It was Friday and I could not have been more excited. We had kept texting, and it felt natural and normal. He was funny, nice, and kind. He was on the hockey team, he had an older brother and sister and a younger sister. It felt like I knew more about him than I did some of my other friends already. There was just one problem leading up to the date, WHAT DOES ONE WEAR TO A HOCKEY GAME?
I did what anyone would do, I Googled it. The answers, something warm because the ice was cold and made the entire place cold, and something with the team colors would be ideal. CC’s colors are gold and black, and I had plenty of warm clothes. Time to go to the closet. I started flipping through my clothes looking for the perfect outfit, but I had nothing gold and black and if I wore the colors would it look like I was trying too hard. After way too many outfit tries, (it was a great thing I decided to start getting ready right after school) I found the perfect outfit. My favorite pair of jeans, a white camisole, with a yellow and white striped long sleeve v-neck sweater. Perfect. I curled my hair, put on my makeup. Which, I should note, I was no longer wearing the orange mousse foundation, but was wearing a foundation that matched my skin. I really was growing up. I looked in the mirror, smiled at myself and walked into the kitchen ready to go.
At 6 o’clock a red SUV pulled into our driveway. I saw the car pull in through the kitchen windows, but didn’t run to the door even though I wanted to because I didn’t want him to think I was too eager. He walked out of the car, came to the front door, and rang our doorbell. I answered it with my mom standing maybe two feet behind me.
“Hi Ms. Knox, I’m Jake,” with all the confidence in the world, he stuck his hand out and shook my mom’s hand.
“Ready?” He asked me with a slight smile.
“Ready!” I said as I grabbed my corduroy purse off the table in the entryway.
He opened the car door for me and walked around to the other side to get in.
“Hi Tori, I’m Jake’s mom, it’s nice to meet you!” She turned around from the driver’s seat to look at me with the warmest motherly smile I had ever seen.
“Hi, it’s nice to meet you.” I was nervous and wanted to make a good impression, but she was already kinder than I could have ever imagined.
Sitting next to me in a car seat was his youngest sister. She was watching Dora The Explorer and I immediately started talking to her. She was the bubbliest most friendly 3 year old I had ever met. It was as though I was in a Twilight Zone of happy families. I loved it.
It wasn’t long before we pulled up at the World Arena for the hockey game.
“Have fun! I’ll pick you up after,” His mom said as we were leaving the car with the biggest smile still plastered on her face.
“Shall we?” He said motioning towards the arena.
“Let’s go” every butterfly in the world had landed in my stomach and were doing not a waltz, but some sort of cha cha dance.
We made it to our seats and started watching the game. I was trying my hardest to follow the puck, but was extremely aware of his arm around my shoulder. Every whistle was met with a question from me, and he would explain the rules, then he would explain the same rule when it happened again but he never got impatient with me.
After the first period he asked if I wanted to walk around. We started walking the arena, just talking, walking the same circle over and over again but never running out of conversation.
“Oh! Hey guys!” Suddenly Jake was walking me over to a group of his friends. A gorgeous blonde girl with piercing blue eyes and a wide bright smile, a brunette who was everything I wanted to look like with big brown eyes and a perfect smile, a blonde boy who was a little taller than me, skinny, but had a great welcoming smile and embrace for Jake when we arrived, a brown haired boy slightly shorter than me who was immediately cracking jokes, and another brown haired boy with his arm around the gorgeous blonde. He introduced me to all of them and they all welcomed me like I had been part of their friendship for years. After about 10 minutes the group was going back to watch the game, and Jake and I continued our walk in a circle.
He started telling me about each of the friends I had just met. They had been friends for what seemed like forever. He had dated the brunette, which made my stomach drop, but they were still friends.
“Sounds like you have great friends.”
“Yeah, they are pretty good.” he laughed a little while he said it.
Suddenly I turned and looked at him. “I forgot! I have a tile here somewhere that has my name on it!”
I don’t know why this seemed important, but suddenly we were on a mission to find this tile. The walls of the arena were tiled with tiles that were donated by different people and organizations, over half of them had names on them, and we were determined to find mine. We started walking next to the wall, looking at each tile and laughing along the way. After we had circled the arena another two or three times to no avail, we both came to the same realization at the same moment.
We look at each other and said “They’re alphabetized!” at the exact same time. Laughing at our sudden realization and the chance that we would figure it out at the same time, he grabbed my hand and led me around the outside circle again.
We started looking at the names and walking closer and closer to the V’s. Suddenly we were there and it took us no time to find my tile. It felt a little silly after we found it, what would we do now? It didn’t matter though because a couple of minutes after finding my tile the game ended and we were walking outside for his mom to pick us up.
She drove us back to my house where Jake walked me to the door and said good night. No kiss, but there were parents looking at us from the car and from behind the front door, so that would have been awkward anyway.
I walked in the house and went straight to the couch with the biggest smile on my face. It had been an amazing night.
I had a great time tonight.
Want to come over tomorrow?
And just like that, I had a second date.