City Lounge: London (Book Two, Chapter Ten: Fish and Chip Memories)

Chapter Ten: Fish and Chip Memories:

“I’m hungry,” Sophie complained. “Let’s go get something to eat.” I turned my head.

“But you already ate at the company party,” I said. My ex snorted.

“That was just finger food,” she said. “I want real food! I want a whole meal.” I put up my hands.

“Okay, okay,” I said. “I hear you.” It didn’t take me long to guess where we were going next. “Think that fish and chip shop is still open?” Sophie broke into a smile.

“You know they are,” she said. “Best hangover food ever.” I raised my eyebrow at her.

“I thought you hate fish and chips,” I said.

“I’m hungry,” she repeated. “I will force myself to munch through it if I have to.” I tried to hold back my laughter.

“What?” she asked.

“You said the same thing when we were back in college,” I said. “I think we were coming back from a social event too. You didn’t like the food. So, we left and went to that fish and chip shop.” Sophie gave me a strange look.

“How come you keep remembering things like that?” she asked. I shrugged.

“I just do,” I said. “You keep making me remember these things.”

“Oh, so it’s my fault?” Sophie asked.

“Yeah,” I said nodding. She pushed me over and walked ahead of me.

“Aw, shut up!” my ex said. I ran to keep up with her.

———

Ah, good old Mickey’s. This place hadn’t changed at all over the years. It was raining the day Sophie and first came here. I remember her about to bite off my head if I didn’t get her food fast. She hated fish and chips, but what else could I do? Today, the only thing missing was the rain.

“You sure you want this?” I asked.

“I don’t care!” Sophie snapped. “I want to eat now!”

“Okay, okay,” I said.  “Please don’t bite my head off.”  I pushed open the door for her.

“Thank you,” she said with a smile on her face.

“Yes, yes,” I muttered. Surprisingly, there wasn’t many people in the shop. A couple of old people were sitting down at the tables, eating. A nurse sat by the window looking like she was going to faint. Meanwhile, her son ran around the store. The man at the register looked up and spotted us.

“Welcome,” he said. “What can I get for you today?” Sophie and I looked at the menu on the back wall.

“Can we get two of your large order of Fish and Chips?” I asked. The lady rang up our order.

“Nine P,” she said. I paid her the amount and she gave me back my change.

“Your meal will be out slowly,” she said. The lady at the register turned her head as we took a seat. Ironically, we sat under a great picture of a dock in the early morning hours. I looked up and smiled to myself.

“Look, Sophie,” I said. She looked up at the painting over our heads.

“They still have that old picture?” she asked.

“Aw, it’s not that bad,” I said. “I think it looks kind of nice.”

Sophie wrinkled her nose. “You’re weird.”

I rubbed the back of my head. “You said that back then too.”

“Did I?”

“Yeah,” I said. “In that wrinkled pink blouse you loved so much.” She gave me a funny look.

“When did I have that?” she asked.

“You don’t remember?” I started moving my hands around my upper torso. “It was thin and wrinkled. It was so pink that it almost blinded me.”

“Did it have anything on it?”

“You did get ketchup on it once we got our food.”

“I mean before then.”

“Oh. I don’t think there was any pattern on it. It was really wrinkled and the buttons were so tiny. I could see your bra underneath.” It appeared like I turned on a light bulb in her head as she perked up.

“Oh. I remember that. I borrow it from my brother’s girlfriend that weekend.”

My face dropped. “You mean it wasn’t yours?”

“Nope.”

“Damn, the way you went on about made me think that it was yours.”

“No.”

“What happened to that blouse?”

“I gave back to his girlfriend when I came home and I haven’t seen it since.”

“It looked really good on you.” For a brief second, I saw Sophie blush.

“You really see my bra through it?” she asked.

“Yeah,” I said, nodding.

“Why didn’t you say anything?!” When have I ever seen her face get that red before? I shrugged.

“I thought you were trying to seduce me again,” I said. “I thought it looked really cute.” My ex hit me on the arm.

“You should’ve said something!” she shouted. “I was all nervous.” I about fell out of the booth. Sophie being nervous? She was always the one in the lead on our dates and she’s still in the lead now. I shook my head.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “I just can’t see you as the nervous type.”

“I was! I wanted to try and impress you!” Sophie dropped her head on the table. “Oh god!” I patted her on the shoulder.

“You didn’t need to do that,” I told her. “I was already impressed.” My ex lifted her head. Her brown eyes were the size of saucers.

“You’re joking,” she said. I smiled as I shook my head. I turned my head when I heard a bell ring.

“Two large fish and chips!” the lady at the register called.

“That’s us,” I said. I walked over and got our food. Sophie sat up when I returned to the table. She grabbed her cone and began munching on the crispy golden fish. I watched my ex eat like she hates her food and hasn’t eaten in weeks. I couldn’t help but smile as I realized this was the same thing that happened when we first came to this shop. When I took my bite into my dinner, I wondered how much more of the past was I going to remember with Sophie.

“Is it good?” I asked.

“Yes!” Sophie said in one breath. She shoved in more chips in her mouth. I resumed eating my own dinner. I wonder where we’re going to go next after this.

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