Chapter Thirty-Four: “Thanks, Meteorologist Iggy”

Iggy went on a real date with Miles two days before Christmas Eve. She was set to go home to her dad’s place for Christmas the next day and then she wouldn’t have a lot of time before Melly’s New Year’s Eve party. As much as she claimed she was alright with it, Iggy was a little concerned that if she and Miles never went on an actual date, they’d never figure out what they were to each other and she’d wind up spending decades of her life casually making out with him while they babysat Melly and David’s children. And then she’d wake up one day and realize that her good years were behind her. She’d probably end up living in Melly and David’s attic. Their kids would call her Crazy Spinster Aunt Iggy. Miles would probably move on and get married to someone twice his junior because of unfair double standards.

So Iggy called him and invited him for dinner so that she could at least be able to tell people they were dating. That was still incredibly vague, but it was a hell of a lot more specific than trying to explain to people that he was the dude she sometimes made out with, largely by accident. Miles came to her apartment to pick her up. He buzzed up before she had a chance to text him to tell him to just wait for her in the car. Her roommates Mona and Karl were in the midst of taping a performance art piece that they were going to show at the small art house theatre two blocks from their building. She really didn’t want to expose Miles to that ever, but definitely not before they’d even gone on their first date.

“You ready then?” Iggy asked when Miles approached her from the elevator at the end of the hall. She’d been waiting outside of her apartment ever since he’d buzzed up. Miles looked at her, clearly a little startled, possibly because it was weird that she was just loitering in the hallway. The shoulders of his coat were covered in snow and so was the beanie he was wearing.

“It’s crazy out there,” he told her. “I barely made it to your place. I think it’s actually hailing.”

“I think it only hails in summer months actually,” Iggy replied before she thought about it. Miles gave her a look like he couldn’t believe that was how she’d chosen to respond.

“Thanks, Meteorologist Iggy,” he said dryly. “In any case, my point was that I don’t think we’re going to make it out there. I definitely can’t drive and I think I overheard something about the subway shutting down for the night. It’s supposed to get worse.”

Iggy stared at him for a moment, trying to decide what to do. The obvious solution to their problem, the one he was clearly hedging at, was to invite him in so that they could have their date at her place. They could make dinner together and watch a movie. Of course, she barely had any food, but she could probably make him Kraft Dinner. Not only was it the most obvious solution, but it was also the safest. It was unfair for her to ask Miles to drive anywhere, including back to his place. Iggy knew all this. She also knew that it was exactly what they’d end up doing. Inevitably, she’d invite him in, they’d eat pasta that came in a box, and then watch something on Netflix. They would literally Netflix and chill.

There were three things holding her back, though: Mona, Karl, and their performance art piece. She really, really didn’t want to expose Miles to that. She actually had been hoping to avoid exposing him to her roommates ever if at all possible. And if it wasn’t possible, she was hoping that it would come very far down the road in their relationship, should there ever actually be an actual relationship. She did not want it to be the night of their first date. She was fairly certain she wanted there to be a second date. Mona and Karl didn’t seem like the way to get to that point.

“Maybe we could walk somewhere,” Iggy suggested half-heartedly. Miles frowned at her.

“I know you said it doesn’t hail in the winter,” he began to respond slowly. “But if it isn’t hail, it’s something very close to hail. I feel like it will be less a case of us walking somewhere and more like try outs for the Canadian Olympic luge team.”

Iggy didn’t say anything in response, mostly because she was struggling to come up with other suggestions that were viable. It wasn’t working, most likely because there was only one other viable solution and she was purposefully avoiding saying it out loud. Miles’ frown deepened.

“Do you not actually live here?” He asked after a moment. “Is that why we’re standing in the hallway? Or are you, like, hiding bodies in there? Does it smell bad? Do you have a pet anaconda that’s going to unhinge its jaw and swallow me whole instantly?”

Iggy sighed, bracing herself.

“Look, my roommates are really weird,” she told him.

“Okay,” Miles said slowly. “Well, unless they’re going to try to eat me or something, I think it’ll be fine. I do know other crazy people. I know you.”

Iggy narrowed her eyes at him, but opened the door to her apartment and led him inside nonetheless. They kicked off their shoes by the door and she hung up their coats in the front hall closet before leading him into the living room, where Mona and Karl were filming their performance art piece. Mona was painting a naked Karl in front of the camera. She wasn’t painting a still life nude of him on a canvas, though. She was literally painting his naked body. He had blue streaks down his chest and she’d painted his thighs a vibrant purple. Miles stopped in his tracks.

“I told you they were weird,” Iggy grumbled to him.

“Oh God, so naked,” was Miles’ response.

“It’s for the art house theatre in this neighbourhood,” Iggy explained in a whisper, knowing they were going to get shit from Mona for interrupting anyway.

“So naked,” Miles said again.

Iggy ushered them to her bedroom, ignoring Mona as she scolded them for interrupting the flow of their creative work. She huffed as Iggy began closing her bedroom door, stopping the camera and beginning to wipe the paint from Karl’s naked body so that she could start over. Karl said nothing the entire time. Iggy shut the door and slumped down on her bed, looking up at where Miles was still standing by the door, looking stunned.

“I told you,” she repeated her earlier sentiment.

“Yeah, you did,” Miles nodded. “I also can’t help but think that a little more information would not have gone amiss. I mean, like saying your roommates are weird is one thing. They could just eat a weirdly high number of grapes or be one of those obsessed Price is Right people. I think you probably could’ve warned me about the nudity. And the painting. And the painting on top of the nudity. Those are key elements.”

“I’ll give you that,” Iggy conceded.

“Thank you, very kind,” Miles returned, rolling his eyes.

They stayed in her room for most of the night. At one point, when Miles confessed to being slightly starving, Iggy ventured out into the kitchen on her own to make them some Kraft Dinner. Mona and Karl were just about to start their eighth take, which meant that Mona was once again wiping the paint from Karl’s naked body so that they could shoot their art piece from yet another angle. Iggy didn’t particularly think there needed to be so many angles of Karl’s nude body, but she wasn’t about to say anything. Mona was fairly terrifying when she was annoyed so Iggy tried to interact with her as little as possible in the hopes that she would never annoy her. She was mostly unsuccessful, largely because there were many times when Mona was annoyed and angry with Iggy for reasons that Iggy didn’t even understand.

Miles and Iggy watched half of the first season of Gilmore Girls. As the night progressed, the weather became worse and worse until there was absolutely no way Miles would be able to make it home to his own apartment, even without attempting to drive his friend’s borrowed car. The subway had in fact been closed and the sidewalks were so icy it was too difficult for people to even walk anywhere. Of course, Miles also lived about twenty-five kilometres away and, as he pointed out, there was not a chance in hell that he would try to walk that distance, even when the weather was nice.

As far as first dates went, it was one of Iggy’s better ones. It was surprisingly easy to get along with Miles despite their shared past of mutual hatred. He spent the night, sleeping next to her in his jeans because he insisted on being a gentleman, despite the fact that they’d made out on several occasions. It was a sweet sentiment. At least, Iggy thought it was sweet for the first hour before he started snoring like a malfunctioning chainsaw. He was also the warmest human being in the whole world. After two hours, Iggy was sweating from his body heat. She tried to roll away from him, but it was only a double bed because that was all she could fit in her tiny rented bedroom, so she couldn’t get very far. Finally, she woke him up.

“You are a thousand degrees,” she told him, whispering in the darkness. She didn’t want to wake Mona because that was a terrifying way to get shout at.

“I don’t know what you want me to do about that,” he replied, rubbing his eyes.

“I just thought you might like to know,” she replied. In all honesty, she had kind of been hoping that he’d be able to do something about it. What, she wasn’t really sure.

“I already know,” he said, propping himself up on his elbow. “I just run warm.”

“Oh, like a seal,” Iggy returned. Miles stared at her for a moment and then burst out into peels of slightly hysterical laughter.

“Yes,” he said, wiping at his eyes. “Just like a seal.”

In the morning, Iggy made them breakfast. She made them cereal. Miles talked the whole time about how he was going to spend Christmas eating as many baked goods as possible. Mona was muttering about how loud he was from the living room. Iggy could hear her and she was positive Miles could as well, but he just kept talking, possibly to piss her off. It only made her like him more. She said good-bye to him after that. The weather had bettered and the roads had been cleared enough that it was safe for him to drive home. Iggy walked him down to the car, helped him brush it off in the parking lot, and then spent a good ten minutes kissing him good-bye. Then she returned to her apartment, ignoring Mona’s continued protests of how loud and interruptive he had been, and spent most of the time until she had to go to her dad’s for Christmas wondering how she could keep Melly from knowing about her and Miles for as long as possible.

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