Cassie is getting ready for her lunch with Joe. She has bought a new outfit and shoes for the occasion. She wishes she knew how to use an eyelash curler, because she feels curly lashes is exactly what this occasion calls for. Although she doesn’t know how to use an eyelash curler, she knows how to use a regular curling iron, and she curls her hair with no mercy. She needs to look stunning today, so stunning that Joe’s heart will ache with bitterness that he ever let her go.
Cassie has zero desire to restart things with Joe. She has their lunch all planned out. She will talk to him politely, but will not show any real interest in his life. She wants him to know that she has moved on, and that he no longer matters to her. However, her plan obliterates as soon as she sees him.
She had forced herself to forget how charming he could be. Now, as they sit across the table from each other, eating lunch and chatting, she is reminded that being with him feels as natural as breathing. She is so entranced by his banter that she eats three courses without even noticing it. “Remember that time we were in Mexico,” Joe says, “ and we had to stop the car because a giant lizard was crossing the road and you said”
“Stop,” Cassie interrupts him.
“That’s not what you said.”
“No, I meant stop talking. Why did you want me to have lunch with you?”
“I realized it was a mistake to break up with you. I never want to make that mistake again. I decided I want to marry you. Now all I need is your agreement. Do you want to marry me?”
Cassie has a strong desire to say yes, but she always tells her 7th graders, “even though the world is unfair, always try to be fair,” and she feels she needs to stay true to her principles. She decides to compare Joe to Max. Joe and Max are equals when it comes to conversation skills, however with Joe; she already knows his bad qualities. Max might like eating ants at midnight, and she certainly does not want to throw Joe away for an ant eater.
“Give me a week to decide,” she says.
“Okay. I’m glad you’re taking a week, because I’ll need that time to find you a ring.”
“Why are you so sure I’ll say yes?”
“I’m not,” Joe says, smiling. “However you seem to have forgotten Cass, I have always been an optimist.”