Bryn said she had something special planned. Today, the seventh anniversary of our first date, I woke to find a note on the bathroom mirror that said simply, “Sharon – It’s time for another first date. See you there.”
Though I focused on my students all day, in the back of my mind I constantly mulled over what Bryn might mean. Our first date had been, well, uneven was generous. We’d been introduced at an open house for mutual friends who’d finished the renovation of their San Francisco Victorian. A flame had definitely flickered as we’d sipped some very fine wine and discovered a mutual love of hiking. She’d called the very next day to ask me out.
At home after work I found no further information but it was obvious Bryn had been there. I peeked under the covers on the neatly made bed and saw that towels were already in place. Candles waited on the bedside tables, ready to be lit, and the fire inside me was already leaping. Thinking it was hardly fair for me to be the only one squirming through dinner, I searched the back of the closet for the dress I’d worn that night, seven years ago. If she wanted another first date, she’d have to endure me wearing the crimson dress she’d sworn I would never keep on for longer than five minutes.
It was a clear, mild February evening in the city—warm enough to walk to Artorio’s, the North Beach restaurant where we had agreed to meet seven years ago. Tonight, however, I wasn’t shocked to realize it was Valentine’s Day. Neither of us had had any thought of February 14 when we’d chosen the time and place to meet. Long out of the dating pool and both of us with little expectation of more than a heated fling, our date had been simply set for “Friday night.”
Seven years ago Bryn had been flustered and embarrassed that there was no way we’d get a table that night, nor at any of the other restaurants in the city. That night fog had blown in, and it grew colder than my little crimson dress could cope with. But for me everything was okay when she draped her purple suede jacket over my shoulders. The scent of her cologne surrounded me with warmth.
We had our first date at Taco Town. There were no hearts, no roses.
Tonight I was ushered to a table in the darkest corner Artorio’s had to offer. And there she was, looking just like she had that night in black slacks, a white silk blouse and the very same suede jacket. She even wore her dark hair down around her shoulders. She rose, but didn’t kiss me—instead, a nervous hug.
“You look wonderful,” I said, which was true.
Her gaze flicked over my body. “So do you. That color is perfect for you.” She looked me in the eye, then, a smoldering look. “Thank you for wearing the dress.”
“You’re welcome.” I ran my hand over the jacket, loving the way the suede brushed to a deeper purple. “Are we really pretending this is our first date?”
“Yes. Except this time we’re not strangers.” She leaned over to whisper in my ear, “I know exactly what you like, Sharon, and I’m going to give it to you.”
I flushed, then chilled. Her arm was quickly around me, and I instinctively tipped my head back for a kiss.
She looked at my upturned face, her eyes smoky, and said, “That’s right. You’re mine and you were since the moment we met.”
I nearly smiled—she had not been this assertive that first night. We’d eaten tacos, sparingly, and she’d looked morose at times. Later she’d admitted she was certain I would give her a brush off hug at my door.
We ordered drinks and shared a salad. Artorio’s made wonderful pastas and served them generously, but we chose just one entrée and shared that as well. Her hand constantly brushed my thigh, my hip, my arm, and in a hundred little ways she made me feel that I was beautiful. Her touch told me that later she was going to take me to bed and show me, over and over, that I was at the center of her passion.
Fusilli nearly consumed, and her fingertips lazily stroking the back of my neck, she said conversationally, “That dress is wicked.”