chapter 1 the one where it was her first kiss
IN THE NOT TOO DISTANCED PAST
On her seventeenth birthday
Max looked at her sadly. He felt heartbroken for her. How can a guy treat a woman as beautiful as Kai like that? It was her birthday after all and any other day would have been fine to get rejected but not on a special day like this and not when he and his family filled her head with dreams and idiotic fantasy about how your seventeenth birthday is supposed to be like! He owed it to her to make it special and his brother, her best friend, Nate wasn’t in the country.
Kailey looked at Max as he approached her. He was so tall and handsome. With his perfect height of six feet two inches and slim jawline!! His lean body that wasn’t big and buffed but muscular and toned to perfection. His wavy, black hair was almost brown having spent so much time in the sun, beautiful, short at his neck but of medium length hairstyle he seemed to prefer rather that the long haired center parted hair that was in style... his thick but well shaped eyebrows, eyes that were hazel, his long prominent nose and that mouth... his full lips. Red. She loved how his lips were almost blood red. How many hours she spent with fantasies of them! His dreamy eyes of hazel brown. She stared into the number printed on his gray coloured t-shirt.
She felt so ashamed and her tears were flowing still as he wiped them off. She always craved his touch. She missed him so much and looked forward to spending time with him as he’s been in another country years now with only the occasional visits to his family. And now she just found out he was leaving again!
She was sure she looked quite a mess with her five feet and four inches, with her almost everyday flats on her feet and runny mascara! Her black long hair was in a mess too! At least she knew the outfit she wore was still looking good. Jeans and a beautiful baby pink top under her blue shirt. She had that very slim but shapely body that boys seem to love to look at.
But she wanted one particular person and he never looked at her like that !She gave him a lopsided smile and he returned it. She broke down some more. She wrung her hands as he reached her. It was awkward for her to be seen by him like this! What a miserable day. She thought she would have met him later for dinner but her mother had just told her minutes before he was leaving to go to Cape town. On the other side of the planet! What was he going to be doing in Africa anyway ?
Maximilian had made up his mind moments before as he was making his way towards her. Feeling awkward himself as he knelt before her and give her a dashing smile...but he wanted to take away her sadness.
With exaggerated humor he opened his arms wide and said through his pearly white even teeth, “Kai will you be my date tonight?”
At first she stood frozen starting to feel her heart speed up. It was her dream to be his date always! Since she met him but he was too old for her he said. She would wait she remembered saying to him eight years ago! He laughed at her then and rumpled her hair. “I’ll be old and gray with ten children by then !” Max had said. She was nine and he was fifteen then. She remembered running home and crying and refused to eat until the next day.
She also remembered praying that night and asking God to make him wait. She was going to be a doctor like him one day! She hadn’t chosen a path yet but it didn’t matter as long as he was there.
Now at seventeen she had a date with him? She felt like throwing up. Could life get any better? She was so in love with him and he never knew.
Sixteen was special. Seventeenth birthday was supposed to be special. Also eighteen then the big twenty-one!
But he was going to know tonight! She made up her mind as she looked at him kneeling before her. Suddenly she felt so happy that her heart swelled. Everything seemed brighter.
Max took an exaggerated bow as he waited for her to say yes.
He even wore her favorite boots that she told him she liked best on him she thought. This must be faith! It just so happened that it’s also his favorite having bought it on his last year in college. His Clarkdale Gobi. Mahogany was just a good colour he decided when he first saw it.
He knew about her little girly crush on him and while flattered he was also irritated about it but he knew she would grow out of it eventually and he thought of the fiance that was flying in to meet him in the morning!
The boy was mistaken clearly Max thought as he looked at Kailey when she took his hand. She looked stunning. Even her skin glowed! She had the most beautiful skin he thought while he watched her hand on his. Such a perfect shade of olive brown. She smiled at him. Even her eyes were perfect and black. With her hoop earrings. He smiled at her. She had an obsession with hoops and wrist bands. She always wore a moonstone leather band or even the threaded ones, no matter what colour! She looked so gorgeous in all her innocence.
He smiled at her as he wiped her tear stained face and smeared lip gloss. She hardly wore makeup only mascara and lip gloss. Kailey always felt that it was too much of a hassle and too time consuming. Jeans and sneakers suited her best she’d often say and he agreed.
She was so happy to be this close to him! She inhaled deeply at his scent and felt her eyes getting heavy...she was always giddy when he was near her. His cologne.
Chad had called earlier and cancelled their date but she was okay with it she told him. She was about to go back inside having been on the porch too long. It was almost an hour ago Chad had hung up. He was a really good friend to her and they were going to watch a movie. She knew her parents had dinner plans with the Walkers later. She was so looking forward to seeing Max but she heard he had a late flight that evening do he won’t be there most likely! She cried. She really could have used Chad’s company right now but he wasn’t feeling well and she heard it in his voice so She wasn’t going to call him. And Nate was visiting his relatives in New York, while he visited colleges he was interested in attending.
She cried because she wanted to spend the day with Max and nobody else and he didn’t want to be around her. Of course he didn’t say that but still... She was a child he said....He didn’t say it like that but still...Too many times she’s felt it! She was broken hearted and he didn’t even know it! Her parents were with Max’s parents having an evening dinner and drinks event which they have every month and she was expected to join them after her movie date. She had called her mother to tell her that she was coming over earlier than expected but she soon regretted it as she heard her mother blabbing it to the others...while she was on the phone with her!
“Poor dear,” her mother was loudly sympathetic, “and Max is flying out in a bit too.... what’s that dear ?....no...She said he cancelled on her.” Her mother’s voice faded a bit as she turned away from the telephone speaking to someone else.
She hung up on her mother.
As it turned out her mother was wrong...a bit... she found out later that night. Max was going to the airport but to pick up his fiance at 2am the next day. Then they would spend two days here before they both left to go to Africa. Together.
When her parents told Max’s parents that her dinner date cancelled they would immediately made it a dinner conversation!
Max didn’t believe that she was stood up. He changed his dress shirt and into a t-shirt and took his Riley khaki green jacket and three it into his car then made his way over to the Winter’s house, after all she only lived a few houses away. They were very close and spoke of everything, their parents.
He felt so sorry for her. Her parents often discussed her dates with them. A few times he saw her face almost red with embarrassment. It was another teenage phase. His fiance was so appalled by their outspoken behavior but he guessed it was because she wasn’t accustomed to it.! But she adored Kailey still and she spoke of her being her maid of honor.
But tonight was about Kailey! And she was going to have a perfect date!
He would show her how to expect to be treated on a proper “almost” date...not those popcorn and movies thing! He smiled remembering his teenage years. He calls them his popcorn years!