3. Grocery shopping

"Why didn't he look back until now? He must've known that I was staring at him, it's been almost a couple of hours" thought Carl to himself. Dinner had started at seven and it was nine o'clock now. He wondered what had made him stare at Vicco for so long and with such an intensity. He had now memorised every gesture that he made, every color on his thin summer clothes. He had been staring for so long that he could almost feel the textures of it all; from his chequered white and green shirt, to his lightly tanned arms.

He now remembered meeting him a couple of times but never doing more than the typical hand-shake and saying "hej, Carl" to introduce himself. Vicco wasn't quite in his group of friends, but they had mutual friends and their social circles were definitely interlaced. They didn't graduate from the same school and Carl was almost certain that Vicco went to the posher one while Carl had done a sports program at Holmagymnasium. 

He pretended to be interested in the conversations going on all around him, but every 10 seconds he would look up and make sure that the so called Vicco was still sitting there, on the other end of the 5 meter long stained white table. "Was his name even Vicco?" Carl wondered. Maybe it was something else and Carl had simply misheard it every time. Vicco was a strange name and he didn't look Italian, as the name suggested.  His mom had always complained to Carl that he never listened properly and that he always messed up the grocery shopping because of that; instead of milk he would buy mint, when mint was absolutely useless on a Saturday morning, instead of juice he would buy yeast, which was useless because no one ever baked at home. His mom would always shake her head in annoyance and say "I should've told your sister to go to the shops instead, she would've gotten it right". His sister had just turned eight. "I love you too, mom" he would say in return and smile. 

So when Vicco finally looked up, after 2 hours of staring, Carl felt strangely accomplished and so unbelievably happy, even if it had only lasted a few seconds. He hadn't only felt the connection between their gazes, but also between their bodies and minds, as if invisible strings had drawn them together. During those seconds he could almost feel the strings drag him as close as possible to Vicco, even if they were at least 5 meters apart, with a massive table in between them.  Every muscle in his strong worked-out body tensed and his heart beat faster than ever, sending hot blood to every single area in his body. 

If only Elin hadn't interrupted that moment by saying something to Vicco. Ah, she'd known Elin for quite some time and had never quite liked her, she was too shy and quiet and seemed to be too smart for his liking. But when she drank she was a lot more interesting. Her annoying nerdy side was completely shut down by the alcohol and the girl was a real party animal. But during that moment, Carl hated her. He hadn't felt that good in months and she had destroyed the strings that had tied Vicco and Carl together for those 5 short seconds.

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