Sitting opposite Sandra in the parlour, Rhyley was relieved that bowling with Roger hadn’t been dreadful. He was also happy to see Sandra happy at the boys’ less hateful treatment of each other. However, Rhyley hadn’t been expecting what Roger had said at the end. It had brought back the memories of the days during his relationship with Valerie Mox - the third girl he had begun dating casually - when he had felt distressed and sad because Roger was ashamed of him. Back in the present, Rhyley was indignant at Roger’s nerve. To suggest they could be friends after all the misery he had caused Rhyley! To suggest it because Rhyley seemed to have changed. It showed that the disapproval of Rhyley’s last six relationships remained - that Roger was unrepentant and merely willing to overlook what he clearly considered a ‘mistaken’ period in Rhyley’s life. Well, Rhyley wasn’t having it. He had completely recovered from the pain of losing Roger’s friendship and didn’t need it now.
He was, however, slightly worried about what Sandra would think. However much she claimed she loved him more than Roger, he knew that Roger’s feelings would have some effect on her own.
So he asked her in the ice cream parlour, rather anxiously, “You’re not angry with me, are you?”
Sandra looked surprised.
“Angry? No. Not at all. Why?”
“Because I didn’t want to be friends with Roger again,” he said, looking at the table, his cheeks flushing slightly.
“No,” Sandra told him calmly. “I understand.” And that was all she needed to say to make Rhyley feel better. It was so gratifying, he thought, to have the understanding of your soulmate. If no one else forgave him for something he had done but Sandra did, he thought he could be happy. Sandra’s opinion was the only one that mattered.
“Thank goodness,” he said, sighing in relief.
Sandra smiled and put her hand on his on the table, lightly stroking his skin.
“Shall we share something here?” They had each been given a menu by the waitress who had shown them to their table upon their arrival, but hadn’t decided what to get yet. Sandra looked slightly shy as she said “I’ve never shared ice cream with anyone before.”
“Me neither actually,” Rhyley admitted. He could see that this would be special for Sandra and even though he didn’t attribute any real specialness to the sharing of ice cream himself, he was happy to be spending this time with her. Any moment alone with Sandra was appreciable as a part of their soulmate relationship. So they ordered a sundae with scoops of chocolate and vanilla ice cream topped with black cherries and chocolate sauce. It was served in a tall and slender glass mug on a porcelain plate, on which the waitress also put two long-handled teaspoons.
“Enjoy,” said the waitress, smiling.
“Thank you,” Sandra said.
“Thanks,” Rhyley echoed.
Sandra looked at the sundae.
“This looks gorgeous.”
Rhyley took the initiative. He picked up a teaspoon, got some ice cream with it and held it out in front of Sandra.
“Does it taste gorgeous too?” he asked.
Sandra leant forwards and ate the ice cream on the spoon. She swallowed and smiled.
“Yeah, it does.”
Rhyley put the spoon back into the sundae and tasted some himself.
“Hm, I agree.”
Sandra smiled and picked up her own spoon.
“Great. I couldn’t eat something like this on my own.”
So they tucked in. Rhyley saved one cherry until the end, which he held out to Sandra to eat. The bill came and, as promised, Sandra paid.
“Right, I’ve got to call my mum now,” she said as they stood up to leave. She sighed slightly. “It would be so much more convenient for you to drive me home. Greener too.”
“You can’t blame her if she’s concerned about your safety. I’ll wait with you - we can sit in my car.”
Sandra bit her lip.
“And kiss?” she asked softly, blushing at her own daring.
“Oh, we can have a full-on wild make-out session if you want.”
Sandra chuckled and walked with him back to the bowling alley car park. She called her mum as they walked, hanging up as they reached his car. They climbed in and Rhyley kissed her - lightly at first but then more deeply, until they were half lying down, engulfed in pleasure. It was lucky that Sandra made him stop at the first car they heard enter the car park because the car belonged to Sandra’s mother and she would have seen them making out.
“Thanks,” Sandra said, though there wasn’t anything to really thank Rhyley for. (He guessed she wasn’t quite thinking straight after the kiss.) “I’ll see you some time soon, yeah?”
“I look forward to it.” He kissed her forehead and watched her get out of his car and walk over to her mother’s car. Mrs Longmorrow drove away and he followed suit, arriving home a short while later where he started his computer, searched for a picture of a black cherry and set about sketching one.