To read the story from the start go to: https://the-inkling.com/catch-up-with-the-inklings/
As Syafika sat down at the restaurant table with Anthony she realised she felt a bit sick but thought it must just have been because she was feeling nervous. The waiter poured them each a big glass of sparkling water and told them it was filtered and carbonated on the premises. Syafika drank half of the glass straight away and hoped it would make her stomach feel better.
Anthony was looking very handsome that night and was being very charming. Syafika couldn’t help smiling and laughing a lot. She thought she may as well enjoy the night because it would probably be the last time she saw Anthony – she may as well pretend that they were both there because they enjoyed each other’s company. Syafika enjoyed the gentle smile Anthony was giving her because it made her feel admired.
Syafika wanted to appear elegant but the food was so delicious that couldn’t help eating a lot, and probably too fast. Syafika noticed that Anthony also ate his dinner fast and wondered whether he was just trying to keep up with her, but then remembered that on Tuesday Anthony had finished his lunch well before her.
When they finished their main course Anthony looked at his watch and suggested that there was time for dessert. A passing waiter heard him and stopped to take their order.
“Normally I would love to have dessert, but I think I ate too much already. I would like a peppermint tea though” said Syafika.
Anthony ordered tiramisu and a black coffee and when the waiter had gone he started smiling at Syafika again and Syafika began to feel that it was too much – if Anthony was trying to charm her he was trying too hard. It even crossed Syafika’s mind that Fanta might have been right when she suggested that Anthony could be crazy.
Syafika nervously finished off her glass of sparkling water and then smiled back at Anthony for a half a minute. While she was looking at Anthony she decided that she may as well ask him some questions while she had the chance.
“Why do you go running? For fun or health?” asked Syafika.
“Both” said Anthony. “What about you?”
Syafika took a deep breath and tried to look like Anthony’s question hadn’t flustered her while she anxiously scanned through her memory, looking for a time that Anthony could have seen her running when she wasn’t chasing him around the Botanic Gardens, but there wasn’t one. Syafika concluded that Anthony was either talking about the times she’d chased him or had seen her running another time without her noticing. Syafika looked into Anthony’s eyes and wished she could read his mind. Then she decided she may as well just tell the truth.
“I used to hate running and if I was worried about my health I’d have chosen almost any other kind of exercise before running, but then one day I saw you running and started running after you, and then I couldn’t stop. Now I feel the need to run almost as much as I feel the need to eat”
Anthony laughed and said “Really? You started running to chase me? I am a lucky person!”
Syafika smiled and tried to think of something clever to say but all she could think of was how much her stomach was hurting. Syafika’s smile turned into a frown.
“What’s wrong?” asked Anthony.
“My stomach hurts a little bit. I must have eaten too fast. The peppermint tea should fix it. Don’t worry” said Syafika.
Anthony looked like he was going to say something but the waiter interrupted him by delivering their hot drinks and filling up their water glasses.
Syafika sipped her sparkling water while she waited for her peppermint tea to cool down a bit. Anthony took a sip of his coffee and commented that it was a good one.
When Anthony’s dessert arrived the waiter gave them both spoons. Syafika noticed how large the spoons were and how small the portion of tiramisu was but managed to wait until the waiter had gone before she started laughing.
“If we were sharing the first person to take a spoonful would get the whole thing” explained Syafika.
“I wouldn’t mind if you ate it all” said Anthony.
“I bet you would!” said Syafika. “It looks delicious. Lucky for you I’m too full, even for that tiny thing”
Syafika was beginning to feel nauseous but didn’t want Anthony to know so she smiled and took a sip of her peppermint tea. It was still very hot and burnt her lips but she drank it anyway and hoped it would make her feel better. She realised she should be making conversation but couldn’t think of anything to say. Anthony was concentrating on eating his dessert. He was shaving off tiny pieces with the tip of his spoon and savouring each one. Syafika held her tea under her nose so she could enjoy the smell.
When they left the restaurant and started walking to the cinema Syafika started to feel nauseous again. When she saw D’arby at the cinema it made her feel a bit better, but Syafika was starting to worry that she’d caught a tummy bug and was going to start vomiting soon.
As the movie started Syafika concentrated on taking slow, deep breaths and hoped that her tummy would start to feel better, but it didn’t. As the waves of nausea got stronger Syafika realised that she had to get to the bathroom before she vomited on the floor.
“I need to go to the bathroom” said Syafika and hurried off.
Syafika only just managed to make it into a toilet cubicle before she vomited. The vomit was so forceful that it felt like her stomach was turning inside out and afterwards Syafika noticed that there was some blood in her mouth. Syafika sat on the toilet for a few minutes to recover. Then she washed her hands, face and mouth and returned to Anthony.
“Are you ok” whispered Anthony.
“No. I am feeling really sick. I’m sorry but I should go home” said Syafika.
“Really? Are you really sick, or are you just trying to get away from me?” asked Anthony. “When you got up to go to the toilet I was so worried that you were not coming back that I watched the door until you did”
“I am really sick” said Syafika. “Why would you think I’d run off?”
“You looked really uncomfortable a couple of times at the restaurant” said Anthony.
“That’s because I was starting to feel sick” said Syafika.
“Let’s get out of here then” said Anthony.