What kind of a guy would cook a fabulous treat, then give some pathetic little girl the credit? Blushing, I washed down the delicious pasta with a gulp of water.
Being me, though, I couldn't pass the evening without doing something remarkably embarrassing. I began to choke, having gulped too much water for one swallow. Coughing, I held a napkin to my mouth and tried to catch my breath. But of course, I couldn't stop coughing and had to leave the table.
"You okay?" Ginger called after me, and Josh echoed her question.
I shrugged and managed a quick "I just swallowed wrong," before beginning to leave the room.
On my way out, though, Leonardo touched my arm. "Are you going to be okay?" he asked, and I melted in embarrassment.
"Yeah," I coughed out, then left the room.
Face burning with humiliation, I shut myself away in the bathroom and coughed for what seemed like an eternity. Of course. Of course, this would happen! It was as though my accident-prone nature had increased tenfold, and when I was done coughing, I looked in the mirror.
"What are you doing, Kenna, making a fool of yourself?" I muttered, eyes narrowed at my own reflection. "Now, get your act together, go out there, and act like nothing happened!"
Returning to the table, I cleared the plates and set them in the sink, while Josh grabbed several cartons of ice cream from the refrigerator. "Let's take these to the basement," he said, and I assumed that was where the three of them had been hiding away, while I had been dressing up in the outfit I would wear to the party. "We're watching 'The Avengers,'" he added, for my benefit.
I cast a look at Ginger. She normally hated action or sci-fi movies. She had to have been doing it for Josh's approval. She seemed to change her opinion a lot, just so that she always agreed with my brother.
And right then and there, as I watched Ginger feign interest in a movie genre she'd never really cared for, I decided that no matter how much I ended up liking Leonardo, I would not change for him. I would be Kenna. Even if Kenna was socially awkward and choked on water.