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One Night Sin – Maddy & Declan's Story (Chapter 22)
So… just in case you didn't know, it's usually a good idea to order your pizza ahead of time. Even if you're going to pick it up, you can save a lot of time by calling ahead, telling them you want to pick up your order instead of have it delivered, and then they make it while you're on the way. Or, you know, while you're grocery shopping with your stepbrother.
Declan and I didn't bother doing that, which is probably why some of this happened. I don't want to say it's the sole reason for everything that happened. It's not. I know that. It's just… I don't know…
Maybe it'll seem unimportant right now, but I don't know if I can take any of this back. That's for later, though. I'm kind of getting ahead of myself at the moment.
“What are we getting?” I ask, looking over to Declan.
He's standing confidently at the cashier's desk, ready to order. Declan looks like he's done this a million times before. And then I realize he went to college and is in seminary school now, so he probably has done it all before. I mean, it's not like I've never ordered a pizza! I have. Except, you know, I usually call in ahead of time or else I get it delivered.
Standing at the counter and ordering on the spot like this is kind of nerve-wracking. I feel like there's a lot of pressure. I don't know why. I'm probably being silly.
“Uh, I thought we had this all decided ahead of time?” Declan says, looking to me. “Did you change your mind, Maddy?”
“No?” I say. “Wait, what did we decide ahead of time.”
“Florentine pizza with reuben fries,” Declan says, steadfast.
I'm glad someone knows what's going on, because I think this pizza place is getting to me. I feel strange all of a sudden, like… like something. It's hard to place, but I just feel different.
I bet it's because I haven't really eaten today. That's it. All I had was that French toast for breakfast, coffee, and I ate some of the leftover brownie batter after I put the brownie pan in the oven. Don't tell Declan. He'd probably make fun of me for eating basically all carbs for the entire day.
And then pizza.
And reuben fries…
I'm usually not this bad, I swear. I eat relatively healthy foods most of the time, but this is the first day Declan's back so it calls for a certain amount of celebration, right? Also, in case you've forgotten, Jesus broke bread with is disciples, and bread is basically all carbs. Basically what I'm saying right now is that today I've been a very good Catholic.
I don't think that's actually how this works, but do you mind if we pretend it does?
The cashier behind the counter stares at me impatiently. Declan nudges me with his shoulder, too. I stare up at the menu, then back down to the counter, and finally over to Declan.
“Yes,” I say.
“Maddy, are you alright?” he asks. “You're acting a little weird.”
“What? No, um… let's go with the florentine pizza and reuben fries. That sounded really good earlier. Honestly, I'm really hungry, Declan. I don't know why. It just suddenly happened. I haven't eaten a lot today, and…”
“You guys want some breadsticks while you wait?” the nice man behind the counter offers.
“That would be amazing!” I say, probably with a little too much excitement. Whoops?
The man chuckles and heads to go get us some breadsticks. Our order is in, so that's good. It won't be that long. Nope, not too long…
When he comes back with a basket of breadsticks, he slides them across the counter to us, just nonchalant, like he does this all the time. I belatedly realize he probably does do this all the time.
Seriously, what's wrong with me today? Ugh.
“Cash or credit?” he asks.
I reach into my purse and whip out the credit card my daddy left for us. Too exuberantly, I might add. The cashier takes it, swipes it, then hands it back to me. I leave him a nifty little tip, sign the bottom, and give him back his copy of the receipt.
“It'll probably be… maybe twenty minutes or so?” he says. “We just got a ton of orders in, but I'll try to make it quick for you guys.”
Twenty minutes. Twenty minutes? My heart drops, and my stomach grumbles. That's such a long time…
“Maddy, come here,” Declan says, dragging me away from the counter.
He takes the breadstick basket with us. Sliding me into a booth, he sits opposite me, the basket of breadsticks between us. I take one and nibble on it slowly, but it's delicious so I end up eating it a lot faster than I mean to. Declan stares at me, giving me a weird look, and slowly eats his own breadstick.
In a matter of about a minute, two breadsticks are gone. That's from me, by the way. Declan's still on his first.
“Do you want the last one?” I ask him, eyeing the final breadstick.
“Listen, I understand if you're on a diet,” he says, “but you really need to eat throughout the day. You can't starve yourself. It's not good for you.”
“Oh,” I say, pouting. “Sorry, Declan…”
“You really want that last breadstick, huh?”
“We can split it?” I offer.
Declan grabs it and pulls it apart, half and half. He offers me one and I take it, smiling at him.
“You just broke bread with me,” I say, munching on my breadstick. “Just like Jesus and his disciples. That's wonderful, Declan. Did you learn that in seminary?”
“Uh, no?” he says. “Maddy, it's a breadstick.”
“Well, yeah. What kind of bread do you think Jesus broke, though?”
“That… that's a question alright…” Declan says, giving me another weird look.
“We always go with unleavened bread,” I say. “But I was talking with Father Patch about it, and did you know that Eastern Orthodox churches forbid the use of unleavened bread for the Eucharist? Isn't that interesting?”
“It's come up during discussions at seminary before,” Declan says with a shrug. “The thing is, I guess we'll never really know what kind of bread it is. I mean, technically a tortilla is unleavened bread, but I'm guessing that's not it. If I had to guess, I'd go with something like a pita bread, but then matza is also a decent option. Roti's similar, too, but that's more of an Asian one. It would still be similar, though.”
“Do you really talk about these things in school?” I ask him with genuine interest. “Declan, I'm so glad. I… I don't know why, but I worry about you. Are you doing alright there? I've talked with my dad and your mom about it sometimes. I know I decided to help out around here, but…”
And after this morning, I probably shouldn't be talking to Declan about any of this. I really don't think it's a good idea right now. It just kind of came out, and I can't stop now, so I guess I'm going for it.
“What?” he asks, favoring me with a gentle smile.
“I mean, it's silly. I'm not saying we have to do it or anything. I'm sure you wouldn't want to. But I just kind of mentioned in passing to our parents that maybe it would be good if you and I lived together? I could move in with you and we could pick out an apartment, and I'd get a job, of course. I just know how hard it is, Declan. Um, I don't actually know, but… I'm sure it's hard. Because there's a lot of temptation, right? So I can… I can help… with…”
What am I saying?
Also what's Declan doing?
His face turns red and he… oh no! He's choking. Declan chokes on a piece of his breadstick, coughing and hacking. I jump up out of my seat and go to him, trying to help. I've taken safety courses about this kind of thing and I can give him the Heimlich maneuver if I have to, but hopefully it won't come to that.
Or CPR. Please, God, keep Declan safe. I'll give him CPR if I really have to, but after this morning I don't think it's a good idea. I just really don't.
I pat Declan on the back hard and help him lift his arms a little. He coughs one final time, then swallows hard before looking over at me. We're sitting side by side now, my arm around his shoulder, very friendly-like.
“Does that mean you don't want me to move in with you?” I ask, straightfaced.
Declan pauses for a second, then he breaks out laughing. I laugh with him, too. It's fun. I like laughing with Declan, and spending time with him, and…
I know it's probably not a good idea at the moment, but I think I'd like living with him. We kind of do it already, or we did, but that's with our parents. And, yes, Declan comes back during the summer, but that's not the same.
I need to step outside of my comfort zone eventually and I think living with Declan would help. He could teach me things, and I could get involved with his seminary school events. I'm sure they're all very nice and respectable. Everyone there is obviously devout and good, which is what I want to be. It's perfect, don't you think?
“You… you can always come visit sometime if you want,” Declan says, slow, like he took the time to think about every single part of every single word.
“Really?” I ask him.
“Yeah, if you want to,” he says, smiling. “Just let me know, Maddy. I'll make sure there's a place for you to sleep. You can take my bed for the night and I'll sleep on the couch. We could hang out and do stuff around my college. It's different sometimes, though. It's a lot quieter here compared to there.”
Ooh, Declan's bed. I liked sleeping in his bed back home when he wasn't there. I wonder if his bed in his apartment is the same or different? I'd like to sleep in it sometime so I know.
Um… not that way! I didn't mean it like that! Honestly now…
“Hey, a large florentine pizza and a side of reuben fries?” the man behind the counter says, holding up our food.
“Yay, food!” I say, hopping up out of the booth and heading over to grab the pizza box and takeout container.
“You act like you haven't eaten in days,” Declan says, shaking his head. “You just devoured those breadsticks, Maddy.”
“Maybe I'm pregnant,” I say, teasing him. “Like, um… I mean, I can't be pregnant, but the Virgin Mary got pregnant, so… that's a really bad joke, isn't it?”
“Yeah,” Declan says, shaking his head. “Sorry, but it is.”
“Can we still share the pizza, though?”
“Well, yeah, of course,” he says, grinning. “Let's go home and dig in. What movie do you want to watch?”
So… I really like writing about pizza for some reason. I get excited about it, even though I don't eat it a lot, haha. Florentine pizza is really good if you have a chance to get it, though! I've had it a couple different ways and the way I like it is…
Alfredo sauce instead of regular pizza sauce, sundried tomatoes, a little garlic, grilled chicken, spinach, and then topped with mozzarella cheese. I don't always need the tomatoes, but I think they're good. I prefer the ones in oil that are softer. They have dried ones and I wouldn't recommend it. Regular tomatoes could work, too!
Also, reuben fries! Are just french fries, already cooked, mix them up with some pastrami, put that in a pie tin, pour a little Thousand Islands dressing over the top, then top with cheese. I like swiss cheese, but you could mix it with mozzarella for a smoother consistency, too.
Maybe I should write a cookbook? That would be fun!
Back to the story, though! This one was fun and different. I wasn't sure if I wanted to write the pizza scene or not, but I had an idea so I decided to go with it. I almost did a cute added scene where they decide to play pinball while they wait, but Maddy's really bad at it, so Declan offers to help teach her, gets behind her, holds her hands, and… then they realize what they're doing and look at each other nervously, haha.
Maybe I'll still write that one later. We'll see.
I'm going away tomorrow and I'll be gone for a little over a week, so next week's chapter might be delayed. I'm going to try hard to get it up, but I can't guarantee anything. I'll have more soon either way, though! We got dinner in this one, but what about the movie? It's coming, I promise!
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