After spending way more time than necessary trying to pick out the “perfect” outfit to wear to work and, subsequently, our date, I finally went to bed, butterflies fluttering in my stomach. I did not refer to it as a date at the time. I insisted to my sister that we were just hanging out – no big deal. You were my coworker/mentor. I couldn’t date you.
Over a year later, I have to admit I do not really remember much of the workday. Probably because I was too busy staring at the clock willing it to slow down then speed up then slow down then speed up. I couldn’t decide if I was excited or so nervous I wanted to back out. I would have never backed out, but I was panicking a bit throughout the day.
The first indication that this was a date was your insistence that you would drive us from work to the mall (a 10 minute drive max). We stopped at my car so I could switch my bag and shoes. As we were pulling away, I realized I forgot my work badge which I would need to get back into the parking lot. I jogged back to your waiting car, trying not to flail or trip with you watching.
Since this all started with a cracked iTouch screen, we went to the Apple store in the mall. It was crowded and I hate asking for help in stores. In order to appear brave, I immediately found someone and asked how to repair a screen. He quoted a price much more than I was willing to pay right then so I decided to look for a case. Feeling nervous still, I had a hard time focusing on the options in front of me. With some input from you, I bought a case and we left the store with a good hour or so to kill before our dinner reservations.
After wondering around a bit, we sat at the tables outside of Starbucks and talked. Time flew. Good thing we remembered to check the time because I think we would’ve talked right through dinnertime. We arrived at the Melting Pot and were seated at an L-shaped booth. We chatted our way through dinner and dessert, discovering more about one another. I gravitated closer and closer to your part of the bench throughout the night.
The check came and you insisted on paying. Having never been on a grown-up first date before where the guy paid in full, I was flustered. I did not want you to think I expected you to pay, but I was also flattered that you were so insistent. I went to the bathroom and finally admitted to myself that we were on a date.
Elated, I had to prevent myself from skipping out to the car. We stood outside bantering about pirouettes (don’t ask). I tried to get you to do one. Instead, you grabbed me and kissed me. (As I write this, I can’t stop the giddy grin spreading across my face as I remember that first kiss).
We got in the car and you held my hand. Silence.
My mind started to whir. This couldn’t be happening! We are coworkers! You are practically my supervisor… I don’t want you to get fired. Don’t get ahead of yourself. It was just a kiss. What if it turns into more? DON’T GET AHEAD OF YOURSELF.
I have no idea what was going through your head, but I do not remember talking much as we drove back to my car. You never let go of my hand though.
You pulled up next to my car. Reluctance filled the air. Neither of us wanted the night to end. Luckily for us, Mother Nature decided to intervene. I checked my phone and saw a number of missed calls from home. I called them back and found out there was a torrential storm headed our direction. After reassuring them I would stay put until it passed, I hung up and the skies opened. The trees bent over as the wind, rain and hail pounded them. We put our seats back, talked, kissed, and relished in each other’s company, totally shutting out the storm raging outside the car.
The hours ticked by and soon we noticed the silence. Rain fell softly. The storm had ended, meaning our night had to end as well.
We said goodbye, making no promises. You told me not to worry. I had no idea if we would have another date or where this would go. I just knew I wanted to see you again as soon as possible.
As we went to leave the parking lot, we discovered that the exit gates would not open. The storm knocked out the electricity, thus impairing the gates. We ended up calling the cops and someone came to let us out. It was very embarrassing to be caught like two teenagers in a deserted parking lot at 2 am. Oh boy was it worth it.
I drove westward with a silly grin on my face as I dodged tree branches and large puddles.
I got home to find a text saying you were still not over the bridge because it had shut down due to a huge accident. You sat there until 4 or 5 in the morning. I felt guilty going to sleep but soon lost the battle against my body. Later you told me that sitting in that immobile line of traffic for hours was well worth it.
to be continued