asked, but she just kept typing away. His temper was about to flare, when she let out a short sigh and tucked her phone away in her purse, her eyes falling on the dinner plate as if to wonder when it had actually been placed in front of her.
"Sorry Love, there's some craziness going on at the office tonight. Plebeians like us aren't the only people who like to make fools of themselves on Friday nights. The celebrities are on the prowl for some trouble." She grabbed the bottle of wine and poured herself a glass. "Layla wanted me to try and cover one of the clubs, but I told her that since it's my day off I was spending it with you."
Mike was willing to accept what she said to soothe his temper, but also knew quite well that it was a lie. He could tell by the way her fingers drummed the table and her eyes stared pointedly out the window that Nina was waiting to get news of something or someone nearby. Determined not to spoil the dinner, he reached across the table to stroke her restless fingers with his thumb. "Thank you," he said with a tight smirk. "I was starting to think you would never come up for air." Nina had begun to pick at her food with her free hand, her quizzical expression telling him that she didn't even remember ordering the entree.
Conversation slowly began to swirl around the more mundane. They needed new throw pillows for the guest room. Mike was looking at a promotion into management if he kept up his car sales in the passing months. Nina was attempting to pitch an idea for her own column to Layla. They needed to find a matching dish set before their families came to visit for the holidays. Did they have to be traditional looking holiday dishes since they were in Miami, Florida?
Slowly, Mike began to ease into the date and was reminded of why he dealt with all of Nina's unruly behavior. She might have been a workaholic, but she was intelligent and, sometimes, thoughtful.
"I'm ready to head home. Can we rent a movie or something?" she asked quietly, as Mike handed the check over to the waiter.
"I don't see why not." His reply came with an honest smile. "Anything but a rom-com."
"How can a date night be complete without a rom-com to cuddle up and watch?" she insisted, a slow and deliberate pout forming on her face.
Mike stood from his chair and reached his hand out to help her up. "We'll have to see what's available. You might just get your way."
They left the restaurant hand-in-hand, content with their plans for the rest of the night. It wasn't till they reached Pine Street that they were hit with a threat to their course.
A black Cadillac pulled up in front of the light, blocking their way across the intersection. At first neither of them had an understanding of what was going on. When the light turned green and the man's Cadillac didn't move Nina got concerned and Mike temper came back with a vengeance.
"Seriously? What the hell is this?!" he snapped as the sounding horns behind him grew louder.
Nina grabbed his hand and gave it a tight squeeze. "I'm sure there's a perfectly good reason for this." When Mike glanced over he realized that her cellphone had reappeared. She was typing furiously, the gossip reporter in her kicking in instantly.
"Honey," he warned as he saw the smile on her face slowly start to grow. "We talked about this, remember? You weren't going to make me play driver ever again." One parking violation and an inexcusable number of speeding tickets had been enough to award that argument to Mike, but the way Nina's eyes were shining told him that she clearly didn't recall their agreement.
He frowned as the sound of engines revving drown out his logic and only served to heighten Nina's natural curiosity. There was enough time for them to both catch a yellow Lamborghini go flying down the strip. When he looked at Nina again, her jaw was on the floor.
She leaped forward, latching onto the dashboard as she craned her neck to get a look at the cars as raced farther down the street. Her index finger raised itself towards the glass as her mouth began to form a command, but she stopped herself.
Her eyes slowly set on Mike's strained expression, causing her to lower herself back into her seat. She took up her phone and sent their location to the intern that her magazine had recently picked up. After typing a detailed list of what information needed to be gathered for the article to be valid, she tucked her phone back into her purse.
After a few moments of silence she hissed, "We're totally getting a rom-com."
Mike's lips pulled up in a smirk as he leaned over and planted a kiss on her cheek. "We will watch whatever movie you want."
She grabbed his hand, making a point to stroke his still tense knuckles with her thumb. Mike squeezed his car by the blockade, pleased when Nina's eyes didn't even bother to glance at the flashing cop lights that were turning across the building fronts farther down the street.