Despite the fact that everyone at dinner is struggling to remember the name, face, or anything remotely related to his physical appearance, personality, or interests, all reviews thus far seem to be overwhelmingly positive for Stephanie’s new boyfriend.
Stephanie, who is notoriously codependent and easily swayed by even the most minute of her friends’ opinions, asked the group what they thought of Andrew, who she claimed has joined them on numerous occasions and group outings. The earnestness in her voice and the obvious vulnerability in her gaze as she looked from face to face made it clear to the group that the stakes were high.
Jared led the response, taking charge as per usual. “He’s a great guy,” he said without hesitation. “One of the good ones.”
Rachel, privately irked that Jared had stolen two golden lines for this rare social situation, added “It’s rare you find someone who mixes intelligence… and good looks… in such a classy way, you know?”
Freddy, ever the poet, smirked inwardly as he prepped his response. “I couldn’t have picked a better match for you, Steph. The chemistry you two had, the inside jokes, the glances back and forth… I know it’s only been a few dates, but the way you carry on, it’s like you’ve known each other for years.”
Jared and Rachel simmered at his coy move, but Stephanie seemed satisfied thus far. All present, however, knew things would soon get dicey. The group prepared to change the subject but were foiled as Stephanie unexpectedly raised the ante with a quick riposte directed at the final challenger, Derek, who hadn’t yet contributed.
“Derek, what do you think about his business idea? I told you, didn’t I, that he was such an entrepreneur!”
Derek, whom everyone knows is not great under pressure, visibly blanched. He looked around the table and found no help among the many faces urging him toward a clutch response. Desperately plumbing his memory, he vaguely recalled the park trip they’d all made the previous weekend… where he remembered nodding his head in response to a bland conversation… with somebody… that had lasted over fifteen minutes… “He really knows what to do with his pockets,” he said simply, before moving to take a big helping of eggplant, trying to distract Stephanie with his quick, erratic hand motions.
The group let out a collective sigh of relief, to which Stephanie was blissfully ignorant, as she puzzled over Derek’s response. Before she could continue, Freddy asked everyone if he’d told them how Awesome last weekend was, to which Jared replied, emphatically, in the negative, while Rachel urged him to elaborate.
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