„Would you stop killing your desk and just tell me what's going on?”, Clary's amused voice sounded through the speakers of Simon's phone. He was currently at work, busying himself with tapping his pen against the wooden surface he sat behind of.
Taking a deep breath, the young man settled down properly, calming himself down enough to explain the matter. “You know how we have to go back to High School in a month?” he asked, his face clenched in frustration, “That stupid reunion makes me go crazy. I don't even have anyone to go there with. You're taking Izzy so I can't take either of you, asking Alec would be a disaster and Jace, well... I really don't wanna give him the triumph of having to ask him out in such a context. He'd still be making fun of it when it's time for the next reunion.” Clary laughed quietly, nodding, “Okay, that's true. Also, Izzy said, she thinks that Alec is seeing someone, so you probably wouldn't stand a chance either way.”
Simon frowned, running his fingers through his dark hair, tousling it even more. “Well, I wouldn't have asked him anyway but I was kind of hoping that he wouldn't have a date either? So that I wouldn't be the only one walking around all awkwardly since Jace will most likely be crowded within what, like ten minutes? He was my only hope!”
“Oh come on, Simon, don't be dramatic. It's not a bad thing, that you don't have anyone at the moment. You're twenty-three, you don't need to be in a relationship.”
Laughing dryly, the young accountant shook his head “Easy for you to say, Clary. You've got a gorgeous girlfriend. I've got nothing, nothing.” he emphasized, causing his best friend to chuckle “You are such a drama queen, Simon. I'm sorry but I don't really know how to help you. You know all of my friends so I can't set you up with people anymore. You'll have to go without a date but you won't be alone, don't worry, we'll all be there.” she assured him, hoping that he'd feel a bit better after their talk.
Simon let out a quiet huff, taking a glance at his watch while once more starting to fiddle with his pen. “Thanks, Clary.” he said, a gentle smile on his lips, “I appreciate that but I have to hang up now, my break is almost over. See you later!”
After bidding her farewell, Simon let himself fall back into his spinning chair, closing his eyes for a few seconds. The reunion really was taking a toll on him and not having a date nagged on him more than he let on. Of course, this wasn't something that defined him, but there had been quite the handful of people back in high school who didn’t think he was capable of having a relationship. Back then, he had been hopelessly in love with Clary, all the while knowing that she thought of him as family, not as boyfriend material.
“I couldn’t help but overhear that, you're kinda loud, and I think I might be able to help you.” Simon's eyes shot open when he heard a voice all of a sudden, blinking up at a gorgeous man in a well tailored, far too expensive looking suit. Contrasting to that image, the stranger seemed to be a few years younger than him, dark hair gelled up perfectly. He looked as though he just jumped out of one of the fashion magazines that Izzy enjoyed reading.
“Simon, right?” the handsome man asked him, “I'm Raphael, Raphael Santiago. I work next door and wanted to get lunch when I heard you on the phone.”
Simon only nodded, not really sure what to say. This was kind of surreal. A fantastic looking man offered to help him with a dating related crisis? That surely is a plot for some romantic movie, not that he should be getting his hopes up just yet.
“How can you help me?” he asked instead, his brown eyes shining with interest, as he watched the stranger, Raphael, who now was sitting down in front of his desk.
“I want to propose a deal.” he said, leaning forward on his elbows, “You need a date to your reunion, I need one for a family dinner about one and a half months from now. I love my mother but I really don't need her to set me up with her friends' sons or random people she met on the market.” he explained, causing Simon to chuckle. “She tried getting you a boyfriend while going grocery shopping? Sorry, but that's hilarious.”
Raphael glared at him for a second, a sigh falling from his lips. “Sí, she did. Now, what do you say? I don't have all day but I think we both can benefit from this.” he looked at him, eyes piercing as he waited for Simon's answer.
Thinking it through for a few seconds, he decided, that it indeed would be a great arrangement. “Alright, deal. How do we do this though? I mean, I've never had a fake boyfriend.” he bit his bottom lip, mumbling, “Not that I've had a real one either.”
Raphael raised an eyebrow though he didn't comment further on it. He wanted to get this done.
“Do you have time tomorrow after work? My roommate won't be back until late at night; he's on a a date, which means that you could come over and we'll make sure to think of a good back story. You'll also have to think about who you're going to tell that our relationship is fake. I mean you could also tell your friends that you met someone after we decide on the details, it's probably less suspicious.” he shrugged, watching as Simon nodded. “I think I'll do that. Tomorrow is good, just, uh, give me your number or something? You can text me the address.”
Raphael picked a pen from the inner pocket of his suit, taking out a notebook as well. After writing down everything that Simon needed to know, he ripped the note off and slid it over the table to him. “There, if you need any other information, just message me. I'm not a fan of phone calls as long as they are avoidable.” he shrugged, standing up, “I think we'll have a great time.”
Simon was left speechless by this mysterious man. He really was curious about him, couldn't wait to learn more about Raphael Santiago.
This reunion really started to seem like a great event. With someone as gorgeous as Raphael by his side, he would be able to show most of his former grade that he wasn't just the awkward, annoying dork who happened to be hopelessly in love with Clary Fray, one of the most admired girls throughout High School.
That he'd have to play Raphael's boyfriend during a family dinner was something he was more than willing to do, especially since he really wanted to hear the story of him being set up with someone from the grocery store.
Simon smiled, saving the number he had received into his phone. He quickly sent him a text so he'd have his number as well, before slipping the phone back into the pocket of his jeans and going back to doing his work. He really was excited for tomorrow.