When it rained, it poured.
That’s not a metaphor. It had literally been raining non-stop since about 12am, and as I looked out on Bleecker Street, little pools were flooding into the drain as cars drove by carefully. The window pane was smeared with droplets, and the sky still looked foreboding.
I felt Jake’s arms slip around my waist and his head nuzzle my neck; I let myself lean back into him, a smile on my face.
It felt like real life.
“Do you think your game’s going to be rained out?” I asked him, placing my hands on top of his.
“...if it keeps raining, obviously, Daz.”
I turned around, pressing a warm hand against his chest. “Shut up.” Kissing him quickly, I wriggled out of his arms and headed towards the bedroom to pull on my rain boots and a jacket.
“Where are you off to?” Jake asked, following me through the apartment.
“Out, to get rainy day cupcakes.”
“Seriously, Daria, any excuse for cupcakes.”
I pressed my lips against his, slipping past him in the hall. “Yup.”
It was a curse having Magnolia on my street, as it meant that cupcakes were pretty much my staple food. But I felt like branching out, so I headed slightly uptown to Crumbs, a place I’d heard of, but never visited.
I stepped inside the cute bakery, silently thankful for my Hunter boots as they squelched on the floor. Picking out a few cupcakes for Jake and I to share, I splurged the few extra dollars for a hot chocolate, and took a seat near the window to enjoy it as I watched all the wet New Yorkers hurry by on the street outside.
A voice startled me, and I saw a young looking brunette standing near my table, smiling politely. I flashed her one in return.
“I don’t mean to be rude,” she continued, “but you’re Daria Coppola...”
I nodded. “Yep...”
She sat down across from me, her smile growing wider. “I thought I recognised you. I’m Yvette,” she said, sticking out her hand. I shook it, experiencing the usual embarrassment that came along with being recognised in public. “Do you mind if I sit? The other tables are taken.”
I grinned. “Of course.” I took a sip of my delicious hot chocolate, savouring it for a few seconds. “So Yvette, why are you holing up in Crumbs on a rainy day?”
“Just taking a break from the theatre. I’m interning at Wicked,” she explained, taking a bite out of a red velvet cupcake. “What about you?”
“Ruining my fiancé’s diet,” I grinned. “He’s not fat, he’s an athlete,” I added quickly.
She nodded. “I read that.” Pulling her bag into her lap, she dug into it and threw a magazine onto the table. I looked at it disdainfully after recognising it as a trashy gossip rag with high circulation. “Okay, don’t judge me,” she said defensively, “I needed to get rid of my pennies and have some reading material on my break.” Flipping through it, she handed it to me, open at page with nothing other than wonderful paparazzi pictures of yesterday’s beach adventure.
“Ugh,” I grunted, studying the images of myself in a bikini. Particularly the one where I was straddling Jake. “I think I need to hide this from my parents.”
“It’s so weird. I just looked through a few pages before I came in, and then I saw you here. It’s like inception.”
“It’s New York,” I laughed, before putting on a serious face. “This is bad, though. I need to destroy all evidence of me in a bikini.” Wow, Daria, your supreme self-confidence is showing.
She smiled. “I think you look good. But I’d be mortified if it ever happened to me.”
“I always am,” I sighed, shaking my head. “It’s never comfortable.”
Yvette nodded, finishing her cupcake. “So I guess you’re going to the baseball tonight, right?”
“If it’s not washed out... I’m obliged.”
“You’re lucky. I’d love to go, but nobody will ever agree to join me... theatre folk aren’t really enthralled by the idea,” she laughed.
I shrugged. “If you want to go, you can come with me tomorrow night. Front row seats guaranteed.”
“Really?” she asked, her eyes lighting up. “That would be amazing.”
After we swapped numbers and made arrangements to meet up, I took the cupcakes home to Jake, who tried to eat them with as much masculinity as he could muster. As a little icing rested on his bottom lip, I leaned close to him and licked it off, sneaking in a kiss as I did so.
“So I have a date for your game tomorrow,” I told him, sliding into his lap as he sat down on the couch.
“Is it me? It better be me.”
I shook my head. “Nope. A girl I met at Crumbs today.”
Jake laughed, hugging me close. “You make friends in the weirdest places, Daria.”
It was still do-or-die for the Red Sox. Due to last night’s rained-out game, they were playing a double header today, and I was sitting in the much welcome sunshine, sunning my legs as I usually did at day games. Jake had already hit a home run in the fourth inning, but when he smacked another one two innings later, I was yelling like a crazy fangirl.
I mean, it wasn’t for no reason. The last home run meant that he was the first player in Red Sox history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in one season, which was a big deal. His season was incredible, even if his team was almost shipwrecked.
After the first game finished, I made my way into the stands, only to be stopped by a security guard outside the visitor’s clubhouse.
“Players only,” he informed me in a gruff voice.
I looked at him with big eyes, sticking my chest out. “Don’t you know who I am?”
It was only a few seconds before I started cracking up laughing at my statement, and he grinned, shaking his head. The door opened behind him, and Jake stuck his head out. I squealed, and he stepped into the hallway, gathering me up in his arms.
“I’m so proud of you!”
I kissed him deeply, and he returned it, pushing me up against the wall. After a few seconds, the security guard cleared his throat loudly.
“No making out in the hall,” he said.
“Is that an official rule?”
“Look, I don’t care what you do in your own clubhouse, but I don’t want you making little Red Sox babies on my wall.”
I laughed, and Jake pulled away from me, leaning in to kiss my forehead once more before slipping back inside. I went back to my comfortable seat next to the visitor dugout, waiting for Yvette to turn up. Eventually she appeared next to me, having teetered in heels down the steep concrete stairs.
“Interesting fashion choice,” I grinned.
“Well, it’s not every day that I’m in the front row at Yankee Stadium like you.”
“Ew, no, not Yankee Stadium,” I said, screwing up my nose. “Not every day.”
It was an arduous affair. Fourteen innings, to be exact. A game and a half. I expect Yvette to leave after the ninth, but she was determined to stick it out.
And we were both rewarded when the person who won the game by casually hitting yet another home run was none other than Jake.
As he rounded the plate and stepped on home, he looked over and pointed at me before heading to the dugout. After all this time, I knew what it meant – ‘that one was for you.’
“He is so getting it tonight,” I murmured, before realising I was with a new friend. “Sorry,” I grinned, looking at Yvette.
She laughed. “It’s only fair.”