Part V: Date
Annalise had been rather speechless when Gale had asked her out.
“Annalise, will you please go out with me again?” Such were his exact words.
It was not so much about the words as how they actually sounded to her—as if he were asking her to marry him!
However, she would probably say “Yes” to that the same way she had for this request for a date with her: a slight flush on her cheeks and a cheerful smile on her face.
’A date??!!’ The thought now suddenly gripped her heart like a vice. ’A date… an actual date with the most handsome entity in this entire universe…?!?!’
Nevertheless, she could not help smiling at the way her name sounded on his lips, filling her chest with heart-stopping excitement.
Just a few hours before the fixed time, she found herself running round and round her room in panic. She normally did not bother about what kinds of clothes she wore – even three years ago, when she and Gale were still just best friends – but now, looking good in front of him seemed the most important thing!
A knock on her door brought her to a stop.
“Anna! You need some help getting ready?!” Her mother’s voice relieved her so much that she nearly collapsed.
“Mama!” she cried as she stumbled forward to open the door.
In the meantime, Gale was also concerned about what to wear.
However, being a perfectionist, he always knew which pair of clothes will go best for which occasion.
He showered and put on a yellow shirt with a pair of navy blue jeans. As he tightened a belt around his hip, he recounted the look on Annalise’s face when he had asked her out, for he was well-aware of the manner in which it tumbled out of his mouth. He had been a little afraid of rejection, but decided to go ahead and take the risk anyway.
’And, boy, was it worth it!’
The flustered and anxious look she had given him and the way her eyes flew wide was priceless. He had to stop himself from bursting out into laughter, lest she be hurt and blatantly refuse.
However, the way she had said “Yes” had made him forget his amusement entirely; his heart swelled with love and adoration for her.
Gale had told Annalise that he would pick her up at her home at five that evening and they would walk to the Dolls Café, which was no longer free of cost.
So, the little girl – now dressed in a half-sleeved pink t-shirt and a blue knee-length skirt that exactly matched her eyes [picked by her mother, of course] – was waiting just outside her gate, with her mother beside her for moral support.
Also, her mother secretly wanted to see her daughter off on her very first date.
Gale arrived sharp at five and greeted Annalise’s mother gallantly. The latter was very happy to see her daughter with such a civil young man.
’Ah, the joys of youth,’ she thought with a sigh, as she waved goodbye to the young couple.
Annalise and Gale walked the short distance towards the café, chatting animatedly. Later on, as they reflected upon this moment individually, they realised that that was perhaps the best moment in both their lives.
When Gale opened the door of the café, a small bell attached to it rang loudly, announcing their entry. He stepped aside to let Annalise enter first, before stepping in after her. He let the door close by itself and walked towards the glass French windows, which overlooked the street outside.
Annalise looked around her and saw that there were not many people in the café, aside from one family and two couples, besides themselves. Gale picked a couple’s table near one of the windows. Like the gentleman he always was, he pulled out a chair for her. She settled down in it with a giggle. Gale sat down opposite to her.
“What would you like to order?” he enquired with a smile.
“A chocolate pastry and some lemonade, please,” was her immediate response.
Gale chuckled. “You’re still a cute choco-pie, are you?” he said with a wink.
Annalise’s cheeks flushed a bright red tinge. “Yes, so what?!” she cried, a little offended.
However, despite her harsh words, she could not remain angry with her friend for more than two seconds. So, when he started laughing, she could not help but join in.
As they received their orders and dug into their food, the two young couple discussed many things, such as their individual futures, job perspectives, college experiences, and the new friends they had each made.
But, both of them knew that no matter how many friends they had, it was only each other’s company that meant the most to them.