The evening had gone on long enough that she had entered the loud-drunk phase. Other people around the fire-pit rolled their eyes whenever she re-commenced projecting; but Justin convinced himself that it showed her adorable enthusiasm.
“Oh my gawd!” Molly stood up unsteadily, her lime green Toms sinking into the sand as she waved frantically towards the portable stereo. “I love this song! Turn it up!”
The chorus to “Easy Lover” echoed onto the ocean as others muttered and registered disdain. Yet she insisted. “Come on you guys, how can you not love Phil Collins?”
Justin moved over next to her. He almost tapped her on the shoulder, but thought that would be too forward. “I think he’s really under-rated.”
She flipped her knit scarf back over her shoulder and looked him in the eye for the first time. “Totally under-rated, right?”
A week and a half later, he made sure to tag along with Tracy’s lunch plans with her. Around their second individual pots of tea, he found a way to bring it up again. “So I was watching this old episode of Miami Vice, and guess who the bad guy was?”
He told her after she refused to guess. “Oh, God, Phil Collins? Really? That’s amazing.”
Nodding, he tapped the pocket of his jeans with his pinky.
She shook her head and huffed wearily. “So weird that everyone loved him in the 80s. What the fuck, right? Patton Oswalt’s got a hilarious bit about how awful No Jacket Required is. You have to have heard that, right?”
Justin smiled as if he had a good memory of that. “Yeah. Totally, huh?” As the conversation shifted back to Tracy’s attempt to design a line of hats, neither girl noticed his hand buried in his jeans, pushing his old cassette of Face Value deeper into his pocket.