Home > The Opportunist (Love Me with Lies #1)(10)

The Opportunist (Love Me with Lies #1)(10)
Tarryn Fisher

Rich, British boys didn’t eat ice cream in places like this. They ate caviar on yachts and dated rich, blond girls with trust funds. He had to be seriously flawed in some unobvious way. I went through the possibilities in my mind; bad temper, clingy, mental illness…..

“I suppose you’re wondering about the table?” he said, sitting down across from me.

I nodded.

“I’ve been bringing girls here since junior high.” He folded his hands on the sticky tabletop and leaned back in his seat casually. “Anyway, you see that table over there?” I turned to look at the corner table that he was pointing to. An old traffic light was spastically blinking red, green, red, red green above it.

“That is the bad luck table and I will never sit there again, not by myself, and not ever with a date.”

I turned back to him amused. He was superstitious. How tacky. I felt smug.


“Well, because every time I sit at that table something disastrous happens—like my old girlfriend seeing me with my new girlfriend and dumping death-by- chocolate on our laps, or finding out that you’re allergic to blueberries in front of the hottest girl in school….” He laughed at himself and I let a smile creep through my tough girl act.

A blueberry allergy was kind of endearing.

“And this table?” I asked.

“Good things happen at this table,” he said simply.

I raised an eyebrow but was too afraid to ask. Bringing a girl to an ice cream parlor that looked like it was funked in the twenties scored pretty big points. Cammie would be eating it up. It was his sex ticket, I decided.

I was inordinately relieved when our server showed up with two waters and a colander of stale popcorn.

I was still looking through my menu when I heard Caleb ordering for me.

“Are you kidding?” I asked when out server walked away. “Are you aware that women can now vote and order their own food?”

“You never give an inch,” he said. “—I like that.”

I lick the salt off my fingers and narrow my eyes at him.

“I saw you looking at this.” He tapped a picture of a banana split. “—right before you started looking at the low fat ice cream.”

He was observant, I’d give him that.

“So what if I wanted something low fat?”

Caleb shrugged. “It’s my night. I won. I make the rules.”

I almost smiled. Almost.

He told me about his family while we waited. He grew up in London with his mother and stepfather. He had the type of magical childhood every kid dreams of, fancy vacations, Christmases with the cousins in Switzerland, and a goddamn pony for his birthday. They transplanted to America when he was fourteen. Michigan first, and then when his mother said the cold was bad for her complexion, Florida. There was an abundance of money, little fighting, and an older brother who did things like climb Mt. Everest in his spare time. His biological father, whom he still occasionally saw, was a womanizer who graced the covers of British tabloids by dating and breaking up with famous models. When it came my turn to spill, I filtered my story for his upper class benefit, leaving out my alcoholic father whom I just called ‘deceased,’ and replacing the projects with ‘a bad neighborhood’. I saw little reason to drown him in the ugly details of my un-charmed life. I didn’t want to bruise his happily ever after. He listened with attentiveness and asked me questions. In my opinion, one could measure a person’s self-absorption by the amount of questions they did not pose. Caleb genuinely seemed interested in me. I wasn’t sure what that meant. Either it was a ploy to get girls in bed, or he really was that nice.

When I told him about my mother and how she had died of cancer during my senior year of high school, I saw genuine compassion in his eyes, which made me shift uncomfortably in my seat.

“So you’re all alone then, Olivia?” I withdrew at his question. It kind of stung to hear.

“Yes, I suppose you could say that if you’re referring to my having no living family members.”

I scooped desert into my mouth so I wouldn’t have to say anything else.

“Are you happy?” he asked. I thought that was kind of an odd question. Was he asking me if I was still crying at night because my mother was dead? He was playing with his spoon, unconsciously dripping chocolate all over the table. I answered as honestly as I could.

“Sometimes. Aren’t you?”

“I don’t know.”

I looked up in surprise. Star athlete, handsome, spoiled, how could he not be happy? Better yet, how could he not know if he was happy or not?

“What does that mean?” I asked setting my spoon down. I didn’t feel like eating ice cream anymore. I didn’t feel like being here anymore. The whole conversation was making me feel sick.

“I don’t know what makes me happy yet. I guess I’m trying to find it. I’ve always wanted to get married and have a family, one where you pick someone and stay with them till you’re grey and wrinkled and have a minivan full of grandkids.”

“A minivan?” I say incredulously, thinking of the licorice sports car parked outside. “Are you kidding me?”

“I’m not as bad as you think.”

I poked him on the shoulder. “You don’t want a minivan, you want a Porche. Fifteen years into your marriage you’ll be trading in the wife and the mini for something that gets your blood moving again. You’re spoiled?”

“Come on,” he said, laughing. “You didn’t get handed to me. If I had to fight any harder to get you here, I would be in a body cast.”

“Either way, you wrote the book and now you’re complaining about the reviews I’m giving it,” I quipped.

“Fair enough.” He held up his hands, “I’m going to start writing the sequel which will be considerably less narcissistic. Will you read it?”

“Only if every other girl on campus hasn’t.” He laughed so hard several people turned around to stare at us.

I plucked some kernels of popcorn from the colander and ate them thoughtfully. This wasn’t as dreadful as I’d anticipated. I was almost having fun. When I looked up, he was examining me.

“What? Why are you looking at me like that?”

Caleb sighed, “Why are you so hostile?”

“Listen pal, don’t think for one minute that I buy that sensitive guy routine you’ve got going. I know bippity, boppity, bullshit when I see it.”

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