From Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul IV

My First Date

The chemist who can extract from his heart’s elements, compassion, respect, longing, patience, regret, surprise, and forgiveness and compound them into one can create that atom which is called love.

Kahlil Gibran

Like most every girl, I wanted to be noticed by the opposite sex. I was more than ready to start dating. However, I was practically ignored, and this began to make me feel unwanted and inferior to all the other gorgeous, popular girls at my high school. Eventually, my self-confidence started to wither, and I even started to think there was something wrong with me. I had always wanted to date a religious guy, although most of the guys at my school weren’t, so that cut back my options.

Then, one Sunday, everything changed. I arrived at church, ready to teach a Sunday school class of perky five-year-olds, when I was greeted by Jeremy, a teenage helper like myself. Immediately, I could tell he had something on his mind. His eyes seemed to probe my face looking for any sign of emotion. Finally he inquired, “Did Brian ask you something?”

“Ask me what?” I replied.

“Oh . . . you’ll see!” Jeremy said, with a slight twinkle in his eyes. As soon as he said it, I knew what he meant. Brian Jones, a shy, introverted senior, had liked me unceasingly for almost two years. Although aware of his crush, I hadn’t been interested. I wanted to date someone with a more outgoing personality.

The rest of Sunday proceeded as usual. In the back of my mind, I was waiting for Brian to ask me out; however, it came time to leave and nothing had happened. Puzzled and somewhat relieved, I hopped in my dad’s van for the ride home. A few minutes after I got home, my mom walked through the door holding a delicate, pink rose accompanied by a note. When she left church, the flower had been sitting on the hood of her car, waiting for me. I had taken the wrong vehicle! Looking at the beautiful flower, I absolutely melted. If Brian asked me out, I would say yes! I figured a guy nice enough to give a girl a flower was someone special.

At that instant, the phone rang, and I became almost numb with excitement. My dad answered and knowingly handed it to me. My hands trembled with nerves, but I realize now that Brian must have been even more nervous talking with me. I thanked him for the flower, telling him that I adored roses and that pink was my favorite color. He said he had known this about me. Evidently, he went out of his way to find out and get my favorite flower. I was so touched by his thoughtfulness. Obviously nervous, Brian asked me everything from, “How was your day?” to “What did you do yesterday?” After posing almost every question in the book except the one he had called to ask, we said good-bye.

I understood the anxiety he was experiencing trying to ask me on a date, so I waited patiently for him to call me back. Within a few minutes, Brian called again and asked me out for coffee. Without hesitation I said yes, and we agreed that he would be pick me up at one thirty. I began tearing apart my wardrobe, searching for the perfect outfit to wear on my very first date. I wanted something attractive, but not flamboyant, and I decided on my pink blouse and tan shorts. I did my hair up in twists and, just as I finished, Brian arrived!

The ride there was mostly a blur; I was so nervous I could hardly focus. At one point, Brian awkwardly asked me if I was nervous and, in the most confident voice I could muster, I answered, “No . . . well, maybe a little.” I realize now that hiding my feelings probably made him feel even more anxious.

We arrived at the coffeehouse and ordered our drinks. I had my own money, but Brian insisted on paying for me. We sat across from each other at a small corner table. At first, our conversation was awkward and seemed to struggle along. However, as we learned more about each other, we realized that we shared similar likes and dislikes, and our staggered conversation transformed into a lively discussion. With every new, intriguing piece of information I learned about Brian, the more attractive he became. We talked for two hours about any topic that arose, and I discovered that he was incredibly smart, pleasant and down-to-earth. My previous notion that I would only enjoy dating someone outgoing was totally incorrect.

After we were finished, he drove me back to my house, told me he had a wonderful time and said he’d like to do it again. I agreed and we said good-bye, each of us glowing with excitement. The next day he called and invited me to the beach with him later that week. I happily agreed. Our relationship was off to a wonderful beginning.

Brian and I have now been together for seven months and one week. Every day we grow closer, and because we bonded so quickly and solidly, we can even see marriage as a possibility in our future. What started as my first date has flourished into a beautiful relationship.

Sarah Van Tine

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