“Oh man, I can’t believe we’re doing this!”
Jason stood outside the Cafe Eros, a grin plastered on his face. One hand was shoved in his pocket, while the other one was holding his phone to his ear. “I know, right? I can’t wait to see the look on the chick’s face when she realises. I’ll try to snap a pic before I run for it, ok?”
“You’d better. Look, I need to go. Tell me what happens after. Just try not to let on, and use as many of the practical jokes as possible. Damn! This is going to be funny!”
Jason smiled. “I know. Look, I’ll see you later, Drew, ok? Bye.” He pulled the phone from his ear and hung up. The screen went black and Jason stared at himself. He was dressed in a pair of jeans and a shirt and tie - smart casual was what his mum called it. He didn’t really care what he wore. He was all in favour of wearing pyjamas, but even he would be embarrassed to be seen in the most romantic restaurant in town wearing a pair of boxer shorts.
Jason shoved his phone in his pocket and tightened his grip on the plastic bag he was holding. He could feel its contents rub guiltily up against the curve of his calf. Some plastic flies, an electric shock pad, a small bag of hair he’d picked up from the salon, a random rubber chicken that had somehow escaped from his wardrobe. Everything he would need to turn this ‘date’ into a nightmare. Jason smiled again and walked up to the restaurant doors. Showtime.
Jason pushed open the heavy wooden doors and stepped inside to the warm, glowing interior of the cafe. It was sweltering compared to the cold February air outside. The whole room was red and velvety, lit by flickering candles and a single chandelier. Bunches of roses sat on every table and someone had sprayed sweet perfume all over the room. The effect was sickening. God knows why anyone would want to come here. Jason wrinkled his nose and sauntered up to the counter. A bored looking blonde was standing behind it. Her face was covered in fake tan and foundation. She glanced up and blinked. “Do you have a reservation?”
“Yes.” Jason leaned on the counter and flicked his shaggy brown hair from his eyes. “It’s under the name
The woman glanced down and flicked through the book that was lying on the counter. “Jason Chase? Table for two?”
Jason flashed a smile. “That’s the one. Thank you.”
“This way.” The woman grabbed two menus and hurried off, leading Jason into the crowded middle of the restaurant. It stank horribly - a mixture of pasta, about twenty different types of perfume and a fat man’s body odour. Jason stifled a gag and instead turned back to the waitress. She had stopped at a small table by a window. “There you go. Would you like a drink before your date arrives?”
Jason shook his head and slid into the seat facing the door. “No, thank you.”
The woman nodded and sat the two menus down on the table. “I’ll show your date over here when she arrives.” She smiled and walked away, leaving Jason to stare out the window into the dark, cold night.
Jason sat the bag on the floor and relaxed into the chair. This was going to be so much fun. He’d probably feel bad about it later, but think of the experience! The laughs! The stories that would came out of this one night. It was the girl’s fault anyway. Hadn’t she learned not to talk to strangers, least not on the internet? He could be a pedo for all she knew. He wasn’t, but still... she deserved to be messed with, talking to someone on a chat forum like that. She had almost been courting trouble. It was her fault if he got hurt, not his. Stupid idiot.
Jason sat still for a minute, before picking the bag up from the floor and popping it on his lap. He might as well start with the pranking from the beginning. He rummaged around inside the bag, his hand sliding past smooth plastic and the rough cloth of a false moustache. Bingo. His fist curled round a circular pad and he pulled it out from under the packet of false flies and the rubber chicken. The small circle was about the size of ten pence piece and fitted perfectly in his palm. It was meant to of course. Jason smiled and pressed the pad onto his hand. It stuck and Jason flexed his fingers. All he needed to do now was press the pad with one finger and then shake someone’s hand. He grinned roguishly and sat his hand palm down on the table. The games were about to begin, and the shock pad was just the start.
“And who was the table booked under?”
Jason glanced up and looked at the door. Could it be...no. Jason slumped back down in his seat and rolled his eyes. It was just some college graduate. She was wringing her hands nervously, ruffling the hem of her red dress, and her eyes were darting back and forth across the room. Her hair was pulled back into a ponytail but a few strands fell down the side of her face, wilted and dull. Jason ignored her and turned back to face the window. It was just some love struck girl, terrified by the prospect of a guy liking her. Jason sighed and glanced at his watch. The chick was meant to be here five minutes ago. Trust her to ruin his fun. He slumped further down in his chair and closed his eyes. The girl could come and talk to him when she was ready.
“Excuse me?” Jason opened one eye and looked up. The woman in the red dress was standing in front of him, looming over his muscled frame. Her eyes were a dull brown and they had a thin coating of tears over them. Jason opened his other eye and pushed himself up into his seat. “What do you want?”
The girl started scratching the inside of her palm. “Are you HotGuy455? From ChatWorld.com?”
Jason’s eyes widened and he sat up straight in the chair. Oh god, oh god...He swallowed and coated over his panic with a smile. “That’s me. And you are?” Please no, please no, please, oh god, no!