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When I left the house that night I didn’t feel like myself. I felt like some diva had invaded my body and possessed it. I kept looking at my reflection in every mirror and shiny surface I could find to try to convince myself that I looked amazing because that’s what Johanna kept telling me as she escorted me out of the house when I just wanted to go back to my room and change into my own clothes. The thing is, I only asked her to help me decide between two of my own outfits but she took over and decreed that I needed something from her closet because all of my clothes were ‘crap’. So there I was in the restaurant talking to the hostess and feeling like clown with all this makeup on my face that she put on me and ignoring the draft on my legs which were exposed because of how short the dress was.


In spite of my discomfort I was still happy because it was my first official date with Cyrus. We’ve gone places with each other before. We’ve gone to the movies, dinner, arcades and café’s together but this was the first time going out as boyfriend and girlfriend. I’m still not used to that, having a boyfriend and being someone’s girlfriend. It’s so weird that I waited until I was an adult to have my first boyfriend…or my first date…or even my first kiss. Izzy and Jo did all these things back in high school while I stayed at home playing Blicblock and watching cartoons with Gabriel. I didn’t have any suitors back then and since I have one now, one that I love a whole lot, I feel kinda bad that I lack any kind of dating experience.

Do we split the bill like we usually do or do I let him pay because we’re dating now? Do I offer to pay the tab or will it offend him? Do I make out with him on the first date since we already had our first kiss? What about woohoo? We’ve known each other for years, so should we wait some more or will it be okay?

All these questions in my head were giving me a headache on top of making me more nervous than I already was but then when I saw him walking towards me with that warm smile of his, I simmered down into a puddle of goo.


“Wow, uh, you look…wow!” He grinned as I watched his eyes move up and down my body.

“Thanks…it was Jo’s idea.”

“Thank you Johanna.” He laughed and I blushed. Maybe Johanna doesn’t have such bad ideas after all.

The hostess walked us to our table and gave us menus before telling us that our server would be with us shortly. I liked this place already. I had never been to Chez Llama before but I read some good reviews online and so far the ambience was great and the service was good.

“Need a nap?” Cyrus asked when he saw me yawning. I tried my best to hold it back but it came out anyway.


“More than you know. I’m worrying a lot about this new SimRay upgrade. It’s keeping me up at night. I wonder if it might be the materials I’m using because according to the research, the atomic makeup…”

“Hey, we’re supposed to be having fun on our date here not talking about SimRays and research. Let’s leave the work at the lab where it belongs, shall we?”

“You’re right. Sorry.”

“You look really beautiful tonight.”

“Thank you. You don’t look so bad yourself.”


“It’s just that…never mind.”

Uh-oh. That didn’t sound promising. “What is it?”

“Well, you don’t look like…you. I mean, you look great and if you’re dressing up because you want to that’s fine by me but I don’t want you to think you need to dress up for me. You’re still beautiful to me even whether you’re in a dress or jeans.”

“Sorry. I didn’t want to look the same way I always look. This is a special night for me. But I guess I let Jo go way too far with her makeover.”

“You do look completely different. I almost didn’t recognise you when you walked in here but I can’t miss those brown eyes of yours.”

“That was….so cheesy!” I laughed. “I’m sure you can do better than that Cy.”


He grinned. “That was my best line! I swear it works on all the girls!”

“It’s not working on me.”

“I know that. That’s why I’m crazy about you. You’re the only girl I know who gets me, who likes the things I like.”

“I feel the same way.”

“So…why are we pretending to be this sophisticated couple when you and I both know that this fine dining stuff is not for either one of us? We’re burgers and hotdogs kind of people.”


“It was your idea to come here, Cy.”

“Because I thought I needed to impress you just like you thought you needed to impress me with the short dress and heels. Now that I’m thinking about it, we’re both acting like the other is a complete stranger when we already know what we like and don’t like.”


“So what do you wanna do? Go down to the park and grill some burgers?” I really wouldn’t mind that at all. Half the items on the menu did not look edible. Cubed ahi? Jungle Moss Egg with Lavender Wisps? No thanks!

“Nah we should stay and enjoy. It is our first date so nothing wrong with having a fancy meal to commemorate the occasion, however, I think we should continue doing all the fun stuff we liked doing before. Sap alert but…having fun with you was one of the reasons why I fell in love with you in the first place.”

I wanted to explode given the amount of excitement I felt at that moment but I played it cool. Hearing him say things like that never gets old and I hope it never does.


“Have you decided what you’ll be having?” The waitress asked as she approached our table.

“You order for us,” Cyrus said. “I’ll have whatever you’re having.”

“OK…well…let’s see. We’ll both have the Sizzled Brisket over Sour Clover Salad and two glasses of fruit punch.” It was the most normal looking thing on the menu.


It actually tasted pretty good and we both enjoyed the food a lot. The brisket was tender and succulent. Although fancy dining wasn’t our style I really liked the experience. But after waking up the following morning with food poisoning I decided that night would be my first and last time at Chez Llama. Cyrus also got sick as well though I think he got over it faster than I did. No more fancy dinners at places with experimental foods for us!

Instead, we spent most of our dates so far doing stuff that we liked which included frequent trips to the arcade.


“Dude, Ive, you’re killing me here!”

“I know! I thought you said you were the master of this game?”

“I am! I have the top score on the board!”

It was true but his top score was 5055 points and I just earned 4950 and the game had thirty seconds left on the timer. I was not only ahead of him in the current game but I was sure I was gonna beat his overall top score before the time was up.


I put on my game face and got to work shooting down as many of those jets as I could.

“Ah, crap!” He yelled. “I just lost another life. I only have one more to go!”

“Really? I still have four left.”

“You’re cheating!”

“I’m not! I’m just giving you a proper beat down.” I bragged.


He laughed. “Oh yeah? I may have one life left but I can still take you d-…what the…? Crap! Game over.”

“Yes! Haha! I beat you! I beat the so called master! Look at that! 5095 points! The top score winner is Q-I-S, Queen Ivy Sloane!” Winning a game is such an adrenaline rush for me. Usually, I’m pretty nice girl but when I’m gaming I turn into this arrogant, smack-talking monster which I assume is what ends up scaring off guys who might be interested in me. Thank goodness, I never have to worry about that stuff with Cyrus. When I beat him and I gloat about it, he thinks it’s cute.

“Fine, fine, you win Your Highness. The Kingdom of Arcadium is yours until our next duel but in the meantime, I think my Queen deserves a prize for her victory.”


“I agree. I think I shall settle for a latte and a scone as my reward.”

“That is all?”

“Do you have something else in mind, milord?”

“Yes, something better than a mere latte and a scone.” He moved closer to me and I felt my heart beating faster.


“The treats here in Arcadium are very good. I wonder what other reward might be better than that.”


“Let me show you.”


He is such a good kisser! I mean, I don’t have anyone else to compare him to but I’d imagine if I did he’d still be the best. We made out right there in front of the machines for a while until some dumb kids passed and groaned about how gross we were.

It’s nice that we can still do stuff like this with each other even though we’re a couple now. I always thought we’d have to do more coupley things but I guess there’s no rule that says we have to be like other people. All I know is that Cyrus is a keeper and I’m gonna hold on to him for as long as I can.