I tried focusing on what Allie was saying, but I kept getting distracted. The whiff of coconut shampoo that her hair gave off as it fell over her face, her full lips curling into the smile that I was so familiar with, the smooth, tan skin of her belly that showed under her crop top… Stop it, Phil, focus.
We weren’t huge party people, but on Fridays we usually went to this old bar in Willowcreek. Apparently it was the bar where Allie’s parents had met for the first time, and it still played the same music as it did back in the day, which we both really enjoyed.
“Are you okay?” Allie asked, realizing I wasn’t paying attention. “Huh? Yeah, sure.” I smiled. “Why wouldn’t I be?”
“You have a funny look on your face,” she said. “What are you thinking about?”
How badly I want to kiss you. “Uh… Nothing. I just really like this song.”
“Me too,” she said, and excitedly started discussing random trivia she knew about the song, the album and the band. That’s what I loved about her. Her enthusiasm for music and knowledge, and how excited she got if you just let her ramble on.
We sat for a few hours, talking and laughing. It always amazed me how easy everything was with Allie. Well, everything apart from trying to make a move to be more than just friends. Believe me, I’d tried more than a few times. I’d had a crush on her since we were ten; sharing my lunches with her on the playground was my first attempt at a proposal. When she was fourteen I spent all of my saved up allowance to buy a silver heart necklace for her, which she loved and wore every day, but had earned me nothing more than a hug and a quick peck on the cheek. I couldn’t figure out if I should be more forward with my romantic advances or if she just wasn’t interested.
At about 1 AM, Allie said she really needed to get home, so I walked her to the door. We stood there for a while, finishing our conversation before she walked to her car. It was spring, and the air smelled sweet with the scent of blooming flowers, but it had become slightly chilly. I could see goosebumps forming on her smooth arms. I looked at her, saw her amber eyes shimmering in the light of the club, and suddenly, before I knew it, I was moving forward, trying to lean into a kiss…
And then I felt her arms around me and her hair tickling my face.
“Are you in such a hurry to go home?” she laughed. “I haven’t even finished my story. Do you want a ride?”
I was confused. Had she tried to avoid my kiss, or did she really think I was just going in for a hug?
“Uh… No, I’ll walk. It’s fine.”
I pulled back and gave her an awkward smile. “Sorry. I’m not feeling very well.”
“Oh.” Allie looked concerned. “Sure you can walk all the way home?”
“Yeah. Some fresh air will be good for me.”
I could barely look her in the eyes out of embarrassment. “Okay then. Let me know when you get home?”
“Sure. Sleep tight.”
She looked at me for a few seconds longer, then said goodbye and walked towards the parking lot. I let out a sigh. I was such an idiot.
After all, what could a girl like Allie ever see in a guy like me?