Ellie poured a cup of coffee as Carrie entered the kitchen and sat on the stool at the table. When Carrie saw the coffee, she let out a loud groan and collapsed against the table, her head hitting it with a thunk.
“Oh god, coffee.”
“Um.” Ellie said. She sat across the table from Carrie and stirred some sugar into her coffee. “You’ve never reacted to coffee that poorly before. What happened, Carrie? Did coffee hurt you? You can tell me, I’m your friend.”
“I asked that guy out yesterday.”
“What? When? Who? What guy?” Ellie asked all of these things and she did so quickly.
“Ray, the guy who keeps coming in and pretending to look at the Droid covers.”
“The guy who hangs out with Watson?” Ellie asked. “Jeez, I hope he doesn’t smoke as much weed as Watson does.”
“No one smokes as much weed as Watson does.” Carrie said. “But no, I don’t think he smokes it much. He only hangs out with Watson when he can’t afford to buy a pizza.”
“Well, what did he say?”
“He said yes.” Carrie said. “But I’m worried I didn’t make it clear to him that I was asking him out on a date. What if he thinks I just meant as a friend?”
“Guys don’t think about things like that.” Ellie said. “He probably thinks you want to have sex with him.”
“Oh man, do you think?”
“Well, every guy thinks that. No matter what the interaction might be, if you talk to a guy, he automatically thinks you want to ride his love pony.” Ellie said. “But it’s the ones who show restraint and who actually like you for things other than your body that are the keepers.”
“Do you think he likes me for more than my body?”
“I don’t know. I mean, he might.” Ellie said. She blew on her coffee before taking a drink.
“So, I shouldn’t have clarified that I meant it as a date? I feel like he’s not sure what to make of it, now. I feel like, if he does like me, that he might be worried that I don’t know that he likes me.”
“Trust me, no guy worries about that sort of thing.” Ellie said. A knock came to the door and Carrie got up to answer it.
“Are you sure? He seems different. He seems like he might be the type to worry about stuff like that.” She opened the door and in walked a short bald man wearing glasses.
“Shawn! Let me ask you something.” Ellie said. “A girl you like asks you out for coffee.”
“What? Who asked me out for coffee?” Shawn asked. “It doesn’t matter, the answer is yes.”
“Dammit, stop. Just listen. A girl you like asks you out for coffee.” Ellie said. “Like, she approaches you, she engages you in conversation, then asks you if you want to go out for a cup of coffee. Is she into you or does she just want to be friends?”
“I don’t- Why?”
“Just answer the question.” Ellie said. Carrie returned to her seat at the table.
“I guess she’s into me, but it could mean anything, really.”
“See?!” Carrie shouted. Shawn poured himself a cup of coffee.
“I don’t like this game. Let’s play something else now.”
“This isn’t a game. The currently abysmal state of Carrie’s love life hangs in the balance, here.” Ellie said.
“Wow, thanks.” Carrie said.
“Oh, it’s you? Who did you ask out?” Shawn asked.
“Oh shit, Ray, the guy who hangs out with Watson? That Ray?” Shawn asked. Carrie rolled her eyes. “I mean, yeah, he’s probably cool. I hear he’s nice. Hell, Watson likes him.”
“Watson likes everyone who doesn’t steal his weed.” Ellie said.
“Guys, please, I’m really freaking out here.” Carrie whined. “I like this guy and I want him to know that I like him, but I don’t want him to think I want to sleep with him.”
“You don’t want to sleep with him?” Shawn asked.
“Well, of course I do, but not, like, right away or anything. That’s something we build to, gradually.” Carrie said. “We would need to go on several dates first, all of which I would remember as one long dating montage, set to 90s music, like the one in that Freddie Prinze Jr. movie.”
“You watch too many of those movies.” Ellie said.
“Whatever. I’m going to cancel.”
“No, are you crazy?” Shawn said. “Just go, talk to the guy, have some coffee, maybe a muffin. Hang out and be yourself. If he doesn’t like you now, he sure as hell will then.”
“I hate muffins.” Carrie said.
“Not the point, sweetie.”
“That was actually sweet, Shawn.” Ellie said.
“It happens every once in a while.” Shawn said. Carrie picked up her cell phone and stared at it.
“I’m not going to cancel.”
“Good girl.” Ellie said. Suddenly, the theme song from Sanford and Son filled the air. Ellie and Carrie both looked at Shawn, who reached into his pocket and removed his cell phone.
“Hello? Oh hey, Watson.” Shawn said into his phone. “No, I can’t come over tonight. Hey, let me ask you something, you know Ray, right?”
“What- What are you doing? No! Stop!” Carrie said in a whisper.
“Yeah, that guy. He’s a good guy, right?” Shawn asked, waving his hand in ignorance of Carrie’s demands. “Because Carrie asked him out and now she’s freaking out about it. Uh-huh. Yeah. Really? Nice. Alright, I’ll talk to you later.”
“I can’t even believe you just did that.” Carrie said.
“Did what? You wanted information on the guy, I got it.” Shawn said. “He’s a nice guy. Watson said that Ray is usually the one to pay for the pizza when they get together, he thinks, and he’s funny and is way into movies.”
“There, see? Go for it.” Ellie said.
“Why? Oh, because he’s way into movies? That could mean anything! Maybe he’s way into German snuff films, ever think of that?” Carrie said.
“Freddie Prinze Jr. movies.” Shawn said with a smile.
“Oh shit.” Ellie said. “That nails it, Carrie. You’re going.”
“He really likes Freddie Prinze Jr. movies?” Carrie asked.
“He quotes them all the time.”
“But not Scooby-Doo, right?” Carrie asked.
“Oh my god, he’s the perfect man.” Carrie said. Ellie laughed.
“So, when are you guys going out?” Ellie asked.
“I don’t know yet.” Carrie said. “We just exchanged numbers. Oh god, maybe I should call and set up an actual date. Or maybe he should be the one to do that. Or maybe I should just stay home and watch Head Over Heels and cry. Again.”
“I guarantee he’s not even close to being as stressed out about this as you are.” Ellie said. “But, I’d wait and let him call to set up the date. You initiated, let him take the lead.”
“But what if he doesn’t? What if I have to-” Carrie was interrupted by her cell phone ringing. She looked at the screen and saw Ray’s face. “It’s him! What do I do?!”
“Answer it!” Shawn and Ellie spoke in unison. Carrie pushed the little green button on her screen.
“Hello?” she said. “Hello? Ray? Are you there?” Carrie put the cell phone down on the table.
“What happened?” Ellie asked.
“He hung up on me.”