After saving Tracy from a group of thugs, Mark gets to take her out on a date. Will it go well, or will he screw up?
Mark stared at himself in the mirror as he got ready for his date with Tracy. He decided to wear black slacks with a blue dress shirt and black shoes. He even left the top button unbuttoned, exposing his white undershirt. To him, this was going to be an interesting Sunday night. Seeing it was his first date, he made sure his hair was groomed and even put on Mr. Rivers’ cologne. The plan was simple: take her dancing, get some food, and then do some star gazing. What could go wrong? The very thought made Mark nervous. He looked at his watch and realized he needed to leave. He made a dash for his car and headed straight for Tracy’s house.
After a few wrong turns, Mark made it to her house. Living a few miles away from school, Tracy’s house was fairly large. Mark guessed the house to be three beds and two baths with an average basement. He walked up to the gray colored door and rang the doorbell. Instantly, someone answered the door. It was Tracy’s mother, Mrs. Hamilton.
Tracy and her mother looked alike. You would almost believe they were sisters. The only difference between them was their hair length. Mrs. Hamilton kept her hair long, while Tracy’s was short.
“You must be Mark,” she said with a smile. “Please, come in.”
Mark entered the house. He got that homey feel, but knew that they were artsy people. Paintings and sculptures filled the house, along with flowery walls and
tiled floors. Mark sat down on a very comfy sofa in the living room. He almost felt like sleeping in it.
“Tracy told me about you,” Mrs. Hamilton said. “Thank you for saving her. I don’t know what I’d do if she were gone.”
Mark stood up. “Don’t worry, I’ll protect her.”
She smiled. “I’m glad you’re different from her previous boyfriends.”
Mark was stunned. All that ran through his mind was the word boyfriends. Suddenly, he heard footsteps. He looked at the stairs and saw a shadowy figure slowly coming down. His eyes widened as he watched Tracy elegantly walk down the stairs.
“Is this too much, mom?” Tracy asked.
Tracy wore a short red halter dress with a small v-neck. The dress itself covered her butt, but exposed a little too much cleavage. Mark blushed as he averted eyes elsewhere.
“It’s fine, dear,” Mrs. Hamilton answered. “It’s not every day you get to wear that dress with a cute boy.”
“Mom, don’t embarrass me.”
“I’m not. Besides, your last boyfriend didn’t appreciate the dress. At least Mark has a reaction towards it.”
“Mom!” exclaimed Tracy, blushing. “Let’s go, Mark.”
Mark nodded nervously and quickly left the house with her. Mrs. Hamilton waved goodbye as they got in the car and drove off.
Inside the car, Mark kept quiet. Tracy looked at him with a sad look and then stared at the car floor.
“Sorry about my mom. She has a tendency to blab things to people that she likes.”
“So…you’ve had boyfriends?” Mark asked nervously.
“Yeah…” she answered. “That was during my Freshman and Sophomore year. I was naïve and thought they really liked me. Turns out, I was nothing more than eye
candy to them. My first boyfriend cheated on me and my last boyfriend…well…he seemed to keep his distance.”
Mark looked puzzled. “Keep his distance? I don’t follow.”
“It was his anti-social behavior that drove us apart. We barely went out and trying to get him to notice me was a lot of work. I just couldn’t take it anymore.”
“How long were you guys together?”
“We dated around the middle of my Freshman year and broke up around the end of my Sophomore year. I guess that would be almost a year.”
“Why are you apologizing?”
“Cause…no woman should be treated like that. It pisses me off when guys with really cute girls treat them like playthings.”
Tracy placed her hand on top of his and smiled. “You’re sweet, Mark. That’s why I like you.”
Fire & Ice was packed. Mark’s heart sank as his plan started to crumble. They got back into the car and headed toward the Italian restaurant, Gardenia. Luckily, the place wasn’t packed. They sat down near a large family and a young couple. After looking at their menus, they were ready to order.
“I’ll have chicken alfredo,” Tracy said, closing her menu.
“And I’ll have chicken scampi,” replied Mark, closing his menu.
The waiter nodded as he wrote down their orders. He took their menus and left. Tracy looked around the restaurant with a smile. Then, she fixed her eyes upon Mark, who was sipping his soda. He looked up and blushed.
“Can’t I look at you?”
“Yeah…” replied Mark as he averted his eyes.
“Am I embarrassing you?” Tracy asked.
“No. It’s just…”
“It’s just what?”
“I’ve…never had a beautiful girl give me the time of day. It’s all new to me.”
Tracy was stunned. For the first time, in a long time, she truly felt beautiful. Although they met through a bad situation, she truly was glad for their meeting. The longer she stared at him, the more her heart yearned for him.
“You really are sweet…” she muttered, blushing.
Suddenly, the waiter appeared with their meals. He set their food down and left. They both stared at their food, letting the smell entice them. Tracy grabbed Mark’s hand and began to say a small prayer. Mark quickly shut his eyes and bowed his head. Afterwards, they picked up their utensils and dug in. Mark smiled happily with every bite. As they ate, they talked about various topics. They even sampled
each other’s food. The night was going well. That is, until the bill came. Mark’s heart sank further as he quickly realized he couldn’t afford the bill. Tracy looked at bill and quickly opened her purse.
“You don’t ha-” Mark began, but was quickly silenced by Tracy.
“Just handle the tip, okay?”
The waiter came by and took Tracy’s card, along with the bill. Minutes later, the waiter came back with her card and two slips of paper. She signed the merchant copy and handed to him. The waiter smiled and glanced at the tip underneath the napkin. He left.
“So, where to next?” asked Tracy with a smile.
Mark drove to a spot near a construction site. The site was where the new Zeals would be built. They both got out of the car and stared at the site. Although it was dark, they could make out the different construction vehicles, as well as the framework.
“Mark, why are we here?” asked Tracy, a bit confused.
Mark smiled. “Just look up.”
Tracy looked up and her eyes widened. The night sky was lit up with countless stars. Even the crescent moon shined brightly tonight. Mark stood next to her, staring at the stars.
“Sorry about tonight,” he said. “It seems I can’t plan a date right.”
“You really need to stop apologizing,” Tracy replied angrily, looking at him.
He looked at her. “But…”
“Did I ever complain about our date? Have I once given you a look of boredom?”
Mark shook his head.
“Well, then that should tell you something. I really had a great time with you, Mark. It’s been a long time since I got dressed up and went out. Thank you for making me feel beautiful again.”
Tracy kissed his cheek. Mark blushed. Suddenly, he gave her a serious look.
“You are beautiful: don’t you ever forget it.”
Tracy blushed. Without thinking, Mark held her close to him. His embrace was warm and gentle. Tracy embraced him back, pressing her head against his chest. Their hearts began beating in sync. They gazed into each other’s eyes with smiles. Mark gently lift up her chin and leaned forward. Their lips touched. Warm, gentle
feelings flowed through them with each passing second. They unlocked lips and stared at each other again.
“So…are we a couple?” Mark asked.
Tracy didn’t answer with words, but with a long kiss.