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Chapter 32

The onlookers just stared in awe as the new participant in this unscripted play revealed himself with a kiss as his first act.

“ARIEL!” Rainie screamed in shock.

The kiss continued for what seemed as an endless upon endless amount of time. At that moment, the world that revolved around Ariel and Joe had spun incessantly to the melodic rhythm of their heart beats.

“ARIEL!?” Peter repeated with equal shock, breaking the two kissers from entering completely to their fantasy.

Ariel and Joe quickly pulled away and stared at each other at the utter shock.

“HEY!!” Rainie and Peter screamed at them.

“Geez,” Ariel cried out as she jolted from the boom of their voice. “Keep it to a dull roar, will you!”

Smoothly, without a hesitation or regret, Ariel pulls off her wig and moustache to reveal her long black locks streaming down her creamy porcelain skin. Silence covered the whole entire room just before Rainie’s father asked another question to Mike.

“So Ariel is a lesbian too?!” he asked.

“You are SOO lost,” Mike said shaking head in disapproval.

Joe on the other hand, kept his stunned demeanor for a few seconds before breaking the awkward silence.

“See…lesbian,” he said inarticulately.

“Ariel…” Peter repeated. “Wha-

“Sorry Peter, but she’s mine,” she demanded with a strong and confident voice. “She’s the last thing you’ll ever take from me!”

“Ok, I think we’ve had enough excitement for today…” Rainie said quickly.

“NO,” Peter interrupted.

“No what?” Rainie and Joe repeated.

“I won’t let you have her, Ariel!” he said firmly. “She will be mine!”

“You’re going to have to catch her!” Ariel smirked as she took Joe by hand and started bolting towards the door.

“HEY!” the rest yelled after them.

Rainie, Mike and her father were left all alone, as Peter went after Joe and Ariel.

“The show’s over?” Mike pouted.

“I guess so,” her father replied. “Explain to me then, everything that just happened.”

“Well, you see,” Mike tried to explain. “The girl is really a guy, but you already knew that…”

“Dad,” Rainie interrupted. “It has to do with me and Mike.”

Her father looked at both of them and furrowed his brow.

“You and Mike? What about?” he asked.

“I’m in love with Mike,” she said frankly. “All of this…was to persuade you to let me be with the one I love.”

“All of this?” he repeated. “Really now? My dear, this whole fiasco of a luncheon has just made me truly bewildered. Please explain to me why did all this happen.”

“Well,” Mike answered. “We wanted to sabotage your lunch so you wouldn’t agree on letting Rainie marry Peter.”

“You wanted me to agree on YOU marrying my daughter?” he asked without hesitation.

“Actually…” Rainie replied. “We’ve never thought about marriage.”

“Have you two been dating secretly behind my back?” her father asked.

“Um…” they both couldn’t reply.

“I’ve heard enough,” he said getting out of his seat. “Mike I would like to schedule a meeting with you to talk more in depth about the situation, but as of right now, I am in no position to have anymore arguments run in my head. Till then.”

As he left, Rainie and Mike ponder about what he meant. What were they to talk about? Frustrated and tired, Mike and Rainie plop their bodies onto the booth and huddled close together.

“Great,” Rainie sighed. “So this is not over. When are we ever going to be happy?”

“Don’t be so gloomy. At least one good thing came out of all this,” Mike smiled back to Rainie. “He never said he disapproved of me dating you.”

“That is true huh?” she smiled right back. “You’re so smart!”

“Of course,” he replied confidently. “I wonder what happened to Joe and Ariel.”

“I still can’t believe they kissed!” Rainie laughed.

“I still can’t believe that YOU were going to kiss my best friend!” Mike pouted back.

“Aw, were you jealous?” she smirked.

“Yes,” he nodded. “Very much so.”

She poked his face with a finger, cheekily, and left her imprint on his dimple, which soon curved into a smile.

“Next time, if you ever get a chance to kiss Joe, I’ll do what Ariel did!” he said firmly.

“You’ll kiss JOE?!?” she laughed.

“NO!” he winced. “I’ll kiss you first before he could even get near your face!”

“Aw, well that’s sweet of you,” she said snuggling at his arm. “But right now I feel deprived of a kiss.”

“No,” he rejected. “No kiss for you.”

“Why???” she said in slight surprise.

“You don’t deserve one,” he shook his head, and refused to look at her.

Silence took over, and Mike slowly anticipated for a response. When he got none, Mike turned around to look at Rainie, who angrily pouted at him. He then mocked her expression with his signature puppy dog expression.

“Me no funny?” he smiled back.

“No, not funny,” she shook her head.

Noticing that perhaps he may have hurt her feelings, Mike gave her a small kiss on her cheek.

“Better?” he adorably asked.

“No,” she continued to pout. So he gave her another kiss.

“Better?” he asked again.

“Nuh-uh,” she said shaking her head. Finally, he gave in and kissed her the way she wanted him to kiss her.

“Better?” he jokingly asked.

“Better,” she happily answered as she wrapped her arms around him.

On the other side of the restaurant, Joe and Ariel had continuously kept running away from Peter till they hit the elevator.

“Let’s go this way,” Ariel said pointing at the stairs.

“NO, the elevator is faster!” Joe replied.

“Where did you guys go!” muffled a much frazzled Peter.

“Hurry, hurry, hurry” Joe said as he kept pushing the button.

As the elevator opened up, he rushed in quickly only to see a familiar woman standing in front of him; his ex-girlfriend Karen!

“AAAAHHH!” Joe screamed in shock, leaving Karen very much petrified and appalled.

“What! What happened!” Ariel screamed.

Joe hastily scattered back outside, only to face Peter.

“There you are!” Peter said jubilantly making his way towards Joe.

And without hesitation, Joe grabs Peter by his collar and throws him into the elevator where Karen was supposed to get off.

“Hey wait a second!” she screamed.

“Wait!” Peter screamed right after.

“Bye, bye!” Joe waved to them as he kept pressing the close button.

“Was that Karen?!” Ariel said as she dropped her heavy shoulders, and letting them swing.

“Yeah, she’s Peter’s problem now!” Joe rolled his eyes and sighed. “Geez, I underestimated my own sexiness.”

“Yes…as a woman,” Ariel laughed.

Frustrated and dead tired, they both rested their shoulders on the other. But soon enough, they looked at each other and realized what just happened. They had kissed. What was going to happen now?

“You just kissed me,” Joe huffed as he panted for air.

“Yeah well you’re dressed in women’s clothing and I am dressed in men’s clothing; strange things have happened today,” she replied, as she rubbed her forehead.

“Why did you do it?” he asked curiously.

“Please, I am too tired to explain,” she whined. “All that come to mind are Rainie and Mike.”

“Oh,” he said, a bit disappointed. “So it’s not because you started liking me?”

Caught off guard, Ariel had no reply. “Joe, I-

“It’s alright,” He smiled weakly. “I thought you knew my intentions and replied the way I wanted you to. Guess not.”

Now that was definitely not what she had in mind.

“W-what?” Clearly not the best thing to say at this moment.

“Not every man would dress like a woman for just anybody,” he explained as he briefly stared at her.

“Are you saying…that you like me?” she asked as she felt her heart fall into her stomach.

“I thought it was obvious,” he laughed a bit. “Apparently I was very wrong.”

“Joe, if I knew-

“It’s ok,” he reassured. “It’s fine. You don’t have to feel the same way I do. I wouldn’t want to force anything on you. I would know; Peter just pressured me to like him a while ago. HAHA, geez was that over the top or what?!”

Ariel didn’t laugh at all. She was worried. Did she feel the same way he did or didn’t she? It wasn’t like she thought about it, because to her he was just that typical guy who she befriended so long ago.

“Look, I got to get outta these clothes,” he said, interrupting her thoughts. “I’ll see ya around.”

“Joe, wait.” Just as he was heading for the door, she stopped him.

“Yeah?” he calmly and nonchalantly answered.

“…I’ll see ya,” she reluctantly said.

“Yeah,” he nodded back a bit dissatisfied.

Watching him leave was hard for Ariel. Why did she kiss him? Was it really for Mike and Rainie…or was it because…no. It can’t be. Can it?

“Not today,” they both replied simultaneously to themselves, shuddering at the idea of thinking anymore after all that excitement.



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