At Last

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic


This story tells the true story of a night out. Background information to AT LAST can be found in story IT'S NOT LOVE...OR IS IT.

Submitted: September 25, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 25, 2017

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A A A


Today is the day. The day I have been anticipating for so long. I finally grew a pair and asked Karina to Homecoming.

Something I wanted to do for a little more than a year now. I was too slow last year and missed my opportunity, but I made sure I secured the date with her this year. Well that’s not entirely true. There was a day I wanted to ask her but I put it off and ended up asking her about four days after I originally wanted to. That doesn’t matter though, I asked her, she said yes, she bought a beautiful dress, I bought a matching tie. It was as if the stars aligned for me. For us.

Waiting for 5 o’clock, the time I’d go pick her up for pictures at a friends house, Anjelina, felt like an eternity. I sat in my bed watching TV to get my mind off of my anxiety before I went insane. And it worked. Maybe a little bit too well. I decided to watch a movie she had been suggesting to me for a while, What Happened to Monday. By the time there was about 15 minutes left in the movie it was 4:35. I sprang out of my chair and threw on my suit.

In the midst of putting on what I believe is a pretty nice suit, it occurred to me I forgot her bouquet. I felt my heart drop to my stomach. The fear that went through my body as I raced to the car to drive to the florist with half a suit on is definitely something I never want to relive again. Fortunately, she was running late too.

Finding her house was a trip and a half, but I made it difficult on myself. It was actually stupidly simple and I overcomplicated things, something I always do.

Eventually I found her house. A brick built surrounded by other bricks as she puts it. I saw her front door opening so I got out of the car. As I stepped out and turned to see her walking towards me, I froze. I stood in awe. She was so beautiful. Not like she isn’t every other day, but...just wow.

The moment I saw her black dress with pink flowers on the skirt, her infectious smile running ear to ear and the way she looked right back at me with the same excitement I had been feeling all day was just amazing. Fourth favorite moment of the night.

Briefly, in a nanosecond, I ran how I wanted the night to go down in my head: Go to the dance, have a fantastic time, slow dance with her, don’t let her pay for anything under any circumstances, kiss her.

That last one on the list actually belongs at the top. It was a top priority. I had been waiting for so long to finally get a night out alone with her. I got it and I did not want to squander my moment. Through all the pain and heartache I put myself through (mostly due my mentioned overreactions) I needed to finally tell her what I really wanted.

In that time of staring at her loveliness, opening the car door for her blanked my mind. I wanted to open it for her to subtly tell her how much I care for her. Whoopity doo opening a door for her, but whatever, I just want her to get that feeling. Not sure exactly what feeling, but to just to get in across her mind that I am here, it’s me, let’s do this. Don’t think that’s a feeling but, again, whatever.

Driving from her house to her friends house was exactly as I expected. I played music I liked and she liked it too. We made light small talk, it was mostly me laughing at the weird noises she made, something she does often.

Oh, before I forget to mention, she’s terrible at giving directions. I missed Anjelina’s house twice then ended up parking in the same spot I was in when we first got there. Then after pictures at her house, we went to another girl’s house (she was in the group). K didn’t know where she lived so she Google mapped it, still not effective with her giving the information. We ended up in some gated community with speed bumps that did not have signs. I went over the first two pretty fast because, again, no signs. She blames me for it but honestly it was not my fault. All of this has no purpose, just thought I’d reflect on my experience driving with her giving me directions.

Anyway, we found the second girl’s house and took a few more pictures. We had talked about meeting up with another group and discussing going to a restaurant after the dance, but I was hungry then. I saw an opportunity to buy her Wendy’s, her favorite fast food place. I suggested it and she immediately jumped all over the question. So we took a quick pitstop at Wendy’s to eat. When we ordered our food, the dance had started, but honestly we didn’t even have to go. As long as it was me and her I’d be alright.

I, for some reason, asked for it to-go not thinking about actually eating the food, so we sat in the car in the parking lot. My second best mistake of the night. While we were eating, I moved back the sunroof and opened the window up. Being who she is, which is just down right fantastic, her mind told her to throw a couple fries out the top. I threw a couple out too.

I looked at her and noticed how genuinely happy she was, and how absolutely amazing it is to just sit here and look at her and do random shit with her. That moment when I saw her laughing uncontrollably at herself, repeating “I’m so frick fracking funny,” is priceless. Third favorite moment of the night.

We got to the dance and had a great time. We jumped around a little bit (what else is there to do at a high school dance these days?), got our pictures and talked. It was loud, obviously, but we did get the chance to talk waiting in line for pictures, and when she needed to catch her breath after dancing to Suavemente.

We sort of, somewhat slow danced.

Anjelina’s date said he didn’t want to slow dance. She said she wasn’t too upset about it but when Boyz II Men’s I Want It That Way started playing while the three of us were sitting at the table, she had a disappointed look on her face. I felt bad for her, but I still wanted to dance with K. I was about to say “Do you want to dance,” but she beat me to it, but not in the way you’d expect. K asked Anjelina.

Sitting at the table I thought to myself, that’s why I love her. She’s generous, caring and willing to do anything for anyone she cares for, three fantastic qualities. I then realized I said I love her. I wasn’t really too sure if I did love her considering she’s the only girl I’ve talked to for so long, but saying it without even overthinking it tells me something at least.

I told them I would stand next to them in a very creepy way. I knew I’d get a laugh out of K, and I did. About midway through the song Anjelina must have felt bad for me this time so she said for us to dance the rest. As I slid my hands onto her hips and felt her hands around my neck, all of the sounds of a High School dance went away. All the distractions of the lights, the people, faded away as I stared deep into her beautiful brown eyes and we both mouthed the lyrics.

Our slow dance didn’t last long because I winked at her, something that makes her uncomfortable. It wasn’t the one wink that did it, however it was the three or four winks that followed that did it. She got creeped out and broke away, but as a joke, I know she wasn’t actually creeped out of me.

At the time I was upset about not slow dancing with her for a longer time, but in the back of my mind I knew I’d make a move. That I would tell her how I felt.

Over the last year I wanted to tell her but couldn’t. She was one of my best friends, my bestest friend. I was afraid of losing what we had. Our conversations everyday. Our jokes we tell. The bagging we do on each other. I was afraid she didn’t feel the same and my confession would tarnish and ruin all of the fantastic memories I have with her.

But I had a plan. A plan to finally tell her. I was just waiting for the right time to look her in the eye and say “I care about you and I want you to be mine.” I figured, with her, the time and place to tell her would present itself, and I was sure of it. I had a feeling in my gut and in my heart that the time was coming, so I didn’t stress too much over her breaking up the dance. Quite frankly, if she winked at me five or six times in a row I’d be a bit creeped out.

But that’s us. We creep each other out. We push ourselves to our maximum level of uncomfortableness and just stick around in that zone. The fact that we do that and still talk practically 24/7 tells me, even though she is uncomfortable, she is comfortable with me. Beyond all else, that’s the only thing I wanted, for her to be comfortable talking to me about anything, and I her.

The dance was ending and I could tell she was getting tired. So after she stole a lightbulb-candle, a cardboard glittery star and two corsages, we took off.

The idea to go out to a restaurant was thrown away because Anjelina said we would meet her at her house and have a bonfire. That sounded like fun, but I was more excited about the more time I’d get to spend with her.

On the drive over I played some Frank Sinatra. Soft stuff because she seemed sluggish and looked like she wanted to take it slow.

On the way to Anjelina’s, I looked over at the passenger's seat where she reclined her seat and fell asleep. She looked peaceful and comfortable, like she had trust in me. Looking at her with a shawl over her arms, her eyes closed and her soft breathing, the peacefulness of everything just felt natural. Like she and I were destined to be in this car on this night. I tried my best to drive as slow and smooth as possible so I would not wake her. She just looked so calm and, again, comfortable and all I could do is look at her and smile. Second favorite moment of the night.

We arrived at Anjelina's house. Since I was instructed to return home before 11 by my parents, and it was about 10:15, I planned on dropping her off, returning the car and asking for a ride over to Anjelina’s house from my mom. I pulled up to her house with my shotty parking and she stepped out of the car and we beat Anjelina. It didn’t occur to me exactly what K planned on doing and I never really process exactly what it was I was doing. I almost left her sitting on a bench outside, at night in 50 degree weather in a dress alone.

Immediately I turned around and parked to go out and keep her company. No way in hell I was going to leave her there all by herself. After my shotty parking returned, I got out of the car and started to walk to the bench she was sitting on in front of Anjelina’s house.

About halfway towards her, I reached down to my pocket and noticed my phone wasn’t in there. I know it was on the car seat because we were listening to music the way there. At first I was bummed and thought it may be awkward to just sit there, but it didn’t matter. My best mistake of the night because I sat on the bench next to her and we started talking. She put her phone down and gave me her undivided attention. I was guessing, but felt like that was a sign telling me she was just as committed to us as I was. I felt the moment, the time and place to tell her, was right here.

My confession, the one big secret weighing on my chest for the past year making it almost impossible to do anything other than think about it, was on the tip of my tongue. When I felt my anxiety build up as my mouth slightly opened, she talked before me suggesting we sit in the car. Well, she said “Should we sit in the car...and do the hanky panky?” another one of our jokes. I said yes, referring to us sitting in the car, obviously, as she began to laugh uncontrollably at her witty humor and my response.

It felt like I missed my chance as I got off the bench, but as she stood up next to me and our eyes met briefly, I knew I’d get another chance in the car, and I did not want to miss it yet again.

We got to the car, and after she made fun of my parking, we sat inside. I went to my phone to turn on the bluetooth to play some music out of my speaker, but she said “Shh, I’m going to call my dad to make sure it’s okay to stay for the bonfire at Anjelina’s.”

While she was asking him the question, having to repeat it after he didn’t hear her the first time, I whispered “penis” and “vagina,” another one of our jokes. But then I heard him say no. He told her no she could not stay for the bonfire and had to go home.

My heart sunk.

Not like when I realized I had forgotten the flowers, but something much more severe. I saw the pure disappointment in her eyes. I couldn’t bear it. I wanted to erase the sadness from her face. Her smile, her laugh, is the only thing that keeps me going. The absence of those things in my life... lord knows what it’ll do to me now.

Just like that, the feeling in my gut and my heart that I would get the chance to finally tell her how I feel just blew away like a leaf in a hurricane. I didn’t want to take advantage of her vulnerability, so, in comprehending that I had again missed my chance, I began to feel that same self pity I felt a year ago when I missed my chance to ask her to Homecoming. The same self pity I felt when I looked up and saw her holding hands with another guy directly after the dance. The same self pity I felt when I couldn’t sleep so I ended up looking back at all of my missed opportunities to tell her how I felt.

She hung up and I paused the music. I looked over at her once again then reached for the key to turn on the car to drive her home. As I turned the key and started the car, I heard her soft frail voice say something over the roaring of the engine rolling over. “Is it okay if I kissed you?”

A million thoughts flew into my head, but the only thing that came out of my mouth was “Sure.” Maybe I said something else, maybe she said something after that, I don’t really know. Honestly my mind went dark, besides this one question Is this finally for real?

My heart was pounding the hardest it ever has. I could barely feel the tip of my fingers. I was brought back to reality when her lips and mine touched for the first time.

As I gently placed my left hand on the back of her neck, moved her hair out of the way with my right and felt her heart beating at the same pace as mine, it just didn’t feel real. It felt like a dream. Something so perfect couldn’t possibly be real.

The realization that her and I were together didn’t sink in until she released her lips from mine, leaned close to my ear and whispered the words that would tell me yes, she does feel the same way as I do.“I love you.”

Those three little words, three soft syllables, captivated me. It told me that this thing happening right now, everything I’ve ever wanted, is real and it is finally here.

Kissing her cheek, I released my lips and hovered parallel with her right ear. “Me too.”

That night, I wished I had said “you have no idea” to let her know that I love you too, but you don’t even know the first of it; you don’t even know the kind of heartache you put on me and I did on myself in regards to you. But thinking about it now, I glad I didn’t. Though it seems a bit too simple, ‘me too’ is perfect. Perfect because it was genuine. It’s my genuine response to the words I love you after they have escaped her mouth.

Upon processing the three little words, I was floating on a cloud. Finally where I wanted to be for a long time now. But I felt her inching away from me. I felt her lips slowly disconnect from mine as she made a slight moan. After the released, I turned my head forward and saw Anjelina getting out of a car. I had gotten lost with her, a feeling I desperately was searching for.

We both chuckled softly then got out of the car to tell Anjelina the bad news. After we gave our thanks and said our goodbyes, we sat still and quiet for a couple seconds in the car. I reached for the ignition to find I never turned off the car.

“Do you think she saw?” I asked hoping to get to hear that laugh that makes my day everyday. I did as she said, “I don’t think so. She would have gave me a look, you know.”

I moved the gear from park to drive and proceeded to head towards her house, and as I turned onto her street, Ray Charles’ Here We Go Again began playing from my speaker. The song must have resonated with her as, over Ray, she told me to pull over. Eager, I quickly find a nice little spot to sit in and turned off the car. Turning off the headlights, I can feel her getting closer and closer to me. Here we go again.

The feeling of her soft lips sent me away to the place I was during the first kiss. We were sitting there for a while because three other songs went by. Elvis Presley’s I’m Yours, Bobby Darin’s That’s The Way Love Is and Sam Cooke’s You’re Always On My Mind.

The kiss was coming to an end, I felt her lips slowly drifting away from mine. My brain told me to hold on by all means necessary. That meant grabbing her hair and reeling her in. I didn’t really think much of it until she said “Did you just pull my hair?” We both softly chuckled but continued. But of course all good things must come to an end and she leaned back into her seat.

I turned on the car and proceeded to drive down the road at a slow speed. Trying to savor every last second I have left with her tonight. I glanced over to see her smiling. Not just a little smile, but the same smile I had glowing on my face as our first kiss ended. The look in her eyes, the look of sadness and disappointment, had vanished. Favorite moment of the night.

I drove up next to her house and put the car in park. She was about to get out, but I leaned over and gave her another kiss, placing my hand at the bottom of her chin. I could tell she didn’t want to leave, giving off a soft moan of disgust following us letting go.

As I watched her walk up to her door, an indescribable joy flushed through my body. I remember distinctly how I felt when I opened the door to my house a few minutes later. There was an extra spring in my step, my face began to hurt due to all the smiling and it was obvious I was in a very good mood. How could I not? I got what I wanted. But of course I wanted more. And that lead to me asking myself laying in my bed that night, How could I get more?

I decided I wanted more, I needed more, but for now I’d enjoy what was seemingly a perfect night.

I vividly remember how I felt driving away from Karina’s house that night. Reaching for my phone to play Frank Sinatra’s I’ve Got The World On A String the Bon Jovi’s In These Arms. I remember the pure joy and happiness I felt despite driving away and leaving her, a part that usually saddened me. I remember thinking to myself At last.

 


© Copyright 2018 Jose Vasquez. All rights reserved.

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