Chapter 2.6 – Dinner

Three o’clock Friday arrives and finds David a jumble of nerves. He has spent countless hours with Ciara, and so he asks himself why tonight is any different from any other time. But it doesn’t change the feeling of butterflies he has in his gut. Obviously, it is because he took their friendship to a new level in asking her out on a date. He wishes he could be as calm and confident as his dad, Julian. But even as a small child, he had always been prone to get over-excited about things.
 
David takes a cab to Ciara’s house and finds her waiting for him. He notices just then that she is not only his best friend Ciara, but also a beautiful young woman. And judging by the smile his arrival elicits, the very same thought is going through her mind. It is an image that will stick in his mind the rest of his life.
 
The short ride to the bistro is quiet, but not the least bit awkward. He and Ciara sometimes spend long periods of time just sitting together. It helps him feel much more confident knowing that he does not have to make up small talk just to have something to say.
 
Dinner at the restaurant is rather memorable. Things get started when the heel on her shoe breaks as they enter the bistro. She falls headlong into Agnes Crumplebottom who loses her balance and knocks over a nearby fish tank and gets completely soaked. David manages to diffuse the situation and get a small, intimate table near the kitchen. But as the evening continues on, he can see that she is getting more and more frustrated. First the waiter brings her the wrong order, then she spills her drink into her meal and into her lap. David does his best to keep the night from being a complete disaster by sharing his meal with her.
 
He can see the embarrassment and sadness written on her face as they leave. But he tells her that he had a good time, suggesting that it was much more fun sharing his meal with her. She smiles sheepishly, admitting that it did make dinner a lot more interesting.
 
David wants her to know that he really does not think the night is a disaster. But he sees that she needs some convincing to really believe it. So when the idea to kiss her strikes him, he doesn’t hesitate even a second.
 
And she doesn’t hesitate to reciprocate the sentiment.
 
After a moment, David suggests they skip the movie and take a walk though the park. Since they both love the outdoors, the decision is easy. They quickly change out of their formal clothes and meet in the park. They walk and talk for awhile before she stops and faces him with tears in her eyes. She tells him that nobody has ever made her feel as accepted and desired as he has. She also tells him that nothing good ever lasts long for her. She feels cursed to live her life in misery, and she has a terrible feeling that this too is doomed to failure.
 
What he says next is exactly the right thing. Her eyes light up and a smile emerges from beneith the sorrow. He takes her hand, and dryly suggests that they had better make the best of the time they have before the doom begins, and asks if she will be his girlfriend.
 
She laughes as she embraces him and asks what took him so long to ask.
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