This is Chapter 2 of the book I may never write. Don't start here. If you haven't read the first chapter, go HERE and then HERE. Otherwise, you'll be lost. (Not really. My life isn't that complicated, but still, read the first part.)
Our first date was to a steakhouse in town. Mr. E picked me up in his red Firebird. I was breathless as I saw him approaching my front door. He came in and met my parents. My mother insisted on taking our picture. This was my very first date with a boy, and she wanted photographic proof. I was horrified that she wanted a picture, but now I’m really glad I have it. We were so sweet and innocent, and I was so skinny. It was a good time in life.
At that time, I was not a big steak eater, and I had no idea what to order in a steakhouse. It wasn’t a fancy steakhouse, mind you. It was more of a roadhouse type of place. I ordered pasta. I couldn’t really eat anyway because I was so nervous. Mr. Everything ordered the biggest steak I have ever seen anyone eat. I was astounded as he ate the whole thing and part of my pasta. This was my first exposure to how much a teenage boy could eat, and I was amazed. It was amazing how easy the conversation was. We were both nervous, but we always had lots to say. I don’t even remember what we talked about. I just knew that I could talk to him forever.
Our next several dates were nothing astounding. We went out to dinner several times. Then, we went to see a movie. It was “Cocktail” with Tom Cruise. At the ticket theater, I got asked for an ID, probably because I looked like I was 12 years old. I could not produce a valid ID, so Mr. Everything had to buy my ticket for me. Talk about embarrassing. Since I couldn’t help my age, I decided not to worry about it but to enjoy the evening. Every time we held hands, I blushed and felt like my heart would jump out of my chest.
Finally, after about four dates, I decided it was time for our first kiss. (Notice how I said "I decided." I was kind of controlling back then. What's that you say? Some things never change? That's not nice.) This was a big deal for me, because I had been “saving" myself. Another boy had tried to kiss me once, and I turned my head right at the last second. He ended up kissing my ear. He was kind of creepy, and I did not want his lips to be involved in my first kiss. We didn’t call ourselves boyfriend and girlfriend for very long after that.
When I decided to honor Mr. Everything by letting him be my first kiss, I told him that I wanted to kiss him. That’s how lame I really was. He had driven me home and was turning into my driveway when I said, “I want you to kiss me.” He said okay and tried to lean over. I said, “NOT HERE! My parents might see!” He backed out of the driveway and drove to the end of the street and around the corner. There, he stopped the car and said, “Is this okay?” I decided it was a good place for a kiss. He was a patient man. Mr. Everything leaned over and kissed me. I can’t say it was a good kiss. I can’t even say I saw fireworks or stars. It was just a peck, but it was my first kiss, and I had shared it with him. I turned about 12 shades of red, and he took me home.
A few weeks later, I decided that I loved this boy. Somewhere along the way, an English teacher had lied to me and told me I could write poetry. I decided to write a poem to the Mr. to tell him that I loved him.
I can’t remember the whole masterpiece, but I know it started with, “How do you say you love someone when you don’t know if he cares? You want to tell him how you feel but you don’t know if he’s there.” Beautiful, isn’t it? What was I thinking?
We had been on a date. I don’t remember where we had gone, but he drove me home. It was late enough that he didn’t come in with me. I’m pretty sure I was pushing my 10:00 curfew to the brink of disaster. I had folded the poem in the fancy fold that girls do when passing notes in school. This was a mature moment in my history.
I gave him the note, and he started to open it. I said, “No! Don’t open it!” He asked the logical question, “Then, how am I supposed to read it?” I blushed and said I didn’t want him to read it until he got him. Mr. Everything was very patient. He took orders like this from me all the time and never questioned my sanity (Or, at least, he didn’t question it aloud.). I instructed him to go home, read the note and then call me.
You see, I had this all worked out in my head. He was going to go home, read the note and call me to pledge his undying love. It was going to be beautiful. I knew my plan would come together nicely. (This was when I was still new to this relationship. Over time, I would learn that, with Mr. E, my plan rarely came together nicely.)
I waited by the phone. I had it calculated. It took him 16 minutes to get home. He would have to speak to his parents for, let’s say, ten minutes. Then, he would go upstairs and read the poem. That would take about two minutes, but I would give him ten since he would want to re-read my beautiful verse a few times. By 10:36 PM, he should be calling me.
So, I waited. It was 10:36, 10:40, 10:45, 11:00. At first, I was devastated. I had apparently scared this perfect boy away by pledging my undying love for him. By 11:30, I was just mad. How dare he not call me? Even if it was just to tell me he didn’t feel the same way, who did this boy think he was??? I could do better anyway, so I went to bed. I told him off several times in my dreams.
The next day was Saturday. We had planned to go to the mall around 11:00. At 10:00, he called to make sure we were still on. The conversation went something like this:
E: Hi! How are you today?
E: Okay. How did you sleep?
E: Um, okay? Are we still on for the mall today?
E: Um, okay? Did I do something?
Me: Oh, no. You didn’t do ANYTHING. I guess it would have killed you to call me after you read my note.
E: What note?
And, with that, I should have known how the rest of my life would go. Bless his heart, I love that man, but memory is not one of his strengths.
I can’t type what came next in the conversation, because I think it was a lot of random words and phrases. I remember wanting to jump through the phone and choke him. After a minute or two of ranting, I asked him if he really didn’t read the note or if he was just toying with my emotions. He realized I was serious about the note and went to search his pockets from the night before. “Oh, here it is,” he said, “Hold on. I’ll read it.” I quickly said not to read it with me on the phone, and I got off the phone. I really was the epitome of mature.
Luckily, this time, Mr. E remembered to call me back. My heart was pounding out of my chest when I answered. I said, “Hello?” He said, “I love you, too.” And, just like that, we started a lifetime together.
That's the end of this chapter. Eventually, someday, I'll share the whole book with you. I can't keep giving it away though, or you'll know what happens in the end. Oh, that's right, you sort-of already do. What you don't know is all the stuff that came between then and now. It's a lot of stuff. It will probably take me decades to write it. (That's my excuse, and I'm sticking to it.)
I hope you enjoyed the beginning of The Beginning! -Al