When plans are made, the days in between seem to drag. It’s actually quite annoying how that happens. Classes seem much longer, sleep doesn’t seem to end soon enough, and texts don’t arrive fast enough. I didn’t see much of Sabin since that night, but instead of him dropping off the face of the earth, like last time, he promised to keep in touch via text.
Done with class?
Seen at 6:50 PM
I waited for a response patiently when the day finally came. No plans were discussed just yet about our date. Part of me figured he’d have it figured out, but maybe it also meant that he was going to cancel plans last minute. I mean, 7 was already getting pretty late to do stuff aside from just going to the café and sitting there till the sun would come up. It was a Friday night, so if I spent the next day in bed, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. Sure, Dani would give me some crap about it, but that wouldn’t be the worst.
Not going to answer? I looked down at my phone and tried to summon what mystical powers I wanted to make the message pop up on the screen. Oooh, come on! Come on! Don’t make a girl wait like this!
I can meet you by your dorm if you’re ready. Hopped in the shower first—sorry 4 wait
It only took me 15 minutes to finish getting ready once I knew Sabin was on his way. The added pressure really got me moving. If only Dani could see me rushing to pull up my tights and boots without even toppling over onto the floor. Ah, she’d never believe me. When I was ready I grabbed my keys and walked out of the room. Knowing us, there was a chance we’d stay out late, so I didn’t want to wake up Dani with my knocking.
“Hey,” I said, walking downstairs where Sabin was leaning against the wall. “Sorry it took me a little while. Dani borrowed this shirt before and well, ya know…”
“That’s fine,” he shrugged and motioned for me to follow him out the door. “Luckily where we’re going, time isn’t really important.”
“It’s the café, isn’t it?” I laughed as I followed. I stayed close, but I wasn’t sure what it was I wanted to do. Do I linger close, or do I keep my distance. Do I brush up against him or go straight for his hand?
Sabin turned around so he could face me. Ah, walking backwards? That’s a no for the hand.
“You think I’m that predictable?” He asked, his hand reaching out for mine. Bingo.
I took his hand without thinking twice. “Well, I wouldn’t say predictable, but I mean, what else did we ever do together?”
“Exactly,” he sighed, “I thought it would be nice for us to do something different. As much as I enjoy our talks at the café, I wanted to actually take you out.”
Neither of us said anything about it, but even without speaking I felt fine. It was good to be walking with him. To say I had feelings for Sabin was well, the least of it. I never really felt close to any of the men I met at school. Not in college. Not in high school. Sabin was my best friend. We talked and actually had meaningful conversations. None of it felt repetitive or just mindless. With Sabin, I wanted to listen to him talk, and I actually wanted to hear things about him. I wanted to learn about what made him who he was. It was the first time I wanted to know more. Before I really knew it we were away from campus and on our way to a camp ground that I only really heard about. It overlooked our campus. Dani told me about it; Saul took her there once.
“Did I take you by surprise?” He asked. “The date, that is…”
“I don’t see you for days, don’t hear from you for days,” I exhaled and leaned back on my palms, feeling the thin blades of grass between my fingers. “And then you just come back and ask me out?”
“You got me,” he groaned, lying down on the hill. “Asking was the easy part. I-I didn’t really plan on it happening that day, but I had to redeem myself somehow after being gone so long…”
We sat in silence for a while. The clouds were keeping out of the way for now, which was quite the rare occurrence. The sky was lit up by the stars. It was one those sights that really just left one speechless. I looked over at Sabin from time to time who looked more than content. I remembered the first time I really talked to him at the café. He approached me, telling me he’d seen me all over campus and finally worked up the courage to talk to me. Two months later we started spending time together outside of the café. We still drank coffee, we still talked, but it was all strictly as friends though it would have been foolish to ignore the electricity I felt between us.
“Why was that the easy part?” I finally asked.
“Why was asking me out on a date the easy part?”
“It was the domino effect, Alma,” he said. “I pushed myself to do it because then I would have no choice but to tell you what I thought of when I saw you each night.”
“And what would that be?” I fished for more.
“How great I think you are, and how alive I feel again. Even in silence, I feel so…”
“I understand it.” I slid down the hill and stopped when I was next to him. That entire night, and every night before when I first felt that electric buzz in the pit of my stomach, I wondered what his lips tasted like. Experience? He was eleven years older than I was after all. Did they taste like what that night felt like? I always blushed when I thought like that. I never thought of anyone that way, with such intimacy. Everything with Sabin felt new. To Dani it was completely normal, but this was intense. I trembled thinking about him, but steadied myself when I felt my hand brush against his firm shoulder.
I smiled the entire time. “Thanks for asking, Sabin.”
“Yeah, well, you’ve given this old man a reason to stay up late,” he chuckled and reached to drape his arm around my shoulder.
In my head I felt the end of our date coming to an end and I had to picture what would happen. Would he walk me back to my place and just stand there awkwardly? Would we finally lock lips? Ugh the possibilities were there, but all we were missing was the moment. I couldn’t wait.
I had to wait.
I bowed my head and glanced at him.
At first he reached over and cupped my chin in his hand like a child sheltering an injured bird. It wasn’t enough. He shifted his weight around so he could free his hand, planting the newly freed hand on the other side of my face. In all that time he never said a word. There was nothing between us that lingered as coherent words. Our staggered breaths were the only present noise before Sabin kissed me. Sabin’s pained sigh was the other sound he made when I kissed him back.
I would’ve kept going if it hadn’t been for his phone ringing from the inside of his pant pocket.
“Shiiit,” he sighed and rubbed his thumb down the side of my face. “I was just beginning to really enjoy the silence.”
“Do you have to go?” I asked, hoping he’d forget about whatever he had to do just so he’d kiss me again and just pour fuel onto the fire brewing inside me. Wow…
His look mirrored my own disappointment. I could see it as he fiddled around with his phone. Any other person who would tell me they had to go wouldn’t have hesitated so much. Sabin looked at me while clutching his phone. “I wish I didn’t, but I have an–” he stopped himself to reach behind his head to rub his neck.
Even if we couldn’t continue our evening or even have it end with him walking me back to the door where he’d look me in the eyes, I felt that he didn’t mean to cut our evening so short. After all, he took me all the way off campus. Disappointment flared again.
“Skype appointment,” he smiled halfheartedly. His hand slowly reached to touch mine. “I’d skip it, but I honestly shouldn’t miss it.”
I looked up away from his phone and glance at him. “What?”
“And I’m hoping we can reschedule this,” he cleared his throat,”this date.”
I wanted to agree, but I knew I’d just be going along with whatever he said. I wasn’t that type of person, right? Trying to come together with some witty comeback that still left me feeling not quite as defeated as that stupid phone call made me feel, I shifted my weight before getting up from the grass. As I offered my hand, to help him up, I shrugged.
“What do you say to that?” Sabin asked.
“Well, I’ll say yes as long as next time you tell me more about yourself and not get snatched away by Skype appointments, eh? What about next time you fill me in rather than build up your mysterious facade,” I said with a smirk.
He rubbed his arm and chuckled. “You have a deal.”