Sunday, February 14, 2010

Our Story - Part V

In October the two sisters planned a trip down to Tampa to visit Angela’s boyfriend. Daniel “happened” to be on fall break that week, and their second encounter face-to-face was much anticipated. Daniel, especially, was looking forward to this meeting. If the chemistry between them went well, if she seemed comfortable and happy around him, he planned on approaching her father about beginning a courtship.

October 17th, Daniel stood in the Tampa airport with excitement rising. Their plane had already landed—where in the world were they? (freshening make-up, fixing hair, reapplying lip gloss, of course—2 hours is a long time on a plane!) He waited as each group of people exited the tram, each time his hopes of seeing her growing greater.  Time stood still for a moment as his eyes fell on her; it was completely surreal The smile that spread across his face made evident his emotions to all rational onlookers.

“Where is he?” one sister asked the other, unaware they were already being watched. Ashlee saw him waiting there first. A sweet, friendly hug followed, and Angela, watching from behind smiled at the adoring face Daniel made when he hugged her older sister.
To her it was more than obvious that he was keenly interested.

The morning in Tampa was enjoyable. They had lunch at Macaroni Grill where the white paper table cloth turned into a game of messages. Trying to gain more hand, no doubt, Daniel wrote, “I missed you.”
Ashlee grinned, and wrote, “I miss your beard.” (They had had a discussion about facial hair, during which, Ashlee had made it very obvious she preferred facial hair. Despite such obvious prompting he shaved two days before her arrival.)

Friday afternoon they coupled up again, but Ashlee was comfortable enough around him now not to feel the anxiety their “non-date” had produced. They visited the aquarium in Tampa, and laughed and took pictures, then went to a coffee shop, where Angela and Peter enjoyed torturing Daniel with jokes about how much he liked Ashlee—jokes which went right over her head.

At the aquarium, Friday, October 17th - blissful oblivion on the right, anxious anticipation on the left.

The beach was the one place she wanted to go during that trip, so he perfectly planned it that they would arrive just before sunset…

Unfortunately, his plans were foiled by the happy couple, who was more interested in eating, than watching a romantic sunset. They missed the sunset, but made it to the beach shortly after. As Ashlee and Peter raced to the on coming waves, Daniel walked slowly forward, filled with mild anticipation and excitement. He was too nervous to let it all be expressed, but everything seemed to be proceeding well.

The “couples” eventually split up, and Angela and Peter found a dry spot in the sand to lay and watch the stars—or what little of them could be seen through the haze of the city lights. Ashlee and Daniel waded back and forth in ankle-deep water, Ashlee nearly perfectly happy—jeans rolled up, fresh ocean air to breath in deeply, wind through her hair and on her shoulders, a dark sky of stars above her, with waves lapping at her toes—it was close to bliss. Her contentment was interrupted with his voice, and words about how glad he was that she had come to visit, and how glad he was to have her as a friend, and all she could think was, “Please don’t hug me. Please don’t hug me.” And ways to politely avoid what she now knew was inevitable. Then he hugged her, and she liked him too much as a friend to reject it. 

Their first moment of awkwardness followed, before she shuffled her feet in the water, and asked if they could lay down in the sand.

Laugh hard, Reader, it was as ridiculous as it sounded.

She was sure to leave enough space between them to keep things safe, but as their heads went back on the sand and they looked up at the sky, all he could think of, with something bordering childish excitement, was “We’re laying in the sand—next step—in love!” He looked over, now the one perfectly content, and couldn’t help but remark to her how beautiful she looked with the moon reflecting off her features, and the darkness giving a mysterious aura to her expression. She laughed, and tried not too think on it too much.

But, they have agreed to tell their daughters to avoid lying down in the sand with young men: They are certain to fall in love. : )

... to be continued...

1 comment:

  1. :D I forgot that you wrote that on the tablecloth!!! Ah, that was such a fun trip!! <3 <3