Once again, thank you for your overwhelmingly positive response, I really appreciate it, it's where I get the courage to continue.
All errors that may be present are mine, I have not used an editor as yet, though if you think I need one please let me know and I'll try to find one.
As always, creative criticism is most welcome and please don't forget to vote.
Anyone not of legal age................. dum dee dum di doo
"You should totally text her right now," Jenna said as she plopped down beside me on the sofa with a bowl full of popcorn. She was in pajamas that depicted the solar system, dark blue with tiny stars all around and the planets in various locations. Uranus was on her ass.
"How old are you again?" I asked bewildered anyone would wear that. "And where did you even get PJ's like that?"
"I stole from them from NASA. Got a problem?" she responded with sarcasm.
"Are you crazy? You can't text her now man, you have to wait for three days." Nick shouted from the other side of the room. He was bent over the DVD player hooking it to the TV.
It was Movie Night. Technically it was Sunday Movie Afternoon but Movie Night had a better ring to it. It was always at Nicks place because he had a huge fifty three inch monster. No, not that monster. Sony LED 3D, whatever acronyms TV's had these days, this TV had them plus more. Couple it to a 7.1 surround sound system, ridiculously comfy couches, and all the snacks you can eat and it was obvious why we hardly went to the theatres any more. This setup put IMAX to shame.
"Hey Nick, the 90's called, they want their idiot back," Jenna said throwing a popcorn at the back of his head. "Brian don't listen to him, no one follows that crap anymore, and besides, she gave you her number." She insisted as if that settled the whole matter.
It was the day after the meet and these two, specifically Jenna, had spent most of it extracting every minute detail about last night. Unfortunately I could not answer all her questions. For the life of me I couldn't remember if she placed her glass next to mine or not. Who even notices these things? Men was the response I got.
"Dude, trust me, you don't want to come across as desperate. This might be your one and only chance, you can't screw it up. " Nick said as he stood up, the DVD finally hooked up, then turned to Jenna, "it took him twenty seven years to work up the courage to talk to a girl, we can't afford to wait another twenty seven if this doesn't work out."
Jenna nodded, "You do have a point....."
"Thanks for the vote of confidence guys, what would I ever do without you," I said with sarcasm dripping from my voice.
"Aaaaawww don't worry Bry, we have a room set aside just for you in case you end up old and alone." said Jenna rubbing my arm.
"And if you remember, even I texted Jenna after three days," Nick said with authority.
"Yeah, and I'd almost forgotten who you were jackass." Jenna shot at him.
Nick had had enough of her smart mouth and pounced on her, grabbing both her hands in one of his and tickling her with the other. "Forgot me huh? Let's see you forget this now! Muhahahahahahahahahahahahaha!"
Jenna squealed and writhed under him trying to get away but he was too strong and kept up the attack. She was almost out of breath with tears in her eyes when suddenly Nick let her go and slumped to the floor. After a few seconds is when I noticed he was actually holding his groin with both hands and slowly rocking to and fro. Ouch........... I started laughing my ass off. Serve him right. Serve them both right for torturing me.
Still panting, Jenna slid down next to him and put her arms around him. "Shit I'm so sorry honey, I swear it was a mistake, you know I'd never do that on purpose," she said rubbing his back. Nick could only nod.
"If you want, later, I will kiss it better-"
"Whoa whoa whoa, hold up there, no no no, too much info guys, I did not want to hear that" I shouted as I got off the couch with my hands up, my laughter cut off abruptly.
That got a muffled chuckle out of Nick as Jenna looked up at me, "How old are you again?" she threw my own line back at me.
"Not old enough to hear that!" I retorted. "It's bad enough hearing you guys going at it like rabbits, now you gotta describe it as well?" I added, referring to the time we had gone for a trip and our rooms were adjacent and the walls were really thin.
Jenna's ears went red as she said sheepishly "We apologized for that, it was our first anniversary, excitement and all...."
"The receptionist three floors down thought there was an exorcism going on, you kept screaming Oh God! Oh God! Oh God!" I mimicked her.
We stared at each other for about five seconds before we burst out laughing. I tripped over the couch and fell down and soon all three of us were rolling around laughing, Nick still holding on to his balls. The laughter finally subsided after five minutes. We climbed up on the couch, Nick and I on either end and Jenna in the middle with the remote. It was her turn to choose the movie and we groaned as the title came up. Inside Out.
"Can't you watch this some other time? Preferably when you are alone?" I complained trying to grab the remote.
"It's my turn to choose today and this is what we are watching. Live with it. I'm tired of cars, guns and kung fu." She said hiding the remote under her back.
"But babe, you always fall asleep before we get even half-way through," Nick said with exasperated tone. He was right. Jenna had never sat through a whole movie without dozing off. Sometimes she made us watch movies twice just so she could finish it, first one half then the other.
"Deal with it bozo's" she said and resumed the movie ignoring our pleas.
Finally we gave up and started watching the movie. It wasn't too bad. Not like Frozen. My brain had frozen over watching that. As Sadness and Joy argued on the screen my mind started drifting to last night. The smile, the giggle, the adorable dimple. Should I follow Jenna's advice and text her? Or maybe I should wait. After all, we just met last night, wouldn't it come across as needy if I contacted her so soon? Once again I pictured her laughing and it involuntarily made me smile. She was something else. I remembered the way she had tucked her hair away and the look she had been giving me at the time. Shivers ran down my spine. I wasn't used to being looked at like that. Like she was trying to figure me out.
I made up my mind that I would text her. Not right now, maybe in the evening, when I was back at my place. Ever since she left me with that chaste kiss she had never been completely out of my mind. It was an innocent kiss, but her expressions and her body language spoke volumes, saying much more than words ever could. I sensed she didn't hand out such intimate moments just on a whim which made it all the more special. No, I couldn't leave her hanging. Despite her outward confidence I sensed she was putting her neck out when she kissed me and I wasn't about to betray her trust.
Watching all the emotions the girl had in the movie I realized I had a couple more in my head that she didn't, like Stupid and Inappropriate. Those two were the worst. If I ever had a chance to talk to her face to face again I'm pretty sure those two would dominate. Plus there was the fact that she hadn't told me her name. Curse you damsel! I had tried to enlist the services of a private eye, aka Jenna, but even she was stumped. She couldn't find anything on damsel on social media and believe you me, she could even find Wilson for Tom Hanks on that shit. Looked like she wasn't a social media addict. We had something in common. Woo Hoo!
I was surprised to see the end credits rolling so soon. I had just spent the entire movie thinking about a girl. Not a good sign. As usual Jenna was sprawled over the whole couch, drooling on Nick's chest and one foot on my lap and the other on the table. The woman couldn't stay awake through an episode of Simpsons much less an entire movie. Nick looked at me and both of us smiled at the same time. He picked a piece of popcorn from the bowl on her tummy and gently inserted it in her ear. She didn't even flinch. We were both snickering. A second piece ended up in her other ear. Nothing. This chick could sleep through a hurricane. Getting daring now, Nick tenderly shoved a third piece through her left nostril. She fidgeted and scrunched up her face but relaxed after a bit. Nick and I could barely hold in our laughter. Now whenever she exhaled it came out as a whistle because of the obstruction. I was convulsing so hard trying to stop the laughter I thought I'd crack a rib, and it was harder for Nick since she was lying on him and he didn't want to wake her. He picked up the final piece and shoved it up the other nostril. Jenna reared up like a cat whose tail has been stepped on.
We both ran as she hurled insults at us that would shame a sailor. Nick got two pillows on the back of his head before he ducked into another room. Then she rounded on me. Self preservation had kicked in a while back and I was already at the main door sprinting out towards my car. From inside I could hear her yelling, "Just you wait Brian, I'll get you, just wait till your mystery girl is in the picture, you're so dead!"
I drove off still laughing to myself. Nick was in for a world of trouble, she was going to make mince meat out of him.
** ** ** ** ** ** ** **
My finger hovered over the send button as a battle raged inside me. To send or not to send, that was the question. After hours of deliberate planning and consideration followed by more hours of writing, erasing and re-writing the text, I had finally settled on what to send.
I think I put Shakespeare to shame with that one. A more articulate greeting I had never seen. But that still didn't solve my dilemma of actually sending it. My thumb had been hovering over the send button for five minutes now as I fought tooth and nail with my demons. Finally I figured out my right thumb had declared mutiny against me and was refusing to obey my commands, so I used my left thumb to press down on my right thumb which eventually tapped the send icon. My shoulders sagged as I released the breath I hadn't realized I was holding. In that moment I realized one more thing. A twelve year old girl probably had more guts than me.
Well, the deed was done. Now all that was left to do was to panic. I had heard of butterflies in the stomach but I think mine had evolved to giant mutant rats with fangs, talons and a really mean attitude. I took a deep breath to calm down and started pacing my room. It was just a text, how bad can it be. But what if she thought I was creepy for texting so soon and assumed I was stalking her, then she might think I was some kind of perverted maniac that preyed on young girls like in the horror movies and she might be preparing a wooden stake right now and wearing a garland of garlic just in case I was a machete wielding vampire in a Jason mask and............. I shook my head. Sometimes I hate my overactive imagination.
My phone chirped and I froze, looking at it in horror. What sorcery was this? Oh wait, it was my phone, and it was alerting a text. I approached it like you would approach a sleeping grizzly. Swiping to unlock it I saw I had one unread message. Maybe it was Pizza Hut informing me about their latest discount on a double crust cheese filled pizza. Tapping on it revealed three words,
Who is this?
Of course. All my planning and strategies and I had forgotten she didn't have my number, only I had hers. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
Uhmm....... Its Brian, I don't know if you remember, we met last night at the club, I kinda made you a year older by mistake.
Yes, that is what a girl wants to hear, that she's old.
My knight in shining armor!
A warm feeling spread in my stomach that suffocated the rats. Die scoundrels die!
You give me too much credit. How are you?
Oh you know how it is in old age, if I don't pee myself I consider it a good day.
I laughed out loud at that one. She was almost as bad as Nick and Jenna.
You're never let me forget it are you?
Only after I get you back. You robbed a girl of her youth, I should send you to the gallows.
Fair enough. So what you up to, besides cleaning your dentures of course.
Nothing much, just negotiating a deal for world peace, looking for a cure for cancer, the usual you know.....
I managed not to burn my toast in the morning. Beat that.
No no, you win, unburnt toast is way more important than world peace.
We bantered back and forth for an hour. She could give as good as she could get and at times even left me without a come-back. I was going to have my hands full with this one. If she ever teamed up with those other two idiots they'd shred me to pieces. After an hour she announced she had to leave,
Ok Brian, this can go on all night but I have to get up for work tomorrow, old people stuff you know, you kids won't understand.
And what do you old people do anyway? Knit sweaters?
Ha ha, I'm a radiologist if you must know
You fix radios?
You're kidding right?
I have this old one that used to be my dad's, doesn't really work anymore, think you can take a look at it?
I swear I'm going to stop talking to you.
Fine fine, of course I know what a radiologist does, I'm an electrical engineer.
Aaaah, that explains a lot.
What do you mean?
Spit it out woman.
Your behavior, you deal with electricity, do the math.
You work with X-rays, by your logic you should be see-through by now.
You would like that wouldn't you?
You being see-through? Definitely.
By the way, what was your name again?
Good night Brian, sleep tight, I'll talk to you tomorrow.
I'll hold you to that. Good night ................................(fill in the blank with your name)
Hahaha, you're silly. Take care.
I read our texts again and couldn't believe I had a conversation with sexual innuendo in it. The hairs on my chest nearly doubled in length. I was now a man. Bow before me mortals! I was so psyched up it took me three hours to sleep.
** ** ** ** ** **
The rest of the week wasn't as eventful. She was really busy and hardly had time to chat but she would always wish me a good morning and bid me good night and mostly with something funny like Morning Sir Arthur or How art thou, O protector of dames everywhere. She just made my day. I had been meaning to ask her out for a date but just couldn't work up the courage. No matter how I phrased the question it never seemed quite right to me. Deep down I knew I was sabotaging my own efforts in order to procrastinate.
On Friday Jenna threatened me with bodily harm if I didn't ask her out. I had learnt the hard way not to take Jenna's threats lightly. My damsel was more chatty today and we had been bantering on and off throughout the day. Figuring she had more free time today, I decided it was now or never and initiated operation Ask for Date.
So miss radiologist, are you going to be mighty busy tomorrow?
Mighty busy? Shit this was already going downhill.
No, I'm off for the weekend actually, there's a new intern and he's getting all the graveyard shifts. Hooray for me!
There was still hope.
In that case, would you maybe like to you know go somewhere, you know, like me and you, like someplace out somewhere.....
And I squashed that hope.
My my kind sir, are you thinking of mayhap courting me?
This chick was awesome.
O fair lady, thou have charmed thee and with thou's permission thee shall try thee's best to impress thy fair one.
What the hell was I writing? I really hoped she understood was I trying to say because I had no clue what I had just written. She didn't reply for like five minutes and I started to get worried. Finally.....
I'm sorry, I couldn't stop laughing after reading that. I think we should stick to proper English from now on, I'm getting cramps from laughing.
Maybe I should get a big red nose and oversized shoes and join a circus somewhere. She texted again....
Oh and in response to your question, yes I would love to do something with you tomorrow.
Head out of the gutter, she doesn't mean that something.
So should I pick you up?
I wasn't going to try any funny lines. Well, not for a little while at least.
I'm meeting Sally in the morning so pick me up at two?
Two it is. And where do I pick you up from?
She gave me her address, she lived only twenty minutes away, and excused herself.
Can't wait for tomorrow, see you then.
Me neither, see you.
It took a few minutes for it to sink in. Then panic. I had asked her out but where in the world was I going to take her? I sifted through all my regular joints in my head and none of them seemed appropriate. I didn't want to take her anywhere too romantic for our first date else she thinks I have other more nefarious intentions in mind. Something light and fun that will be able to let us get to know each other better without it being too intense. Maybe I could drive around with her until I saw something interesting. Knowing my luck we'd probably end up at a strip club. I drifted off to sleep with my mind feeling like Google maps.
** ** ** ** ** ** **
There were still five minutes to spare when I pulled up to her place, a nice two story colonial style house in the sub-urbs with an immaculate garden that had a swing in the middle. It was the traditional style with a brick finish and a two car garage off to the side. There was a silver Q7 sitting in the driveway. I texted her and told her I was outside and waited, watching a dog in the house next in line chase its own tail.
Be right out.
I still hadn't figured out where I was going to take her. No place I thought of fit the criteria I wanted. Finally I had come to the conclusion I'd just wing it just like I had since I met her. Whenever I planned things they never worked out for me, and since meeting her I had just gone with the flow and it was serving me well. As someone had said, don't fix it if it aint broke. I wasn't going to fix it.
The front door opened and she appeared wearing a blue sundress. Now I could tell fashion about as much as an earthworm could but she looked like she was made to wear sundresses. She looked as cute as a button with her hair tied in a ponytail and matching blue sandals. It was as if she'd stepped out of a summer magazine.
Everything I had practiced that I was going to say vanished as she walked over to my car waving and smiling. Damn that dimple. The Men In Black should use it to erase people's memories because it sure as hell made me forget everything. I even forgot to get out and open the door for her. She opened the door and got in, shutting the door and finally snapping me out of my stupor.
"Hey you," she said putting on her seat belt and looking over at me smiling.
"Hey you to you too," I replied flashing her a grin of my own. "You look really nice."
Her smile got even wider, "Thanks, though I hope I'm dressed appropriately, you didn't say where we were going."
"You're dressed just fine, don't worry."
"While we are on the topic, where is it that you're taking me?"
"It's a surprise," I lied not knowing what else to do.
"Ooooh I like surprises!" she exclaimed clapping her hands.
Putting the car into gear we set off talking about the day and all the inconsequential things that happened during the week. I found out she performed the task of X-raying a patient as well as interpreting the images and giving a report and diagnosis. This week she got a patient with a leg broken in five different places and another with a fractured skull. In the evenings she was being trained on the MRI scanner. I learned there was MRI and something called fMRI or functional MRI which is what she eventually wanted to specialize in. Basically it involved scanning people's heads and watching for differing brain activities while under various stimuli, like which part of the brain lights up while watching porn. That's what I figured anyway, no way was I going to tell her that, not yet.
As we were talking I was aimlessly driving around the outskirts of the city and if she noticed we were wandering around without a specific destination she didn't mention it. By now I was praying something would come up, because if I passed that same street a third time she would definitely notice. Up ahead my prayers were answered. At least I hope so. It was a gamble but I was running out of options and desperate to try anything.
Pulling into the parking lot my damsel looked around and faced me with a questioning look.
"An amusement park?" she asked with one eyebrow arched.
Crap. Me and my big plans.
"Uhhmmmm..... I thought it would be fun. Obviously bad idea," I backtracked, "We can go somewhere else." I started engaging reverse.
"No no, that's not what I meant. I just wasn't expecting it, I've never been taken to an amusement park for a date before. You're right, let's go, it'll be fun." She said opening the car door.
"You sure?" I asked, still doubtful.
"Positive. C'mon" she stepped out and shut the door.
I joined her and we walked side by side to the humongous multi-colored gates, distant screams being heard from children and adults alike from the various rides inside. Walking to the entrance I was hit with an idea. It was off the top of my head and the probability of it working was low but I had to try it. As we reached the barriers I asked her to wait while I fetched the tickets. I walked over to the ticketing booth and purchased two tickets although I was careful not to let my damsel see me. Hiding the tickets I walked back,
"Hey, they need proof that we are over eighteen to gain access to some of the rides. You got your drivers license or something with you?" I asked.
"Yeah, of course," she fished out the card from her purse and handed it to me.
I took a look at it, smiled triumphantly and handed it back to her.
"What's wrong?" she asked confused.
"Nothing at all, Melissa." I dragged out the last word.
She groaned and stomped her foot, "No fair, you tricked me!
"That was fair and square melly welly," I teased her.
"Grrrrrr..........." she growled pretending to be angry then conceded, "Ok, you got me, well played. And don't call me melly welly."
"Whatever you say...................... melly welly." That got me a roll of the eyes as we continued in.
Finally I knew her name! It had been an itch that had been bugging me since that night at the club and I finally got to scratch it. I would have patted myself on the back if I had been alone, sometimes the old noggin upstairs earns its keep. Melissa. It fit her. I was afraid of something matronly like Martha. No one wants to call out Martha in bed, sounds like you are calling the head nurse at a hospital, the no nonsense fat ones that can shut you up with a stare.
The park was massive with different rides and activities littered everywhere. Roller coasters, Ferris wheels, teacups, archery stands, bumper cars, you name it and they had it. Delicious smells were wafting in from the food stalls which had countless varieties of treats. Kids were running around waving their candy floss as their parents followed them trying to catch them in exasperation. It was complete mayhem.
"Wow," Melissa exclaimed.
"I know, right? How do you decide where to start?" I said still looking around like a meerkat.
"Roller coaster" I heard from beside me.
I looked at her and cocked an eyebrow.
"Might as well start with the scariest," she said with a shrug.
"Are you scared of heights?" I enquired as we made our way towards The Lightning Bolt, as it was called.
"A little bit," she confessed, "I've never actually been on one, I always made an excuse to get out of it. When I was five there was an accident I saw about on the news. I remember the coaster had come off the rails and the results were not pretty. I guess since then it just stuck with me. "
"And you're willingly volunteering to go this time? We don't have to do it, we can pick another ride." I offered.
"No, that was when I was young, I want to know what I missed out on, I don't want to be held back by something I saw on TV when I was little, and what better time than now, when I'm already trying out new things." She said looking pointedly at me. I really hoped she meant me.
"To new beginnings," I said as we got settled into our seats. We got the first row.
"To new beginnings." She replied adjusting her dress so it wouldn't cause any embarrassing exposures during the ride.
The coaster started climbing and on the way up to the drop I looked at her and saw she was terrified, her hands gripping the bars until her knuckles had turned white. I reached out and put my hand on top of hers. She turned to face me and I smiled comfortingly at her, patting her hand in reassurance. She visibly relaxed and returned a small smile of her own as we reached the top. We teetered on the edge for a second, taking in the whole landscape in front of us before the weight was pulled out of under us. Then the screams began. She grabbed my hand and squeezed it tight as she screamed, her hair blowing whipping around behind her. Gradually her screams turned into a delightful laughter as she started enjoying herself. We raised our hands and screamed and shouted just like everyone else behind us.
The ride ended much sooner than I would have wanted it to, I was really enjoying hearing her laugh with abandon. We got off and she kept a hold on my arm for support though she was still laughing lightly.
"I never would have thought I would enjoy that so much! I can't believe I missed that my whole life!" she exclaimed, still giddy.
"Give me a second," I told her and rushed off to a nearby booth.
Returning I handed her a brown envelope.
"What is this?"
"Open it," I replied.
Tearing off the seal she reached inside and pulled out a photo. It showed her in mid-flight, hair flying around, her mouth open in a silent scream and an expression of pure joy on her face. I was next to her, her hand gripping mine, and I was looking at her with a smile on my face, oblivious to the two hundred feet drop in front.
"Where did you...........?" she asked looking up at me then looking back at the photo fondly.
"They capture them when the coaster drops, and you can buy them if you want," I replied, pleased she liked it so much.
"Can I keep it?" she asked hesitantly.
"Of course. I got it for you, your first roller coaster ride, immortalized" I said.
She gave me a look I couldn't place. "Thanks," she said quietly as she put away the photo in her purse.
We wandered around for a bit before I heard a squeal from her.
"Ooooh bumper cars! Can we, can we, oh pleeease can we?" she begged tugging at my sleeve. She looked like my six year old cousin when she really wanted something.
I laughed, "You like them that much huh?"
"My favorite. When I was young my dad always used to take me on them and we used to kick everyone's asses at it. Sometimes we used to stay on until the attendant had to force us out to give others a chance," She said with a smile, "One time I actually broke the car."
"How is that even possible? It's a bumper car."
"It was old and past its time, but my dad kept telling me it was because I was the best driver around. I liked his version better." She reminisced.
"Bet you can't beat me," I said smugly.
She snapped out of her memories. "You're on buster!"
I got a blue car and she chose a yellow one. She looked adorable sitting in a tiny yellow car in her blue dress grinning like an idiot. However her smile turned deadly as soon as the buzzer sounded and she was on me like white on rice. Shit, she wasn't kidding, she was good. She came at me head on and smacked me backwards before I could swerve.
"That's one!" I heard her shouting as she sped away holding one finger in the air.
Oh it was on!
I ignored everyone else and followed her like a hound on a scent. She weaved in and out of cars like a pro but I finally caught up and rammed her from behind and quickly turned around and hauled ass as fast as I could. "You're it!"
"I'm going to get you, you yellow bellied, lily livered bottom dwelling little scum!" I heard from behind.
I dodged her attack and passed between two other cars but she was a second too late and rammed into both of them trying to get to me. I pointed at her and laughed but cut it short at the look she was giving me.
Run dickhead, run! My brain told me and I wasn't about to argue. I managed to lose her between the other cars but out of nowhere she blindsided me and rammed me at full speed from the side. It took me a few seconds to recover from that and I saw her running and cackling like a witch. Oh, she was gonna get it now.
I used all my skill and prowess and maneuvered her into a corner. She was trapped. She fervently looked around for an escape but to no avail. I had her. I advanced on her slowly, relishing my upcoming victory, already gloating in my head. I started singing the theme song from Bad Boys II replacing bad boys with bad girls instead. Then she did something I didn't expect. She left the steering wheel, put her palms together and between her knees and pouted and looked at me with big puppy dog eyes.
I faltered. She stuck out her lower lip and cocked her head to the side. I was paralyzed. It would be a crime punishable by death if I even thought of ramming her. All violence must cease immediately. Who would even dare think of harming this lovely creature in front of me. Blasphemy I say!
Then the buzzer rang. In a flash the puppy dog eyes and pouty lips were gone. She stuck her tongue out at me and started waving her arms in the victory dance and sang, "I won, I won, I won!"
Shit. I fell for the oldest trick in the book. She might as well have pointed behind me and shouted Monkey! If word of this got out I would have to pack up and immigrate to the jungles of Congo and live among the gorillas there.
"Ha! That was for the drivers license stunt u pulled!" she told me as we got out.
"I'll get you back, just you wait you fraud." I told her with mock menace.
"You gonna get back at wittle ol' me?" She made the same puppy dog face again.
She continued to tease me about being a softy but the truth was if she ever pulled that face, even if I knew she was faking it, I wouldn't be able to go through with whatever I may have planned against her. But I wasn't going to let her know that, no need to give away free ammo. For now, I had to regain my lost honor, I just had to.
Next we went on the Banana Boat. It was a giant boat shaped like a banana, hence the creative name, that kept swinging higher and higher until it completely turned over. A swing on steroids. As we were strapping ourselves into the seats Melissa got a troubled look.
"I don't think this was a very good idea," she said pausing in the middle of securing her belt.
I looked over at her, "Why? Do you get sick on rides like these?"
"No it's not that, it's just........." she hesitated.
"What?" Now I was curious.
"This ride goes upside down and........" she gestured at her dress.
"Yeah........ Oh," she repeated mockingly.
"I have an idea," I said unbuckling my belt and pulling it out of my jeans.
"You exposing yourself with me isn't going to help."
"Ha ha, very funny. Now put your legs together tightly." I instructed her.
She did as I told her and I looped the belt around the lower hem her dress and legs just above her knees and secured the buckle tightly.
"There, all good," I said examining my handiwork.
"Did you just give me a chastity belt?" she asked incredulously.
"It's either this or you flash the whole park, your choice."
"Fine, but don't think this means I'm saving myself for you," she teased.
"Oh gee, and here I was waiting with bated breath," I said sardonically.
The boat lurched forward slowly. "Here we go," I stated.
She clung to my arm the entire time. A piece of advice, don't go on a banana boat unless you have a really strong stomach. We managed to keep our food down but only barely. The belt did its job of preserving my date's modesty ensuring she could concentrate on not barfing.
"Never again," said Melissa as we stepped off the boat. I agreed.
We had some water to soothe our tummies and decided to lay off the rides for a while, our bowels were too sensitive at the moment. Strolling around the various stalls we stopped wherever the fancy struck her. We passed by the archery stand I suddenly stopped. Melissa walked on for two steps before she realized she was talking to thin air. She turned back and I jerked my head at the archery stall and wriggled my eyebrows.
"Brian, do you like losing?" she asked shaking her head. I liked the way my name rolled off her lips.
"Who said I'm going to lose?"
"If you ever get to see the inside of my room you'll notice it's filled with stuffed toys. I won all of them myself from stalls like this one when I was young. You really don't want to challenge me, why don't you choose something else?" she gave me an out.
My hand eye co-ordination was pathetic. If I threw a ball there was a high chance I'd even miss the ground. But my manly ego wouldn't let me back down. Me man, me strong!
"Is melly welly scared?" I asked in a sing song voice.
Something shifted in her eyes and I knew I was screwed.
"Alright Brian, let's do it. But, let's make this more interesting shall we?" she asked innocently.
I knew a trap when I saw one and this one was six feet deep and filled with rusty metal spikes wrapped in barbed wire that had been set ablaze. I was going to regret this.
"Sure," I said confidently.
"We get five shots each. Whoever gets the most hits wins. If I lose I'll do whatever you want, but if I win I pick out the prize and you have to display it in your house for everyone to see. Deal?"
"Aaaaaaaaanything I want?" I asked wriggling my eyebrows suggestively.
She narrowed her eyes, took a step towards me and leaned in, her mouth inches from my ear.
"Anything," she whispered seductively and blew softly into my ear before pulling away.
Needless to say my capacity to speak went straight out of the window. If you had asked me my name right then I would probably have said hippopotamus. I shook my head to clear it.
"You're going down!" I said and turned to see what stuffed animals were eligible to be won. Nothing bad, a few teddy bears, a giraffe, a zebra. I could explain those away if I lost, no problem.
The attendant handed me a bow and five arrows. Alright, cue Eye of the Tiger. I was like Rocky, determined, focused and unbeatable. I made a show of stretching my shoulders and testing the tightness of the string on the bow and checking the sharpness of the arrow point. Melissa stood leaning on a pole with her arms crossed and an amused look on her face.
"Get ready to lose," I told her with a sideways glance.
She snorted, "Yeah sure, if you say so."
I took aim and fired the first shot. It flew six feet above the target and disappeared in the field behind. She covered her mouth with her hand and looked away. The stuffed animals were starting to look ominous now. No, I couldn't lose my head now, too much depended on it.
"That was a warm up, getting used to the bow you know, now I'll make the corrections and wham! Bull's-eye." I said to her.
She just nodded. Why did it look like she didn't believe me?
The second shot went three feet to the right. The third arrow never left the bow, somehow the string twanged but the arrow stayed where it was, stuck between my index finger and thumb. Melissa was snorting continuously trying to stifle her laughter. Focus, damn it, focus. The fourth arrow almost hit the attendant.
"Hey watch it!" he screamed as the arrow whizzed past his left ear and embedded itself on the wall behind him still quivering. He checked to see if his ear was still intact.
"Sorry," I mumbled.
By now Melissa was bent over clutching her ribs with one hand and one hand still over her mouth. The last one. I had to make this one count. For honor, for glory, for freedom!
Till today I still don't know how it happened. I released the arrow and it disappeared. Confused I searched around but couldn't find it anywhere. Even Melissa was equally confused and had stopped snorting for a second to see what was going on. I looked at the attendant and he was pissed off. He pointed a single finger to a spot behind me. We turned around and found the arrow had lodged itself in back of a wooden wheelbarrow fifty feet away. How the bloody hell had the arrow gone backwards? This defied every law of physics I had ever learned about in school. There was some voodoo shit going on here.
From my right I heard an eruption of laughter. Melissa had finally cracked and couldn't hold it in anymore. She clung on to me as she couldn't stand upright while laughing so hard. I looked up at the sky. Why me? Seriously, why me? Melissa's laughter finally slowed to a chuckle after ten minutes and she stood up straight wiping away the tears in her eyes. She looked at me and I hung my head in shame.
"Aaaawww....." she said nudging me, "hey.........." She called out softly.
I looked up at her and she reached up around me and gave me a loud sloppy kiss on my cheek.
"Mmmmwwwwwaaahhhhhhhhh......." Then wiped away the lipstick with her thumb
"Happy?" she asked.
I turned my other cheek to face her expectantly. She smacked my arm and went to pick up her bow. It was worth a shot.
"Watch." She said simply.
In ten seconds all five arrows were within three inches of the centre of the red spot. Who the hell trained her? Robin Hood? Gorillas of Congo here I come. Hey if Mowgli could do it how hard could it be? Now, where to find a loincloth................
"And now, for your prize." She said with a smirk.
She directed the attendant to her pick as I was wallowing in self-pity asking myself how much worse it could get. She handed me my 'prize'. I just had to ask didn't I?
A bright pink unicorn with a rainbow colored horn and tail full of glitter. She ruffled my hair as I stared at the abomination in my hands. Where did she even find this? All I saw were bears, giraffes and zebras. And I had to put this up on display? A pink unicorn? Really?
"Remember, it has to be in full display, where everyone can see it. And don't even think about cheating, I'm going to send Jenna to your place to check up on it for me when you least expect it."
I looked up at her in horror. "J....J.....Jenna? Mercy, please, I beg of you! Anything but that!" I pleaded. An image of Nick and Jenna rolling on the floor in hysterics flashed across my mind. "Please!" I begged with renewed vigor.
Tapping a perfectly manicured finger on her chin she pretended to consider my plea.
"Tell you what, I'll let you off this time, you don't have to put it up but I'm not letting you throw it away. You're going to keep it. And in exchange for my selfless generosity you have to promise never to call me melly welly again."
"Deal!" I shouted before she could change her mind. "Wow, remind me never to get on your bad side. You can be a deadly adversary."
She punched me lightly on my shoulder, "I'm not that bad, I showed you mercy didn't I?"
As we walked away from the stand she slipped her hand into mine and squeezed, smiling while looking ahead. This was the first time she had initiated contact just for the sake of it. Her hand was soft and fit into mine perfectly. I was afraid she would pull away after feeling the calluses on my hands but she didn't seem to mind. The only difficulty I had was trying to hide the weird unicorn from view. Kids were starting to stare.
Night was approaching and we got a couple of ice creams and hopped onto the Ferris wheel. The view from the top at dusk was magnificent. She oohed and aahed pointing out random objects in the distance. I couldn't care less about the view, I had eyes only for her. The setting sun made her skin glow with a soft radiance and when she looked at me the light reflected off her hazel eyes making them gleam. Looking at her I even forgot my ice cream, only remembering it when I felt something cold on my thigh and looked down to see it melting and dripping.
She was happily identifying the various landmarks, delighted whenever she found a new one and I was content to just watch her and nod where appropriate. Her sense of joy was infectious though, and soon she even had me scouring the land for hidden bounty. Her hand had found mine again when we gotten on board and showed no sign of relinquishing it. That simple touch felt wonderful, like the missing piece in a puzzle, it just fit where it was supposed to.
By the time we were getting off it was already dark and I asked her about dinner.
"I would love to Brian, but I have to get home. We have a family dinner at my sisters' and she'd kill me if I missed it. She's planned this for a while now and I can't back out." She said with genuine regret.
"You have a sister?" I asked realizing there was so much I didn't know about her.
"Yeah, two older sisters, I'm the baby." She said rolling her eyes and framing the baby in air quotes.
"Aah, I knew I sensed a spoilt brat in you," I teased.
"And how many siblings do you have oh mature one?"
"Only kid," I shrugged.
"And I'm the spoilt one? Ha! You're a right little prince." She shot back.
I smiled and let it go as we had reached my car. The drive back was in comfortable silence as we just enjoyed being with each other. I kept stealing glances at her as she stared out of the window, her face illuminated every time we passed under a street light. I took the long route to her house trying to extend our time together but eventually we reached our destination.
I pulled up in her driveway next to her Q7 and she looked at her phone.
"I still have twenty minutes. Come with me," she said as she got out.
She came over to my side and took my hand as I got out and led me to the swing in the middle of her garden. We sat and leaned back, staring at the stars as I gently rocked with my feet. The only sounds were of some low music playing from a house down the street and an occasional honk in the distance. We were both somewhat tired from the adventures of the day and this was the perfect way to relax.
If only I could relax. My mind was racing like a formula one car. The problem was I was no good at intimate or serious moments. I could feel this was leading up to one of them, and as far as I could remember I had never come out of one unscathed. I got nervous really fast when I was one on one with someone and whenever things got awkward my defense was always humor, and I had a knack of placing dumb comments at the most inopportune moments. When it came to closeness with another person I was like a blindfolded bull in a china shop. With red hot chilies up its ass.
She put one leg under the other as she turned to face me. Sensing she had something to say I turned to her and waited. Better to be silent and thought a fool than open your mouth and confirm it.
"I had a really good time today," she said.
"Me too," that's right, just keep it simple, no need to get creative.
"Actually I can't remember the last time I had this much fun. Most first dates are awkward and to be honest the guy is just thinking if he's going to get lucky."
"Dogs. How dare they lust after your body? They should be neutered, the lot of them."
What part of simple didn't I understand?
"There's my knight again," she chuckled. "Wait a minute, you don't find my body appealing?" she asked putting her hands on her hips with mock anger.
Crap. The bull was going crazy. I reigned in the out of control beast with everything I had. I needed to get this right, I couldn't screw up with her, not with her.
"I uhmm...... I find you very appealing and not just......." I waved my hand up and down gesturing her body, "but everything else as well. You are...... you are awesome." I finished nodding my head.
I felt like I had just described a basketball. Still, it could have been worse. Way way worse.
She looked intrigued now, "What do you mean by everything else?"
Was I sitting on quicksand? How do I manage to dig myself in deeper with every sentence? Well, In for a penny....................... might as well just say the truth.
"You're smart, you're funny, you get my jokes, you can take a joke as well as give it back albeit tenfold," she smiled at that as I counted off her qualities on my fingers, "you're witty, I like your laugh and it doesn't hurt that you're really pretty. I could go on for a while but I think you have only ten minutes left." I finished and glanced at my phone to confirm the time.
When I looked back at her she was giving me the same look from when I had given her the snapshot of the rollercoaster ride. I shifted a bit. I tried to hold her gaze but I couldn't. It had always been difficult for me to look at someone in the eye, even when it wasn't as intense as this. A speck of a doubt formed in my mind. Had I said something wrong? Maybe it was inappropriate. Maybe I had scared her. Yup it had been too much. As always I had screwed up.
"You think I'm smart?" she asked moving closer.
"Well...... yeah." I was fidgeting with my hands now.
"You think I'm funny?" she inched closer still.
"The good funny, not..... not like bad funny," I should write legal notices.
"I'm witty?" she ran her tongue over her lower lip.
"Very," was all I could manage, my eyes flitting form her eyes to her lips.
"Pretty?" she stopped just before her lips touched mine and I could feel her warm breath on my lips.
I nodded once in response, I didn't trust my speech at this moment.
She closed the distance between us. A brush of her lips against mine. It felt like there were tiny sparks erupting between them. Her perfume, lightly teasing at this proximity, mixed with a scent that I realized was undoubtedly her own. Another brush across the lips. Light, tentative, inquisitive. Her eyes were open just a fraction and they fluttered closed as she finally planted her lips on mine. They were soft, oh so soft. There was electricity running through me as I savored the contact between us, afraid to move lest the moment be lost.
She pulled away slowly and opened her eyes, mirroring the feelings that were running through me. I had completely blocked out all other senses during those few moments and the world started coming to slowly, as if I was waking from a light sleep. Was it supposed to feel like that? The look on her face told me she had been startled as well.
"You felt it too?" she asked in a breathy whisper.
"Wow...." She summed up my feeling perfectly.
We snapped out of it as her phone rang, the shrill sound suddenly too loud in the relative silence. She fished out her phone and sighed before she picked it up. It was a short conversation between her and someone I assumed was her sister as she assured her she was on the way. She cut the call and looked back at me.
"I really have to go," she said sadly, and I could see she wanted nothing more than to stay.
"Can we do this again?" I asked then realized what it must have sounded like, "I mean not this," gestured to us and the kissing then realized how that must look, " Not that it was bad, we should do this again, I mean if you want of course, and even if you don't its cool, I mea- "
Thankfully she put a finger on my lips to shut me up. I looked at her in gratitude and murmured a thank you through her finger.
"Yes, I'd love to do this again," she said with a wink as she removed her finger.
She got up and I followed her like a lost puppy. We walked to where the cars were parked holding hands and this time I made sure I opened her door for her. She gave me a peck on my cheek before she got in and I closed the door behind her.
She hooted as I was walking to my car and I looked back. She had rolled down her window and had the thumb of her right hand at her ear and her pinky at her lips and was mouthing Call me.
You bet your pretty ass I'm gonna call you, I thought as nodded to her. She waved then disappeared down the road.
I had the most ridiculous smile plastered on my face on the drive home. Any wider and I might have ended up looking like the Joker. Though I doubt I could scare anyone with my story of how I got my smile. I had all the windows down, the music up and I would have whistled along with the tune if the blasted smile would come off my face. The pink unicorn was sitting comfortably on the dashboard, content with swaying along with the car, just waiting until it was found by my dear friends so it could make my life hell. Screw it, right now I'd mount it on top of my house for the whole neighborhood to see, consequences be damned.
I turned the music up louder, gave my Toyota Celica GT4 ST185 a little more gas and smiled away as I crested a hill and coasted all the way down. Yup, life was good indeed.
Jan 19, 2018 in romance