“Mary Anne Schweikart,” I read out loud as my friend Rob played Angry Birds on his phone.
“What’s up with her?” He asked without looking at me.
“You know? You should really stop playing that game, it stopped being cool like ten to twelve years ago,” I replied.
He flipped me off and kept playing.
“So?” He continued.
“You know this new girl from first period?” I said.
“Oh yeah, she’s kinda pretty,” he said.
“Um yes, she is, and you have a girlfriend,” I replied.
“Damnit…I lost,” Rob paused. “Don’t be dramatic, I said she was hot, not that I was gonna marry her, chill,” he said.
“When did ‘kinda pretty’ turn into ‘hot’? Anyway, yeah, I talked to her the whole class, Mr. Dominguez was PISSED,” I said playing with a partially deflated basketball.
“So? How is she?” He asked, initiating the level again.
“Dude she’s something else. Her eyes are so freaking beautiful, she’s got these big brown eyes and she smells like strawberries,” I said.
“In love much?” Rob joked.
“I’m not in love, don’t be crazy, I’m just saying she’s cute,” I said.
“If you say so, it sounds like you’re in love,” Rob continued.
I didn’t know if I was in love with her, I met her that day. Was she amazing? Yes. Was she pretty? Most definitely. Did we have a connection? I hope so. But in love? I wasn’t sure about that.
“It’s a very strong word to be throwing around like that Rob,” I said.
“Whatever. I told Melissa I loved her two days after our first date, but I could’ve told her the same day. And look at me, 4 years strong,” He said, again, without looking at me.
It was true, Rob and Melissa had been together since forever. He didn’t talk much about their relationship but I guess it’s for the best since he’s the only one with a girlfriend in our friend group. She’s cool, last year she stole a bottle of Jack Daniels from her father’s secret stash and it’s fair to say we climbed up a few levels in the popularity scale.
“Did you watch the game last night? I swear I’m gonna die before I see the Ravens win anything,” Rob said, changing the topic of conversation.
“Did you know Mary Anne moved from Boston?” I said, changing it back.
“Who the hell moves from Boston to the middle of nowhere Tennessee?” Rob said.
“She said her dad works for an oil company,” I replied.
“Oh, she’s perfect for you. You love the Earth and she loves destroying it. A match made in heaven,” Rob said with palpable sarcasm in his voice.
“One, she’s not the one working for the oil company, it’s her dad, and two, her dad works in the division of transition to green energy,” I replied.
“Transition to green energy,” Rob laughed. “That’s like being in charge of customer health in a tobacco company,” he said.
I laughed. Rob wasn’t wrong, but, it was enough of a grey area for me to be at peace with my morals.
“So you only talked about creative ways to destroy the planet using her daddy’s money?” Rob asked.
“No. She’s also into musicals,” I replied.
“You hate musicals,” Rob said.
“Only the ones where they sing too much,” I replied.
I really didn’t like musicals.
“I get it, you like her because she’s pretty, makes sense,” Rob said.
“No, she loves movies, she even told me she watches a different movie every day,” I said.
She did, she watched all of Kurosawa’s movies, she’s very much into Kubrick, her favorite romcom is Annie Hall and her most watched animated film is Wall-E.
“Oh Lord, not another film buff,” Rob said.
I may or may not have talked a little too much about movies to Rob, I even forced him to watch a Bergman film once.
“If you two get together you’re gonna force me to watch those weird 3-hour-long Swedish movies,” he said. Rob was never a big movie aficionado, he was more of a fast car and explosions kind of guy.
“For every Swedish movie you force me to watch I’ll make you watch one of Fast and Furious, and there are ten of them,” He said chuckling.
“So, that’s it? She’s hot and likes movies, got it,” Rob looked at me and then continued playing.
It wasn’t it, but if it was those were two completely reasonable points to like her. She was very smart too, Mr. Dominguez didn’t do anything to us because she finished the whole group assignment in 15 minutes. She knew how to speak French and a bit of Spanish. She almost won a regional swimming competition and seemed to have a similar fixation for bacon like mine. After thinking about all of this I started thinking that maybe she was too good, like, out-of-my-league-too-good. Then I remembered….the message!
“Mary Anne Schweikart: Thoughts on Scenes from a Marriage? Also, see you tomorrow?” I read out loud.
“Oh, God. Tell her to sit somewhere comfortable,” Rob said.
I smiled a bit and texted back.
© Gabriel Berm