Echoes of Power
“Sorry, could you repeat that? I didn’t quite catch what you said…”, he quickly apologized to his date.
Great. Very smooth Alex, very smooth… he scolded himself silently with a mental smack.
“Yeah, I guessed from the look on your face…” Chloe replied with a laugh. “Well you know what we say about ears and a good wash, don’t you?” she added, taunting him with a smirk.
“Yeah, sorry, I uh… sort of lost track of the conversation here…”, Alexandre explained, cringing slightly.
“It doesn’t matter, I know I’m not that interesting anyways…”, Chloe nodded as she took a sip of her drink and shrugged.
“No! That’s… it’s not what I meant,” Alexandre tried to explain, starting to uncomfortable.
He suspected she was just toying with him but he didn’t want a moment of inattention to ruin the evening… Plus she had seemed serious as she spoke earlier so he was pretty sure it was something important.
“I’m sorry for not listening,” he repeated once again, “so what were you saying?”, he then asked with curiosity.
The blonde girl looked at him for a moment, a look that Alexandre couldn’t quite describe or understand. There was something deep in her eyes as they sparkled with her usual playfulness, but at the same time he could tell she was slightly nervous. She was looking straight at him, as if she was pondering her options. He couldn’t for the life of him guess what was going on in her head at that moment, that was one of the things he liked about her. She slowly put her glass back on the table and he saw her shoulders rise as she took in a deep breath.
“Ok,” was all she said for a moment, breaking the silence only to let it take over again.
Alexandre was about to say something when she opened her mouth and cut him short.
“I quite like you, you know…” she added, pausing again. “That’s what I said…”
Alexandre almost didn’t catch the second bit, the short justification was drowned in a torrent of white noise as his mind went blank. Had he heard right? Had she really said that? Did she mean what he thought she meant? What was he supposed to reply? Why did the room suddenly seem to shrink? What kind of fish was that on the table over there? Focus damn it! He scolded himself as he looked at her, unable to (and mostly unwilling to make the effort to) hide the half-blank half-shocked expression on his faced.
“Uh…”, was all he managed to replied after a few seconds.
“‘Uh…’ what?”, Chloe asked, not looking very fazed by what was happening. “I just said that I liked you, is ‘uh…’ all you have to say to that? I thought you were better than that Alex, has a kitten gotten ahold of your tongue Mister Parson?”, she added, a small smirk spreading on her face once again.
Alexandre almost choked as he tried to speak, falling into a coughing fit for a second as he tried to get his breath back. He felt the heat quickly rise in his cheeks, which probable had turned scarlet red by that point. Damn! What a fool he was making of himself… Having seen his difficulty, the blonde teenager had leaned over towards him and given him a few energetic pats on the back to prevent him from really choking.
“Deep breaths, deep breaths!” she exclaimed as she did so, her smirk still half there.
The other half of her expression was something akin to worry. Oh god, she’s worried about me! Alexandre felt his cheeks become even warmer, if that was even possible. They would probably catch on fire very soon if this kept going on.