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Taking Dessert to a Whole New Level (Part 1 of 5)

A Good Omen

By MatthewKuszaPublished 3 years ago Updated 3 years ago 8 min read
Photo by Chernetskaya at

Churrasco a Rodizio? You’ve never heard of it?”


Churrasco Steakhouse!?”

“Sorry, no.” Nick laughed.

Mat pursed his lips frowning.

“Ohh. You don’t know what you’ve been missing.”

“I’m sure I don’t.” Nick teased.

“It’s decided. Tonight! We dine Brazilian style. My treat.”

“Brazilian? Is this gonna hurt?”

Mat rolled his eyes feigning exasperation.

“Guess… I should have seen that pathetic joke coming. It’ll be fun. I promise.”

“I’m game for whatever. Is it close to campus?”

“Not really. We should probably Uber.”

Nick pulled out his phone.

“What’s the address? I got the ride. I can pay for that at least.”

Thumbing his phone awake, serious wrinkle on his brow, Nick started tapping the screen rapidly. Mat smiled seeing the other man concentrate. He had been instantly attracted to the quiet intensity Nick brought to practices and was enchanted watching that same focus off the field now.

“I’ll call to make a reservation. I go to this place all the time. They know me pretty well.”

Nick looked up questioningly.

“Where is it?”

“Oh, yah! Address. It’s 672 Browne St. About a twenty minute drive, I guess.

“Got it.”

Nick head down, returned his attention to his phone. Thumbs deftly attacked the screen again with precision. Opening his own phone’s contacts app, Mat scrolled through his favorites list and dialed the number. Nick, having secured the ride, pocketed his phone and waited for Mat.

Olá. I’d like to make a reservation for two.”

Nick listened intrigued. He never remarked Mat speaking with an accent before. He wondered if he was putting it on. Regardless, he was charmed. The rather lengthy conversation was peppered with Portuguese words. He had trouble following what was said. He waited patiently, captivated by Mat’s animated tone, facial expressions and mannerisms. He admired Mat’s tan skin, with a beard already heavy, despite a morning shave, and his dark, wavy hair and cute, unassuming nose. Nick contemplated how his own appearance contrasted with Mat’s. His complexion was paler and easily burnt. He had a dominant, aquiline nose, blue eyes and a mop of fine sandy blonde hair. Yet, the two men were similarly built. Roughly the same height and weight. They were toned, but wiry. It was clear both men were athletic, frequently playing some quick, fast-paced sport.

Feeling the weight of Nick’s stare, Mat turned and gave a wink. He finished the conversation entirely in Portuguese. Nick stood speechless with his mouth wide open.

“You ok?” Mat chuckled.

“Perfect.” Nick beamed.

They laughed at their own awkwardness.

Spying a random stone laying on the sidewalk pavement, Mat kicked at it. Nick reflexively responded, blocking the stones’s trajectory.

“Practice wasn’t enough for you?”

“Bring it on!” Nick taunted.

They sparred over the stone. Adroitly moving about the improvised field. Back and forth, they fought to score on some ambiguous goal, silently agreed upon. Nick hooted victoriously, as he managed to get in a more powerful kick. The stone soaring off into the distance, Mat cried out good-naturedly in defeat. They stood, slightly bent, catching their breath.

“I like you, Nick.”

“That’s what everyone says. What’s not to like?”

They grimaced at each other and burst out laughing. After a moment they grew quiet.

“No, Nick. I mean I “like” like you. ” His fingers miming air quotes as he spoke.

The two stood staring at each other.

“I know.” Nick pondered with far-away eyes. “That’s why I said, ‘Yes’, when you suggested we hang out some time after practice.”

Nick looked down at his feet and then up at Mat.

“I “like” like you too. I have since we met at tryouts before the semester started.”

Mat smirked.

“How old are we?! We’re acting like characters in a Disney teen musical or something!”

“Hey, don’t knock it! I love going to Disney World!” Nick professed.

“Well, despite being twenty-four, I feel like this is the first time I’ve really crushed on someone. It’s probably because you’re such a damn, good striker.” Mat said.

“You’ve never had an eye for a past teammate? Come on!”

“Well, yes, of course. But, no one who ever gave off any gay vibes. I never had the guts to ask any of them out.”

“Was I that obvious?”

“No, well, maybe…” Mat trailed off embarrassed.

Nick chuckled.

“It’s cool. I make no effort to hide or change who I am. And you, my friend, are an excellent forward. I think we’re a good match on the field.”

Mat grinned gregariously.

“What about off the field?”

Nick smiled and playfully punched Mat’s shoulder.

“Off the field too, I’m predicting.”

“Ready for our first date?” Mat asked.

“I am. But, one question? Even knowing I’m gay, what made you so sure I’d say yes?”

“The countless times I’ve caught your eye this past month; on the field and… off.”

“Hmm. What makes you so sure this won’t be our only date?” Nick asked coyly.

“The way you are looking at me now.” Mat replied.

Again they stood smiling and snickering quietly. The banter at a draw for the moment.

Nick’s phone vibrated with a chirp.

“I believe that’s your phone. The Uber?”


“What kind of car are we looking for?” Mat asked.

“Ahh… Blue, Kia. Plate is 7BF400.”

“7BF400?” Ok, let’s see. 7…BF….4…00…” Mat toned out, scanning the busy street.

“Give it a sec. Says they’re a minute away. Right around the block. Should see it soon.”

Mat started laughing.




“That’s awesome!”

“What’s awesome?”

“The license plate. It's perfect for tonight!”



Nick stood looking at Mat nonplused.

“No? You don’t get it?”

Nick shook his head bemused.

“Sorry, it’s my geekiness coming out. 00…put together makes the symbol for infinity.” Mat said, as if that clarified everything.

“Infinity? What’s so funny about that?”

“BF….Boy Friend?!”

“What are talking about, man?” Nick laughed.

He thought it was cute to see Mat so animated.

“Geez, I guess I have to spell it out for you. Don’t worry, I’m used to people not following the way my mind works.”

“Ha! Really? Cause you’re a genius or not all there?”

“Both.” Mat stated suddenly serious.

“You’re such an idiot. I kind of like it. Now, please explain!”

“7BF400….7 is lucky….”

“Ok, I get that.”

“BF is…?”

“Boy friend. Yes.”

“4 is for. Together, it’s a sign from the gay gods! Lucky boyfriend forevah!” Mat finished with a strong Boston accent.

“You mean the gods of teenage girls! Dumb! Cute. But, dumb.”

“Gee, most people appreciate my humor.”

“I said it was cute.” Nick protested.

Mat eyed Nick mischievously.

“Well, if I keep this up, tonight ends with a strike out.”

“Um, excuse me? I’m a pure soul. You might get lucky with a kiss.”

“I wouldn’t dream of more! I’m definitely not into one-night stands. Now…the next date?”

Uh huh?”

“What? A guy can hope.”

The phone buzzed again.

“Ok, Uber should be here now. Look around.”


Mat waved at the parked Kia. Walking across the street, Nick threw his arm around Mat.

“I was just giving you a hard time. I’m predicting there’ll be lots of dates. And, I got a good feeling we’re good at scoring goals off the field too.”

Laughing they climbed into the backseat. Mat reiterated to the driver where they wanted to go.

“You’re going to love this restaurant!”

Mat suddenly paused apprehensively.

“You eat meat right? You’re not a vegetarian are you?”

“Yes and no.”

Mat took a moment trying to work out Nick’s quick reply.

“I am definitely a carnivore, Mat. Relax!”

The time it took to get there was filled with Mat hyping up the food and atmosphere of the restaurant.

“The closest thing I can compare it to is a British pub. It’s definitely a mainstay of the Brazilian community here in Boston.”

“How do you mean?”

“I studied for a semester in Glasgow and I loved the pubs. Great places to relax, catch up with people and celebrate. In the countryside, it’s really the only place to socialize. You’ll find all types there.”

“Sounds like a neighborhood bar.” Nick laughed.

“Yes, but, with little kids running around and old grandmothers chasing them. You’ll find all ages mingle at a pub and the…..churrasco.”

“Sounds fun. So, are you from Brazil?”

“My parents are, but I was born here. I should confess my first name is not short for Matthew. It’s Mateus.”


Mateus. Ma-tay-oosh. I go by Mat because people are always mispronouncing my full name.”


“It’s cool. It happens all the time. Brazilian Portuguese can be tricky.”

“Ma-tay-oosh. Ma-te-us. Mateus… Mateus.”

“That’s right.”

“I really like your full name. I want to call you Mateus. Does that bother you?”

“Not at all. Everyone I love calls me that. My grandmother, my mother, my whole family, my Brazilian friends.”

“Well, my name is Nicholas. I suppose you knew that.”

“I did. Kind of obvious. Yet, you never know these days.”

Mateus studied Nick.

“Swedish? German?”

Nick smirked.

“Actually, German, Irish, Swedish, English…. rumors of Austrian, Czech and Scottish.”

“Looks good on you.”

Nick turned red.

“Ah, you’re blushing.”

“Am not!”

“Are too! That’s fun! Come on. Can’t I compliment a cute guy?”

“Not used to that kind of attention from someone like you.”

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re very attractive.”

“So I’m hot, huh?”

“No. Attractive. There’s a difference. It’s infinitely better than…”, Nick scoffed, “Hot.”

“I’ll take it.”

They joked and smile at each other for the rest of the ride, ignoring the frequent stares from the bored driver, who had given up trying to make conversation with the men. After about twenty-five minutes, the car pulled in front of the restaurant.

“Ah! We’re here!”

Nick and Mateus climbed out the car with a quick apology for not being more sociable and stepped on to the curb. The evening was warm, a slight breeze mitigating the humidity. The brighter stars were beginning to show in the fading twilight.

“Mmm, smells amazing.”, Nick murmured.

In front, along side the entrance was small, brick patio with a koi pond set further back. The water bubbled invitingly.

“Awww, look at those guys.” Nick mused.

“Pretty, huh?”

“Yeah. There’s a couple huge fish in there! Look at that one!”

Mateus laughed.

“I used to sneak bread out to feed them when I was a kid. They scold people, if they catch you. But, I risked it.”


The door was in constant flux with patrons entering and exiting. The volume from the quick, lively music from within undulated as the door swung open and shut. The sound reminded Nick of Miami. He grimaced apprehensively.

“Come on.” Mateus laughed pushing Nick forward.

Read "Taking Dessert to a Whole New Level" (Part 2). Click here!


About the Creator


Star Wars Fan! Dungeons & Dragons Geek! Love history! Probably born a hundred years too late, I relish anything from 19th and early 20th century. View world through lens of Tolkein's mythology. Pretty simple, I write about what I love.

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  • Rachel Deeming3 months ago

    I really liked this, Matthew. I liked the way that you used dialogue to really create your characters.

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