The First Date with Christine.
I will never forget the first date I had with Christine. It was during my senior year in high school. Nobody thought I could do it, but I was determined to ask her out. After all, if not at the end of the school year, then when? A few more weeks and Christine and I would go our separate ways, off to different colleges and different lives, but if I could make a connection now and show her how much I cared, maybe we would be able to stay together.
I remember the first time I saw her. It was the first day of high school and I was so nervous. Everyone had dressed in their nicest clothes and I had barely managed to shower, run a comb through my hair and slip on a baggy pair of jeans and a black t-shirt that morning. One boring class after another and then after lunch there she was in my science class.
She had beautiful long blond hair that ran down her back like a golden waterfall. Her eyes were two cerulean gems, highlighted by the black mascara around them. Her face was thin as well as her body. She wasn't bony as an anorexic; instead she had just the right amount of fat on her body to create these perfect slow curves from the top of her head, all the way down to her toes. Her complexion was fair and her lips were a light pink. She looked like an angel and everyone knew it. I only had five precious seconds to see her before she disappeared behind a crowd of tougher looking boys.
From then on I was attracted to her with almost gravitational force. I couldn't stay away and for some reason, neither could she. Every year we had at least one class together. Every year, no matter how hard I tried I couldn't keep myself from glancing over at her during class. During sophomore year we once said "Hi" in the hall briefly, but nothing more than that.
I had learned a lot about her. I didn't follow her or ask her friends about her. Instead, I just listened. Within the four years I knew Christine I discovered all her favorites. Her favorite color was blue, the same shade of blue as her eyes. Her favorite flavor of ice cream was rocky road. Her favorite band was OneDirection. Last week she got a new CD of theirs and every day after school up to today she would play that music as loud as she could while she drove off with her friends in her light blue corvette, her favorite car.
She was flawless. Everything about her made even the toughest guys go weak at the knees. Last year Dallen Ricks, the school's quarterback asked her to prom. I'll never forget the way his face turned red and his knees and hands began to shake. He was helpless to the charm of this incredibly gorgeous girl.
That day I asked her out I had thrown on a dark blue polo shirt and jeans. I had taken my time, combing my hair, making sure it was just right. My friends thought I was crazy. I admit it, I was a nerd. She was way out of my league. But as I said before, I was determined and I felt this girl deserved to know my feelings for her. This was fate. This was destiny. This was the time I had to do or die. And even if she said no I could at least say I had asked her out. I saw her at lunch. My friends start jabbing me in the ribs. This is my chance. I'm getting up and going towards her, my heart beating so loud I wonder if the whole cafeteria can hear it, the rest becomes a blur. All I remember is sitting back down with my friends with Christine's number on my cell phone and my heart racing so fast that I can't stop my hands from shaking.
Two days later I'm preparing to take her to dinner. Everything until that time has passed at twice the speed. Now I'm at her door with a white shirt and tie. I'm knocking on her door and she answers in mid-knock, catching me by surprise.
"Ch-Christine," is stutter. I can feel my face getting hot. "Good to see you again."
"Good to see you too." She says, opening the door wider. She's wearing a beautiful cerulean colored blouse with white pants. Once again, just as she did when I asked her out, she's looking into my eyes. All attention on me, I'd better not blow it.
"I'm ready to go when you are." She says with a smile and we're off into what I know will be the greatest night of my life.
I had this master plan you see. Most guys tried to kiss Christine on the first date and I knew she didn't like that. In fact that was the reason she shut down most of them. My strategy was to be the best I could on this first date and then ask her out to prom. If I played my cards right she would say yes and then maybe- just maybe –I would be confronted with the most enviable scenario where she would let me give her a gentle kiss on her perfect lips.
Until then, I had to focus on this night and this night alone. When I called later to plan the date with her, I told her I was taking her to dinner, but where it would be was a surprise. As I'm driving her there we're talking about different things. For the first time she's getting to know me and I'm asking her about herself.
We arrive at Moira's within ten minutes. I find a good parking spot and go around the car to open the door for her. Moira's is an Italian restaurant here and, from what I understand, is Christine's favorite. My knowledge of this is confirmed as Christine comes out of the car. Her hands come together in a single clap and she gives out a little squeal behind a wide smile before bringing her forefingers to her lips.
"This is my favorite restaurant!" She says softly, trying to control her excitement, "Thanks so much for bringing me here. How did you know?"
I give a little shrug and we walk towards the restaurant. I turn the conversation to music and who our favorite bands are. Things are going better than I ever could have expected.
We spend three hours at the restaurant, most of that time well after I've paid the check. I have barely enough now to pay for prom but for me, this girl is worth every cent. We sit there talking about anything and everything. She ends up doing most of the talking and all the while I'm sitting there listening, losing myself in the mesmerizing oasis of her eyes. Every conversation confirms something I already knew about her and adds a little more to it. I can't think of anywhere I'd rather be or anything else I would rather do. For once in my life the most amazing girl I know recognizes me and is talking with me and I can tell she's having a good time.
On the drive home we're still talking and laughing. Then something terrible happens. The conversation takes a turn for the worst.
"You know something," she says, "I think you're really cool."
"Thank you." I reply. I'm realizing very quickly how impossible it is not to blush because already I can feel my face heating up again.
"I wish other guys were like you," she says (now my face is burning) "my other dates would have been a lot more fun."
I've given up trying to suppress a smile.
"Wow, thanks!" I say with a laugh. Her words are just frosting on the cake of an incredible night.
"Do you think Andrew likes me?"
Huh? My heart skips a beat. Did she really say that? My question is answered immediately.
"Do you think Andrew Swanson likes me?" she says. Her sweet voice has just pierced me to the heart like a knife. My heart is then dropping inside my chest and slowly turning cold.
"Why do you ask?" I say, reluctantly continuing the conversation. Andrew Swanson was a well-known soccer player at our school and was a straight-A student as well. I had always seen him hanging out with Christine on occasion, but never knew if they had dated or not.
"Well," she starts, "he's been hanging around me and my friends a lot and this last week he asked me out to prom."
I feel my stomach flop over silently. The cold builds up in my chest still but warmth rises from my gut to my throat. I'm going to be sick.
"What did you say?" I manage to force the question from my lips, challenging the lethal and inevitable response.
"Well yes of course!" she says, "I don't know a girl at our school who wouldn't want to date him! He's smart and funny. He works out a lot and is really good looking. He's going to school on a soccer scholarship and-"
She kept going on about Andrew. The last five minutes of the drive felt like an eternity. Deep inside I felt like I was falling into a bottomless pit, watching the light disappear and becoming colder and sicker by the second.
At last we arrived back at her house. I turned off the car and got out, trudging like a zombie towards her side of the car and opening the door. The pain I had felt in the car had suddenly concentrated into a slowly growing lump in my chest. I was walking her to her door. I wasn't going to ask her to prom. I wasn't going to see her again. The lump had become a lead weight, pulling me down.
"Thanks so much for tonight," she said, "I really had a great time."
"Th-thanks…" I manage to stammer. And with that done she's gone. The door is shut and I'm returning to my car without even glancing back at the house.
I barely make the turn out of her street before I have to pull over and scream. The lead ball in my chest has just exploded and all thoughts, questions and anxiety have burst into my brain and erupted from my mouth in the form of a horrible yell. Tears rush to my eyes and I'm doubled over, my head hitting the steering wheel as I lock my hands over the back of my neck,
Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! How could I have even thought that she liked me better than other guys? All that she had said and all that I knew about her meant nothing because to her I meant nothing. Maybe I'm wrong I thought. Maybe she does like me but is too afraid to admit it. That's right! Maybe she'll text or call and tell me how she wants to meet with me again. No that's ridiculous. But what if she did? What if she suddenly told Andrew she wanted to go with me instead? No. No, that wouldn't happen.
Yet I hang onto that hope. That hope gets me home. That hope gets me to change and get into bed. That hope leads me to stare at my phone until two o'clock in the morning before I realize that hope was just a mirage in the desert of my burned and desolate feelings and thoughts. The night goes on and I'm falling further into this pit of humiliation and self-inflicted misery.
The next morning I remember waking up. Well, I was still awake. I had spent the whole night staring at the ceiling. The thoughts racing through my head were intolerable. My body had rested but my mind had not. Every emotion that had gone through me the night before had replayed over and over again. Then suddenly I've woken up to a conclusion I would have never before supposed.
Christine's an idiot.
The thought makes me smirk, then chuckle. Suddenly I'm laughing uncontrollably. Tears are streaming down my face. My face is hurting with how much I am laughing. The wildest idea has burst from the darkness with incredible clarity.
The greatest part of my date with Christine was the morning afterwards when I realized I didn't need her. I didn't need her to know me. I didn't need her to love me or care about me or talk about me to other guys and tell them how incredible I was in comparison to them. It's true; Christine was and still will be one of the nicest and most beautiful people I've ever met in my life, but I knew my world didn't revolve around her. I didn't need the attention of someone who really didn't have me on their mind.
That prom was the best thing ever. I went without a date and had a great time with my friends. Every once in a while I would look over at Andrew and Christine, the prom King and Queen as they danced. I would laugh as I saw Christine grow more and more tired as she struggled to keep Andrew from kissing her. A little part of me hoped that one day she would look back on this moment and wish she'd gone with me instead.
I think she tried to call me once later that summer. I'm not too sure because by that time I had deleted her number and the signal was very bad when I picked up. I figured if it was important enough she'd call back or text me. She never did.
I learned a lot from my date with Christine. I had figured out exactly the kind of girl I wanted to be with and Christine was missing a few of those qualities. That was more than I could have ever expected from one date.