10. Vonvon Goes on a Date
Fish Stew Pizza, the 2nd most romantic restaurant on the boardwalk, behind Rosemary’s Restaurant. Ever since Kiki took over from her father, the menu has expanded to include pasta and exotic dishes such as jollof and something called kenkey.
Vonvon sat at a table near the back, inconspicuously watching another table at the front, near the window. They were disguised in a tiny trench coat, a green paisley bandana over their head, and a pair of sunglasses.
Earlier that day, they visited Onion while he was hastily trying on clothes. He was preparing for his date that day, having spent the previous evening panicking. Rather than leave the young man be, Vonvon not only helped him choose an ensemble, but also decided to spy on him.
They were worried for the guy, aware of his difficulty with communicating his thoughts and emotions. So there they were, watching Onion.
He was wearing his nicest collared shirt, a flashy blue jacket, and the only pair of slacks he had that matched.
“Spy log; Target Onion is in sight. Date hasn’t shown up yet. Suspects nothing, disguise is perfect.” They muttered quietly into a tape recorder.
“Vonnie!” Kiki said as she approached their table, “Rare to see you here on a Friday. What’s the occasion?”
“Hey Kiki.” Said Vonvon, a bit disappointed that she saw through their disguise. “Just spying on Onion, he’s on a date.”
“Oh is he? I’ll bring him some extra fried plantain chips then. And I’ll get you your usual: Pepperoni and pesto.”
After some time, an unfamiliar young man walked through the door. He was slender, almost feline in frame, had short brown hair, and soft blue eyes. He wore a red short-sleeved shirt, a blue vest, dark slacks, and a long, multi-colored scarf.
“Onion!” He said, raising his arms as if expecting a hug. One thing that Vonvon noted was his English accent.
After a quick embrace, the man sat across from Onion.
“You were right, this place was easy to find!” He laughed. “Just had to follow my nose. Or find the one pizza restaurant in the city.”
Vonvon noted a stark contrast between Onion and his date: While his date was quite the talker, and prone to laughing, Onion seemed content with listening.
As the man chattered away, Kiki appeared with a couple menus.
“Hey Onion,” she said, “Who’s this fine gentleman?”
“Arthur Howard.” The young man quickly replied as he shook Kiki’s hand. “Charmed, I’m sure, I know I am!”
As the two worked on a large pepperoni and sausage pizza, Arthur continued to chat and laugh while Onion silently listened, occasionally glancing around or quietly allowing himself a nervous laugh.
Vonvon wondered what was wrong, why Onion seemed off. He seemed excited for the date, but also nervous.
As Onion reached for another slice, Arthur gently took his hand.
“Hey, it’s okay.” He said softly, his azure eyes peering into Onion’s. “You don’t have to push yourself. If you’re uncomfortable, we can try something else.”
Arthur’s touch was warm, comforting.
“No.” Onion said, shaking off his anxieties. “I-…I want to do this. I want to be here, with you.”
The pair were then lost in each other’s eyes, sharing a brief, intimate moment. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could ruin it.
“NOW KISS!” Vonvon yelled from across the restaurant.