A December First Date
By: Robin Gagnon
Anna waited nervously inside the downtown Toronto café for her date to arrive. It had been a while since she had been on one. She checked her phone for the tenth time expecting to hear that something had gone wrong at home with the babysitter or that her date wouldn’t be arriving.
She sighed and wondered if this was all worth it. Did she even a man in her life? She had known Julian for quite some time now, and he was really nice. He had seemed pretty excited when she had asked him if he wanted to go on a date with her. Just the memory of the look on his face sent butterflies fluttering through her tummy.
“Hi,” a male voice broke into her thoughts. “Sorry I’m late. The traffic was crazy.”
Anna looked up to see Julian smiling at her with a grin that lit up the room. A group of girls looked up to check him out and a ripple of envy went through her. He must have seen it because the next thing she knew, he was wrapping her up in a warm embrace. Her face lit up pink and she handed him a hot chocolate.
“I didn’t know how you liked your coffee,” she explained. “So I bought you a hot chocolate. I hope you don’t mind.”
“That ‘s wonderful,” Julian nodded with a smile. “Thank you.”
He blew on it carefully and tried not to spill the dark brown substance on his light brown winter trench coat. A scarf was wrapped around his neck and the tiniest bit of stubble dotted his chin. He was as classy as ever and Anna couldn’t help but stare.
He chuckled when she realized he had stopped to watch her check him out.
“Oh, uh, I,” she stammered, looking more than a little embarrassed. “What do you want to do now?”
“Let’s just go for a walk,” Julian suggested, taking Anna by the hand. “I’m sure we’ll figure something out after that.”
Anna smiled happily and they went out walking in the beautiful crisp night. She was sure that if they weren’t in the city, the stars would have been shining brightly above them. Things were already so perfect.
“That looks fun,” Julian commented, pointing toward the people ice skating outside city hall in front of a huge Christmas tree and a beautiful neon sign that spelt out ‘Toronto’. “I haven’t been skating in a long time.”
“I’ve never been skating before,” Anna admitted in embarrassment. “Never really got around to doing so.”
“What?” Julian exclaimed in disbelief. “You’re a Canadian and you’ve never been skating?”
Anna laughed nervously as she replied, “It does sound a little weird when you put it like that.”
“Well, we’re going to have to fix that,” Julian declared with the sip of his hot chocolate. “Let’s go buy you some skates.”
Anna looked up at him in bewilderment, “Oh, you don’t have to do that.”
But it was too late. Julian had made up his mind. It wasn’t long before he had bought them both a pair of skates and they had made their way back to the ice rink.
Julian was on one knee tying up Anna’s skates and her heart was fluttering like crazy as she imagined him proposing to her. When he was finished, he stood up and held out his hand for her to take it. She did, but she wobbled all over the place before she could find her balance.
“I don’t know about this,” she trailed off, as she stumbled along beside him to the ice. “I’m going to fall immediately. Maybe I’m too old for this.”
“Nonsense,” Julian assured her, stepping easily onto the ice. “You are a beautiful young lady and I won’t let you fall.”
A smile spread across Anna’s face and she stumbled onto the ice, but as per his promise, Julian never let her fall. It was new, exciting and he helped teach her to skate by holding onto her hands and skating in front of her. She laughed the whole time and when he finally came to a stop, she collided into him.
“This was so much fun,” she laughed in his arms. “I should have tried this a long time ago.”
“Nah,” Julian smirked, pulling her a bit closer to him with his arms around her waist. “Because then I wouldn’t of been able to teach you.”
She smiled up at him a little shyly and he eventually leaned down and kissed her on the lips.
“Maybe next time,” he mumbled after pulling away for a moment. “I could teach your son how to skate.”
A warm happiness spread throughout Anna’s chest at Julian’s words. Perhaps tonight hadn’t been a waste of time after all.
“I would love that.”