The Most Awkward Date Ever, Part 2

                This is so stupid.

 

                Not a common thought for a first date with someone you really like, I suppose. As I sat across from Micah at the little diner I’d chosen for lunch, that was the loudest thought in my head. My cheeks were hot. I could not maintain eye contact to save my life. Micah watched me, an easygoing smile on his face. My stomach flipped and churned, and I could barely eat a thing. I hated people watching me while I ate, especially good looking men who can’t seem to stop staring.

                I made a face, which elicited a burst of laughter from my date. “Not what I was expecting you to do!” He flashed his dimples, shaking his head in amusement.

                I wanted to bash my head into the table. Was I always this awkward? No! Never! (Don’t ask my siblings to confirm that.) Maybe I should explain my brief dating history, so you can understand just how demented this was for me.

                It was brief. I didn’t date a lot. I’d had one “serious” boyfriend, and only one other that I would consider admitting we’d been in a “relationship”. Both had pursued me. I’d had a few people that I’d gone out with a few times, but we didn’t really have enough in common, and they all fizzled out. I had been the one to initiate a conversation with Micah. This was very odd for my shy, introverted self, and now that I had him, I didn’t know what to do with him! Not to mention, my usual icy mask that I kept in place with people I didn’t know very well had melted off the first moment he smiled at me. I felt exposed and vulnerable, and like the ridiculous amount of attraction I felt toward him was written across my forehead. Maybe that’s why he was staring at me.

                “You can’t stare at me while I’m eating,” I blurted.

                Micah raised his eyebrows. “I’m sorry, does it make you uncomfortable?”

                Great, now I’m scaring him off. I nodded, feeling my cheeks burn again.

                Micah just grinned at me. “I’ll file that one away for later.”

***

                To this day, hearing music from Fiddler on the Roof makes me feel nostalgic at first, then wildly uncomfortable, and finally I start blushing and fidgeting. It was probably the best idea for this particular first date. It gave me a chance to sort my thoughts and get more comfortable being near Micah. I still don’t know what it was about him. Maybe his vast height, or maybe his intense gaze. Whatever “it” was, being close to him made me feel positively electric. I didn’t know whether to run away screaming or throw myself at him.

                Throughout the show, he would lean over to ask me a question or comment on the production, and over the course of three hours, my pulse settled down to a more manageable rate. By the time we left the theatre, we were laughing and talking easily. We still had a little time before dinner, so I led Micah on a brief tour of my little town. He told me about bird hunting with his dad nearby, and how he’d often thought of relocating to the area. Being from the rainy side of the state, the idea of much less rain was appealing to him.

                While everything seemed to be going wonderfully, I couldn’t help feeling a bit discouraged. We had exchanged emails, chats, and phone calls almost daily for two months. We had talked constantly about things that mattered to us, asked questions, even talked about the future. Neither one of us was looking at this meeting as a possible new acquaintance. We had shared very personal information, and most recently, there had been quite a bit of flirting going on. Today, though he was the absolute definition of kindness, Micah was being positively platonic.

                That’s it, I thought. He thinks I’m insane. He’s probably going to leave in the middle of the night and change his phone number.

                The thought made me really sad, because I REALLY liked him. Not only was he fun to be around, kind, and ridiculously handsome, but I also knew that his values lined up with mine completely, and that was a very rare find. This could be a match made in heaven…if only he felt the same way.

                ***

                I took him to meet my parents on the very first date. Oh yes I did. If you think about it, with all the communication we’d had, it was not REALLY a first date, and we didn’t know when the second date would be, but it was still a little nutso. It was very important to me, however, that I keep my family in the loop. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just running away with my feelings. We had dinner with my parents and my baby sisters, and everything was great. The only problem was the food, as always. My dad had prepared a delicious steak dinner. For some reason, I’d always had trouble with steak knives. I had never really figured out the mechanics of cutting meat. At home with my family, I didn’t think twice about stabbing it with a fork and just eating it however. But what was I supposed to do now? The last time I’d tried to cut it, I’d ended up flinging a large hunk of meat across the table. Thankfully, my dad got the message when I shot him an anxious look across the table. He grinned, taking my plate from me, and cut up my steak into bite-sized pieces.  Because I’m in kindergarten.

                Micah got a chuckle out of the explanation, but at least no one was injured during dinner, and I got to enjoy the yummy steak!

                After dinner, we decided to watch a movie. “You and Micah can have the loveseat,” Mama said, grinning wickedly. Ha. Ha. Ha.

                It would have been fine if it were not for the fact that Micah was about twice my size, and there was no graceful way to keep gravity from making us snuggle. I kept slipping closer and closer to him. I was NOT going to snuggle with him for the first time in front of my giggling sisters, especially with the whole ‘We’re just friends’ thing he had going on. I spent most of the movie clinging to the arm of the loveseat to keep from rolling into him.

                After the movie, Micah got ready to head for the hills his hotel. I walked him to the door and used the awful cliché of “I had a great time”, wishing that just for a moment, I could act like a normal human being. He responded by pulling me into his arms for a hug. It was decidedly not a platonic hug. He stroked his hand through my hair and rested his cheek against mine. “Me too,” he whispered. Then he turned and left me standing there, feeling like I’d just been given the most passionate kiss of my life. Maybe he’d still be there tomorrow after all.

***

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