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How do you trust your love to a guy, when you don’t trust men at all?
I’m supposed to meet Michael at six. This is the third date we’ve been on together. Technically it would be the first; we’ve only been on a couple awkward double dates with some friends. Oh, I’m so nervous. He wouldn’t tell me where we were going to meet so Alana is here to help me choose what to wear. I could have done this on my own, but she insisted that I would just make my new parents mad with a mess. Alana’s probably worried I’ll be sent to another new family, she does that a lot, worrying. She also wants to drive me to Angel Square, even though I could have walked, but she probably wants to show off her new license. Sixteen year olds.
On our way there, we discuss everything; which is good, because I’m too nervous to just wait around. Three minutes left. Oh boy. As we pull up, next to the curb with the new spring-fresh blooming. The weather is changing and I don’t know how to stop it.
As I walk towards Michael, it skitters across the sidewalk. As the dark, hairy creepy crawly stampedes toward me, I start screaming, “SPIDER!! SPIDER!! AAAAHHHHH!!!”
To which I receive looks from surrounding people, wondering if I’m crazy. But I’m not, I was just scared.
Then I see Michael and he noticeably brightens as I walk up to him. Does he brighten up this much when he sees anyone else? I wonder.
So we head off, the warm sun heating up my dark hair; and then, he brings me to the shop. No, not this shop, not this place, anywhere but here!! My mind screams.
“Are you sure we should go here?” I ask him.
To which he replies, “Of course. They make the best bread here. Is there something wrong, Susannah?”
“No, no. That’s fine, that’s fine. I was just wondering.” I say this as my mind starts shouting cruel profanities to me since I should have asked him to go somewhere else.
Then Michael, ever the gentleman, opens the door and pulls out a chair, in which I plop in like a zombie, cruel memories of half-empty whiskey bottles, strong hands punching and swinging, and of steel toed boots coming at a scrawny ten-year-old again and again, as she cries.
Then the waiter comes up to take our order, Michael getting a baguette, me squeaking out, “Just a few chocolate chip cookies” as I take in the sight of the familiar wavy hair, those dull green eyes, but the face is wrongly shaped. It’s not him. It’s not my father.
I snap out of my horrible reverie by Michael saying, “So, um, would you like to go to the movies with me?”
“What?” I ask dumbly.
He repeats, “I said, would you like to go to the movies with me tonight?”
So, smart as ever, I simply go, “Oh, um…”
Well, can you blame me? I’d never really dated a guy in my life. Sure I’d been on a few double dates here and there with people. I have guys as friends, but I'd never had a real boyfriend! Yes, I liked this guy. I've liked many guys. But Michael is special. He had that quality that you never find in guys now in the twenty-first century. He’s sweet, he cares, and I’m pretty sure it’s safe to say he likes me too, since he asked me out. But I don’t really know Michael very well. I haven’t met his parents. I don’t even know if he has any brothers or sisters.
I guess it’s time for me to grow up. It’s time to realize that not every guy will be like my dad. I need to be like those spring flowers and bloom. If Michael tells me he loves me, I hope he stays true to his word. With that in mind, I make my decision.
“Yeah, sure. But first, I want to get to know you, okay? So can we just hang out and learn more about each other before we go? Because, honestly, I barely know you,” I say.
He quickly agrees and we talk and talk. Before we leave for the movie, I know that this seventeen-year-old guy lives about half a mile away from me, has two younger brothers and a younger sister, loves the same snack as I do (Cheese-Its and Reese’s), and we have so many other things in common. He doesn't tell me a lot about his mother, who apparently died five years ago, shortly after his younger sister was born. I understood his grief, and then suggested that we go to the movies.
We both agreed on the same one.