She walked into the diner just as I was finishing my dinner. She dragged her feet and popped her gum and wore a frown perfectly.
The place was 50s chic, the counters lined with chrome and the booths with well stuffed red pleather cushions. A Lower East Side remake of a Brooklyn version of a Happy Days or David Lynch ideal of a greasy spoon.
She wore a huge puffy pink parka, pink pajama pants, rain boots, and big movie star sunglasses. She looked both miserable and determined. She was my age, but with a decidedly more youthful fashion sense, to put it mildly.
She stomped up to the counter, pushing past a family of tourists who were looking over the menu, unsure of their order. She didn’t need a menu, she knew exactly what she wanted.
“Sweet potato fries and a peanut butter cup milkshake, to go,” she dead panned to the man behind the counter. He pushed back his little paper hat and nodded.
I swooned at her order and her bratty delivery.
I tried not to stare at her as she waited for her order, but as she unzipped the ridiculously large coat I glimpsed something skin tight, low cut and pink, underneath. I looked away, but she caught my eye and glared.
I went back to my Kindle. The digital revolution making it easier to hide the fact that I mostly read smut. She eyed me and my food and swiveled her head to look at my book, which I agilely moved out of her view.
There seemed to be a bit of an internal debate going on behind her sunglasses. Deciding if I was a creep or not. Frankly I didn’t know the answer to that one myself. Looking me up and down once more I guess she thought I was at least tolerable. She moved my way to make room for the tourists.
“What did you order?” she interrogated.
I looked down at the little nub of what was left of my dinner.
“It was hotdog wrapped in cheese, wrapped in bacon, with avocado and spicy mayonnaise on top.”
She bit her lip and groaned.
“I want that,” she said, seemingly to herself.
I laughed and smiled, but she cut her eyes at me.
“No, I mean I want one now. You should get me one.”
It was a complicated moment. What did buying a cute stranger and elaborate sausage mean?
I turned and caught the eye of the cook. I raised two fingers and mouthed pointing at me and her.
She smiled for the first time, just a little crooked half smile, and hopped on the stool next to me.
“What are you reading?” she demanded.
I fumbled with my Kindle again, unsure of the etiquette of telling strangers about your porn habits.
“Oh you know, just stuff-” I cut myself off before I started babbling.
She looked curious.
“You don’t have to tell me,” she shrugged.
I put the Kindle in my pocket and sipped at my water.
We both sat there, silent for a beat.
“Okay I changed my mind, you have to tell me,” she said, straight faced.
“Romance stuff,” I lied.
She eyed me and nodded.
“Dirty stuff, probably,” she said with a grin.
The cook, being brilliant, realized she was no longer leaving and served up her fries and shake along with our hotdogs.
“Peanut butter cup milkshake, huh?”
She nodded as she sipped through the straw.
She nodded again, a bit more emphatically.
“You can’t have any,” she said between sips.
I frowned and shrugged and took a bite of my hotdog, looking hurt, I’m sure.
She watched me and rolled her eyes.
“Fine one sip. A small sip.”
She pushed a lipstick stained straw towards me. Her eyes on mine.
“Small. Sip,” she reminded me.
I took a tiny taste. It was rich and sweet and salty. Perfect. She smiled as I groaned, then took the straw back and greedily sucked the rest of it up.
“You’re cute,” she said as picked at her fries.
I’m sure I blushed.
“Do you like when girls tell you what to do?”
I shrugged and she rolled her eyes again.
“Maybe, sometimes,” I admitted.
“You should say yes,” she suggested.
“Yes,” I said, the word popping out of my mouth.
She ate her hotdog with a look of pure ecstasy. I ate mine and tried to enjoy it half as much as she seemed to.
When we were done we both rubbed our bellies, sated for the moment.
“What’s your name?” she demanded.
She looked around, making sure no one could hear.
Jake do you want to come to my apartment?”
She sipped her water as I wondered what exactly to do, because she just told me I should say yes when she asked me if I liked women telling me what to do and I say yes and I was sweating and thinking that eating a second hotdog probably wasn’t a good idea and if she wanted to make out with me that maybe my breath was really bad now but hers was too.
I felt greasy and sweaty and lame.
“I’m not going to invite you there, I just met you, I’m not crazy. I just wanted to see what you’d say,” she said, laughing at my confusion.
“Well, good thing I didn’t answer.”
She seemed to disagree.
“But I can go put grownup clothes on and we can get a drink and talk about what’s on your Kindle.”
I nodded stupidly.
“I mean, you don’t have to put on grown up clothes, if you don’t want to,” I said, trying to be nonchalant.
She glared at me again, but then softened and batted her eyelashes.
“I’m fully aware of what I do and don’t want to do,” she said sweetly.
“You’ve been a good boy so far, but you’ll have to do more then buy me a hotdog before we get to play.”
She drank the last of her milkshake, sucking the straw until the diner echoed with the hollow sounds of a girl who wants every drop.
She slapped ten bucks on the counter and told me to meet her at the bar across the street in a half an hour.
From then on I did exactly what she told me to do.