4 April 2005
Charles and I arrived a few minutes later than Lori had asked but since I was under the impression the actual trivia didn't start until nearly an hour later, I was sure it would be fine. She looked angry, at first, but then very quickly shifted to a smile and came over to meet us.
"Matteson! You brought a friend," she said, looking Charles over.
"Yeah, I mentioned that. Sorry we're late."
"Did you?" She waved her hand as she turned and started walking toward the table. "Doesn't matter, we still have time to eat and get some drinks first, right?"
"What is she, a gym teacher?" Charles whispered to me as we started to walk. I smacked him.
"It's more distinct than John," I whispered back. He looked like he was thinking about that for a moment.
"What are you guys whispering about back there?" she asked as she got to the table.
"Nothing important," I said. She looked at us for a moment as if sizing up that answer. The guy at the table stood from behind her and extended a hand.
"The famous Matteson, I presume?" he asked. I nodded and shook his hand.
"So it would seem." Lori lightened up and introduced us to Mark, who had just shaken my hand, as well as Beth and Bob, and I introduced Charles, before we all took our seats. As we all talked and ate and drank, Charles got into the idea of calling me Matteson and seemed to hit it off well with Bob. By the time trivia started, the two of them were cracking jokes while the rest of us tried to handle the questions. Lori started to lean against me and I had my arm around her when I wasn't the one writing. We were actually doing pretty well when a question about the difference between naiads and dryads came up. Charles, by now a few drinks in and on a roll with Bob, decided to tell his new friend about nymphs showing up at my house over the weekend. Lori sat bolt upright and stared at him, then at me. He stopped dead in his tracks and looked around at the table, with everyone stopped and looking confused.
"Nymphs?" Mark asked. "Like...the water spirits?"
"Yeah, Matteson," Charles started, "he...has he not-"
"It's not something I lead with, Charles," I hissed.
"What's this about them showing up at your house?" Lori asked, her eyes boring into my skull.
"Those are fake, though," Beth said, looking around for support. "Right?" Bob and Mark nodded.
"It was a prank, from a...friend. Thought he was helping me out. I sent them home," I answered, quietly.
"He's clearly a bit drunk and confused," Bob said, slapping Charles on the back. Charles laughed, and Beth and Mark waved the situation off and started writing the answer to the new question that came up.
"I don't think I like this friend very much," Lori whispered. I shrugged.
"I don't think we'll be seeing much of him for a while, anyway," I said. She scowled, then took a deep breath. She smiled as she turned back to the others. I glared at Charles, who mouthed an apology and then turned his gaze away to knock back some more beer.
"How was I supposed to know you didn't tell 'em you see shit?" Charles yelled, slightly slurring, as I drove him home.
"Seriously? Think about how literally everyone reacts when they first hear it," I said.
"I thought you liked the attention!"
"Oh yeah. The years of mockery and the way so many people avoid me is definitely the highlight of this ability."
"Does Lori at least know?"
"Why would she?"
"John! You're dating this girl and didn't tell her you see ghosts?"
"We aren't officially dating, and it's hardly relevant!"
"Look, man. If you do see what you say you see, it's always relevant."
"And I'm right! You need to tell her if this is gonna be a Thing." I sat quietly for a moment, then turned up the radio. He rolled his eyes and leaned on his window to watch the lights the rest of the way to his place.
The blog of John Matteson.