"Nat! Your date's here!" My dad's voice filled the tiny house as he summoned me downstairs.
UAGHHH. "Coming! One sec!" I yelled back, zipping my favorite purple hoodie and throwing my curly chestnut hair into a messy ponytail.
"NATALIE. NOW." Fine. I slid my feet into a beat-up pair of TOMS and grabbed my phone off my dresser before jogging down the stairs and resting my arm on the banister just as the doorbell rang. I went to open the door but my dad pushed my hand back, grabbing the knob himself. It was an unusually chivalrous move considering how cold I'd been to him lately. He slowly turned the knob and opened the door, revealing a short, apprehensive looking kid dressed in black from his inky Chuck Taylors to the rings of eyeliner around his piercing silver eyes.
"Um... hi. I'm Jimmy."
Oh right. THAT'S why I don't like blind dates.
"I'm Natalie." He reached out to shake my hand, which to my surprise was modified with several tattoos and black fingernail polish.
He so wasn't my type. It was going to be a looooong night.
I waved my dad goodbye as Jimmy unlocked his car, a beat up '87 Chevy.
"I'm not getting in that", I scoffed.
"It starts, I promise." he responded, smirking slightly at my reaction.
"No. Just no." I responded, rolling my eyes.
"You can get in the car... or you can walk. Up to you."
"Fine." I digressed, struggling to open the loosened passenger side door. As the door finally gave, I slid into the seat and buckled the heavily duct-taped seat belt. Jimmy revved the engine, but the car didn't start.
"It's fine. It happens" he commented, perfectly level-headed and careless as always. He turned the keys again, but the car didn't start. "Fuck it." he muttered under his breath. "Sorry—language", he stammered. "No... it's fine. I use it all the time. Just because I'm not hardcore, doesn't mean I'm like a nun or something..."
I trailed off.
"No... whatever you say, Sister Natalie..."
I hit him playfully on the arm.
"Watch it..." He smiled and then hit me back. "You may not be a nun, but I'm a saint", he smirked and looked me straight in the eye.
Wow. His eyes... they were indescribable. They were argentate in color with flecks of cobalt towards the center.
"A saint, huh?" I challenged playfully.
"You betcha. Saint Jimmy's my name, and don't you fucking wear it out."
I simpered at him. "You know what? I fucking won't."
Maybe this date wouldn't go over so badly after all.
"So... We should probably, y'know... go somewhere. It wouldn't make for a very good first date, just sitting in the front seat of my car, y'know..."
"So where to?"
"How about the park? There's one a few blocks down. We can walk. It's not too dark out."
Jimmy ran his fingers through his hair.
"Yeah... a'ight. I could go for a park. Let's do that. You lead the way, Sister..."
I flirtatiously smacked the back of his head.
Can you smack someone flirtatiously?
I think I did.
We slid out of the car, Jimmy kicking his door shut as I struggled with mine yet again.
"Here, lemme get that for ya."
Oh, a chivalrous one.
I smiled but didn't say anything.
We walked in silence. It was late enough out that the moon shone brightly, illuminating the narrow sidewalks.
We sat next to each other in the grass.
"So... Natalie... I don't know anything about you. Except for the fact that you're not a nun. So why don't you go ahead and tell me a little about yourself." His expression was innocent and playful, his eyes luminescient. It was just... Talking to a boy felt weird. It was so bizarre to be with a guy that wasn't Henry. Ever since things with my mom started to go downhill, being around people had been weird. I started to push my friends away, and slowly but surely, I pushed Henry away too. It hurt, but talking about it hurt even more.
Suddenly, I was overcome with a flood of emotion. I had barely known Jimmy for twenty minutes... Sure, he had nice eyes. But what could I say about his character? Such as beside the point. It all came pouring out. The floodgates had been broken. Release the kraken. I told him everything. I told him about my mother, my dad, and about Gabe, and about Henry. I told him more than I'd told most of my friends. It all just came pouring out.
To my suprise, Jimmy didn't respond. To even greater suprise, he just sat and held me. I rested my head on his chest, feeling it rise and fall in syncopated motions. The intimacy of the gesture didn't seem weird or unnatural like it had with so many other guys. It felt fine. It almost felt right. Almost as thought Jimmy had been through what I was going through.
It just wasn't possible.