[ Extremely short explanation: the girlfriend and I were discussing over email what it would be like to have dinner with Tanim and Daren. This semi roleplay ensued. Written by us both in chunks. Enjoy! ]
Me: If you’ve already won over Tanim and Daren, what’s there to be afraid of? …oh my god, can you imagine the four of us sitting down to dinner?
Her: How would that even go???
Me: Pretty sure it would be you and Tanim making awkward conversation. XD
Daren fiddles with his steak knife.
Tanim (to Chriselle): Thank you for cooking dinner.
Chriselle: Oh. You’re welcome. It was my pleasure.
Elyssa concentrates on eating her squash.
Me: Oh my god, that’s exactly how it would go. And Daren wouldn’t eat anything, and Tanim would try to get him to without making a scene, which would just make everything worse.
Her: Yup. Basically, that’s how it would go. Daren would look like he was going to either stab himself in the eye with his steak knife, or reach over and stab Tanim in the chest. Tanim would try to be cordial and engage in conversation. I’d be reserved, but I’d be more talkative than you because whenever there’s food in front of you, nothing else exists.
Me: Nooo. I’d be so nervous I’d have a stomach ache, and so I wouldn’t be eating much, and you’d lean over and say “Baby, you need to eat” and then realize you had said it to me at the exact same time that Tanim leaned over and said the exact same thing to Daren.
Tanim: Ah…. Forgive him. He’s… not particularly fond of people.
Chriselle (glances to Elyssa): I suppose you don’t take him grocery shopping.
Tanim: Oh god no. It would be a blood bath.
Chriselle (after a moment): Should… should someone go get him?
Tanim (sipping his drink): Not unless that someone wants to be stabbed in the chest.
Tanim finishes his drink, moves to the sideboard to pour another.
Tanim: Would either of you like something?
Chriselle: Oh, no thank you; we don’t drink.
Tanim: You may want to tonight.
Chriselle: What doesn’t taste like alcohol at all?
Tanim: I can make you a mojito.
Tanim (gesturing towards Elyssa): And her?
Chriselle: Um, do you have any medicine for stomach aches?
Tanim: I… have drugs.
Elyssa: …I, uh, think I’ll pass, but thanks.
A loud crashing sound can be heard from the direction of the bed room. All three politely ignore the sound.
Elyssa (after a moment of awkward silence): So… it’s, uh, been pretty rainy here, huh?
Tanim (mixing Chriselle’s drink, pauses and smiles to himself): It’s always rainy these days.
Both girls look over at each other, hands to their hearts, and swoon.
Tanim hands the drink to Chriselle.
Chriselle: Thank you, sir.
Tanim (laughs softly): Sir?
Chriselle (laughs to herself): Habit.
Tanim nods, smiling.
Another crashing noise from the bedroom.
Tanim: Ah, please excuse his behavior.
Chriselle: Is he all right?
Elyssa (under her breath): Is he ever?
Tanim: Pardon me?
Elyssa: You have a lovely apartment.
Tanim winces at a third noise of destruction.
Tanim (sighing): Most of the time, yes.
Chriselle: That must be… (pauses, searching for a polite word) … interesting.
Tanim smiles wryly, but fondly.
Tanim: He keeps me on my toes.
Chriselle glances over at Elyssa and smiles.
Chriselle: Yeah, I know how that is.
Tanim: Oh? Pray tell.
Chriselle: She’s quite… surprising.
Tanim (to Elyssa): Is that right? Whom do you surprise more often? Her? Or yourself?
During this first comfortable silence, a door down the hallway can be heard opening just a bit.
Daren (very soft and flat): Tan?
Tanim turns to the voice, then glances back to the girls, looking torn between playing the faithful lover and playing the good host.
Chriselle smirks and waves in the direction of the bedroom.
Chriselle: Oh, go on, go on. We wouldn’t want you to get in trouble, now would we?
Tanim returns the smirk, though there’s relief in his eyes.
Tanim: We wouldn’t want that, no. Excuse me.
Tanim gives a small bow and exits.
Elyssa: Well that went…
Chriselle: Just about how we thought it would.