Zach and Amanda placed their orders (Baked Spaghetti and Three Piece Fried chicken respectfully, both with fries) and Amanda sulked slightly in her chair until the food came, while the rest of us had a pleasant conversation about the movie we had just watched. But, when the food came, Amanda cheered up and got right back into the swing of things.
“So, what do you guys do?” Amanda asked, taking a bite.
“I’m a doctor,” Adrian said simply, and then he turned to look at me, “And Elliott is—Well…” he trailed off, unsure of what he should say next.
“I have very little direction in my life at the moment. I work at the movie theatre and help Adrian with his kids when I can, but I am aimlessly wandering at the moment. Coming from me–it’s honest–coming from him, it sounds pompous and disapproving.” I supplied, and then took a big bite out of my burger.
“She looks like a very put together woman, Zach. She’s aimlessly wandering, but not a drug addict or prostitution.” Amanda said.
“Uh-oh.” Adrian frowned slightly. “Did we just get dragged into a sibling war. Because I hate siblings, even when I’m a sibling involved.”
“Not a real one, just trying to convince my brother that even though I don’t have a concrete plan for the next couple of years, I’ll still be alright.”
I managed to swallow my bite, and turned to look at Amanda. “how do you know I’m not a drug addict or prostitute? Maybe I am just a very good actress, and you’ve only known me a couple of hours.”
Instead of answering my question or referring to me at all, Amanda just turned to Adrian. “Is she a good actress?”
“She couldn’t even handle being sheep #4 in the Christmas pageant.” Adrian smiled smugly.
I turned to look at Zach,” She’s smart, your sister. She’s got Adrian and I figured out already.”
“I told you that she was good at reading people.” Zach replied.
“That’s right. If you want to be a psychologist then why are you and your brother fighting about aimless wandering with your life?”
“Because I don’t want to do it right now. I want to take a year or so off, to be stupid, travel the world, and spend too much money, that kind of thing. Zach wants me to go to school right away, stay in school until I’ve got my doctorate, and then start working right away to pay off the extreme levels of debt that I will have undoubtedly collected at that point. I’m eighteen, I don’t want to jump on that treadmill just yet.”
Zach sighed, and I cut my eyes to Adrian, trying to decide whether or not it would be wise to just cut and run while we had the chance. But then Amanda gave a small sigh very similar to her brother’s sigh, and smiled. “That was inappropriate dinner conversation and I shouldn’t have brought up the argument in front of people who we’ve barely met and we want to walk away with positive impressions of us, so, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t worry about it—“Adrian chuckled, a glint in his eye that I recognized only seconds too late, “We’re familiar with inappropriate dinner conversation. This one time, Elliott—“
That set off a chain. We spend the next hour and half all trying to one up each other with embarrassing stories about our siblings. In the end, Adrian won with a rousing tale from when we were nine years old, and involving a theme park and a very rude clown. Now, I tried to be a supportive kind of sister, but this was one competition I wish he’d refrained from going all out to win.
As we left dinner, we swapped numbers, and Amanda made us all promise that we’d do this again sometime.
“Besides, I think you guys should come by the store.”
“The store?” I asked, and realized that while we had talked about what Adrian and I were doing with our lives, we never managed to ask what Zach’s job was.
“Yep. Zach runs the cute little used bookstore off Great Neck. You should come check it out, I think you’d like it. It’s very cute.”
“Used bookstore is music to my ears. I think I will have to check it out.”