Romance Drama Funny

Sam knew she shouldn’t. On the one hand, it was rude. On the other, it was too late. To take it back, to regret it. What’s done was done.

She took another bite of the banana. It was still slightly green. Her favorite.

“Samantha,” Rosa groaned when she walked into her bedroom. She yanked the banana out of Sam’s hands.

“Hey, I’m eating that,” Sam said, ignoring the use of her full name. Rosa didn’t call her Samantha when she was angry. She called her Samantha when she was exasperated.

“You’re going on a date. You can’t eat before dinner.”

Sam had already (very sneakily, she thought) eaten two bananas—something Rosa definitely didn’t need to know. 

Rosa bit the banana she stole and scrunched her nose. “How can you eat this?”

“Bananas taste better when they’re not completely ready,” Sam said. She turned and looked at herself in the mirror. 

Rosa came up behind her, banana gone, and said, “Doing things before you’re not ready always turn out better, too.” She poked Sam’s side, and Sam glared at her.

“I’m over Miguel.” Sam crossed her arms and studied her reflection.

“I know,” Rosa said. She sat on Sam’s bed. “But I also know you’re thinking of ways to look worse so Alex won’t be attracted to you. And I know you were eating that banana so that you look rude at the restaurant and don’t eat much.”

Three bananas, Sam thought.

Sam turned to face Rosa. “You need to move out. You know me way too well to be my roommate for any longer.”

“Alex isn’t going to care about how you look.”

Sam pointed a finger at her. “I’m serious.”

“Sure,” Rosa said, but then her face softened and turned serious. “You can’t let one broken heart from one stupid boy hold you back from finding someone you love.”

Sam sighed and sat beside her. “Fine, but just so you know, I do care about physical appearance—call me shallow, I don’t care—so if your cousin isn’t cute, I’m going to walk right out of the restaurant without saying a word.”

“Deal,” Rosa said. Sam groaned. That meant Alex was very much not unattractive.

Why had she agreed to this blind date in the first place? She looked at her bed longingly, the way a child looked at the presents under the Christmas tree. She wanted to dive into it, hide under two blankets, and watch rom-coms that would make her feel worse about love.

“What are you thinking?” Rosa said. 

She shrugged. “Nothing. It’s better not to think about the things you don’t want to do.” 

Rosa rolled her eyes, and Sam tried not to think about how often Miguel used to do that to her every time she did something he didn’t like. And that was often.

“Do you regret setting me up on a date with your cousin?” Sam asked, pushing those painful memories away. She was over him—but that didn’t mean it didn’t hurt to think about the ways he’d hurt her. Her feelings. Her heart. 


“But I’m purposefully late and trying to ruin the date before it starts.”

“You’re a good person, Sam,” Rosa said, pushing her out of the bedroom as she handed Sam her purse. “You deserve love. Good love. And Alex has a heart of gold. Trust me.”

“Fine,” Sam said, but she couldn’t help but feel a prickle of fear. “I hate you, you know that?” But Rosa didn’t answer. She pushed Sam all the way out of the apartment and closed the door. 

The last thing Sam heard was the lock turning in place.

. . .

The strawberries were extra sweet, just how Alex liked them.

“What are you doing?” Bea asked, plucking the strawberry out of Alex’s hand and throwing it into her mouth.

“Wha—you know I eat when I’m nervous!” Alex said as Bea plopped down on the couch. 

“If you’re full before dinner, you’re not going to eat.” 

Alex looked toward the nearly empty box of strawberries on the counter with reddening cheeks. “Too late.”

Alexandra!” Bea said. She got up and went to put the leftover strawberries in the fridge. It was probably for the best.

Alex’s leg wouldn’t stop bouncing with nerves. She’d been ready for the blind date Rosa had set for her since an hour ago. And now… now she was going to ruin it. “Crap,” she said. “Crap, crap, crap." Why had she ate so much? She wasn't even hungry anymore. 

“What’s wrong?” Bea said, sitting beside her again. 

“She’s going to hate me for being so rude,” Alex said, “And I’m just gonna sit there, and stare, and it’s going to be awkward, and the whole date will be ruined.” She glared at Bea. “I told you not to let me eat.”

“I’m your sister, not your watch guard.” Bea put her hand on Alex’s legs. They stopped shaking. “Relax. What are you so nervous about?”

Alex hid her face in her hands. “I don’t know. Cause it’s a blind date, and I know nothing about this girl. And this is going to sound lame, but I really want a girlfriend, and I want her to like me.” Her face felt hot so she kept it hidden behind her hands.

“You’re right, that does sound lame.”

Alex grabbed a pillow and threw it at Bea’s face. Bea laughed and threw it back. “Hey, you said it. I was just agreeing.”

Alex flipped her off.

“Look,” Bea said. “If everything goes well, then great, but if it doesn’t, you’ll find someone else. It’s not the end of the world.”

“I know, but I’ve never even had a girlfriend, Bea. No one likes me.”

Bea bit her lip. A sign she was holding something back. A sign that whatever wanted to burst out of her lips like a dirty secret would probably be some harsh honesty.

Alex hesitated, but then narrowed her eyes. “What?”

Bea let go of her lower lip. “It’s just that… I’ve seen you with girls before.”


“And you always act like, well, someone else. It’s like you’re afraid they’re not going to like you for who you are so you pretend. But Alex, it’s the pretending they don’t like.”

Alex sighed and looked down because she wasn’t wrong. “I’m not going to pretend tonight,” she said. “But hey, I’m the older one. Why are you giving me advice?”  

Bea flipped her hair back. “You may be old, but I’m the wise one.”

Older,” Alex said, glaring. “You think she’ll show?” she asked. 

“I trust Rosa,” Bea said. “She wouldn’t set you up with someone unless she thought she was a good person.”

“You’re right.” Alex stood up. “I’m gonna head out now.”

“What? The date’s not for another thirty minutes.”

“Early is on time, sis,” Alex said, throwing her bag over her shoulder. The truth was, she felt like puking and needed fresh air. She walked out the door, but already, she felt like a giant was knocking on her chest.

The last thing she heard was the turn of the lock. It was too late to go back.

. . .

As Sam got closer to the restaurant, the weight of regret grew heavier with every step. Rosa was right. She was trying to betray this chance she’d set up for her. But it wasn’t because Alex wasn’t over Miguel: she was afraid of having her heart broken. 

It was painful the last time. It felt like her heart, not a muscle but a piece of glass, was hit by a hammer and broken into thousands of pieces. For two months she wandered around, walking on those pieces, cutting her feet and feeling them bleed. She couldn’t do anything to stop the bleeding. She just had to wait for the cuts to heal by themselves.

She didn’t know if she could go through that again. 

She shivered—half from nerves, half from the biting breeze. No. Rosa was right. She couldn’t be afraid of that happening. She’d never open herself up again if she did that. 

Her heart picked up speed. What would she say to Alex? She started walking faster, the sound of her heels an offbeat to her heartbeat. “Idiot,” she muttered and hoped Alex would still be in the restaurant when she showed up. 

She wouldn’t blame her if she wasn’t. 

. . .

8:25. Alex scoffed and threw her phone on the table. She kept fooling herself: Sam’s ten minutes late. Fifteen. Twenty. 

The truth was, Sam wasn’t coming at all. She looked around the restaurant, chest heavy with sadness and anger and jealousy at the couples around her. Laughing. Shoulders touching. Hands tangled under the table.

She put her head on her hands, hiding the tears filling her eyes. How could she have been so stupid to believe that someone would show up for her? She wiped under her eyes. 

She called the waiter over, shoved her pride all the way down, and told him that she was leaving, to give her reservation to someone else. She pretended she didn’t notice his look of pity. 

She wasn’t going to sit around and wait for someone who wouldn’t show up. She wasn’t going to cry over a girl she didn’t know. She got up and yanked her purse off of the chair, all while wondering why Rosa would set her up with someone who was going to bail. 

She walked toward the exit and into the dark.

. . .

When Sam made it to the restaurant, she pulled the door open and a woman who was facing down walked past her and bumped into her shoulder. 

“Sorry,” the woman muttered, but she didn’t look up or stop. She was walking fast, but Sam knew who it was even though she’d never met her. Even though she didn’t know the color of her hair, or how tall she was, or that her skin was dark brown. 

It was a blind date, after all.

“Alex?” Sam said.

Alex stopped walking and turned around. Before Sam could fully process the scar on top of her full lips or clear, green eyes, Alex looked at her with anger she never would’ve expected from someone she didn’t know.

“Oh, so you decided to show up?” Alex crossed her arms, and Sam took a step back. 

“I uhh—” Sam cleared her throat. “I’m sorry I’m late, I—”

“I waited half an hour for you,” Alex said. “I don’t have time for people who don’t respect mine.” She turned around without waiting for a response and walked away.

Sam stood frozen. What the hell had just happened? She was about to turn around and walk away, pretend the night had never happened, but she realized—she didn’t want to. 

What kind of person gets into a fight with their first date? Before they’ve even talked and had proper interactions. But that was the exact reason Sam didn’t want to leave.

“Wait!” Sam said. But Alex kept walking. “Hold on!” She ran to catch up to Alex and then moved in front of her. Still, Alex didn’t stop, so Sam walked backward. “Why are you so angry with me? I don’t even know you.”

Alex glared and stepped to Sam’s right, but Sam was quick and moved along with her. 

Alex stopped with a huff. “I don’t have to tell you anything.” 

“You’re right,” Sam said, slow and hesitant like she was afraid Alex’s head would blow up with anger if she spoke louder. “You don’t.”

Alex raised an eyebrow. Sam hated how pretty she looked. “I’ll start,” Sam said.

. . .

Alex didn’t know it was possible to be this angry with someone she didn’t know, but she was so embarrassed. Not about her reaction, but for letting her head take things too far like it always did. She thought this first date would be perfect, and Sam had ruined it by showing up late. 

But she had to relax. This girl—this gorgeous girl with dark brown eyes, and long blonde hair, and cute crooked teeth–was offering the chance to explain.

Alex sighed. “Fine.”

Sam smiled, and Alex ignored the way her heart melted.

“First,” Sam said. “I’m sorry I’m so late. That was such a dick move. If I’m honest, a part of me was trying to sabotage this date before I even got here.”


“I don’t know,” she said, throwing her arms out. She looked away. “Relationships are scary, and I didn’t know what to expect from you.”

“You can’t just run from the things that scare you,” Alex said. “You think I wasn’t scared? I was afraid you weren’t going to show up, and you proved me right.”

Sam looked guilty. It was so clear, so obvious, it threw Alex back. “I’m sorry,” Sam said. “Really.”

“You made me feel like an idiot,” Alex said, looking away. “That’s why I’m angry. Because unlike you, my heart is already on my sleeve, and I got my hopes up, and you just left me there.” Alex tugged at her sleeves, suddenly uncomfortable with how open she was being. 

“Give me a second chance,” Sam said. “Think about Rosa. She’ll never let us live this down.”

Alex bit her lip and looked away. Thinking about what had just happened. About how hard she’d yelled and walked away from a stranger. About how Sam was staring at her like they’d been dating for three years and she was about to break her heart. 

It was all so… dramatic. So she couldn’t help it. She couldn’t help the laugh, loud and full, that fell out of her mouth. 

Sam turned red in the face. “Are you laughing at me?” 

Alex shook her head, laughing harder. “I haven’t even actually introduced myself, and we’re fighting like a real couple.”

Sam stared at her, shocked by the sudden openness of her laughter, which was getting louder and louder. Eventually, Sam started laughing too.

Once the laughter died, Alex wiped the tears from her eyes. “I’ll give you a second chance,” she said. “I already shared my biggest fear with you, how much worse can it get?”

Sam grinned.

“But,” Alex said, making Sam’s smile falter a little, “if I’m honest… I’m not hungry. I ate an entire box of strawberries before coming.”

“I ate like three bananas,” Sam said, shrugging.

Alex snorted. Then her face got really soft. “How about we just get some coffee? And cookies.”

“You just said you weren’t hungry.”

“You don’t need to be hungry to eat cookies.” Sam laughed again, and Alex knew it would become her favorite sound. 

Sam faced forward, and Alex walked beside her. Too late to go back now.

August 29, 2020 03:29

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Bubbly B
20:53 Sep 07, 2020

Cute story! I think you could have a little less exposition in the first few lines - the delivery felt a little bit weird when reading it for the first time so maybe move some of it into dialogue? Otherwise a nice little story! 😊


Itxy Lopez
17:28 Sep 18, 2020

That's funny, I actually added exposition thinking the opposite, haha. Thanks for the feedback!


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