Debra Sue Brice
“Did you tell him?” Marie asked, sitting on my bed as I frantically went through my closet looking for an appropriate outfit to wear for my first date tonight.
“No,” I casually replied, holding up a gorgeous purple blouse with a deep, plunging neckline. “Why the heck did I buy this?” I asked Marie, showing her the shirt.
“You didn’t,” she smirked and winked. “I bought it for you. Figured you needed to spice up your wardrobe a bit.” Marie was my best friend but my worst influence.
“Thanks,” I mumbled, hanging the blouse back up. I’d never wear it but I guess it did spice up my closet. Most of my clothes were various shades of blacks and greys, with some whites mixed in the bunch. They were so much easier to mix and match that way.
“Sooo…” Marie started again. “What are you guys doing tonight?” She was looking for juicy details, but I didn’t have anything that would satisfy her curiosity.
“Dinner at Cozumel, then we’re headed to All Fired Up to paint some pottery, and maybe grab some dessert before heading home, depending on how well things are going.” I smiled. I had high hopes for this date.
“Oh my gosh, Nadine! That is so boring!” Marie whined.
“Boring for you maybe, but I think it will be a great way for us to talk and get to know each other,” I replied. “He originally wanted to go to the zoo since he knows I like animals, but…” I trailed off, knowing I didn’t really want to argue with Marie about my issues.
“Oh, that’s right,” Marie gently mocked. “You can’t go to the zoo because that would require you to be outside. In the sun. Heaven forbid.” She rolled her eyes and laid back on my overstuffed pillows.
“Make fun of me all you want, but I know I’m allergic to the sun.”
“Whatever,” Marie snorted.
* * * * *
“I can’t wait to see how your Cinco De Mayo plate turns out,” I smiled as I walked with my date down the street after painting at All Fired Up. The street lights guided us through the sleepy town towards the ice cream parlor, our last stop for the night. This date was going well.
He laughed, making my smile even bigger. Adam had turned out to be quite the gentleman, even exceeding my expectations. This date was going really well.
“We’ll see,” he said. “Hopefully it’ll be appropriate enough to use when I make you Mexican dinner some time soon.”
I blushed. Another dinner with Adam was something I was definitely looking forward to in the near future. He was a kind, respectful and curious young man. I hadn’t seen one of these in a while, so it was easy to consider a second date.
Adam offered his arm which I gladly accepted. We walked arm in arm the rest of the block to the ice cream parlor. Clouds covered what would have been the perfect night for stargazing, but it was okay. I was enjoying looking at Adam anyway. He must have been thinking the same thing as he kept gazing up at the sky as well.
“Beautiful weather tonight,” he mentioned, as if reading my mind. I smiled, even though I don’t think I had ever stopped smiling since we left the restaurant.
“Yes,” I replied. “It’s a shame we can’t see more stars tonight though,” I said glancing up. “As a matter of fact, I do believe it is also supposed to be a full moon.”
Adam slowly nodded.
We ordered our ice cream to go so we could sit in the park square and have less people around to distract our conversation. There was so much more I wanted to learn about Adam and hoped he felt the same way about me.
The wind had picked up a bit as we ate and chatted, giving an eerie feeling to the evening air. The moon started shining intermittently from behind the clouds, casting a greyish effect on the dimly lit trees in the park. I could have stayed out all night enjoying Adam’s company, but he suddenly became antsy, almost distant. He finished his ice cream so quickly one would have thought he would have incurred a massive brain freeze by the time he dropped his spoon in his empty bowl.
“Can I walk you to your car?” he asked as he quickly stood up from the bench. I must have looked confused because he nervously sat back down.
“Um,” I looked down at my half-finished ice cream and then back at him. “Okay.” I didn’t know what else to say. The little flame I felt so joyously dancing in my heart only a few seconds ago was completely now blown out. Somewhere over the course of the evening I must have missed the cue that said he was having a bad time.
“I’m sorry to cut the evening short, Nadine,” Adam apologized. Hearing the gentle way he said my name made my heart melt. “It’s just,” he hesitated, looking up at the sky.
“Oh,” I said, hopefully understanding the reason for his urgency. “It isn’t supposed to rain tonight,” I reassured, smiling. “Look,” I pointed, “the moon is even starting to come out.”
Adam nervously smiled.
Then it hit me.
“Will you turn into a werewolf on a full moon?” Of course I was joking, but the look on his face made me think twice.
“Well,” he started, staring at the ground. “It’s not that.”
Phew. That would have been awkward. I took another bite of ice cream.
“What is it then?” I asked between unladylike chews of ice cream covered brownie chunks.
“It’s nothing, really,” he trailed off. But it was definitely something. I, too, had a secret that seemed a bit intimate to share with a stranger.
“Okay, then. We can head back to my car.” I stood up, still eating as I started walking. Adam quickly stood and followed me to my car.
“I really had a good time tonight.” Adam’s words were sincere as we walked along the sidewalk, making this evening even more confusing.
“I did, too.” I wanted to be honest in return. If there was a chance he wanted a second date I would probably give it another shot, but he kept sending mixed signals. By the time we got to my car, I was done with my ice cream and about done with Adam.
“I want to tell you something,” Adam started, blocking my way to the driver door, “but I can’t.” At this point, I didn’t have any hopes for a future with him so I decided to play along.
“I actually have something to tell you, too. But I won’t,” I said, trying to withhold my sarcasm.
This seemed to pique his interest. “Really?” he asked, slightly shocked and intrigued at the same time.
“We all have our little secrets,” I admitted. “But sometimes people just don’t understand our quirks, which makes it hard to be open and honest about our true selves.”
“I really like you and I’d like to go out again,” he paused, “Like tomorrow.” His smile warmed my heart. “But I’d like to take you out during the day. I have a great place that I think you’d really like, but we have to go during daylight hours.”
I cringed. It was time to either end this relationship or see if Adam would be understanding and sympathetic of her differences.
“I can’t, Adam.”
“Why?” he asked.
I took a deep breath. “I’m allergic to the sun.”
He burst out in laughter, my pride instantly crashing to the ground.
“I don’t think that’s very nice…” I started.
“No, no, you don’t understand.” He caught his breath and put his hand on my shoulder. He looked me deep in the eyes and said, “I only laugh because I’m allergic to the moon.”