“Do you want brown rice or white?”
Having been awoken at 2 am by a false fire alarm, an exhausted Johnny blinked at the twenty something year old girl in a dirt-colored hat who was standing on the other side of the counter. A dull “uhh,” started to escape from his lips when Cameron answered for him.
“Brown,” he said, before turning to Johnny. “It’s healthier.”
The guys had spent the entire walk from the soccer field talking about how excited they were for “Chipotle.” Johnny had had Mexican food before, but they assured him that it was the best thing he would ever eat. He had his doubts, but was optimistic - his teammates hadn’t led him astray….yet.
But as he watched the girl in the brown hat pass his bowl full of rice and beans away from him down the counter, he realized he had to think quickly. “What kind of meat do you want?”
“Mm, chicken,” Johnny replied.
“Lettuce?” the man asked.
“Sour Cream, cheese and salsa?”
Three things at once. He paused for a beat, then saw that there were six people standing in line behind him. “Uh, yes.”
He was thankful only one more question followed. The man spooned and sprinkled the different colors into his burrito bowl before ending with the guacamole. It cost extra, but he wanted the “full experience,” and everyone before him had gotten it. Plus, at this point, he was starving.
After paying at the register, he filled his drink at the soda counter, then joined the boys at their table. “No ice?” Cameron asked, and Johnny shook his head no. Shoveling food into his mouth, he listened as Cameron redirected to grill their friend Jack about a girl he had met at the MIT party weeks ago.
“Dude, she was cute! Did you get her number?”
Jack used his shirt to wipe sour cream from his chin, then said, “Yeah man,” laughing. “I got more than her number, that’s for sure.”
“What happened?” Cameron asked.
Jack said they, “hooked up” then proceeded to be showered with a chorus of sarcastic “oooooohs.”
“So you slept with her?” another guy asked, but Jack replied that they had just made out. Johnny stared intently at his food while pretending to play it cool. A few people proceeded to argue over just what that meant to “hook up”, but whichever definition they decided upon, Johnny knew that he had not “hooked up” with anyone, and was unsure how to feel about it.
As he stared down into the bowl of what was supposed to be “the best thing he ever ate” and listened to the guys arguing about getting physical with girls, Johnny thought about the upcoming Halloween weekend and how overwhelmed he was in that moment. He normally felt like he had everything under control, but today was not his day. Splashing hot sauce onto his dinner, then picking up his fork, he thought if he could keep his mouth full for the remainder of the meal, he might not have to say anything to his friends - and that’s exactly what he did, fork to mouth, until everyone decided to call it a night.