At this point me and Juice had hung out casually a couple of times. I was still battling the guilt of doing something wrong, but I was getting over it because I thought of him as my future fiance. In fact, I was getting more and more comfortable and bold with him.
Shortly after our lunch together we met for breakfast at a charming French cafe and bakery. He had never been there and I wanted him to try it; it was in the university area so we assumed it was "safe enough" (meaning less likely to bump into family friends). These are the types of things I would imagine myself doing with a a guy while I was in my boy-crazy phase: dress up in light colors and high wedged sandals to go eat crepes and sip cappuccinos in cozy, hidden places.
While we were standing in line looking at menus I felt someone touch my arm and turned to find an old friend of a friend from college whose name I actually couldn't remember right away. We embraced, said our hellos and asked how "so and so..." were doing. Juice intentionally didn't look up and even conspicuously took a step away from me so that I didn't feel obligated to introduce him, but it was too late and obvious to her that we were together. When she left I told him I'm not worried, she's not even Arab or Muslim anyway. When I told my mom about my encounter she reprimanded me and told me I need to be more careful so that people we knew didn't get the wrong idea.
On a pleasantly gloomy afternoon we wanted to visit this downtown museum. Actually it was something that I wanted to do, and he just kind of wanted to do whatever I wanted. We had to walk a couple of blocks from where we parked and partly on an uphill slope so that I was holding on to his arm. I spotted a Muslim, Arab-looking family walking opposite us-an elderly lady in hijab with an elderly man and a few younger children. Juice had was very laid back (a little too laid back-but that's to come later) and his demeanor was unaffected, but I certainly tensed up for a moment. I studied them from a distance and to my relief I was certain I didn't know who they were. So as we passed each other by I confidently greeted them with "salaam alaikum" and a big smile while still holding tightly on to his arm.