Blogopera #6 - First Date

This is #6 in a fictional series, to read in succession, begin with #1

...continued from last time

“I might be persuaded,” I say cautiously. “What did you have in mind?”

“Well, there is a beautiful beach about an hour south of here, it’s small and not many people know about it so it’s quiet, water’s warm. I was thinking I could go home, shower, get some things together and pick you up in say, two hours?”

“That sounds good.” And it did. Too many of my last Saturdays had been spent cleaning the house for nobody but myself, ironing sheets, folding towels into perfect thirds, organizing my closets by color and other things I suppose fill the time of slightly ocd girls just waiting to be asked to the beach.

“Here,” he said as he finished up his food, let me help you clean up and then I’ll get going.”
“Its ok Dylan, I’ll clean up.”
“Ok,” he said, “let’s see, it’s almost eight-thirty, I’ll be here ten-thirtyish to get you.”
“What do I need to bring?”
“Just you, your suit and something a little warm if it cools off.”

He went to go get the rest of his clothes, keys and things from my bedroom as I cleared our breakfast dishes. He popped into the kitchen.

“I’ll see you in a few okay?“ he asked as he swung an arm around my side and kissed me.
“I’ll be here,” I said as I watched him walk out the door.
____________________
After Dylan left I swept through the house like a tempest. I cleaned up and put fresh sheets on the bed. I picked all the dead leaves off my neglected plants and threw away the week old flowers I had bought for myself that had shed most of their blooms and pollen in a circle around the vase.

I got into the shower and loofaed and sugar-scrubbed my body head to toe until my skin was well-exfoliated and shiny pink. I shaved, taking great care to catch any missing bits behind my ankles or strays on the back of my thighs. I masked my face and deep-conditioned my hair. I whitestripped my teeth and redid my only three day old pedicure. Never mind he had already seen me last night completely natural and unprepared, this was another day and not a sleep over but a date, thus, my complicated female grooming rituals followed.

I tried on every swimsuit I owned, narrowing it down to three which then had to be tried on again in a sort of runner up competition. I even considered an application of self-tanner but the lengthy process and potential unpredictable, disastrous results convinced me better.

I packed a beach bag with a towel and my favorite beach blanket, a padded batik-style Indian sheet, a once crisp, cerulean blue now sun-bleached and muted. I had purchased it years before and it unfolded to the perfect size for two people to bask on.

All this done and it was only nine-thirty. I still had an hour before he’d be back. I tried to relax but I couldn’t sit still. I was still in reeling from last night. Not only my prompt but his acceptance and the prospect of today. Last night was spontaneous, unexpected, I didn’t even have time to worry or over think things. But today, the first inklings of expectation were building, this was a date. Would it go well? Would there be more? What about the fact that we had already been intimate, so soon, where did that fit in? Was he dating other people? Was I, if the opportunity presented itself? Was he the sort of person I could see myself with for more than an evening of fun and a day of sun?

I cautioned myself not get ahead of things, to just enjoy that I had romantic plans for a Saturday afternoon and be content to see how it all unfolded. I worried like this for almost a half an hour. I finished getting ready and did a final check before he got back, brushing my teeth another time. I had my bikini on with a sundress over it and sandals. My hair was extra shiny, thank you deep conditioner, and I had only a little makeup on, perfect for the beach. I had my bag, sunscreen and sunglasses. It was going to be fine, I was going to have fun. The words worked to calm me down.

Ten thirty came and went and a small sense of dread began to creep in. I am a strictly punctual person, in fact, typically I am early and will run an errand or make a phone call until the agreed upon event time. Maybe it’s the Midwestern in me or the anal-retentive demand to do exactly what I say I will. This being the case, I have never, in my almost ten years in Southern California gotten used to the loose definitions of on-time or the casualness with which people here come and go.

It probably has a lot to do with the potential huge delays caused by traffic congestion and how this has just conditioned people here to view time as more relative to other things. To me ten minutes seems like running a bit late, fifteen minutes would, etiquette speaking, require a phone call, twenty minutes equals bad planning and over twenty and I’m sure to begin to panic.

It was only ten-forty-five but I realized after last night, I was unsure as to where this was headed. Did he change his mind? Did the haze of the morning after wear off leaving him regretting last night and today’s hasty invitation? I needed to stop this, I thought, this was insecurity rearing its ugly head, nothing more. I reassured myself. He’s planned a nice afternoon, he wanted to see me right away, he stayed for breakfast, he was the one that suggested plans. I reminded myself of all these things trying to inject a bit of confidence.
It was then that I heard a knock at my door.

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