Acceptance

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Chapter 18

It was time for my first date with Caleb and the nerves I felt were overwhelming. I’d been on tons of dates and never had any issues, but Caleb is very important to me and I didn’t want to fuck this up.

I already had a basket packed full of sparkling grape juice since we are too young to buy alcohol, some ham and turkey sub sandwiches, some fruit, and a blanket. We were going to have a picnic and I was going to show him my favorite place. My favorite place was just a clearing in the forest near the road leading out of town. It’s my favorite because of how beautiful it looks at night and the memories it holds.

I grabbed my laptop and had a few movies on it that we could watch. It wasn’t much, but I was hoping he would love it anyways.

I was wearing some black jeans, a dark red t-shirt, and my Vans shoes. We agreed to not dress formal in any way and I was thankful. If I had to dress formal, I probably would have an aneurysm from worrying about what to wear.

I parked my car in front of Caleb’s house and right as I was about to walk up to the door, Caleb walked out and quickly approached me.

“Lets go before my mom notices I’m gone,” he grabbed my arm and pulled me back to the car.

“Why? Is there something wrong with her knowing you’re going on a date with me?,” I frowned and he stopped. He turned towards me.

“Elliot, it’s nothing about us going on a date. She knows, and she is overjoyed. She just wants to take a billion pictures of us because this is my first date. I don’t want to spend an hour taking pictures,” he said as he pulled me closer to him. We hugged for a moment and pulled away once we heard the front door open.

We got in the car quickly as we laughed at her yelling. She was yelling for us to come back for pictures and shook her head at us as I drove away.

“Alright, so what are we doing?,” he asked excitedly.

“That’s a surprise,” I grinned at his pout.

He begged me a few more times but I refused to tell him. I drove to the forest outside of town and turned onto the small dirt path leading to the clearing. I parked the car inside the clearing once we arrived and turned off the engine.

“Um, you didn’t bring me here to kill me, right?,” he chuckled nervously.

“Of course not, sweetheart,” I laughed and shook my head. He watched me carefully for a moment as I set up our picnic but stopped once he snapped out of it and noticed the picnic.

“We are having a picnic in the forest?,” he questioned and I nodded with a smile. We both sat down on the blanket and I handed him a sandwich and a cup of the sparkling juice. We began eating and I looked him up and down as I ate.

He was wearing black jeans with tears in the knees, a tan colored plaid shirt that was unbuttoned and a dark gray t-shirt was underneath. Both shirts looked a little large on him but he still looked beautiful. He had tan boots on as well and I admired how he could look good in anything.

“So, how did you discover this place?,” he asked.

“My dad brought me here when I became a teenager. He said he wanted to have some father son days so we would stay close like we were. He was afraid I would turn into a moody teenager and hate him,” I chuckled at the thought of how all that changed so fast. “We would have dinner at the diner in town then come here and listen to music while we watched the stars,” I smiled a small smile at the good memories and sighed. “I brought you here because this is my favorite place and I wanted to share it with you. I really care about you and want this date to go perfectly. Nowhere else sounded good enough for you. I didn’t want to do the usual dinner and movie date that people usually do. I wanted our first date to be special, not cliche.”

He was quiet for a moment so I looked at him to see why. I could see tears brimming his eyes and a small smile on his face. “Thank you for sharing such a special place with me.”

I kissed his cheek in response and we continued eating. I grabbed my laptop after awhile and started playing a Disney movie I knew he loved.

It was dark and the stars were shining brightly in the sky after a couple movies and I laid on my back and watched the stars as I listened to the movie. We were currently watching Hercules and the song ‘Go The Distance’ began playing. I began singing along without even realizing it and his clapping startled me and I jumped.

“That was amazing! Why didn’t you tell me before that you can sing like an angel?”

“Uh, I’m not really that good. I didn’t think it was very important. I only sing in the shower or when I’m alone,” I answered, still surprised at what happened and how easily I sang in front of him.

“Babe, shut up. You are incredible and I don’t want to hear you put yourself down like that again,” he pounted his finger at me and I nodded with a small smile.


We were on our way to my new home when he asked me, “What are you going to do after graduation?”

“Honestly, I have no idea,” I answered with a sigh. I knew I needed to figure it out. I didn’t want to get stuck in this town the rest of my life. “What about you?”

“Not sure, Atlas and I have made a few jokes about me being his manager when he’s famous,” he said with a laugh. I glanced at him in confusion.

“Famous?”

“Oh, I thought you already knew. Atlas has his own YouTube channel and has a ton of subscribers. He just plays the guitar, but he can sing too. He doesn’t want to be the lead singer though. He wants to do more backup vocals, I guess,” Caleb explained and I thought back to the morning after we slept together. I remembered seeing a guitar and was speechless. “Hey, maybe you and Atlas could team up and I could be your manager,” he joked and then thought of it in a serious way. “You should! Oh my god, that would be so fun! Elliot, what do you think?”

I wasn’t sure what I thought. Yeah, it sounded fun, but what if I wasn’t good enough or Atlas’s fans hated me or something? Fuck, I could think of a million ‘what if’ situations.

“I don’t know, Caleb,” I said nervously, “I guess we can talk to Atlas about it, but I’m still kind of on the fence about it.”

I could tell he wanted to try convincing me some more, but instead, he slid his fingers between mine and gently squeezed my hand.

I kissed the back of his hand and spent the rest of the drive in silence.

Tonight was incredible, and I was happy I got to share my favorite place with Caleb.

Best date ever.
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