8

Roisin opened her notifications to find a text from Bret. A screening of The Wrath of Khan...at Spencer's. Her stomach lurched for some reason. Excitement? Nerves? She typed in a lazy response and tossed her phone onto the couch. As she made her dinner, she played multiple scenarios through in her head, envisioning how she might just find a way to get Spencer alone. He was the only one in the club that seemed to accept her, and she was determined to get closer to him.

But she also didn't want to make a fool of herself.

Spencer lived in an old townhouse that reeked of old carpet and damp. As Roisin climbed the stairs, a door opened, and an old lady stuck her head over the banister above. When they made eye contact she retreated back into her apartment, grumbling about youngfolk and parties in general. As soon as she slammed the door, the one next to it swung open, and Spencer peeked out.

"Hey!" He chirped, pushing it wide.

"Hi." She managed, holding out the wine she had fussed over an hour before. "I um...didn't know what you liked, so I got my dad's favourite." A nervious laugh, and her stomach twinged again. What did he care that her dad liked the damn wine? The man liked anything under $30.

He studied the bottle. "Well I've never tried this one, but I trust your father."

"You shouldn't. He mostly drinks Guinness."

He huffed out a small laugh. "Can I take your coat?"

Roisin edged awkwardly past him and shrugged off her leather jacket. Even through her nerves, she saw his eyes go wide and praised herself: the form-fitting black dress never failed to impress. Catching himself staring, Spencer turned abruptly and went to hang it up.

Jake and Marlene were already sitting on the sagging brown sofa, so she took up an armchair a comfortable distance away. They didn't even try to say 'hello'. Fine. Roisin told herself, looking at her phone. Just fine.

The only other person to join them was Bret, which was fortunate given the lack of seats, and unfortunate given how much effort Spencer had gone to to prepare. The whole kitchen had been stockpiled full of snacks, his fridge full of soda and alcohol. He went around handing each of them paper plates and bowls and insisting that they take what they want. Roisin tried her best, filling her bowl with hot cheetos and piling a haphazard assortment of candy onto her plate. Spencer poured her a generous glass of wine, and observed inquisitively as she tried each foodstuff in turn. The cheetos were alright, but very strong, and whatever they were coated in stained her fingers orange (Spencer scuttled off for napkins when he saw the disgust on her face), Hershey's kisses she knew she didn't like, but tried once more out of politeness, the twinkie was fine but could've done with some jam and a cup of tea, the sour patch kids were by far her favourite, so she put them in reserve as she picked up a twizzler.

"Well?" Spencer urged, barely sparing a glance at the screen as Khan interrogated Chekov.

Taken off guard, her face contorted. "The devil's fucking shoelace!"

To her delight, he burst out laughing.

"That is the best description I've ever heard!"

A blatant lie, but she blushed nonetheless. "You don't like them either?"

"I do, actually. But I'm weird."

"Clearly." She offered him her other one and cleansed her palette with sherbert.

As soon as the film ended, the others filed out, feigning other plans and offering their apologies. This suited Roisin down to the ground, but Spencer forlornly waved them out the door. As soon as it shut, she seemed to forget how to converse, so she began to collect the dishes.

"You don't have to do that." Spencer said, rushing over to take them from her. He plucked them out of her hand and went to dump them in the trash. She followed with the glasses, laying them gently into the sink before he could stop her. They cleaned in this way until the living room was spotless, and there was nothing left to busy their hands.

She swayed anxiously on the spot, trying to think of what to say as he straightened a pile of books on the dining table. "I um…. I won't be coming next week."

He frowned. "Vacation?"

"No."

"Oh."

"It's nothing to do with you." She went on. "It's…"

"I know."

"Things didn't go well last week."

"Oh."

Roisin took a deep. "But I'd like if we could still be friends."

His face lit up. "Of course!"

"Great." She whipped out her phone. "Are you on Facebook?"

"No."

"Instagram?"

"Nope."

"Twitter?"

"Afraid not."

"...Myspace?"

"Actually, I don't use any of those things."

"A ghost." She laughed. "What about a phone number?"

He gulped. "Yeah I have one of those."