Friday, June 24, 2011


     I sipped at my lemonade because I didn’t want to start eating before he got back. I looked around at all the happy couples in the food court. I was glad to be one among them tonight. For a first date, I couldn’t have hoped for better. After I was sure he was out of sight, I took out my pocket mirror to make sure my make-up and hair still looked good. I adjusted a few strands of hair that were out of place. I never thought I would ever behave like such a girlie-girl.
    I was putting my mirror away when Derek walked up. “At the movies with Cyndi again?” He smiled as he straddled the chair backwards to sit down.
     “No. Actually I’m here with Travis.”
     The smile on Derek’s face dissipated. “Travis? That guy you introduced me to the other day?” I nodded in confirmation. “I didn’t know you two were together.”
    “We’re not together together yet. We’re on a date. We came to the movies and to have dinner.”
     “I see,” he said sarcastically and pointed to the corn dogs.
     “Whatever. He wanted to go to some fancy restaurant and I asked him if we could eat here. What do you have against him anyway?”
     “I don’t have anything against the guy. Just making conversation,” he replied.
     “Hey. Derek, right?” asked Travis as he pulled up a chair next to me.
     “Yeah.” Derek got up to leave and looked at me wistfully, “Hey, I’ll let you guys get back to your date.”
     “You want something to eat man?” Travis asked.
     “No, that’s cool. I have to head out already. Late’.”
     Derek’s attitude disconcerted me, but Travis remedied that quick.
     “So did you enjoy the movie?”
     “I thought you would have figured that out since I was laughing hysterically.”
     “I did. I just wanted to hear it. You know, you have a beautiful laugh.”
     “You’re making me blush.”  
     “Well it’s true,” his smile melted me like butter. “I really wish you would have let me take you to the restaurant.”
     “Maybe another time.”
     “So are you saying that you’ll go out with me again?”
     I smiled and whispered, “Yes, I think so.”
     His laughter echoed in the food court.
     “What’s so funny?”
     “It’s just that I don’t think you’ve ever given me a yes without a maybe attached to it. You’re not very sure of yourself are you?”
     I answered in a cool tone, “Sure of myself, yes. Sure of you, no.” I recalled my recent discoveries and the betrayals that had changed my life.
     “I’m sorry. I wasn’t trying to offend you. I just think it’s kind of cute.”
     I couldn’t resist the way he looked at me. His eyes were full of worry. His smile pleaded forgiveness. Then he touched my hand and that set me on fire inside. My entire body felt like it had turned into lava and I would just flow onto the floor. My response was stuck in my throat. I couldn’t speak.
     “Don’t be mad at me,” he whispered.
     “I’m not mad at you,” I was able to say. After all, it wasn’t his fault that I was afraid to trust. I wanted to trust him badly. For some reason, I needed to. I had never experienced any of the emotions I was feeling right now. It was scarier than […]* I didn’t know if there was a way back from these feelings.
     “Good, I don’t want you to ever be mad at me.”
     “Is that possible?”
     “In life, anything is possible,” he said in a more serious tone and then he averted his eyes.
     “Yeah, tell me about it,” I replied thinking about my other life.
     There was an awkward silence, so I looked away. I was worried that I would transmit my thoughts somehow through a fluke of nature and reveal my secret.

*This part was intentionally removed so as not to give away too much.

**The events depicted in this story are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or deceased is merely coincidental.

Copyright ©2011 by J.M. Zuniga

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