Instead of taking the usual guest's spot near the window, John sat to the left of me, where Beatrice usually sat. Beatrice took the chair on the right and shot me a confused and approving look. Despite her name, she was very pretty, and had good taste (and luck) in all things boy-related.
We ate dinner in the usual manner with no delays or mishaps. Well, at least no one else had any delays or mishaps.
In order to not look like a pig in front of John, I took about half of what I normally would, and consumed it in small, lady-like bites. I also was intently focused on my water glass most of the evening.
Twice during the main portion, John silently nudged me under the table. It was enough to send sparks up my spine. Then, as we ate dessert, he inconspicuously "dropped" his napkin on the floor so it laid between our chairs. Leaning down, his head was just inches from my thigh. As he returned to the table, the back of his hand lightly brushed my knee.
I almost choked on a cherry from the brief contact. He chuckled silently as I coughed and took a long gulp of water.
Beatrice was the only one who had noticed my strange behavior. Later that night Beatrice came into my room and sat on my bed.
"Okay, spill." I gave her an innocent look.
"Spill what?" I turned around to finish braiding my hair, wet from the shower, and saw her expression in the mirror. It was pretty terrifying.
"You know. What happened with that John Martin kid tonight at dinner? You were acting like a lunatic the entire time!"
I spun around and shouted, obviously defensive, "I was not!" I shot a look at the door, but didn't hear or see my mother. I did not want her to hear any part of this conversation.
"Rosieeee," she whined, "pleaseeee tell me! You know I won't tell anyone. Please?" Her green eyes were big and round, like a puppy's. I couldn't deny that face.
"Okay," I submitted, "but you can't tell anyone! Not even your friends!" She nodded, suddenly serious, and waited for me to begin. "When I went to the movies with Cally and Sara the other night, John and his friends were there. I think we may have flirted a little," though I had no idea what flirting even was. I wasn't exactly experienced with boys.
But then her eyes were back on me. "So why were you acting all funny around him tonight, Rosie? He's just a guy."
"Just a guy!" I exclaimed,
To my surprise, she started laughing. "He embarrassed you in your own house!"
"If you want to do that-" she paused for dramatic affect, "-then the next time the two of you are alone, just kiss him!" Then she laughed even harder at my bewildered expression.