With less than two months living in the city under his belt, Oscar still feels like a tourist sometimes. The city is foreign after a few blocks walking.. So when he calls Marcelle, he feels completely entitled to ask her out to dinner, and let her pick the place.
She agrees, of course. She knows there’s no romantic intent, and she does have a good knowledge of the food scene in the city.
They meet in a park that Oscar hadn’t previously known about. He arrives early to explore the meandering paths. Marcelle finds him sitting in a tree next to the bench they agreed to find each other at.
Oscar talks idly about nothing much until they’re seated, at a seafood place that borrows Cerys sense of style. “Could you be any more stereotypical?” he jokes.
“I could be wearing seashell bra instead of a hoodie,” she replies, flourishing the orange striped garment.
He waits until they have drinks to start talking about things he’s really interested in. “So when did you and Cerys meet?” he asks, innocent expression on as Marcelle takes a sip of water. He didn’t take her out entirely to find out about Tessa’s suspicion, but it’s been stuck in his mind, and he’s curious.
For a second she doesn’t reply. “Is there a reason you’re asking?” she asks calmly.
“Tessa thinks you like her a lot more than you’re letting on. I’m just curious, if you do, why don’t you make a move?” he asks, shuffling. In his head, this situation had been less uncomfortable silence, and more sarcastic repertoire with a hint of inspirational speeches. Maybe he should have gotten her drunk first.
“I thought I told you, I know when people are in love. I know you like Tessa more than she likes you. I know I like Cerys more than she likes me,” she says, and then laughs sadly, “I’d know it even if I wasn’t a siren.”
“Do explain?” he says, leaning forward. It can’t be obvious, or Oscar would have picked up on it, or he thinks he would have.
“We met, to answer your question, quite a while back. The exact situation is irrelevant. I was there for private reasons, and Cerys was there because she doesn’t fall in love. Not ever,” she says, folding her napkin carelessly.
“That must suck,” he says, his face creased with sympathy.
“No, it’s why we’re friends. I can sing in front of her, and she just tells me what I’ve done wrong. It’s pretty great, apart from the whole unrequited crush thing,” she says.
“It still sounds like it sucks,” he says, “We should go out and get super drunk, find a cute girl who’ll like you back. Maybe one for me too.”
“I’ll settle for a cute guy, if it helps me,” she says, a helpless beginning of a smile starting, “I’m not picky.”
“I can’t argue with that. Honestly, so would I,” Oscar says, and the smile blooms fully.
“Let’s do it. After we eat, we’re doing this. We’ll find someone to like that isn’t our respective best friends,” she says.
Oscar knocks his glass against hers. “I’ll drink to that.”