Grace: *laughs* Are you okay?
Jamie winces in pain as he slowly sits in the chair at a boardwalk restaurant. He looks up when he finally sits down.
Jamie: This is nothing!
Grace pokes Jamie’s arm, where his skin is so pink from the sun, Grace’s input turns that one spot white. Jamie reacts to the touch.
Jamie: Aigoo, okay you’ve proven your point.
Grace laughs; Jamie smiles at the sound. They both flip open the menus in front of them.
Grace: The food is to die for here; I’m even lucky if I could grab something during my breaks at work.
Grace nods her head. They continue to look at their menus, deciding what to eat.
Jamie: *points at a page* We can start drinks if you’d like.
Grace: What did you have in mind?
Jamie: *scans menu page* Well, if you’re up for a… *looks at menu closer* mal-ga-li-ta”—wow, that looks good— we can have that.
Grace: *laughs* It’s a margarita, and it has alcohol in it.
Jamie’s eyes widen.
Jamie: Oh! I mean, if you’d like one, you can order it. I’m driving you back home, so–
Grace shakes her head to interrupt Jamie’s sentence.
Grace: No no, it’s okay…
Grace fidgets in her seat for a moment. Jamie notices and looks up at Grace. She also takes notice of him looking at her.
Grace: I’m… actually sober.
Jamie: Oh! I’m sorry! I shouldn’t have assumed you did!
Grace: It’s completely fine, Jamie, really… If you want a drink, it’s cool; I can drive us back if you want.
Jamie: *shakes head* No, it’s alright; I don’t wanna… drink with… you.
Grace tilts her head to the side; Jamie gets flustered.
Jamie: I don’t mean it like that! I just don’t want to drink while you are sober, and–
Grace giggles at Jamie’s flushed appearance.
Grace: It’s okay, Jamie. You can still enjoy a drink around me if you want it.
Jamie nods, taking note. Before switching the subject, Grace begins to speak.
Grace: I haven’t had alcohol in about 4 months now. It’ll be 5 on June 26th.
Jamie: That’s great, Grace. Congratulations on your sobriety.
Grace: Thanks, Jamie.
Jamie: *without any self-aware* So what made you quit altogether?
Grace looks at Jamie with slight annoyance. He quickly picks it up and backtracks.
Jamie: That was inappropriate of me. I’m sorry–
Grace: *stern* I was an alcoholic. I needed to stop drinking, so I did.
Jamie’s face flashes red in embarrassment. He’s relieved when the waitress comes by to get their choice of food and drinks. Jamie ends up ordering an Iced Americano as a drink; Grace ends up getting a cola.
When the waitress walks away from the table, Grace notices Jamie lost in thought. She bites the inner corner of her cheek and sighs.
Grace: It’s okay, Jamie. You didn’t know, and I didn’t expect you to know.
Grace crosses her arms and leans on the tabletop.
Grace: Just how I should’ve expected you ordering an Iced Americano. Still drinking that nasty expresso coffee?
Jamie laughs, looking more comfortable than before.
Jamie: Iced Americanos are what get me through the day.
Grace: It’s 1:30 in the afternoon.
Jamie: *confused* You say that as if it’s a bad thing.
Grace shakes her head and laughs. The tension that was between them vanishes. Jamie smiles, then sighs when the silence gets to be too much for him.
Jamie: You mentioned that you’re still dancing; how’s it going?
Grace: Good! Next weekend I have intense practices for an event that’s coming up.
Jamie: Your company is having an event?
Grace: No, no; the studio I dance for is having an event. Well, a showcase… some of the dancers in that academy are looking to get scouted, so the company has this showcase every season to either scout new dancers or send their dancers off for professional jobs.
Jamie raises his eyebrows in shock; he’s curious about the dancer side of Grace.
Jamie: Are you looking to get picked for a professional job?
Grace: As great as that is, I’m already “too old” to be considered for a professional job. I’m just in the academy to dance, stay local; y’know?
Jamie: Too old? Aren’t you turning 30 in October?
Grace looks at Jamie. She surprised that Jamie still remembers minor details such as her age and birthday.
Grace: I am.
Jamie: Is that not ideal for a dancer?
Grace: The younger, the better. in the division I dance for, 21 to 24 is the age most professional dancers are. *laughs* I was too busy in college and law school at that age.
Jamie: You were simply fulfilling another passion of yours.
Grace scoffs, then sighs. The drinks are served with their food, and Jamie immediately takes a sip of his Iced Americano.
Grace: Did you want to do anything else beside be a lawyer when you were younger?
Jamie’s face turns red; it grabs Grace’s attention.
Grace: Oh God, is it embarrassing?
Jamie: No, no… it’s just that it’s silly thinking back at it now…
Grace: *eager* Oh my God, what was it?
Jamie: *sighs* I wanted to be an idol in Korea.
Grace laughs out loud, but immediately stops to maintain her composure.
Grace: Oh, wow, that’s…
Grace: No! It’s… something I wouldn’t guess you out of all people would want to become.
Jamie: There’s a lot you don’t know about me yet.
Grace and Jamie look at each other; nothing is said between them. They continue to enjoy the meal in silence until Jamie looks up at Grace. She doesn’t notice he’s looking at her.
Jamie: How about we go to a karaoke bar the next time?
Grace looks up from her plate.
Jamie: Yeah! So I can show you that I really could sing… a little.
Grace: You want to go to a karaoke bar? With me?
Jamie: Why not? We did it years ago back in New York. I just didn’t sing the last time we did.
Grace: *recalls* Oh, right! For my birthday! Holy shit, that had to have been like… 3, 4 years ago?!
Jamie nods; Grace is visibly still in shock.
Jamie: So, are you up for it the next time we hang out?
Grace is taken back by the assertiveness. She didn’t know there would ever be a next time, but smiles at the thought of there being one.
Grace: We can do that.
Jamie smiles and Grace returns one back.