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“Alright, are you ready?” Ariel said to Joe as she fixed his tie.
“Why am I doing this? I am a decent man. What could I have possibly done to deserve this?” he whined.
“This isn’t the restaurant anymore Joe,” she said pointing a finger in front of his face. “I don’t want you complaining the whole time, got it? I make the orders around here. This is my plan, my rules, my turf therefore I am the Sherriff. Everything you do goes through me and I won’t let you screw this up for Rainie.”
“When did you start talking like a Western?” Joe asked seriously.
“When I realized you actually responded obediently to it,” she snapped back. “C’mon, I’ll introduce the both of you.”
The matchmaking event was very different from the other parties Rainie and Ariel had been through. This banquet room was covered with floral decorations that lightened the atmosphere, the band played romantic ballads that echoed from one end of the room to the next and there was a large space in the middle for dancing. Rumors flowed through the crowd, giggling that somebody was destined to fall in love tonight…
“This is truly hell,” Rainie sighed to herself. “My funeral is covered in bright flowers.”
“Aw don’t think too much of it,” whispered a voice.
Startled by the suddenness, Rainie turns around to see Ariel’s smiling face in front of hers and she gave a sigh of relief.
“Ariel, you scared me,” Rainie said patting her chest to calm her uneasy heart. “So where’s Joe?”
“He’s right…” Ariel said turning around. “Ugh! What is he doing over there?!”
From afar, Joe had taken a detour from Ariel’s everlasting nagging and went straight for the food. Ariel huffed and marched her way to Joe before dragging him to Rainie. As Joe’s face became clearer and clearer Rainie became angrier and angier. Joe, who had been too occupied with Ariel’s nails digging at his arm, didn’t even realize Rainie at first. Completely ignoring Ariel, both Rainie and Joe were staring each other for a few seconds before rage had total control over their bodies…
“Rainie, I would like to introduce you to…” Ariel began to say.
“YOU!!!!!” They both screamed in unison.
“I can’t believe this!” Rainie screamed.
“She’s my date?!” Joe asked Ariel.
“Wait you guys know each other?” Ariel asked.
“I can’t believe this is happening to me,” Rainie shook her head. “This is worse than jail!”
“How could you?!” Joe yelled at Ariel. “You set me up with the devil’s spawn!”
“Forget the devil’s spawn!” Rainie yelled back at him. “How can you set me up with crippled Shamu!”
“I’m guessing you guys HAVE met each other,” Ariel said sarcastically to no one in particular.
“Crippled SHAMU!? At least I didn’t have to have a friend set me up with a complete stranger!” Joe snapped.
“That’s because I don’t just settle for anything, unlike your past girlfriends!” she retorted.
“Then forget it, who needs to help such a spoiled ill-mannered brat!” he responded.
“Who needs the help of an arrogant, disheveled idiot who can’t even walk properly,” Rainie yelled back.
“Don’t think that just because you’re a girl I won’t fight back,” he threatened.
“Then bring it, chicken legs,” she said glaring at his face.
“Chicken legs? HA! I didn’t know Satan’s Spawn had the tongue of a 12 year old,” he glared back.
“Oh you want to see what a 12 year old can say!?!?” Rainie retorted. “I’ll show you what a 12 year old can say!”
“Don’t start a war, when you can’t even finish the battle my dear,” he gritted.
“Oh, you do not want to start this war!” she threatened. “I’ll rip more than just your arrogance!”
“That’s enough!” Ariel yelled.
Ariel who had been quite patient with their ranting decided to finally explode.
“For me,” she said calmly. “If not for yourselves, then please just do it for me. Joe I know that you didn’t want to do this from the beginning but please be nice to Rainie just for the night. If you truly are my friend you would suck it up and do this. Rainie, I know that this was my plan and yes this is my fault, but unless you want to have guys hit on you this whole night, you would give Joe a chance.”
Both Joe and Rainie looked at each other before they sighed and rolled their eyes.
“Fine,” they both said simultaneously.
“OK, I’m going to mingle with the guest, don’t make me come back here!” she scolded them.
Leaving the already irritated couple to themselves, Ariel drew a strong sigh of relief before she commenced with the party. However, both Joe and Rainie were not ready to leave their spoken battle unarmed and unfinished. They were both standing near the bar and were not facing each other.
“…so stupid,” Rainie whined.
“Stop talking about yourself, or I’ll get a headache,” Joe quipped.
Suddenly Rainie’s father came to introduce himself to Joe.
“Why hello, young man,” he said with his booming voice.
“Daddy,” Rainie said nervously.
“Hi! So you’re Rainie’s father?” he asked.
“Unless ‘daddy’ means something different in your world, then yes,” Rainie whispered to him.
Joe glared at her with darted eyes.
“So is this your date, dear?” Rainie’s father asked.
“UH…yes sir” she said shyly.
“I see,” he said back appearing quite irritated.
“Don’t worry sir, I won’t harm her,” Joe laughed.
“Make sure you don’t,” he said cautiously.
Rainie’s father turned around to look at the crowd and began to explain his stance on how he felt about Joe dating his little girl.
“You see, this is my party…” he began. “I rented out the building, I hosted the party, and I paid for it as well.”
“He sounds like Ariel,” Joe whispered to Rainie.
“Hush!” she said hitting his fist.
“…And as far as I’m concerned,” her father continued. “You are just Rainie’s guest. Not mine.”
“So that’s where you get your threats from,” Joe whispered back to Rainie and she made a face.
Her father continued talking to them with his back facing them as he kept his onslaught of threats coming.
“I am very powerful, when it comes to many things my boy,” he said firmly.
“So is your daughter’s mouth,” Joe snapped back silently but Rainie heard him all to clear.
Rainie slapped him upside the head, lightly, and gestured for him to shut up, and Joe angrily rubbed the back of his head and kept quiet.
“I tend to make very little mistakes,” he continued.
“I guess you were the exception,” Joe said to Rainie.
“Watch your mouth before I wash it out with soap!” Rainie whispered back.
“I would like to see you try…” Joe whispered loudly.
Rainie, who had never backed out of dare before in her life, caught his threat. She took a cup full of water, near the bar, and was about to pour it all over Joe but he caught her arm. Soon they were fighting back and forth with the glass cup, as her father continued ranting on and on, not knowing about the little feud behind him. As they struggle with the water clearly above their heads, they slam in on the table and neither of them let go.
“What is going on?!” her father replied as he hears the glass slam down.
“Uh…” Rainie said nervously.
“We’re sharing a drink,” Joe said quickly as he smiled at Rainie. “Isn’t that right…dear.”
“Yes…honey,” she winced as she tried to get the words out of her mouth.
“Oh…alright, as I was saying,” her father continued as he approached Joe. “Don’t make any moves that you will soon regret.”
“Trust me,” Joe smiled slyly, not letting go of the cup, which was gripped even tighter. “I won’t regret it.”
Her father leaves them and they still won’t let go of the cup.
“Any tighter and you’ll be holding onto a handful of blood!” Rainie said angrily.
“Then I suggest you let go of the cup!” he retorted.
“Ladies first,” she said poking fun at him.
Slowly they both release their grips and to themselves they both soothe their aching hands. They peer at the other person, then at the cup, back to themselves, and then once more at the cup. Without hesitation, they both grab the cup, ready to throw the water on the other person.
“Let go!!” Joe yelled.
“NO!!!” she yelled back.
Ariel, from the other side of the party, had already spotted their immaturity with the glass and slaps her forehead before approaching the both of them.
“What are you two doing!” She whispers to them as they continue to struggle.
“Nothing…much…” Rainie said struggling to take the cup away from Joe.
“Everything…is…fine,” Joe replied with equal concentration on the cup.
“This is not fine!!!! Put the cup down, both of you!” Ariel whispered loudly.
“You first!” Rainie nodded to Joe.
“YOU!” he nodded back.
“Both of you AT THE SAME TIME!” Ariel exploded. “On a count of 3. 1…2…3!”
When the relief of ‘3’ came roaring out of Ariel’s mouth, both Rainie and Joe groaned from the pain but that wasn’t going to stop them from continuing their battle anytime soon.
“I’m sorry Ariel but I tried to go through with your plan and it’s failing me!” Rainie huffed.
“No way am I going to spend one more minute with the devil’s spawn!” Joe remarked.
“I’ll show you what a devil’s spawn could do!” Rainie threatened back.
“Forget you and your threats,” he panted from the previous battle. “I’m leaving before you can take me back to your lair!”
“JOE!” Ariel yelled back.
“And you!” he said pointing a finger at Ariel. “I haven’t even forgiven YOU yet, my dear! I don’t care if this is for our friendship! I have enemies who wouldn’t have done this to me!”
Making his way towards the door however, Joe takes his coat but Ariel catches him before he could put it on.
“Joe, you promised that you would do this for me!” she pouted.
“I make a lot of promises!” he pouted back. “I am waiting for my comeuppance. Where- is- my-come-upp-ance!?!?!?!”
“Would you stop being such a wuss!” she yelled back.
“I am not being a wuss! I am a man, and I guarantee you, no man would go back so willingly to that…that…thing!!” he snapped.
“You get back in there!” she demanded.
“And head back to hell?? I THINK NOT!” he said with a quick shake of his head.
“JOE!” Ariel yelled.
“Ariel! I am not…” he started to say, but something caught his eye.
He was looking at the bar, where Rainie was sitting and he see’s a very familiar face.
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