It was almost 7pm, Josh should be here to pick you up any minute now. You smoothed down the cute sundress you had on and adjusted the light cardigan you put on over it before you checked your makeup one more time. You were quite nervous, but you think you looked good. At least, your best friend Trinity assured you that you did when she helped you pick out your outfit earlier that day after you told her it was for a date. You remember how she freaked out when you first told her about Josh, “Are you telling me that you seriously just walked up to the Josh Meyer and lied about who you were to save him from some fangirls, then proceeded to just casually talk to him for a couple hours?! And then agreed to casually meet again at the beach the next day?!” She was still in shock over that, as well as the fact that you had been continuing to meet him at the beach over this past week. You chuckle to yourself as you remember how she freaked out all over again when you told her that he actually asked you out on a date. She told you she’d definitely help you get ready for the date, and insisted that you tell her all about it the next day.
You suddenly heard your phone ding as you got a text message, and looked down to see that it was Josh telling you that he was here and coming up to meet you at your apartment door. You suddenly became twice as nervous, and took some deep breaths to calm yourself down before you heard a knock at your door. You walked over and took one last deep breath before you pulled the door open to greet him, “Josh, hey!” He smiled and greeted back with a compliment, “Hey Lily! You look great!” You looked him over quickly. He was wearing some knee-length jean shorts and a t-shirt with an unzipped jacket. It was simple, but he still looked good. You smiled back and returned the compliment, “Thanks! So do you! You ready to go?” He replied, “Yep! I just texted the guys hosting it, and they said everything’s already set up and some people have already shown up.” You smiled, “Great! I can’t wait.” He smiled back, “Me too.” You make it down to the parking lot, where he comes up to the passenger side of his car and opens the door for you with a dramatic bow and says, “My lady.” You giggled as you got in and replied, “Thank you, kind sir.” He gives you a cheeky grin as he shuts the door, then walks around the car to get in the driver’s side. You chatted comfortably the whole way to the beach.
Once you get there, he grabs a couple of blankets from the back seat to sit on and you make your way to where a bunch of people were standing and sitting around an already raging bonfire. A couple of guys called out to greet Josh when they saw him, and Josh greeted them back before turning to you to tell you that they’re the guys who are hosting this party. Josh found a spot around the bonfire and spread out one of the blankets, “Well, here we are.” You both set down your bags on the blanket before he turns to you and asks, “So, do you want to go over to the little beach bar they set up for some drinks?” You smile and agree, “That sounds great.” He takes you over to the little bar, and introduces you to the two hosts before grabbing a couple of drinks and handing you one. You walk back over to your blanket and sit down together, where you soon find yourselves lost in conversation for a while as you finish up your drinks.
After a little while, you notice that there’s a lot more people here now, and that a lot of them are dancing near where they set up the music. Josh sees you looking over at the dancing crowd and asks, “Do you want to go over and dance for a while?” You nod and say, “Yeah, sure. It looks like fun.” He stands and offers you his hand to help you up, and you smile gratefully and take his hand. After he pulls you up, he doesn’t let go of your hand, and you smile shyly as he leads you by hand over to the makeshift dance floor. They’re playing some loud EDM music that’s easy and fun to dance to, and the next thing you know, you and Josh have been having a blast dancing together for a while before they suddenly announce that they’re going to play a few slow songs while the sun sets. As the first slow song starts and you see people start pairing up around you, Josh smiles and offers his hand with a slight bow, “May I have this dance?” You giggle at his overly formal way of asking and take his hand, and he grins back and pulls you close, wrapping his arms around your waist. You wrap your arms around his neck in response, and the two of you slowly start swaying to the music. After one song, you set your head on his shoulder, and he pulls you a little closer in response. You really can’t believe how comfortable and safe you felt with him already, and are glad that he seems to feel the same way.
After a few more slow songs, they announce that they’re going back to upbeat dance music, and you two pull apart. He smiles and asks, “So, do you want to sit back down and watch the sun finish setting?” You smile back and nod. He takes your hand again and leads you back to the blanket. Once settled, you scoot a little closer to him and rest your head on his shoulder as you both watch the sun disappear below the horizon. After the sun sets, he offers to get you more drinks, and when he returns he sits down with the comment, “Man, if it wasn’t so late I could go surfing for a bit.” You look over at him and ask, “So, where did you learn to surf?” He smiles and answers, “Growing up, my dad would take us all out to the beach whenever he could. He’s a pretty good surfer, so he decided to try to teach me and my siblings how to surf, and it turns out I really like it. What about you? You like coming to the beach just about as much as I do, but your parents never taught you how to surf?” You give him a sad smile and reply, “No, my… my parents used to like to come to the beach together all the time before I was born, but neither of them knew how to surf. Then… my mom died due to complications giving birth to me…” He puts his arm around your shoulders and pulls you closer saying, “Oh Lily, I’m sorry…” You send him another sad smile and say, “No, it’s okay. My dad made sure to tell me about her growing up, I feel like I know her. He also made sure to take me to the beach whenever he could, telling me that he used to go with my mom all the time.” He smiles softly at you, “Well I’m glad that your dad was able to keep your mom’s memory alive for you.”
You rest your head on his shoulder as the two of you sit in somber silence for a bit, before he gently changes the subject, “Well, I hope you know that I’m definitely going to teach you how to surf some day.” You giggle softly, “I’m looking forward to it, though I wish you luck.” He chuckles at your response. The conversation picks up, and the two of you once again find yourselves lost in conversation. Some time goes by when you notice that it’s now dark, and mostly everyone is sitting on their blankets around the bonfire talking like you two were. A sea breeze blows by and you shiver; the cardigan you were wearing isn’t that warm. Josh notices and says, “Here, let me grab the other blanket.” He reaches over and grabs the spare blanket he brought and wraps one half around his shoulders while opening his arm up to you with the other side of the blanket. You smiled as you saw that he was offering to wrap you both up together, and scooted closer to allow him to wrap you up in his arms and the blanket. He smiled back as he closed the blanket around the two of you, and you rested your head on his shoulder again.
You sat quietly together, having occasional quiet conversations between the comfortable silence. Again, you think to yourself that you can’t believe how safe and comfortable he makes you feel. And now that you’re sitting so close, wrapped up in his arms in the same blanket, you can’t help but feel like this silence between the two of you has gotten increasingly weighted. You could tell that he was looking at you, so you worked up the nerve to look up at him to find him looking intensely into your eyes. Your faces were already so close… You see him glance down at your lips and you can tell that he wants to kiss you. You realize that you want to kiss him too as you find yourself leaning slightly closer to him and glance down at his lips, too. He notices and moves in closer, looking into your eyes one last time to make sure that you’re okay with this before you both close your eyes and your lips connect. It’s… magical. You find your mind goes blank and you can’t really think of anything else. The kiss ends as you both pull apart and smile shyly at one another. It’s been awhile since you’ve kissed anyone, the last time being when you dated in college, but you could still tell that he was a good kisser. He chuckles quietly, “Wow…” You giggle shyly and reply, “Yeah, wow…”
You both notice that it’s gotten pretty late. The party seems to be winding down and people start getting up to leave. He looks back down at you and smiles softly, “I’ve had a great time with you tonight. I already feel so connected to you, and that kiss was…” You smile back and agree, “I’ve had a great time tonight, too. I can’t believe how comfortable and safe I already feel with you. And yeah, that kiss… has anyone ever told you that you’re a good kisser?” He laughs and says, “Thanks. And no, you seem to be the first to say so. I can’t take all the credit though, I had a good partner.” He winks at you, causing you to laugh. Then, he looks a little reluctant as he says, “Well, it seems like the party’s over. I guess I should take you home now, though I admit I’m reluctant to see this night end already.” You nod, “Yeah, it is getting pretty late, but I have to say I’m pretty reluctant to see this night end, too.” He unwraps the two of you from the blanket and you both stand up to gather your stuff. He then takes your hand and says, “Well, I guess all good things must come to an end eventually. Come on, I’ll take you home.”
You walk hand-in-hand to his car where he opens the passenger door with a flourish for you again, causing you to giggle. He gets in the car and drives quietly for a minute before he glances at you and back to the road, then says, “So… Lily. I’ve had a great time with you tonight and I really feel like this is the start of something special between us. I definitely want to take you out on another date again soon, and I hope you feel the same?” You smile at him and agree, “Yes, I do! Tonight’s been a great night, and I also feel like there’s something special between us. I’d love to go out with you again.” He shoots you a smile, and the two of you discuss further date ideas the rest of the ride back to your apartment. By the time he pulls up to your apartment, the two of you have already decided on the next date. He walks with you back up to your apartment door, and you turn around to face him once you get there, “Thank you for a great night. I look forward to our next date.” You lean over and give him a kiss on the cheek. He smiles at you and says, “And thank you for agreeing to go out with me. I’ll see you on our next date.” You exchange one last reluctant goodbye before he leaves and you enter your apartment. You can’t stop smiling the rest of the night, and it takes you a while to fall asleep that night as you keep replaying the date over and over in your head. You can’t wait to see him again.
It’s a few minutes before 9am and you’ve just finished getting ready for your date with Kai. Since you’re going to an amusement park, you decided to dress comfortably but still cute, and so chose to wear jean shorts with a cute, loose-fitting blouse to help stay cool. You debated with yourself for a while on whether you wanted to wear your cute sandals or your sneakers, but you ultimately decided on your sneakers, both so you don’t have to worry about them flying off your feet during rides, and also so your feet won’t hurt too much by the end of the day, since you and Kai were planning on spending the whole day there. You’re also bringing along a small drawstring bag so you can store your phone, wallet, sunscreen, sunglasses, and the water bottle you’ll buy one you get there. While you’re checking yourself out in the mirror one last time, your mind drifts to when you first told Vanessa about Kai. You remember how she had freaked out the first time you told her that you had met Kai at the club, “Wait, are you telling me that not only did you meet Kai freaking Slater, but you went home and slept with him, too?! I am both impressed and hella jealous. You have to tell me all about him, now that you have… intimate knowledge.” She winked at you with that statement and you had rolled your eyes and slapped her shoulder before telling her about your night. She was all too happy to join you at the club again night after night when you told her it was because you and Kai had agreed to meet there again. You smile to yourself as you remember how excited she got when you told her that Kai had actually asked you out on a date. She had insisted that she help you pick out your outfit, and definitely wanted to hear all about the date when you got back.
A ding from your phone interrupts your thoughts, and you look down to see it’s a text from Kai saying that he’s here and on his way up to your apartment to pick you up. Your heart rate picks up in excitement as you try to tell yourself to calm down. You hear a knock a few minutes later and open the door to greet him, “Hey Kai!” You quickly look him over and see that he decided to wear khaki cargo shorts and a t-shirt, and also brought his own drawstring bag to store his stuff in. It was more comfortable than overly stylish, but he still looked nice. He smiles and greets back, “Hey Maya! You look cute. You ready for a fun, scream-filled day?” You lightly laugh and say, “You bet I am! And thanks, you look good too. Let’s go!” You follow him to his car, and once you’re on the road he says, “So I got both of our tickets, and I also decided to get the Flash Pass for us, so now we won’t have to wait in line.” You excitedly reply, “Really? Oh man, this’ll be great! Standing in those long lines for hours sweltering in the sun was always the worst part. We’ll have time to get on so many rides now! Probably even ride some multiple times!” You chatted excitedly the whole way to the amusement park.
Once you got there and made your way inside, you both stopped by the shop to get sports water bottles to carry around in your bags all day. Then, he turned to you and excitedly said, “Alright, I am so ready for this! We already agreed on the way here that we’re gonna ride all the roller coasters at least once, so which one do you want to start with?” You reply just as excitedly, “You know we gotta ride the X2 first!” He laughs as you already start heading off in that direction, “Great choice, that’s my favorite!” You turn to smile at him, “Me too!” You make your way to the ride and bypass the line, and are seated close to the front. As the ride slowly starts ascending, you turn your head to Kai and say, “So, just to warn you, I’m totally gonna scream on all these coasters. Loudly. I hope you’re prepared to be deaf by the end of the day.” He laughs and says, “Oh I know, I’m ready for it. And don’t worry, I’ll probably yell sometimes, too. Especially on this one.” Then, the ride finally reaches the top and suddenly shoots downward, causing you to scream loudly, and you hear Kai laugh next to you. After the ride is over, you get off and turn to Kai to say, “Holy shit! That was awesome and scary as hell at the same time!” He replies, “I know! We’ll definitely have to stop by again later.” You excitedly talk about your favorite parts of the ride as you make your way to the next ride.
After a couple hours, plenty of coasters, and lots of screaming, you both stop to take a sip of water and Kai turns to you to ask, “So, it’s been a couple hours now. Do you want to get something to eat?” You nod and say, “Yeah, sounds good. And later, we’ll definitely have to get some funnel cake.” He replies, “Yeah, totally. You can’t come to the amusement park without getting some funnel cake! That’s sacrilegious!” You laugh and agree, then decide where you want to eat and make your way there. Over lunch, the two of you find yourselves lost in conversation, at first talking about your favorite parts of the rides you’ve already been on and which ones you want to ride next, then eventually talking about each other and whatever else comes up. He asks you about your job and what inspired you to pursue that, so you spend a little time talking about how you were able to take your love of parties and make it into a career as a wedding and event planner. He then asks about your hobbies besides partying, so you tell him about your love of astronomy. You show him your tattoo of the crescent moon on the back of your neck and tell him about how you named your cat Nova after supernovas. You ask him about any other hobbies that he might have besides playing the guitar and cooking, so he tells you that when he and his brother were younger, his parents took them to Jiu-Jitsu classes. Kai eventually dropped out of classes in middle school when he discovered he’d rather learn more about playing the guitar with Josh, but he said that he still remembers a lot and could still be pretty good in a fight if need be. He says that his brother stayed in the classes though, and still trains and goes to competitions when he has the time.
After talking for a little while longer about whatever else came up, you both get up and start to talk about which ride you want to get on next. You’re starting to sweat a little, so you fan yourself and say, “Hey, how about we get on some of those water rides now so we can cool off? I’m so hot!” Kai nods and says, “Yeah, good idea. I’m pretty hot, too. Plus, those types of rides don’t loop and jerk you around as much, so it’ll give our stomachs some time to settle after eating. Let’s head to the Roaring Rapids first.” You nod in agreement and make your way there. While on the ride, the side of the raft you two are on ends up directly under a waterfall at some point, drenching you both. Kai laughs at the high-pitched squeal you make when you first get drenched, and you stick your tongue out at him in response, which only makes him laugh harder. After the ride, you turn to Kai while wringing the water out your hair and say, “Wow, we’re soaked! But I feel much cooler now.” He nods while attempting to wring the water out of his shirt, “Yeah, we’re drenched now, but I feel so much better.” You make your way to the other water rides, chatting together in between each ride. After you get through all of those, he turns to you and says, “So, I’m ready to get on more roller coasters now, how about you?” You nod and say, “Yeah, me too. I don’t think we’ve got on the Tatsu yet.” He grabs your hand and starts heading off in that direction, “The Tatsu it is then.” You smile at the way he casually grabbed your hand, and you lace your fingers with his in response. He looks over at you with a smile at your action, and gives your hand a squeeze before starting another conversation as you walk. After riding the Tatsu, you both excitedly chat as you head to the next ride. You say, “Oh my god, that loop though! My stomach dropped.” He replies just as excitedly, “I know right? That loop is the best part of that ride. I still like the X2 better though.” You nod in agreement, “Yeah, I do too.”
After a couple more hours, you’ve finally managed to ride all the roller coasters once. You both decide that it’s time for funnel cake and take a break on a bench to eat it together. You’re both still riding the adrenaline rush from all the coasters you were just on, and are chatting excitedly as you eat. As you pop another piece of funnel cake in your mouth, you think about how much fun you’ve had with Kai today. You feel like you can be yourself around him and always seem to have a good time with him. After chatting for a bit more, you look down at the plate to see that there is only one piece of funnel cake left and yell, “Dibs!” You grab it first with a triumphant laugh before Kai just leans over and snatches the piece right out of your hands. “Hey!” you shout and lean closer to try to take it back before he sends you an adorably impish grin and pops it right in his mouth. You gasp indignantly and he just laughs and leans a little closer to grin victoriously in your face. It’s at that moment that you both realize how close your faces are, and your smiles fade as you both get more serious. It gives you a slight shiver up your spine to see how he’s gazing at you with such an intense look. You notice that your faces have drifted even closer together and then catch him glancing down at your lips. You find yourself glancing down at his lips as well before he suddenly leans forward and connects your lips. You instantly react and kiss back, your hands finding their way into his hair as his hands rest along the back of your neck to pull you closer. You both pull apart after a moment when you need air and look into each other’s eyes and smile. “Wow, that’s just as good as I remember it,” he says with a soft chuckle. You grin back and say, “Yeah, I have to agree.”
He then grabs your hand and pulls you up with him, “So, you ready to ride a few more of our favorite coasters again before we call it a day?” You squeeze his hand and reply, “You know it! We totally have to save the X2 for last!” He nods as you both start walking and says, “Sounds like a plan.” You once again make your way from ride to ride, chatting in between as usual, although this time you’re holding hands pretty much whenever you’re not on a ride, and are walking more closely together than you had earlier in the day. You finally make it to the X2 again and ride it one last time before Kai turns to you and says, “Well, we’ve been here all day and it looks like the park’s going to close soon, so I guess we better get going.” You nod and say, “Yeah, I guess so. I’ve had such a great time today. The X2 is still totally my favorite.” He laughs and agrees, “Yeah, me too.” You both talk about your favorite parts of all the rides you went on today as you make your way back to his car.
Once you’re back on the road, he’s quiet for a moment before he reaches over and holds your hand, holding the wheel steady with his other hand. He sends you a quick glance before he has to look back at the road and says, “Maya, I’ve had such an incredible time with you, and not just today, but every time we’ve been together. I really feel like there’s something special between us, and I know I definitely want to take you out on another date soon.” You smile and squeeze his hand, “Me too. I can’t believe how much fun I always have when we’re together, and I love that I always feel like I can be myself when I’m with you. I also feel like there’s something special between us, and I know I definitely can’t wait for our next date.” He sends you a quick smile, and the two of you discuss more date ideas the rest of the way back to your apartment. By the time you get there, you both have already decided on your next date. He takes your hand again as he walks you up to your apartment, and once you get to your door you lean over to kiss him on the cheek before saying, “Thank you for an amazing day. I’m looking forward to our next date.” He smiles and squeezes your hand once more before he lets you go and says, “I was just about to say the same thing. Thank you for agreeing to go out with me. I’ll see you soon.” You exchange one last reluctant goodbye before you enter your apartment. You go to sleep early that night, being pretty tired from walking around all day, but you can’t help the big smile you have as you fall asleep.
It’s a few minutes before 5:30pm and you’re checking yourself out in the mirror one last time before Roland gets here for your date. You decided to wear a form-fitting blouse with some nice jeans and a cute pair of boots, and you think you look pretty good. Your best friend Nikki also told you that you look good when you sent her a selfie of your date outfit earlier. You think back to the day you ended up telling Nikki about Roland; it was the day Roland had asked you out. You had been avoiding telling her about him because of what happened with that drunk guy that Roland ended up saving you from. You remember what happened to Nikki in college and didn’t want her blaming herself for almost allowing the same thing to happen to you, so when she started getting suspicious that you kept wanting to come to so many parties with her all of a sudden, you denied that you were going to the parties to meet a guy. However, you think she started to realize that’s what you were doing when you caught her looking across the room at you and Roland sitting together talking at a party. You were dreading her questions, but she never asked you past the first time she questioned you. You figured she must suspect something but decided to just let you tell her on your own without pushing you for answers. You were grateful for that, as you needed time to figure out how you were going to tell her about how you met him without her freaking out and blaming herself.
The day he asked you out, you realized that you had to tell her, so you called her over to hang out the next day and told her you had to tell her something. You had said, “So Nikki… I’ve been meaning to tell you that I’ve been going to those parties with you to meet a guy that I met at Tom’s party.” She got a big smile on her face and said, “Ha! I knew it! I kept seeing you sitting with a guy, and I couldn’t really tell from a distance, but I thought it looked like you were meeting with the same guy. I figured you just didn’t want to tell me yet when you denied it, so I was waiting for you to want to tell me. What took you so long?” You give her a serious look and say, “Well, it’s due to the circumstances of our meeting. Now, when I tell you this, I don’t want you to freak out or start to blame yourself.” She started to look concerned, and you continued, “He actually saved me from a drunk guy that was bothering me. When I denied his advances, that creep grabbed my arm and tried to drag me off the barstool into the crowd. He happened to see what was happening and came over, made the guy let me go, intimidated him into leaving, and then sat down and talked with me the rest of the night to make sure I was okay and that no one else would bother me.” Nikki looked upset as she grabbed your hand and said, “Oh my god, Karina! Why didn’t you tell me right after it happened? I can’t believe that happened when I was supposed to be there with you. And after what almost happened to me… I’m so sorry.” You shook your head and said, “Hey, stop that. I told you not to freak out or blame yourself. If I’m not allowed to blame myself for what almost happened to you in college, then you’re not allowed to blame yourself for what almost happened to me at that party. Besides, I’m okay. More than okay. It allowed me to meet Roland when he saved me.” You got a little smile on your face when you thought of him.
She saw the smile on your face and relaxed a little, “Well, okay. I guess you have a point. But you have to promise to let me know immediately if something like that happens again.” You nodded and agreed before she got a mischievous smile on her face and said, “So, who is this savior of yours? Roland you said? What’s he like? What’s he look like? Did he ask you out yet?” You smiled and shook your head at her enthusiasm, but you stopped suddenly as another thought occurred to you, “Oh, umm… I was so worried about you blaming yourself for what almost happened that I forgot that there’s something else I have to tell you about him. I would say that you have to promise not to freak out, but I know you will anyway.” She looked exasperated as she said, “Jeez, what now?” You said, “Well, first off, yes he did ask me out. We’ve been meeting at parties for the last week and a half and he asked me out yesterday. We both really hit it off, we have so much in common, and we both agreed we wanted to start meeting more often, outside of parties.” She squealed excitedly and said, “Oh my god, I’m so happy for you! It’s about time that you found someone. But what am I supposed to be freaking out about?” You took a deep breath and said, “Well, it’s because of who he really is. His full name is Roland Beck.” You noticed her eyes got wide and continued, “Yes, that Roland Beck, of Electrocandescence. I was kinda shocked when I realized that it was him, but I kept it to myself because I didn’t want to freak out on him or anything.” Her eyes were wide in shock as she said, “Are you shitting me?! Roland Beck of Electrocandescence, Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome himself, swoops in and saves you heroically, then you spend the next week and a half meeting up, and now you’re telling me he’s asked you out? And you’re just now telling me this?!” You laughed at her reaction as she continued to press you for information about him, and you had spent quite some time that day answering a lot of her questions about him and your relationship so far.
A ding from your phone brings you out of your memories and back to the present. You look down and see that it’s a text from Roland saying that he’s here and on his way up to meet you at your apartment door. You nervously start twirling the ends of your hair before you hear a knock at the door. You take a deep breath to calm down before you open the door with the greeting, “Hey!” You quickly look him over and see that he’s wearing some jeans and a black, fitted shirt that compliment his toned body nicely. He smiles and greets you back, “Hey Karina. You look great. You ready to go?” You smile and say, “Thanks, you look good, too. And yep, I’m ready.” You make your way down to his car and talk about which bands you’re both excited to see perform live and which songs are your favorites. When you get there, you notice that it’s already pretty busy. Roland gives the bouncer his invitation and leads you inside. Once inside, it’s so full already that trying to walk next to Roland to reach a table to sit at becomes increasingly difficult without getting bumped into. Roland, seeing you struggling to walk next to him without getting jostled around, wraps his arm around your waist and pulls you closer, making it much easier for you to reach your table. You blush a little at the close contact, but look up with a smile and thank him all the same. Once you’re both settled at your table, a server comes by to get your order for drinks and food. Roland explains that they will be serving for about 30 more minutes up until 7:00pm, when they’ll stop serving and the first band will play their set. Each band will be playing some of their most popular songs, and there will be small intermissions in between each band’s performance to let the next band set up and give time for the servers to go around the tables again for anyone who wants another round of drinks.
You both spend the next 30 minutes talking excitedly in anticipation while finishing up your meals. Finally, the lights dim and the spotlights shine on stage. You scoot your chair around the table to sit next to Roland so that you’re both facing the stage, and make sure you’re close enough to be able to hear each other over the crowd and the loud music when you want to talk. He smiles and adjusts his chair to give you more room next to him on his side of the table. The first band starts hyping up the crowd, and everyone starts cheering in excitement and anticipation. You cheer along loudly with the crowd before you send Roland a sheepish smile at how loud you just were. Roland just laughs and looks at you fondly before giving his own whoop of excitement. During the intermission after the first band’s set, you turn to Roland excitedly and say, “Oh my god, that was awesome! They really know how to work a crowd. My favorite song was the second one.” Roland nods in agreement and says, “Yeah, they were great! The second one was good, but I think I like the third song they did better.” You nod and look down at the itinerary of bands performing tonight and say, “Yeah, I like that one, too. So yeah, they were great and all, and I’m still excited for the next two bands performing, but I really can’t wait for the fourth band performing tonight. They’re one of my favorite bands recently.” Roland smiles and says, “Really? They’re one of my favorites recently, too! It’s gonna be so awesome seeing them perform live from this close.” You nod excitedly, “I know!” You continue to chat excitedly until the lights dim again when the next band is ready to start.
After lots of cheering and excited chatter between sets, it’s finally time for your favorite band of the night’s performance. You look over at Roland and just now notice how close you’re sitting; Roland’s arm is across the back of your chair to make it more comfortable to sit closer together, and your chairs are right up next to each other, with you leaning over the arm of your chair to be closer to him. It seems you’ve drifted closer over the course of the night through your mutual excitement and effort to hear each other over the music. You blush and start to lean back more into your own chair to give him more space, but he drops his arm from the back of your chair down onto your shoulders and tugs you back into place saying, “No, stay. I don’t mind.” You smile and blush again before nodding and settling down close to him again, with his arm still around your shoulders. The crowd starts cheering, pulling your attention back to the stage, and you both start cheering loudly with the rest of the crowd as the band starts playing. After quick snatches of excited conversation between songs, you and Roland once again cheer along with the rest of the crowd as the band announces that they’re starting their last song. Once it starts playing, you squeal excitedly and turn to Roland, “Oh my god, this is my favorite song from them! I was so hoping they’d perform it tonight!” He replies just as excitedly, “This is my favorite, too! I was hoping they were saving it for last!”
As you and Roland’s favorite song comes to a close and the lights come back on for another intermission, you look over at Roland with a big smile and say, “That was just as awesome as I was hoping it was going to be!” He smiles back and says, “I know! Definitely their best song.” It’s then that you both notice just how close your faces are; your mutual excitement over that last song has caused you to end up sitting even closer together now. His arm is still around your shoulders and you’re now fully leaning into his side. When you turn to talk to each other, your faces are now a few inches apart. You both seem to notice how close you are at the same time, and the conversation dies as you find yourselves staring into each other’s eyes from up close. You quietly start, “I’m…” but trail off for a second when you get distracted by him glancing down at your lips. You swallow and start again, “I’m really glad you took me here. I’m having a great time…” You trail off again as his arm around your shoulders tightens, pulling you closer as he says, “Me too…” He trails off as he brings his face closer. Now so close that your noses were almost touching, Roland whispers to you, “Karina… can I kiss you?” You breathe back a quiet, “Yes…”
Then suddenly, you were kissing, and it was like fireworks were going off in your heart. You got lost in the moment, and when you came back to yourself, your hands were gripping his shirt and his were in your hair. You pull back as the kiss ends and send him a shy smile, “Wow…” He nods and says, “Yeah, that was something else…” You suddenly feel too shy to keep looking him in the eyes and blush as you bury your head in his chest. You feel him chuckle as he wraps his arms around you and pulls you a little closer. You relax in his arms, turning your head to rest your cheek against his chest as he rests his chin against the top of your head. You’re both content to stay like that for the duration of the intermission, in your own quiet bubble of contentment despite the loudness of the crowd around you. The lights dim and the crowd cheers loudly as the next band gets ready to start, so you both pull apart a little to be able to turn in your seats to face the stage and watch the performance, but his arm never leaves your back, holding you close for the rest of the night. After the final band performs and the hosts finish talking about the charity this whole concert was planned for, everyone starts getting up to leave. You both reluctantly pull apart so you can get up to leave as well, but it’s so crowded as everyone tries to leave at once that you almost instantly get bumped into upon standing up. Roland immediately wraps an arm around your waist again, pulling you closer to steady you and protect you from the crowd. You smile up at him and thank him again as you both head out to his car.
Once back on the road to your apartment, Roland reaches over to hold your hand as he drives with his other hand. He’s quiet for a moment before he says, “Karina, I’ve had a great time with you tonight. I feel like this is the start of something great, and I know I need to see you again. I’d love to take you on another date soon…” He trails off and squeezes your hand as he glances at you briefly before looking back at the road. You smile and squeeze his hand back as you reply, “Yes, I feel the same way. I also feel like this is the start of something great, and I know I want to see you again, too. I’d love to go on another date with you.” He smiles in relief and says, “Great! Maybe we can go somewhere quieter next time, so we’ll be able to talk more and hear each other better.” You both spend the rest of the drive back to your apartment discussing date ideas, and by the time you get there you’ve decided on your next date. He takes your hand as he walks you up to your apartment, and once you get to your door, you smile and squeeze his hand once last time before letting go and saying, “Thank you for a great night. I look forward to our next date.” He smiles back and says, “Me too. Thank you for agreeing to go out with me.” After one last reluctant goodbye, you enter your apartment. You find yourself only half paying attention to whatever you’re doing for the rest of the night, as you notice that you can’t help but keep thinking back to your night with Roland. You can’t wait to see him again.
It’s a few minutes before 11:30am, so you check yourself out in the mirror one last time before Oli gets here for your date. You decided to wear a patterned, flowy, boho-chic style dress that reaches just past your knees that you paired with a cute pair of sandals. You think you look nice, and you texted your step-sister Reagan, who is also your best friend, earlier with a selfie and she said you look nice, too. You smile as you remember when you first told her about Oli; it was the day you met him. As soon as you got home from the park, you texted her, “Oh my god Reagan, you’ll never believe what just happened to me. Can you come over? I want to tell you in person.” She immediately replied, “Yes, I’ll be right there.” Once she got there, she said, “Okay, I’m dying here. What happened?” You smiled and said, “So, I was at the park walking Bailey as usual, right? Then, Bailey got over excited again and leapt up onto a guy on a bench. I noticed that he was drawing the park, and we got to talking about art together. The whole time I kept thinking to myself that I thought I recognized him from somewhere, when it hits me.” You paused for emphasis and she waved her hand at you impatiently and said, “Yeah, who was it? Come on, you’re killing me here.” You smiled again and said, “Well, it was Oli Jones, of Electrocandescence.” She freaked out, just like you thought she would, and said, “Oh my god, you’re kidding me! Really? Holy crap Saige, that’s awesome! So then what? You just talked about art for a bit, then left?” You gave her a sly smile, “Well, not exactly. We actually talked for more than an hour about anything and everything. We really hit it off. When Bailey was starting to look tired and it was time for me to go, he looked just as reluctant as me to leave, so I asked him if he’d like to meet again at the park tomorrow and he agreed! And we exchanged numbers!” She squealed excitedly and asked you all sorts of questions about him and what you talked about. You spent quite some time together after that excitedly recounting your day.
A ding from your phone brings you back to the present. It’s a text from Oli saying that he’s here and on his way up. You nervously fidget with your fingers a bit before you hear a knock at the door. You open the door with the greeting, “Oli, hey!” You quickly look him over and see that he’s wearing some jeans and a nice short sleeve, button-up shirt. He smiles and says, “Hey Saige! You look great! You ready to go?” You nod and reply, “Yep! And thanks, you look good, too!” You make your way down to his car, and on the drive over to the LACMA you both talk about which exhibitions are there right now and what you want to see. You both decided to make sure to visit the exhibitions that are only here for the next few months so you don’t miss out on getting to see them before they’re gone. Once you get there and make your way inside one of the buildings, Oli turns to you and says, “Well, here we are. What do you want to see first?” You reply, “How about we just go around each building clockwise, and when we see something we want to look at closer, we can spend a little more time at those exhibitions?” He nods and says, “Sounds good.” You start walking around, discussing art pieces and your impressions on them as you go. After walking for a bit, Oli reaches over and grabs your hand with a bit of a nervous smile. You smile back and lace your fingers together.
The next thing you know, it’s been hours. You’ve been having a great time, and you both have been making each other laugh all day. When visiting one of the collections earlier, you both saw a painting with a man making a rather funny-looking face, so Oli had turned to you and copied the face he was making, which made you burst out laughing at how ridiculous he looked. Then, the rest of the day had become a contest to see who, upon finding funny-looking and ridiculous paintings and statues, could copy the faces or poses they were making the closest. This usually meant that the two of you would burst out into stifled giggles at each other’s antics. You were trying to make each other laugh while still trying to be quiet enough to not disturb the other museum guests, but the need to be relatively quiet only served to make it harder for the two of you to stop laughing once you started. Whenever you come across the more serious art pieces, you both take the time to appreciate the artists’ work and tell each other your impressions and opinions on the pieces.
Nearing the end of your visit, after the two of you have been around to all the buildings and have seen all you plan on seeing, Oli turns to you and says, “So, before we leave today, I’ve heard good things about the restaurant here, Ray’s and Stark Bar. Do you want to get dinner there?” You nod and say, “Yeah, that sounds good.” You make your way there and find a table, and after your food comes, you look up at Oli and say, “So after looking at all this art today, I feel totally inspired to finish that piece I was working on back home.” He replies, “Yeah, me too actually. I’ll have to show it to you when I’m finished.” You nod again and say, “Yeah, I’ll have to show you mine, too.” You both spend some time continuing to tell each other about the pieces you’re working on back home, and what you were planning on doing to them next. The conversation then turned to the pieces you saw today in the museum, the ones you like the most and which ones made you laugh the most, and then eventually you both just talked about whatever else came up.
After you both finished dinner, Oli looked at you and said a little reluctantly, “Well, we’ve been here for hours now and we’ve seen all that we wanted to see. It’s starting to get pretty late now, so I guess it’s time for me to take you home.” You nod reluctantly and say, “Yeah, I guess it’s time to head home. I’ve had such a fun time with you today.” He smiles and agrees, “Me too. I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed that much.” You both start walking to his car, and this time, you’re the one to reach over and grab his hand. He looks over and smiles at you as he laces his fingers with yours. He has to let go of your hand once you get to his car, but as soon as he starts driving, he leaves one hand on the wheel and reaches over to take your hand again while sending you a quick, cute smile. There’s just something so endearing about that action that you can’t help but smile and squeeze his hand. He’s quiet for a moment before he says, “So Saige… I’ve had such a fun day with you today. I’m definitely sad to see it ending already, and I can’t help but want to see you again. I really feel like there’s something special between us, and I hope you feel the same way. I’d like to ask you out on another date.” You send him a big smile as you say, “Oh Oli, I feel the same way. I’ve had such a good time today, and I also feel like there’s something special between us. Of course I’ll go out on another date with you, I can’t wait for it.” He sends you a quick smile and squeezes your hand as he says, “Great!” The two of you spend the rest of the way back to your apartment discussing date ideas, and by the time you get there, you’ve both decided on your next date.
As he pulls up to your apartment building and puts the car in park, you put on a teasing tone and say, “But are you sure you’re not dating me just so you can see Bailey again?” He laughs and says, “You caught me. I’m just in it for your dog.” You laugh, and then he says, “But seriously though, thank you for saying yes.” He looks at you with such a sincere look, that you can’t help yourself; you find yourself staring into his pretty green eyes and think back to all the cute things he did today. The way he nervously grabbed your hand when you first got to the LACMA, the funny faces he made as he tried to make you laugh, the way he looked at you when you were laughing and how cute he looked when he was laughing, how endearing it was when he immediately grabbed your hand again and sent you that cute smile after you got back in the car. All these things quickly ran through your mind as you gazed into his eyes and you suddenly knew what you wanted to do. You squeeze his hand again and softly say, “Oli…” By the look in his eyes, you can tell he was having similar thoughts to yours as you were gazing into each other’s eyes, but it looks like he was going to let you make the first move when it came to taking it a step further.
Well, after everything that happened today, you can’t help it. You know what you want, and the moment feels right. You start to lean closer as you drop your gaze from his eyes to his lips, and he reciprocates by leaning closer and glancing down at your lips, too. You both lean forward the rest of the way and your lips connect. It feels really special, and you can’t help but get a little lost in the moment. Your hands are in his hair and his are cupping your face when the kiss ends as you both pull apart. He gives you that cute smile again, and you smile back and say, “Now I really don’t want to get out of the car.” He chuckles and says, “Yeah, that’s not making this goodbye any easier.” You take his hand again and give it one more squeeze before you let go and both get out of the car to start making your way up to your apartment. When you get to your door, you turn to Oli with a smile and say, “Thank you for taking me on such a great date. I’m looking forward to the next one.” He smiles back and says, “I am, too. Thank you for agreeing to go out with me.” You exchange one last reluctant goodbye before he leaves and you enter your apartment. You spend the rest of the night in a haze of giddy absent-mindedness as you keep thinking back to your day with Oli, and you fall asleep that night with a smile still on your face.
It’s a few minutes before 3:30pm, and you’re fussing over your outfit again in the mirror before Finn gets here for your date. You decided on a knee-length floral skirt and a cute pastel blouse with some nice sandals. Your best friend Maddie had helped you pick it out earlier and insisted you looked great in it, despite your nervous worries. The two of you have known each other forever, as your parents had been friends since before they had kids. Although you two were sharing this apartment while you were both working on your degrees, Maddie had decided to go over and stay at her boyfriend’s place for the night, as she wanted to give you some space to be alone when Finn got here to pick you up. She said it was still too early to subject him to meeting your best friend already, and didn’t want to give you another reason to be nervous. You told her that her being gone might actually make you even more nervous, but she insisted that it would be better this way. She has been helping to keep you calm and not get too nervous or overwhelmed about all this since she first found out about you meeting Finn.
You remember back to when you first told her about him; it was the day you met him. She had known something happened the moment you got back to the apartment after your shift was over. Jonas had helped calm you down a little after you started to freak out when he told you who Finn really is, but you were still quite shaken and really nervous about seeing him again the next day. She took one look at you when you walked into your shared apartment and said, “What happened? You look like you’ve seen a ghost.” She led you over to the couch to talk, and you looked at her with wide eyes and said, “I… I met someone today. A guy… and I really like him.” She immediately looked excited, “Really?! Oh my god, it’s about time! So, how did it go?” You told her about how he came into the coffee shop and immediately started to talk and flirt with you, and despite how nervous and shy you were acting, he still wanted to talk with you during your break. Then, despite your shyness, you two really seemed to hit it off during your break, and he asked if it would be cool if he came back the next day to talk to you again. Maddie squealed excitedly and said, “Oh my god, that’s so cute! You said yes, right?” You nodded, “Yeah, I did, but…” She sees the look on your face and says, “But what? Is this why you’re acting weird?” You nod and say, “Well, when I went back inside to get back to work, Jonas was acting weird about it. That’s when he told me… who he really was. I was talking to him the whole time and I didn’t even recognize him! And he’s going to come back tomorrow to talk to me again! How am I going to talk to him?!” You start to freak out a little again just thinking about it. Maddie takes your hand and says, “Hey, calm down. It’s going to be okay. Also, you still haven’t told me who he is.” You take a deep breath to calm down and say, “Well… he’s Finn O’Donnell, from Electrocandescence…” Maddie immediately gasps and says, “Holy crap, no way! You actually not only met, but hit it off with Finn from Electrocandescence?!” Her starstruck reaction started to make you freak out a little again. If even Maddie was freaking out about him, how were you supposed to talk with him normally? She saw how you were freaking out again and proceeded to spend the rest of the night helping you keep calm and boosting your courage and confidence so that you would be able to act mostly normally around him, despite knowing who he is now. She continued to encourage and support you over the next two weeks, and when he asked you out, she was so happy for you and helped you prepare for the date.
A ding from your phone breaks you out of your thoughts, and you look down to see that it was a text from Finn saying that he’s here and on his way up to your apartment to pick you up. Your shoulders tense and you have to stop yourself from clenching your hands from nervousness. A minute later, you hear a knock on your door and nervously bite your lip as you go to open it. You open your door with a shy smile and the soft greeting, “Hi…” He smiles at you and greets back, “Hey Anna! You look cute! Ready to go?” You nod as you quickly look him over to see that he’s wearing some jeans and a nice, bright blue shirt. You reply, “Yes. And thank you, you look nice, too.” He smiles in response as you make your way to his car. On the drive over to the theater, you’re a little too nervous to start a conversation so he takes the lead and starts up a conversation about the movie, “So, this movie is the third one in the series now. You said you saw the other ones, right? What do you think of the series so far?” You relax a little at the natural way he brings you into a conversation and the fact that he noticed you were nervous and is trying to make you more comfortable and reply, “Yes, I did see the first two. The first one was excellent, but the second one wasn’t as good unfortunately. I’m hoping that this one will be better. Everyone’s been saying it probably will be…” He nods and says, “Yeah, I feel the same. That seems to be the general consensus among the fans, too. Everyone has high hopes for this one, I hope it won’t disappoint!” You both chat comfortably about the other two movies in the series, what parts you liked about it so far, and your predictions for this next movie for the rest of the drive to the theater.
Once you arrive, you continue your conversation as you both wait in the long line for the tickets, and then wait in line again for the drinks and popcorn. Once you both get to the front of the line, he turns to you and asks, “So, do you want just a small popcorn? Since we’re going to dinner after this?” You lightly blush at his casual mention of the dinner he’s taking you to later, but you nod and agree. You finally make your way into the theater and see that it’s already quite full. It is opening day after all. You’re both looking for a couple of available seats when he spots some near the top, “Ah, there! Let’s go!” He grabs your hand as he tugs you excitedly up the stairs to claim the seats before anyone else can, causing you to blush again, before he lets go so you both can squeeze past the other people already seated in the row and finally make your way to your seats. Finally seated, he says, “Whew! I was worried that we wouldn’t find seats for a moment there!” You’re not sure if he’s aware that he grabbed your hand as you both rushed up the stairs or if he’s just not acknowledging it, but you hope he doesn’t notice in the dim lighting of the theater that you’re still blushing because of it. ‘Come on Anna,’ you think to yourself, ‘you’re not in high school anymore! Stop blushing every time he just grabs your hand! This is a date after all!’ You’re trying to psych yourself up to get braver and stop blushing at every little thing he does when you see him push the popcorn bag closer to you and ask, “So, do you want to hold the bag, or should I?” He must have noticed that you went quiet again and is trying to bring you back into a conversation. You smile shyly and say, “Oh, I probably won’t eat as much as you, so you should hold the bag.” You quickly berate yourself in your head, ‘Come on Anna, stop getting flustered at everything and pay attention to your date!’
You talk quietly together for a few more minutes before the lights fully dim and the trailers start. He quietly whispers to you, “I’m so excited for this!” You smile and nod, “Me too. I’ve been looking forward to this movie.” One of the trailers is for the next movie in another series you’ve been keeping up with that you’re excited about seeing, but before you can say anything, he turns and whispers to you, “Oh man, that movie looks awesome! I’ve seen all the other ones and I’ve been looking forward to the next one!” You smile and agree, “Yeah, me too! I can’t wait until it comes out.” He turns his head to look more fully at you and says, “Well, maybe we can go see that one together too when it comes out.” You can’t help but blush at what he said, but you push past your shyness and say, “I-I would like that…” He sends you a cute smile and says, “Great! It’s another date then. We’ll have to work out the details closer to its release date.” You can’t help but blush deeper after what he said, and he notices and chuckles quietly at your reaction. Soon, the trailers end and the movie starts. You’re both excitedly watching the movie, occasionally whispering your thoughts and reactions to each other when certain things happen in the movie. Then, a scene where the main character has to sneak into the enemy base to rescue his friends starts and the movie theater becomes deathly quiet as he tries not to make any noise to alert the enemies. Your attention is fully captured by the scene and you find yourself holding your breath as the suspense mounts. Suddenly, the main character gets caught unaware by the enemies and the movie makes a loud jarring noise to go with the sudden surprise. You let out a surprised squeak and jump in your chair, causing Finn to laugh next to you at your reaction and making you blush furiously. You bring up one hand over your rapidly beating heart to try to calm down, all the while still blushing at Finn still quietly chuckling next to you. Suddenly, you feel Finn take your other hand and lace your fingers together. You freeze and look down at your hands before looking up at Finn. He has a small smile on his face as he quietly asks you, “You okay? And… is this okay?” He squeezes your hand at his last question. You blush again and have trouble keeping eye contact, so you look down at your entwined hands again, but still nod all the same while giving his hand a light squeeze. You can see him smile at your response out of the corner of your eye as you both direct your attention back to the movie.
The movie ends and the credits roll as the lights come back on and people start to leave. Finn lets go of your hand as you both get up, gather your stuff, and make your way out of the theater, but he takes your hand again as you both walk to his car, making you blush yet again. He excitedly starts up a conversation about the movie, “So that was awesome! Definitely better than the second movie, maybe even better than the first!” You nod excitedly, “Yeah, I definitely agree! And they set up the ending for the next movie, I can’t wait for that one to come out now!” You both keep up the excited chatter all the way to the restaurant. You get seated and make your orders, and then continue talking about the movie and how it fits into the series. You both point out the foreshadowing that you missed in the previous movies now that you’ve seen this one, and spend some time talking about what you think might be foreshadowing for the next movie from the one you just watched, and where you think the story is going. Eventually your conversation drifts from that movie series into other movies, and then just anything else that comes up. You feel comfortable in the conversation, and appreciate that Finn always tries to pay attention to how you’re feeling and tries to make you feel relaxed and at ease when you’re with him. You have a lively, fun date at the restaurant, and after Finn pays the bill, he takes your hand again as he leads you from the restaurant back to his car. He looks over at you and says, “Well, as much as I don’t want it to, it seems that our date has come to an end.” You blush and shyly reply, “Yeah, I guess it has… I had a great time.” He smiles and squeezes your hand and says, “Me too,” before he lets go so you can both get in his car.
Now on the way back to your apartment, you find yourself unsure of what to say again, but this time Finn is also quiet for a few minutes before he reaches over and takes your hand, leaving one hand on the wheel. You find yourself blushing at his action yet again, even though you told yourself earlier that you needed to stop blushing and getting all flustered every time he so much as grabbed your hand. He sends you a quick glance to check your reaction before he looks back at the road and says, “Anna… I’ve had so much fun with you tonight. I really feel like we have something special and I really want to take you out on another date soon. What do you think?” You’re blushing furiously, but despite that, you’re so happy he asked you and you want him to know, so you nod quickly and say, “Y-Yes! I had a great time tonight, and would love to go out with you again…” Your voice gets quieter and trails off at the end as you lose your burst of courage and the shyness takes over at the realization of what you both just said. He squeezes your hand and sends you a quick, bright smile, which makes you smile shyly in return. You both discuss date ideas for the rest of the ride back to your apartment, and by the time you get there you’ve both decided on your next date.
He pulls up in front of your apartment and puts the car in park, but doesn’t let go of your hand right away. You look up at him and see him looking intently at you as he says, “Anna, I just want to thank you for choosing to go out with me again. I can’t help but feel so lucky that I happened to meet you…” He’s looking at you so intensely that you find yourself lost in his eyes for a moment. You quietly reply, “I feel lucky, too. Thank you for asking me out…” However, whatever else you were planning on saying dies in your throat as you suddenly notice the mood in the car, how much heavier the air feels, how close he is to you… You suddenly understand what’s happening and freak out to yourself, ‘Oh my gosh, is he about to kiss me? Am I ready for this? What do I do?’ Suddenly finding it impossible to keep looking at him, you quickly look down at your hand that is still entwined with his. He must have been able to read all the emotions that just passed over your face, because the mood in the car changes as he squeezes your hand one last time before he lets go and goes to open his door with the statement, “Well, let’s get you back up to your apartment, yeah?” You look back up at him quickly, stunned at the sudden shift in mood, but he is already leaving the car. ‘What did I just do?’ you think to yourself, ‘He was about to kiss me, but then I acted shy and unsure about myself as usual, and ruined it.’ He started walking around the car to your side, so you quickly scrambled out of the car, and then you both started walking quietly up to your apartment. Of course he would pick up on how you were feeling. He’s always, from the moment he met you, been so attuned to your mood and what you were thinking and feeling. This was something that you loved about him. But this time, when you acted unsure, he must have figured that you weren’t ready and backed off, respecting your space. Maybe you were scared and unsure at first, but the moment he left the car, and your heart clenched at seeing him turn away, you knew that you had made a mistake. You were ready. But now it was too late. The moment is gone. Now, you’ve ruined a good thing with your shyness, just like you were afraid you would do.
You make it back up to your apartment door while you’re lost in your spiraling thoughts, and that’s when you notice that not only did he not take your hand again on the way back up, he didn’t say anything either. Your heart clenches again as you think to yourself, ‘Did I ruin everything? What do I do? What if he thinks I don’t want to go on another date now? Or worse, what if he doesn’t want to anymore?’ Afraid of what he might say, you will yourself to quickly say something before he does, “U-Um… so… I-I’ll see you on our next date?” You can’t keep the tremor out of your voice. He notices. He sends you a smile that looks like he’s trying to reassure you, but it doesn’t quite reach his eyes, “Yep, sounds good.” His eyes look clouded by something, something that looks a little like sadness. You think to yourself again, ‘I made him sad, didn’t I? My shyness ruins everything. Why do I always do this?’ At your silence as your thoughts spiraled further downward, he simply says, “Well, good night Anna,” and turns to start walking away. This snaps you out of your downward spiral and makes you look up at him as he walks away. You quickly think to yourself, ‘I can’t let the date end like this. I can’t let him think I wasn’t happy. That I didn’t want…’ your thoughts freeze for a moment. That you didn’t want what? No, you know what. No matter how nervous and scared the thought of what you’re about to do makes you, you know what you have to do. You ruined it the first time, so now it was up to you to fix it, to make him understand. You immediately started running after him before he got too far away and called out to him, “Ah, Finn! Wait…!” He turns around, and looks surprised to see you running after him. It looks like he’s about to say something when you finally reach him. It was now or never… You reached up, grabbed his shirt, tugged him down to you, and kissed him before you could chicken out and change your mind.
Finn freezes for a moment, thoroughly caught by surprise, before he quickly comes to his senses and kisses you back, wrapping both hands around your waist and pulling you closer. You pull apart after a few moments, faces still only a few inches apart, and he looks at you and quietly says, still stunned, “Anna…” Your nerves and adrenaline are through the roof, but you need him to know, so the words quickly tumble out of you in a panicked rush, “I’m sorry! I couldn’t let it end like that! I couldn’t let you think that I didn’t like you, or that I didn’t want to! I was just really shy and unsure for a moment, but then the moment you left the car, my heart hurt and I knew that I made a mistake. But I didn’t know what to say to fix it! And then I just made you more sad, and I couldn’t stand it and I knew I had to do something before you walked away, so I—”
“Anna.” Finn interrupts you, and puts one of his hands on your cheek to gently make you look up at him. He has a happy smile on his face, one that fully reaches his eyes. He leans down and, this time, he kisses you. In this kiss, he seems to be trying to convey to you that he understands, that your feelings reached him and he feels the same. Your panicked heart calms down and you lean into him, relieved. He holds you a little tighter, and pulls away from the kiss. He gives you a relieved smile before he says, “Thank you. I’m so glad… I was surprised when you apologized… I thought that it was all my fault. I was afraid that I moved too fast, and ruined everything. I kept thinking that I knew how shy you were, but I went too far anyway and scared you. What if I scared you off for good?” His arms around you tightened, what seems to be unconsciously, at his last question. You smiled a little sadly at him, and said, “No, I’m sorry. All this drama is my fault because I let my shyness get in the way and ruin everything again.” He shakes his head and says, “Hey, no, no. It’s not your fault either. Don’t be so hard on yourself. It was just a misunderstanding, and I can tell that you’re always trying hard to push past your shyness to make sure I know how you feel. And you just did that again. In quite a bold way, too.” He smirks at you at this, which makes you blush furiously as what you just did and what just happened and the fact that you’re still in his arms hits you all at once. You weakly try to pull away in your embarrassment, but when he doesn’t let you go, you just bury your face in his chest instead, too embarrassed to keep looking into his eyes. You feel him chuckle as he rubs small circles on your back to try to comfort you. He then says, “I’m glad everything seems to be back to normal now.” Still blushing, you look back up at him to see his cheeky grin and, realizing what he means, reply with a slight pout, “Oh yeah, you making me blush like crazy and then giving me that self-satisfied grin when I do.” He laughs outright at that.
You pull away, and this time he lets you. He takes your hand and walks you back down the hall to your apartment door. He says, “Okay, well I think that’s quite enough excitement for one day, don’t you?” You giggle softly and say, “Yeah, I’m kind of exhausted now.” You look up at him with a smile, and he smiles back and says, “Seriously, I’m glad we got that cleared up. I really like you, and I’m really looking forward to our next date.” You smile back and reply, “Me too. Thank you for asking me out again, despite my shyness almost ruining everything. I-I really like you, too.” He shakes his head and says, “Hey hey, none of that. I already told you it wasn’t your fault and that it was just a misunderstanding. And besides, I told you once before that I find your shyness cute, didn’t I?” He winks at you at that last statement, causing you to blush once again, which makes him chuckle when he sees it. He gives your hand one last squeeze before he lets you go. Then, you two exchange one last reluctant goodbye before he leaves and you finally enter your apartment. Now that you’ve come down from that adrenaline high caused by that misunderstanding with Finn, you find yourself mindlessly puttering around your apartment for the rest of the night as you think about your night with Finn and how glad you are that you got everything cleared up. You go to bed that night mentally exhausted, but happy.