Jason walked into the Chili’s off Market Street about thirty minutes before his first date was supposed to start because he wanted to have his own skillet queso. He would still order another skillet queso to share with his date, but this was his moment. He took a couple minutes to stalk his date’s Instagram while inhaling his melted cheese in a skillet.
“Okay so she likes her dog, her friends, and the beach. This should be easy.”
As Jason scrolled into the spring of 2016 a message in the “Gang Gang” group chat popped up from his boy Brandon.
“Yoooooo who’s tryna game tonight?”
He didn’t pay much attention to it, however, because Rachel had just walked up to the table. Jason searched all over for words to say and finally stuttered out some sort of greeting while she slid into the booth across from him. She began doing all of the talking while Jason became completely entranced. This girl had no business going on a date with him and he knew it. He was now an actual catfish.
Jason set his phone down and turned on Date Mode. He hit all the key talking points and gained all the critical info. After Rachel finished talking about her golden retriever Finley for eight minutes without breathing, she excused herself to the bathroom. Jason took a minute to go through the notifications on his phone, and the group chat had blown up.
Brandon’s simple question earlier had sparked a revival in their old friend-group that pulled ghosts out of the cracks. Lurkers chimed in with more than a message reaction and Chris sent the first emoji of his life. As Jason scrolled through the messages a deep panic set in. Brandon had gotten the boys back together. He had pulled off the inevitable. They had all recently purchased the newest trending game and all planned to squad up at 9 p.m. that night.
“Let me wrap up this date and I’m in there,” Jason sent back as Rachel came back to the table. She began to tell him all about her job as a nurse and how much it meant to her. As she began to talk about the week she spent in Haiti in 2015 Jason overheard two kids arguing at the table behind them.
“My mom hid my controller so I can’t play all night but I used her credit card to buy another one that I hide under my bed,” one boy whispered across the table. His mom had just finished her fourth margarita and was paying him less attention than his daddy paid her.
Jason quickly gazed at one of the TV’s in the bar for a distraction when he saw the newest commercial for the blockbuster game. He glanced at his watch, which read 8:11 p.m.. He looked up at the beautiful girl across the table, who had had three small bites of her salad before beginning a four minute long rant about her friend Katie. There was no stopping her anytime soon. His gaming night with the boys was in danger. He checked his phone under the table.
“We know your bitch ass ain’t on no date!!!”
“yooooo what’s she look like”
“Please tell me you are not with Sydney”
“where you at???”
He put his phone away to continue listening to everything his date said, but internally a war raged onward. Was he really going to let his boys down for a first date? Sure, no one this attractive would ever even look at him again, but MW2 squad loyalty runs deeper. He paused in the middle of his fajitas and asked the waitress for a box. He told his date he wasn’t feeling very well and wanted to get home and rest.
“Ugh, you poor thing! I’ll come over and take care of you and make sure you get some rest!” She reached out and rubbed his hand on the table.
Now Jason really didn’t know what to do. He somehow out-kicked his coverage, and now just invited herself over. Meanwhile, the rest of his day ones were at home already waiting on him. He kept telling himself they would understand and accepted Rachel’s offer. They were home by 8:45 and Jason tried to get in bed as fast as possible. Then once she left he could squad up with his boys. He was just about to tell Rachel thanks for everything when she looked at him and said, “do you have a big t-shirt that I can borrow?”
His heart plummeted, but he could not say no. He was never going to be able to play the game now. Once she climbed into his bed he laid still for 84 seconds before giving it a real good twitch so that Rachel would think he was asleep. Once he noticed she was asleep, he slipped his phone out and texted his friends.
“Sorry fellas, she came over. She’s asleep now, y’all still on?”
“bout damn time come on with it”
Jason powered on his Xbox and TV when Rachel’s eyes open. “You wanna watch a movie?” She asked.
“Yeah sorry I have to fall asleep to background noise,” he said.
“Oh that’s no problem! What are we watching?!” She kissed his cheek and laid back down.
“What the actual fuck is happening tonight?” He thought to himself as Emperor’s New Groove flashed in the background. Kronk hadn’t even mixed up the poison before Rachel was asleep. Jason decided to make a move. He slid out from under her arm and switched over to his new game. He put on his headset and went to join his friends. He joined their party and opened his mouth to say hey but already heard someone talking.”Alright boys I’m headed to bed.”
Within fifteen seconds every single person had left Jason standing alone. After everything he had been through, he never got to play a single game with the homies. He was devastated. There was no way his night could get any worse. He decided to scroll through Twitter to find one last laugh before he fell asleep. However, before he found the perfect meme, a different tweet caught his eye:
@Rachel_Raeeee: Applebee’s is WAY better than Chili’s (3h ago)