"Sorry we're late!" yelled Zoe as the white car pulled up. Shadows of twilight gleamed across it's surface, it was an alluring sight and brought a smile to my face.
I took a deep breath and didn't know what to say. Though I was happy to see the car, I suddenly became tense. Anger began to consume me. The subdued emotions that had been building for the past two hours began to resurface. My smile flattened and my face remained stoic, but my knuckles bore white. I was pissed.
The car slowed down and rolled to a stopped. The passenger door opened slowly and Zoe stepped out. As she did, I got a good look at the chorus of spectators in the seats. I recognized most of the faces, classmates, I guess I wasn't the only one with friends like them.
"Sorry we're late, getting ready took longer than we thought" said Zoe, as she ran around to the drivers side of the car and opened the back door.
I said to myself, "Late! More than an hour late, a normal guy wouldn't have waited this long, only a idiot like me would." My blood began to boil.
I was ready to give her a piece of my mind! Then she stepped out of the car and the world became silent. Time stood still. She moved into the light and I was amazed. She was beautiful, more beautiful then I had ever noticed before. Enchanted by her hazel eyes I began to turn into stone. Lost in tranquility, my anger quickly disappeared. She wore an elegant white dress that complimented her a ruby-esque smile. Though her hair was tied back, it flowed with gentle breeze. Her girlish allure swept me away. Alley Sheedy never looked this good.
"I'm sorry for being late, Mike. I'm really sorry. Everyone was busy helping to get me ready. It just took longer than we thought," she said.
"It's all right, it didn't seem that long. By the way you look great," I replied.
She blushed and I smiled. More than thirty minutes of the movie was gone, I was ridiculed by my friends and I was extremely pissed, but for some reason I didn't care about that anymore.
She turned towards Zoe and her friends in the car. "Thanks everyone, for all your help."
"Your welcome," said Zoe and then she winked at me.
I understood her message. It was worth the wait.
I nodded in acknowledgment then Zoe got into the car and it pulled away. A giggly set of smiling faces could be seen pressed against the rear window as the car drove off into the distance.
"Ready to watch a movie?" I asked.
"Sure, let's get going. And Mike you look great too."
"By the way, what movie are we watching?" she asked.
"King Solomon's Mines."
"Is it any good?"
"I'm sure it's good since I'm watching it with you."
She blushed once more. I smiled again, but this time I was thinking of Joe. The line felt really lame, but it seemed to capture to moment more than I thought possible. Wow Joe, that actually worked.
I opened my hand towards the entrance and with a slight bow I said "Shall we?" Together we walked into the Keystone Theater.
By the time we got our popcorn, a box of goobers and found our seats, the movie was more than half over.
Wow that was quick. We were in a line headed for an exit. Though the line was somewhat organized, we were being bumped by the people around us. Bit by bit, we slowly started to separate. Without thinking I reached for her hand and held it. It was warm and extremely soft. She didn't say a word as I led us into the lobby of the theater. I wasn't sure, but it seemed like she was blushing.
"Did you enjoy the movie?" I asked.
"Yes, that was great," she said.
"Yeah I think so too." But I was stretching the truth; in fact I couldn't remember much of the movie at all. And I just saw it. The moment I heard her laugh out loud and saw the smile on her face, the movie became a blur. I spent most of it watching her. From that moment on I began to worry about what to do or say next. However since it ended, I wasn't nervous anymore. For some bizarre reason, I felt great. I felt comfortable. I didn't know why, but something told me it was because of her.
"So do we wait here for you parents to pick you up?" I asked.
"Yes, I'm supposed to call my dad once it's over."
"Too bad we only saw half the movie. And..." I paused.
And didn't say what I wanted to say. I wished we had more time.
"I think there is a phone over there." and I pointed to the black on-base phone hanging on the wall.
"Thanks. I'll be back in a minute." Then she walked to the phone.
Not enough time to talk to her, I need more time. Starting the date at a movie was a bad idea, so I don't think I'll do that again.
I watched as she spoke on the phone. Towards the end of her conversation, she carried an inquisitive grin. Something was up, but I didn't know what it could be. She walked back to me with a big smile.
"Mike I got us some time. My dad said I could walk over to the Baskin Robins with you and that he would pick me up there."
Shocked, I was amazed. Could she read my mind? I returned a smile.
We left the theater and began our journey. As we did, we started talking about the movie, life on Kadena, our friends, and ourselves. I've known her for almost a year, but I never knew her until tonight. We were always friendly towards each other, because we were classmates. But tonight I found her very attractive. She was pretty and more importantly, fun to be around.
"Mike I didn't know that about you, tell me more..." she said.
"There's not much more to say, I'm just a slacker, but you are amazing. I didn't know you were the class rep for Student Council, you help organize school dances, and your an athlete too. How do you find time to do all of that," I asked?
We continued to play twenty questions and time flew by.
The twilight sky had long since vanished and the coolness of the starlight surrounded us. We stood just outside the store, about hundred feet from the closest light post. A troupe of shadows joined us in the circle of light; luckily it was still bright enough to see her face clearly.
I knew the time had come. We would have to say our good-byes in a few minutes, but how should I do it. I didn't know. Do we shake hands? Or do I give her a hug? I paused and swallowed. Or was I bold enough to give her a kiss her. I've never done that before. Oh crap what should I do. I took a deep breath. I wanted this date to end well, but I wasn't sure what to do. I've been on dates before, but none where it mattered in the end. And this time it mattered, I cared. I wasn't nervous like in the past. It must be her. I was dead set on looking cool for her.
As we continued on with our idle chit-chat my mind began to wander. I started searching through all the movie scenes I could remember, hoping to find the one that would lead me to next step. I raced through fifty films in a second, but only found bits and pieces. However, it was enough to write my script. I knew what I had to do. I had to be cool. My heartbeat began to rev loudly. "Calm down, calm down." I said to myself. "Be cool, or she'll think you're a loser who doesn't know how to date." I have to make a move. I took a deep breath and began my scene.
"Your folks will be here any minute now. But there's something I'd like to say before they get here." I held both of her hands and slowly began to pull her in closer to me.
"You're very beautiful tonight and I had a great time. Though we didn't get to enjoy the entire movie, I never had some much fun with anyone before. Penni I like being with you."
She was blushing and her eyes gazed into mine. I felt like she was waiting for me. So I had to do something, the flow felt right. Well, it's now or never. I took a step forward and gently brushed her cheek with my hand. I lifted her chin just a touch. She closed her eyes and I found softness, a kiss.
I don't know how long it lasted, but when it ended she had her arms around me. I looked at her and didn't say a word. I can't believe I kissed her and on the first date too. It was the first time I kissed anyone, and it felt awesome. Though I was in complete shock, I didn't wavier. I didn't want to ruin the moment. I didn't want her to see how nervous I was. Luckily staying silent aided my performance. If I had spoken, I'm sure I would have fumbled. After a few seconds, we let go of our embrace. I reached out and held her hand. Her cheeks were red, her eyes where glistening, and she was smiling. But, I could tell that she still felt a bit embarrassed.
"Wow" I muttered. I didn't mean to say it, but it just slipped out. I had to say something else quick.
"I hope we can go out again."
She didn't say a word, she was too flustered. But she didn't have too. Her smile spoke for her.
Within moments a set of headlights pulled into the parking lot. It was driving towards us. I knew it was her car. "Penni, your dad is here." I said.
Penni quickly let go of my hand and waved at the car before she returned her eyes towards me.
"Mike I had a great time, it was perfect. I gotta go, I'll talk to you later."
"It was real fun." I replied.
What the hell did I just say? It was fun? I felt embarrassed. Was that the best I could manage at a time like this. Finally I got flustered.
I knew what I should say, I want to see you again. But I just couldn't say it. I never really thought about hang out with a girl, until today. For the first time in my life, I could imagine hanging out with a girl, instead of the guys. I wouldn't mind spending my weekends with her. I felt different and it was because of her.
After a few steps, Penni stopped and turned around. She leaned towards me and said "Mike, you're a great kisser." With a quick wink and a big smile, she turned around and skipped towards her car. She gleefully yelled "Good night" on her way to the car.
I hope her dad didn't hear that.
Now I was red. I couldn't believe what she just said, and she said it in public too. But that was the Penni I knew, unpredictable and fun. A mumbled "thanks" was my response. Yes, another lame answer, I thought. I smiled, but felt like real idiot.
I slowly waved good-bye as Penni's car drove off. Finally I relaxed.
But it was short lived; I heard a familiar voices creeping out from the shadows.
"Woo hoo, that was hot!" yelled Joe. "And you kissed her too. Smooth Mike...not bad for a rookie."
"Oh you look sooo romantic! Can I have a kiss too," yelled Bill. "You're such a great kisser!"
"How long have you assholes been hiding in the parking lot!" I yelled.
"Long enough to rate your performance, lover boy," said Joe with a wink.
Bill began to make disgusting sounds and the motions of kissing and groping an invisible girl, "Oh Penni, your so cute..." XOXOXO
"Oh Mike," said Joe in somewhat feminine voice and began doing the same. XOXOXO.
I wasn't amused by their bad acting. They both looked at me and smiled. I gave them the finger and decided to slug them both.
Soon the three of us became true idiots and began to chase each other around the parking lot. We didn't stop until all of us fell down laughing from exhaustion.
I don't know if people remember their first dates vividly or not. I sure don't. Though this wasn't my first date, it was the first one that really mattered. The first date that was memorable. And sure, kissing someone for the first time would normally be the highlight. But that's not what made it memorable for me. I changed that night and I knew it. For the first time in my life, I wanted to be with a girl more than I wanted to hang out with the guys. After that day, I never saw girls the same way again.
The date was worth far more than the $20 that got me started down this path. It may sound a tad lame, but it was truly priceless.
Lastly, thanks Becky. If you didn't keep on insisting that I continue writing, I don't know when I would have gotten around to it.