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Her name was Jezebel. I always loved her name, the way it rolled around my tounge whenever I said it. Then again I loved alot of things about her, the way she would give me a goofy grin whenever I was having a bad day, even if she didn’t know it at the time, would just melt my heart, and then when she really smiled, a quirky shy smile, she would cover her face sort of like she was embarresed, and her eyes were so soft, if I thought my heart had melted before, now it was a puddle of goo sitting at the bottom of my chest.
She was the first girl I ever really liked, no scratch that, she was my first love. I knew her for three years before I actually built up the couarge to ask her out, I was so new to this. It was a rushed choice now that I look back.
Me and my buddy Greg were sitting in the locker room after P.E. talking about who we were going to take to homecoming, which is kinda weird since it was a month away. He was taking Ming, an asian girl in our class. I joked with him, there was no way he would be taking a date and I wasn’t. Truth was I knew that I wouldn’t be getting a date in a million years.
“What about Jezebel?” he asked, “you’ve had a crush on her since seventh grade, you should ask her.”
I sat there a minute, it would take some work, Jez and I were friends, and I wanted to be her boyfriend, but did she feel that way?
“Tell you what” I told him, “I’ll ask her out for a coffee and if she says yes then I’ll work from there, if not” I shook my head, “well I’ll just pretend this never happened.”
“You don’t have to ask her you know,” he said.
“I know, I want to.”
I was shaking with nerves the entire bus ride, she was sitting in the seat ahead of me and I couldn’t think of what to say, “Hey Jez, I know we’re friends and all, but would you like to be my date to homecoming?” No, that wasn’t going to work. “Jezebel, want to grab a cup of coffee?” No, to informal. “Hey Jez, can I talk with you over a cup of coffee?” maybe, well only one way to find out.
There were still five minutes before we got off. I was running scenarios through my head. Rejection, acception, starry-eyed giddyness, embarrased denial, what would she do?
The bus lurched to a stop, and my stomach lurched with it. Here goes everything. A few people filed off the bus. Jez and I always took a shortcut through the park to get home, well she was going home, I had work at the little market. She was walking three feet ahead of me. Her golden hair flipped from side to side as she walked, “Dang” I thought to myself, “Why would she ever say yes?” I almost slapped myself on the face to build up my nerves.
I lengthened my stride to catch up with her. Every step like a hammer falling, heavy with apprehension. I licked my dry twitching lips. “Hey Jez,” I managed to say.
“Hey.” she replied calmly.
I couldn’t bring myself to say the last words and slipped something else in, “Did you see that new movie?”
I quickly tried to think of recent movies in theaters, “Colony” I replied, it was the only one I could think of.
“Nah, I’m not really into science fiction.”
“Oh me neither, but I hear the story’s pretty good, it’s in real 3d too.”
She nodded a little, “We should go see it.”
I couldn’t beleive my luck. “Together you mean?”
“Sure, It’ll be fun.”
“So,” I asked, “What time should I pick you up?”
“We can hit the seven o’clock showing on Saturday, meet me at 5:45?”
“It’s a date!” I let the last word slip, I meant to say plan, I honestly did.
She giggled a little, that shy embarrasing laugh that never failed to melt my heart. “A date.” The way she said it made it sound like a five star restaurant and a long walk on a beach. I loved the way she said that.
It was 5:45 Saturday afternoon, I pulled my compact, a sorry excuse for a car, into her driveway and popped a breath mint, hey, you never know.
Every step up her front porch was like pulling teeth, and yet strangely thrilling. Each knock on her door was like a gavel banging, sentencing me to whatever fate was in store, and yet, I couldn’t wait.
I heard someone walk up to the door. I put on my best cool look. I could feel my cheek twitching in anticipation. The door opened wide, and I nearly choked on my breath mint.
There she was. Her hair was hanging loose, like a golden waterfall, and her bangs tapered down the sides of her face.
I realized I was staring, but I couldn’t help it, I wish I could have stared at her longer, with her gentle, soft brown eyes and rose red lips, Mona Lisa had nothing on that smile.
Wishing I didn’t have to, I stopped staring. “Ready to go?”I asked.
She laughed, dang, I needed to record that and put it on my iPod. “As soon as you’re done looking at me Chris.”
“Sorry, couldn’t help it, you look great.”
“Thanks, well we better get going.”
It was a long drive to the cinema, the nearest one playing colony was almost an hour away. Driving Jezebel around should have been illegal, I was more distracted then if I had been reading a novel and talking on a cell at the same time. I stole a careful glance at her during one of the long stretches.
“So,” I started, “are we grabing something to eat before or after the movie?” I just wanted to hear her voice again.
“Let’s swing by Jerry’s after, I haven’t tasted their apple pie in a long time.”
“Sounds good to me. When do you have to be back?”
“My mom worked it out, the movie’s about three hours long, plus a two hour drive there and back, about half an hour to eat and twenty minutes of wiggle room, so we should be back around midnightish.”
I checked my watch, I had another six hours with this beautiful girl.
“I can do that.”
We arrived at the movie theater with fifteen minutes to spare. There wasn’t a big crowd so we stood outside and looked at the movie posters. There was the one for Colony, a large blue alien stared down at me with an odd look. It was going to be a long three hours.
The movie opened with some cool 3d effects, spaceships swooshing around, zooming into the planet, a lush jungle world with a small glass dome on it, the Colony.
It was a good movie, with undertones of romance, but mostly action, there were a few scary suspense parts where Jez jumped. After a the third one of those I put my arm around her and whispered, “It’s ok, I’m here.” I knew it was stupid the second I said it. The response I got from it though, was way better then any of the smart, cool things I could have done on purpose. She chuckled quietly, and snuggled up closer to me. I wished that movie was twenty four hours long right then.
Unforunately all good movies come to an end. We stood up and stretched out stiff muscles, my arm hurt from being held around her so long, but it was a good hurt.
We didn’t say anything untill we got to Jerry’s. I held the door for her and she gave me a little smile. We took a small booth near the back wall, “This looks too romantic,” I thought to myself. The waitress strolled over to us and took our order. When we were done ordering she gave me a little wink and smiled.
Jez looked up at me. “Thanks for taking me out.” she said.
We really didn’t say much after that. It was quiet, and an air of embarresment hung over us.
Finally the waitress returned with our food, and something else. She took a long candle from her pocket and put it on a stand in the table. She lit the flame and smiled at us, “Bon appetit!” she said.
It was terrifying at first, but when Jezebel saw my nervous look she laughed again. If it would make her laugh like that I would have done anything.
“Why the nerves?” She asked after we finished our meal.
“Don’t give me that.” She retorted, “I’m nervous too.”
I was shocked. Why on earth would she be nervous?
“So why are you nervous.”
Now it was my turn to laugh, and when I laughed she laughed.
“Tell you what,” I said getting a little serious, “How about we write down whats making us nervous, and give eachother the notes?”
It took her a second to think. “Sure.” was her short reply.
I scrabbled down my thoughts. “I’ve been trying to ask you out on a date for the last three years, but I’m worried you just think it’s a night out with a friend, I don’t want to be just friends, I want to be your boyfriend.” I wrote that on my napkin, but it must have taken me five minutes just to write those last five words.
She had finished writing hers and smiled nervously at me, apprehensively I exchanged notes with her.
It took a little bit of nerve to read the note. “I’m nervous you don’t think of me as anything more then a friend.”
I was overcome with joy. A stunned smile crossed my face, I read it again and again. Nope my eyes hadn’t deceived me.
I looked across the table at Jez, she was laughing quietly with happyness, a single tear of joy ran down her cheek, and then she laughed, that shy embarresed laugh that never failed to melt my heart.