I saw Angela waiting for me in front of the diner. Her back was turned toward me, which gave me a few forgiving seconds to take a deep breath and calm my nerves. I wasn’t exactly in love with her, but still, this would be my first date ever. Anyone would be nervous, right?
And although she was the complete opposite of Allie in looks, I couldn’t deny that her backside looked damn good in the short, black skirt she was wearing.
I walked up to her and cleared my throat. “Angela?” God, why do I have to sound so nervous?
She turned around and smiled. “Hey, Phil. I was beginning to worry that you’d stood me up!”
Honestly, I had almost canceled on the date. It felt kind of unfair to date a different girl while I still had feelings for Allie. But, I decided, one date was innocent enough. It’s not like I was proposing or anything. And besides, what seventeen year old guy doesn’t deserve a little action now and then?
I smiled. “Of course not, I wouldn’t miss it. Wanna go inside?”
A little while later, we were sitting on the terrace in the back of the diner. I’d requested a table that wasn’t visible from the street, because I knew Allie liked to walk by here on Saturdays on her way to the gym. I hadn’t told her about the date and I didn’t want her to find out by accident.
“So, do you come here often?” Angela asked, looking around. “Oh, yeah. This is the only place in town where the food is at least kind of affordable.” I’d spoken without thinking, and then felt my cheeks reddening. “I mean… Not that I wanted this to be a cheap date or anything, I just…”
Angela laughed. “Don’t worry, it’s fine. I’m not exactly into super fancy food, either. I’d much rather have a burger and a soda than foie gras and champagne.”
I let out a sigh of relief. At least this was something we could bond over. Allie was far from a snob, but her family was definitely richer than mine. A lot.
“So, you know all about why I moved here,” Angela said, “but I don’t know much about you other than that you love reading and you’re pretty cute.” Once again, I felt myself blush. It didn’t seem to bother Angela, though. “Tell me a bit more about yourself.”
“I’m really not that exciting. Uhm… I live with my mom.”
“No. My dad died before I was born. He was in the army, and, well…” “I’m sorry,” Angela interrupted, looking embarrassed herself now. “You don’t have to talk about it if you don’t want to.” I shrugged. “It’s okay. I obviously don’t remember anything about him and my mom doesn’t like to talk about it.” “I understand.”
“But my friend Allie’s dad is awesome,” I continued. After the first intimate detail had been shared, it was like I couldn’t stop talking. I hardly realized what was coming out of my mouth anymore. “He’s really helped me over the years, you know. He was kind of the father figure that I never had. Playing soccer with me and Allie’s brother; helping me with homework; he even taught me how to shave a few years ago. You’ll love him if you ever meet him. He used to be in a band that was pretty famous all over the country for a few years, but now he just teaches music and writes songs for other artists. He’s very talented. And her mom is wonderful, she’s a painter and her artwork is amazing. You’ll probably have heard of her. And she makes the best spaghetti. And Allie is… well, Allie is just great. She’s funny and nice and…”
I stopped talking when I saw Angela’s face. “I’m sorry,” I said. “I probably shouldn’t talk about my female best friend so much on a first date, huh?” Great, Phil. You haven’t even ordered and you’re already messing this up.
A reluctant half-smile formed on her face. “Probably not.” “I really am sorry. I don’t usually date, I still have to get used to it, I guess… I understand if you want to go.”
Angela shook her head. “I don’t. I like you and I like getting to know you. But this Allie girl… I mean, is there anything more between you two than just friendship? I just need to know that.”
I thought for a second, and then remembered how my attempt to kiss Allie had ended in a friendly hug. Whether or not she realized how much I liked her, she obviously didn’t share those feelings for me.
“No,” I said, decidedly. “Nothing more. Just friends.”
Angela smiled. “Great. Then let’s order!”
A few hours later, we were standing in front of the diner again.
“I had a really nice time, Philip.”
“So did I.” And I meant it. Talking with Angela wasn’t as easy or comfortable or familiar as talking to Allie, but she was pretty and nice. I had enjoyed the afternoon, even if we didn’t have a lot in common.
“Do you think we could do this again sometime?” Angela asked, her voice getting softer as she moved closer to me. I swallowed hard, suddenly aware of how close her face was to mine. “Uh… Sure. That’d be nice.”
I’d barely uttered the last words before Angela grabbed me and pressed her lips hard on mine. I’d kissed once before, on a summer camp when I was twelve, and it was nothing like this. Angela was fierce, fiery and definitely didn’t care about tenderness.
But hey. I was a teenager getting his first, real kiss.
I wasn’t about to complain…