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“Babe, we’ve been doing this for hours. You look good in everything. Can we hit the food court and get out of here please?”
Eric smirked and turned to Alyssa. “You’re the one who had allll the opinions on my old jeans, and now you don’t have any on my new ones? Interesting…”
Alyssa sighed dramatically and returned to her phone as Eric went back into the dressing room, holding yet another armful of pants. She looked down at her group chat and sank back into the bench she was perched on.
Alyssa [2:33pm]: I’m officially a boyfriend. I’ve been waiting for Eric to buy stupid boy clothes for like 2 hours now. Karma for every high school boyfriend I ever forced to go to Forever 21 with me.
Sonia [2:33pm]: OMG he took you shopping with him? Girl, he liiikes you.
Alexis [2:34pm]: Just be glad it’s at the mall where you can shop too. I’m spending my Saturday at fucking Lowe’s because Ryan decided that if he’s going to fix up our kitchen, I have to be a part of it too.
Alyssa [2:34pm]: Hahahaha. Didn’t you get mad at him for not talking to you about the tiles for your countertop? You dug your own grave bitch.
“Alright, what about these? They’re dark wash, so I can wear them to work and the bar after.”
Alyssa tore her gaze up from her phone, interrupted by Eric standing in front of her, seductively posing in a pair of jeans that looked identical to the last three he had tried on. She looked up at him with a bored expression. “Are you literally just wearing the same jeans over and over again to mess with me, or are these actually different?”
Eric grinned cockily as he pulled at his pant leg. “These are totally different. See how tight they are? They’re skinny jeans. I figured giving your mom a bit of a show was the best way to make a good impression…”
Alyssa gasped playfully and smacked at him. “Is that why I’m wasting my Saturday at Nordstrom Rack? You’re worried about looking good for dinner with my parents? My dad literally wears sweatpants any time he’s not at work, I think you’ll be fine, babe. And don’t even think about ‘putting on a show’ for my mother, you asshole. Go try on something with breathing room!”
The last sentence was yelled as Eric bounded back towards the dressing room and his infinite pile of pants. Alyssa realized how loud she had been as several shoppers looked her way, and buried her nose in her phone to avoid eye contact.
Alexis [2:35pm]: Yes, I did, and he’s been sure to bring it up many times. The aisle I’m in is literally just full of wood someone pls kill me.
Bridget [2:35pm]: I wish I was that aisle right now, it’s been like 2 months since mama had any action.
Sonia [2:36pm]: Hahahaha omg Bridg
Alyssa [2:36pm]: So I just found out he’s shopping so he can look good when he meets my parents on Thursday I can’t even be mad anymore.
Alyssa [2:36pm]: Hahahaha Bridget just invite that bumble guy over already
Alexis [2:37pm]: Aww Lyss that’s kinda cute
Marina [2:37pm]: Ew that is cute. Not that your dad will even notice though. Paul will probably wear sweats to the restaurant.
Alyssa [2:38pm]: Hahaa that’s what I told him! My mom will notice though. You know how she is. Classic Cheryl.
Marina [2:38pm]: HAHA CHERYLLLL. Have you warned Eric about her? Or are you just gonna let him fend for himself after she has a few glasses of wine?
Alyssa [2:39pm]: I don’t even know what to tell him?? “Hey just a head’s up, my mom’s probably going to hit on you after three glasses of wine? Just steer the conversation towards antique furniture and she’ll get distracted telling you about the armoire she bought on her last trip to Carmel?”
Alexis [2:40pm]: I mean, yeah that’s probably exactly what you should say lol. Plus, he’s willingly spending time at the mall to impress your parents, so you know he loves youuuu.
Alyssa [2:40pm]: STOP we haven’t even said that yet. It’s probably too early for him to even meet my parents, but they’re in town visiting and Cheryl INSISTED.
Sonia [2:41pm]: It’ll be fun though! Mark met my parents like a month in because they came to visit and it wasn’t weird at all. And now we’re engaged so, you know, it worked out.
“God, Sonia, we know you’re engaged.” Alyssa thought as she hovered her thumbs over her iPhone screen. “You’ve posted, like, ten different angles of the damn proposal and ring over the last two months. We all get it. Congrats on dating the same boring guy since high school.”
Was she right, though? Alyssa knew that meeting the parents after a few months of dating was pretty early, but she didn’t know when this opportunity would next come up. She’d rather them meet Eric at a dinner on her home turf, with a defined schedule, than have him meet her whole family whenever she next went home for a weekend. “Better to ease him into the craziness of my family early than wait a few more months and push him into the deep end,” she thought. “Plus, it’s not weird that we hadn’t said I love you’s yet, right? I know he cares about me. He’ll say it eventually. I’m sure as hell not going to be the first-“
She looked up, startled, as a shadow fell over her. It was Eric, wearing a trim pair of dark-wash jeans and a crisp white oxford button-down. He had the sleeves rolled up, exposing tight forearm muscles beneath tanned skin.
‘What about this outfit?” Eric asked. “I think the jeans will fit well when they stretch a bit.”
Alyssa ran a hand up his inside thigh as she stood up, giggling as he bristled uncomfortable. “They fit pretty well right now,” she said in a low tone. “Buy them and let’s get out of here so I can see how easy they are to take off.”
Eric smiled wordlessly as he practically jogged back to the dressing room. Alyssa called after him with a throaty, seductive voice.
“Let’s get Cinnabon before we leave!”.