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First Date


Heidi Yang

“Who’s the lucky guy?” Jenna asked her roommate curiously.
“His name’s Justin.” Hannah replied as she steadily applied her makeup in front of small mirror in their dorm room.

“Oh, what’s his last name?”

“Hey isn’t that the guy you met at that party at the P.A. house?” Jenna asked her eyes lighting up in recognition.

“Yeah, hard to believe isn’t it?” Hannah replied giggling.
“Yeah, how did you two end up dating?”

“Well, after Dillian and I broke up I wanted to wait for awhile before I went out with someone else.” Hannah replied hesitating as she glanced up from the mirror. “One day I was watching something well actually it was last week after the Hamlet play or wait, no it wasn’t, it was the directing scenes; you remember Andy was directing one, my music friend?”
“One of many.” Jenna teased.

“Hey what can I say I have a lot of friends.” Hannah replied shrugging. “Anyways I found that a lot of people I knew were in the scenes, Justin happened to be in the first one, I talked to him afterwards and here we are a month later.”

“Hmm, interesting.” Jenna said frowning slightly. She glanced out the window then back at her computer screen, her English paper beckoned her, if she didn’t finish it tonight she would be screwed tomorrow since it was due at nine-thirty in the morning to evil Nancy St. Clair.

“What?” Hannah asked innocently.
“Nothing.” Jenna replied with a sigh. She sat down at her computer and tried desperately to think of an idea for her paper. “How can you stand St. Claire anyway? She makes us write so many damned papers.”

“Yeah well, why do you think I’m always on my computer?” Hannah said smiling. “It’s the curse of being an English major.”
“I know that, but I’m not even a English major!” Jenna cried unhappily. “It’s not fair.”
“Who said life was ever fair?” Hannah asked laughing at her friend’s plight.
“I know, I guess I’m just upset because as usual I put off my paper until the last minute.”
“I’ve done that so many times that I’ve lost track.” Hannah said thoughtfully.
“Yeah but you’re good at writing, I suck at it.”
“No I’m not, trust me I’ve gotten only one B on a paper in her British Writer’s class, what does that tell you?”

“I guess you’re right, hey shouldn’t he be here by now?” Jenna asked glancing at the clock on the dresser near here.

“Yeah, I imagine he will be, besides I’ve got a few things to do before he comes anyway.” Almost as if on cue there was a knock at the door. “Oh my gosh he’s here, and I’m not even ready yet!”
“Relax I think he’ll wait for you.” Jenna replied reassuringly.
“I guess so.” Hannah said as she got up to open the door. “Hey, how are you?” she asked as she tried to remember what in the world she had done with her purse.

“Fine, ready to go?” Justin surveying Hannah’s room with a somewhat critical eye. “Hey Jenna.”
“Hi Justin, so what are you two going to do tonight?”
“Dunno, maybe go to a movie something, what do you think Hannah?”
“What? Oh yeah, that’s fine, which one though?”
“How about that one Rent I think it’s called, you know which one I’m talking about?”
“Hmm, I think so.” Hannah replied biting her lip, she spied her purse sitting on her bed, exactly where she left it.

“Are you ready yet?” Justin asked impatiently.
“Yeah, calm down we’ve got plenty of time.” Hannah replied shaking her head at him. “Well see you later Jenna good luck on your paper.”

“Thanks have a good time tonight okay?”
“No problem, see you later.” Hannah said as she closed the door slowly.
“Hey don’t forget to fill me in on the details when you get back.” Jenna replied with a sly smile.
“Don’t worry I won’t.” Hannah said with a wink, and with that she headed downstairs with Justin to go to the movies.
Once outside she glanced around getting her bearings. “So, how’s your week been?” she asked shyly turning to face Justin.
“Fine, how about you?”

“Okay I guess,” Hannah replied deliberately avoiding his gaze.
“Something wrong?” Justin asked concerned.
“No, just thinking that’s all.”
“About what?”

“Um, nothing really.” Hannah replied wishing he would just drop it. They started walking towards his car. It was cold clear night, she shivered as she thought of her jacket she left in her dorm room. ‘I knew I forgot something.’
“Cold?” Justin asked smiling.

“Just a little.” Hannah replied smiling back. Why did she always get so damn nervous around guys? She sighed, hopefully it would pass and she wouldn’t do anything stupid. Suddenly she tripped and fell. ‘So much for not embarrassing myself.’ she thought as she stood up praying no one else had seen her. “Are you okay?” Justin asked as he opened the car door of his small silver compact car.
“Yes, I’m fine.” Hannah replied hurriedly.

“Well, hope I wasn’t late.” Justin said apologetically as he started up the car. The engine whined as he turned the key again. Hannah tried not to laugh, she suspected that the car once belonged to his grandparents and now it was his. “Having trouble?” she teased.

“Yeah, a little.” Justin replied with a sigh. He glanced at her again. He could barely believe that they were finally going out on a date. Finally the car roared to life and he glanced at his rearview mirror. He smiled at Hannah who was still shivering from the cold Iowa weather, despite that she was trying desperately to hide it. “Still cold?” he asked laughing.
“No.” Hannah snapped. “Sorry, I hate Iowa winters.” “Me too.” Justin said smiling. He thought of saying something than stopped, it was better not to rush things. “So, can you believe we’re finally going out?”
“No, well yes, but it’s just hard to picture you as my boyfriend.”
“Why?” Justin asked worriedly.

“Oh no reason, it’s just when I was still dating Dillan I couldn’t picture myself with anyone but him.”
“I see.” Justin replied frowning. “No offense but I heard he was kind of bum.”
“Yeah, unfortunately.” Hannah said sighing. “I tried to give him another chance but he didn’t want it. I guess he figured it was just easier to break up then actually try to do anything about it.”
“That’s too bad.” Justin replied sympathetically as he pulled up to the stop light. He glanced at his watch what time did that movie start?

“Yeah well, stuff like that happens.” Hannah replied quietly as she glanced out the window.
“Are you okay?” Justin asked noticing her sudden change in mood.
“I’m fine.” Hannah replied hurriedly. “Really.” she tried to wipe the tears from her eyes, why did this always have to happen? It had been at least six months since Joey died but every time she ended up with someone like Justin...well it only served as reminder.

“Are you sure you’re okay?” Justin asked again softly.
“I said I was fine.” Hannah replied fiercely. She looked away from him, she couldn’t stand this. Why did she have to be so emotional all the time?

“What’s wrong?” he asked quietly.
“Nothing, it’s just...” Hannah’s voice trailed off as she noticed they were pulling into the movie theater parking lot.

“What?” Justin asked concerned, she could tell he was worried about her. His black eyes searched her face as if to try and read her mind. His dark brown hair was short and spiky making his already lean six foot frame seem even taller. “Come on I won’t tell anyone.” he pleaded. “ Besides we still have time before the movie starts.”
“Well it’s just that I was thinking about my first boyfriend Joe.”

“Oh, he’s the one who died right?” Justin asked suddenly scared, where was this going? Was he in trouble already?
“Don’t worry it’s not anything you did.” Hannah replied reassuringly.
“Oh, then what is it?” Justin asked clearly confused.
“I’m not sure, you remind me of him I guess.” Hannah replied with a shrug as she started to open her door.

“I’m sorry.” Justin replied quietly. He could hardly believe his bad luck, he barely knew this girl and he was already wrecking things. He glanced down at the floor.
“Hey it’s not your fault.” Hannah replied softly as she stopped short, closing the door again. She glanced at him for a moment she could tell he was just as scared as she was. “Are you okay?” she asked quietly.

“Yes, I just don’t want to mess things up between us.” Justin replied his voice halting.
“Oh.” Hannah said somewhat surprised, most guys didn’t care if they messed things up. Dillian had always blamed her for everything whether it was really her fault or not. “Don’t worry about that, besides you can’t be any worse than me.”
“Really?” he asked tearing his eyes off the floor of the car. She thought she could detect a sense of sadness in his eyes.

“Really, now let’s go have a good time okay?” she asked hoping he would agree.
“Okay.” he replied his smile returning quickly. He opened his door and got out. She grabbed her purse and hurried after him as they rushed into the already darkening theater.
* * *
It was pitch dark outside when they left the theater. They were talking about the movie when Hannah felt herself starting to cry again. “Hey, what’s wrong?” Justin asked suddenly worried his dark brown eyes concerned.

“Nothing.” Hanna replied quickly. She wiped the tears away wishing he would just leave her alone.
“Come on, it can’t be that bad.” Justin said trying to reassure her. He thought they were having a good time, had he done something to make her upset? “Were you thinking about Joe again?” he asked hesitantly.

“Yes, how did you know?” Hannah asked in surprise.
“Just a lucky guess.” Justin replied with a shrug. She could tell he was still worried. ‘Figures, we were having a good time and I have to go and wreck everything.’ “Are you sure this was a good idea? You seem like you’re not having a very good time.”

“No, it’s not that.” Hannah said quietly as she glanced at him nervously. “It’s not your fault, really, if he hadn’t died I wouldn’t be such a mess.”

“Oh, are you sure it has nothing to do with me?” Justin asked worriedly.
“Yes, I’m sure.” Hannah said reassuringly. She could tell by the look on his face that he didn’t believe her. “It’s not your fault Justin, I swear.”

“Okay, if you say so.” he replied uncertainly. He turned away for a moment, trying to hide his disappointment. He only wanted this date to go well and now it was ruined all because of something beyond his control. “What is it?” she asked softly.

“Nothing.” he replied harshly. He turned to face her trying and failing miserably to hide the tears in his eyes. “I just wanted this date to be perfect and now, well now it’s ruined because of something I can’t even control.”

“That’s not true.” she replied stubbornly. “Just because he died doesn’t mean I don’t like you. That’s not what you were thinking was it?”

“No, well maybe.” Justin replied breathing in sharply. He glanced at his watch it was already eleven-thirty. “I guess I should take you home.” he said flatly.

“No hurry it’s not like I have anything to do tomorrow.”
“You don’t have homework?” Justin asked in surprise.
“No. Why do you?”

“No, not much anyway.” Justin replied smiling. “After all it’s not like I actually have to do that much writing being a theater major and all.”

“That’s true.” Hannah said thoughtfully. Suddenly she stopped, he was hesitating at the car. ‘I wonder what he wants?’ she thought as he glanced at her his eyes suddenly worried again.
“What?” she asked frowning.

“Nothing I was just thinking about something.”
“Oh, what was it?”

“Don’t worry about it, it was nothing really.”
“Okay, if you’re sure.”

“I’m sure.” he replied smiling at her. She breathed a sigh of relief as he laughed quietly. She was glad he was feeling better. She turned to face the black Iowa sky, the stars were just starting to come out. Suddenly she felt him behind her, she turned around to find him staring at her with such intensity that it almost scared her. “What?” she asked nervously.

“Nothing.” he replied smiling. He placed his hands on her shoulders. She turned around again, watching the stars as they came out one by one. For awhile they just stood there, she moved his hand so it was holding hers. She could feel his heart beating inside her head and hear his breathing. She could tell he was nervous it was almost as if he had never done this before, but she knew that wasn’t true. She remembered well the conversation they had at the party when they first met. He was worried that he wouldn’t be able to find a good girlfriend. “Why, you’re attractive enough?” she said surprised.
“I know but most of the girls I dated were mean.”

“Oh, how were they mean?” she asked curiously. He proceeded to tell her all about how most of his girlfriends wronged him. ‘Sounds like me.’ she thought at the time. She glanced at him again, it was still hard to believe she was standing her with him tonight. “What are you thinking about?” he asked.
“I was thinking about when we first met.”
“Oh yeah, that, I guess we don’t have to worry about Dillan finding about us do we?”
“No, I’m glad we don’t.” Hannah replied with relief. “Not that he would do anything but still...I wouldn’t want to take any chances.”

“Me either.” Justin said laughing. He gazed at her and smiled. She laughed as she turned to face him once more. She lay her head on his chest just like the night they slept together at the P.A. house after becoming slightly intoxicated. “I guess we don’t have to worry about the circumstances anymore do we?”

“Huh?” Justin asked glancing down at her. “What are you talking about?”
“Remember what you kept saying the night we met?” Hannah asked laughing. “You kept saying that one phrase.”

“Oh yeah, now I remember.” Justin said laughing. “I guess you’re right.”
“Of course I am.” she replied teasingly. He held her close, suddenly she felt his lips brush against her forehead. She glanced up at him her eyes full of questions. Was she really ready to have another boyfriend so soon after Dillan? She frowned, somehow she knew the answer was yes. She wasn’t sure what made her so sure, she just knew that somehow this was right. She reached up and touched his face, tracing the outline of his jaw gently with her finger. He pulled her closer and kissed her gently on the mouth. For a moment she was unsure of herself, was this what she really wanted. Yes, it was, she felt like she had been waiting her whole life for this moment. Her hands found their way around his neck, she kissed him back, hard. Suddenly he pulled away. She could see the fear in his eyes, he was just as scared as she was. “It’s okay.” she whispered softly as she kissed him again softer this time trying not to rush the moment. She felt his hand around her waist and for a moment she couldn’t breathe. “Are you okay?” he asked sensing her hesitation.

“I’m fine.” she replied quickly. Moving her hands down his body from his shoulders to his waist. For a moment she was scared again, what if this didn’t work out? What would happen then? She could hear his heartbeat again, she sighed trying to fight off the doubts in her head. Would it really be so bad if this was all they ever had? Probably not. “What?” he whispered.

“Nothing.” she replied quietly as she stared up at him. She smiled pulling him closer, losing herself in the whirlwind of her emotions. He kissed her softly on her forehead. She placed soft kisses on his neck moving upwards until she reached his mouth. She felt his tongue in her mouth and for a moment she was reminded of Dillan. She was surprised to find that it brought tears to her eyes. She shook head, clearing her head of the past, she didn’t need to worry about what had happened in the past. All that mattered was the here and now. She smiled as she opened the car door. He started the car it started on the first try this time. As he drove her home, she couldn’t help but wonder if this would be one of many moments they would share or if this was it. She glanced at Justin again as he pulled up to their dorm. Somehow she knew this wasn’t the last she would seeing of him.


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