A long time ago, when I was about in the eighth grade, my friend, Armin had a girlfriend named Katyln. It was a weird relationship, then again, I do not think any junior high relationship is normal for us kids these days. He hardly talked to her at school. They mainly just texted each other and said a few words here-and-there at school. Armin and his girlfriend had never even spent time with one another outside of school, so Armin decided to finally go on a first date with his girlfriend. He asked her and she accepted the offer.
They both agreed upon going to Chili’s in Pine Bluff, which is right next to where we all live: White Hall, for their date. Armin is a tall, lanky Iranian guy, which makes his skin color dark. Armin’s girlfriend, Katlyn, said the only way she can go on a date with Armin is if she brought her mother along. Armin did not really know why, but we now suspect it is because she is a little racist. White Hall is filled with racist people. Katlyn also told Armin that she will be bringing her sister and one of her friends on this date, too. Because of this Armin asked Jordan, our friend, and me to tag along so he would feel a little less uncomfortable. Jordan is a muscular guy, about 5’11, with puffy curly hair. Jordan and I both agreed to go with him. Armin, Jordan, and I were all unaware what will be in store for us that one night at Chili’s.
Armin’s mother drove us to Chili’s, as she normally did because Chili’s was our hang out at the time, and dropped us off at the front door. We were there a little early because Armin did not want his mother to see his girlfriend. Armin did not tell his mother that he had a girlfriend because he did not know how she would respond to it. Armin, Jordan, and I walked in the front door. It was packed as it usually is on a Saturday night. All the tables were filled with people laughing and carrying on. The waitress then walked up to us with a fake cheesy smile and asked us how many people were in our party tonight. I replied saying five. The wait was long due to the amount of people inside the restaurant. Armin, Jordan, and I sat in the waiting section that is near the door and talked like we usually did. We sat there discussing current events and even a little bit of my love life. We loved to gossip about each other’s love life. I was recently broken up with by a girl whom I really liked, and so talked about that for a little bit.
We talked for about thirty minutes when Katlyn, her sister, her friend and her mother finally came in the door. I looked over at Armin and could tell he was nervous; I was nervous for him. I then looked over at Jordan who was standing awkwardly looking at his phone trying to be nonchalant. All of us exchanged greetings. The waitress came to us and said our seats were ready then took us to be seated in our booth. Katlyn was completely silent and so was Jordan and me. Katyln’s mother kept asking Armin boring meaningless questions to try to liven to mood, I suppose. The waitress took our orders. Every now and then, I would speak to Jordan. Armin spoke to Katlyn’s mother and Katyln said nothing. Katlyn’s sister and friend also said nothing and both stayed glued to their phones making things very tense.
The food finally came and not a moment too soon. I could not stand listening to Katyln’s mother asking how was his day and what he wants to be when he grows up. We all know that no one really gives a crap about how his or her day has been. I picked at my food, too uncomfortable to eat. Everyone seemed uneasy except Katyln’s mother who just watched all of us eat with a giant grin on her face. We all finished our meals and Katyln, her sister, and her friend and Katyln’s mother all gave us a farewell then left. Jordan, Armin, and I sat at the table feeling uneasy about the “date” Armin just had. We paid for our food then sat there talking about whatever came to mind.
We were really bored and wanted to do something entertaining. We needed to think of something lively to do after that awkward dinner we just experienced. About ten minutes later we thought we should do something crazy and down right stupid. I do not really remember why I wanted to do something stupid. At the time, it just seemed like one of the greatest ideas thought of since Einstein’s Theory of Relativity. I suggested all of us run out the door yelling “dine and dash!” Jordan and Armin both lit up like the Fourth of July, and they both agreed to do it with me. I started to ease out from our booth then Jordan, then Armin.
My heart already started to race. For a moment, I wanted to change my mind, but I ignored that smart gut feeling of mine. Instantly, I bolted for the front door yelling, “Dine and dash! Dine and dash!” while flailing my arms like a mad man. Armin and Jordan followed me doing the same exact thing. Everyone in Chili’s saw was three teenage boys running and yelling towards the door. I pushed open the door as hard as I could ignoring all the consequences that would unroll later on. Jordan and Armin followed behind me continuing to yell, “Dine and dash! Dine and dash!” I also pushed a few people out of the way. I felt a little bad for doing that, but at the moment, I could care less. Adrenaline was pumping through my veins; I felt as if I could pretend to dine and dash all the restaurants in the world. We finally reached outside to the parking lot.
We stumbled out of Chili’s and now were in the parking lot. Armin, Jordan, and I just stood there for a while laughing about what we just did and simply brushed it off like it was no big deal. We decided to go to Wal-Mart since it was right across from Chili’s and walk around before Armin’s mother came to get us. On our way to Wal-Mart, we see two men charging for us with rage in their faces. One of the men was short and white and the other was tall and black. When they were arms length to us they were cussing and screaming. The white male yelled out, “You like skipping out on checks, boys?” He also used many obscene words that were inappropriate. The black male informed us that he had called the police and they were on their way to arrest us. Immediately, when he said that my stomach dropped. I could not believe what I heard. The police were coming for me. All I could think of were the police handcuffing me and helping me in the back of the car. My mother would kill me if I went to jail. My hands started to sweat and I started to get light headed. Almost like I was going to faint. They told us to follow them back to Chili’s.
While we were walking, I tried to tell them we only did it as a joke and that we did actually pay for our meal. Of course, they did not believe us. Then again, I would not believe three teenage kids either. On our way back to Chili’s they kept saying how we are going to jail tonight and how stupid we were for skipping out on a check when they were working. They just kept on harassing us. Armin and Jordan looked just as terrified as I was. I could tell Armin was getting a little upset from the harassment.
We finally got to the front door of Chili’s, and the black male went inside to find our waitress and the white male waited beside us. I could see people inside the restaurant pointing and laughing. I never felt so embarrassed in my life. I had my head hung low hoping that this would all be over soon. The black male finally came out and told the other man that we did actually pay for our food. They both apologized for the mix up, shook our hands, then went back inside. Armin, Jordan, and I both then walked shamefully to Wal-Mart and called Armin’s mother to come get us.
That was one awkward and crazy night my friends and I had. Jordan and I tagged along on a first date with my friend, Armin, that turned out to be terribly uncomfortable. I now realize bringing friends along on the first date is never a good idea. Almost going to jail was also an interesting experience for me and kind of a funny one that I do like to share. It helped me realize just how easy it is for someone to go to jail. If for some reason that waitress did not remember us, we could have gotten into more of a mess and would have been even harder to clear up. If I learned anything from that night at Chili’s is one thing: never fake dine and dash again.