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  • Ben

28 December 2007

Today was going to be a big day.


In all 22 years of my life so far, I've had one serious girlfriend and a couple of dates with girls who either I wasn't really interested in them, or they weren't really interested in me. How I even ended up on those dates baffles me. But tonight would be different. Tonight I have a date with a girl who I really like and I think she likes me too. Although most likely I like her more than she likes me but we'll see how things pan out.


It's Friday, so I'm working for Dad at the car yard today. I told Peter and Richard about my date tonight and now they're both giving me they're advice. While I actually wanted Peter's thoughts, I expected Richard's advice to be sleazy but surprisingly it's actually quite the opposite.


"Just be yourself." They both said.


"What's your plan?" Peter asks.


I had put a lot of thought into this and I think I've come up with a foolproof plan.


"I've booked us a table at Marco's on Crown Street for 7 o'clock and I'm picking her up at 6:45." I replied.


"Good." Peter confirmed. "What about after dinner? There's a nice gelato bar next door." He said.


"Yes I know." I replied. "I picked Marco's because I was thinking after dinner we could grab an ice cream and then go for a walk. The footpath outside the restaurant takes you directly along the cycleway alongside the beach from there."


He could see I really had put some effort into my plan.


"Good plan." He said, again confirming my thinking. "You'll be right. Just be your self."


---


I decided to get ready early. I had picked out my outfit days ago; cream leather shoes, light jeans and a lemon polo shirt. It was stylish, but not over dressed. Smart casual.


Outside there was a rumble in the driveway. I head down to take a look. Dad had traded a V8 HSV Commodore and this thing was thumping. It looks expensive but way too showy. I'm sure if I pick her up in this she's definitely going to think I'm a jerk. Better stick to my modest Pajero.


I'm rarely ever late for anything. I arrive outside her house at 6:40pm. 26 Woodlawn Avenue. Now that it's still daylight I can see the thick hedges on the retaining wall heading up the driveway. I step out of the car and call her mobile to let her know I'm here and she says she'll be right down. When she comes down, she looks just as lovely as before, only this time she wears a yellow dress. I love that she wears dresses instead of jeans and that we both wore yellow. On her right cheek is a pimple that she's tried to hide makeup. I'm sure it wasn't there on Sunday, but like that it's there now. I feel like it tells me she's a person too so don't be nervous. She's perfect.


At Marco's I order the lamb shanks and she orders the barramundi. We chat pleasantly and it just happens so easily. As we chat, she notices friends of hers also dining at another table. A guy named Kieran comes over to say hi and invites her to a party tomorrow night. To my surprise, she looks at me and says:


"You want to go to a party tomorrow night?"


"Sure." I say. Still surprised that I'm being invited to a second date before our first date is even over.


"Ok, yeah, we'll come." She tells Kieran.


Kieran leaves and we continue to chat while we finish our meals. I suggest instead of ordering dessert here, we grab gelato next door and go for a walk and she agrees.


The night was perfect. It was warm outside. No breeze, not cold, not too hot. Perfect for a romantic walk. So far my plan was going swimmingly. We both choose chocolate gelato and begin walking and chatting along the cycleway beside the beach.


Of all things to talk about, I tell her about my car accident and breaking my collarbone around this time last year. Girls like scars right? Stupid.


We round the bend past South Beach, pass Belmore Basin and continue heading toward North Beach. It's turning out to be quite a long walk. Finally, we reach the North Beach side of the coast and find a nice spot to sit. The moon lays low on the horizon and we debate about whether it's actually the moon or the reflection off a sail boat.


I really want to kiss her. I look at her, hoping she'll lean in but she doesn't. We continue to talk. I don't know how we haven't run out of things to say yet. I look at her again, maybe this time it will happen. No, she's making me work for it. The moon rises quickly now. It turns out I was wrong about the sailing boat thing and she digs at me about how she was right. I admit she was right.


Finally, we kiss.


---


We walk back to town the way we came holding hands. It's funny the way the universe works. Why James of all people just happened to be walking in our direction along the same cycle path I'll never know. He stops to say hi and I notice his eyes flick down at our hands and then back to our faces. We chat with him for a moment about our night and then he lets us go. I'll catch up with him tomorrow.


I pull up on the driveway outside her house. We make a plan for me to pick her up for the party tomorrow night, then we kiss one more time and she says good night before heading up the driveway.


I am in absolute amazement of the night we just had and my heart leaps with joy as I drive all the way home with a smile from ear to ear.

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