Phil was nervous as he pulled up to Victoria’s apartment. Pacing a bit before he climbed the stairs to the second level. Finding her number, he stood silently outside. His worries and fear were getting the better of him. Still, he raised his fist and knocked solidly doing the aged old shave and a haircut tap. “One Minute,” came the call inside from a male voice.
Phil thought maybe he had his numbers crossed and was getting ready to bail when a man opened the door. “Phil?” Was the question from the older man. Phil nodded dumbstruck, “Sis, your dates here!” The man exclaimed. Relief flooded into Phil’s being. “Well don’t just stand there come in,” The man said, “I’m Zac, V has told me all about you.” Zac grinned and Phil felt like he was being scrutinized.
“Hello Zac, nice to meet you,” he said walking into the apartment. It was furnished simply but tastefully. The big TV had a video game playing on it. He noticed as Zac went back past him and sat down putting on his headset, he was playing Call of Duty. Zac talked into his mic “Hey bros, sis’s date just got here, I need to talk to him for a few, play a couple of rounds without me.”
Having said this Zac took off his headset and said, “Come on man sit down, she’s gotta put on her face still. If I know her, we’ve got at least ten minutes.” He said grinning again. the grin seemed to say I’m going to hurt you to Phil, but he sat down on the couch none the less. “Do you play?” Zac asked him. Phil responded, “I’m more of a JRPG nut, but I’ve been known to play FPS’s. I dislike COD though.”
Zac grunted saying “My sis and her tastes,” he grew serious and continued, “Listen, Phil, it is real simple. You be a gentleman, you respect and treat her right and me and my three brothers won’t come and break your legs, got it?” Phil nodded his understanding and was saved by Victoria coming out of her room.
She had on a red dress, that came to her thighs, flat shoe, and a small purse to match. She was radiant, Phil could do nothing but smile. Looking at the room she asked, “Did he give you the break your legs speech?” Phil still awestruck could only nod. “This one doesn’t talk much V,” Zac said, “you sure there is a brain in there?” She laughed and said, “Stop harassing my date,” and then addressing Phil asked, “How do I look?”
Phil was still staring at her, “I… I think… wow you’re so beautiful,” he finally blurted out. She giggled, “Thank you, now come on lest get out of here I’m hungry!” Phil got up and the two of them walked downstairs and just before they got into the car, Zac called down, “Don’t stay out too late V, and you drive safe man.” Phil responded, “I will, or I’m Phil, one of those is probably true.” Zac laughed and the two of them got into the car and headed off.
They went to a local commercial complex that was upscale. It had it all, a theater, dining establishments, shops, and a manmade lake with koi fish. The fountains in the lake were running and in the fading light of day, rainbows could be seen. “Oh, I love this place,” V said, “Where are we eating?” Phil laughed but not too long, as she started to look cross with him. “Ahh, I was thinking Don Pablo’s” they have good margaritas?”
“Oh, yes! Good call,” she seemed so excited and the two of them went in and were seated. As dinner progressed, she told him about herself. She worked for a local firm doing paralegal work and was studying to take the bar exam. She talked about back home which was apparently in the middle of nowhere on a ranch. Her eye lit up as she talked about how you could see so many stars and how she loved the moon.
As dinner wrapped up and the check came, she grabbed it before he could. “Hey!” He exclaimed. She shushed him, “Dutch treat, I pay for dinner. You pay for the movies.” Phil wanted to argue he knew dinner here was much more expensive than the movies. He tried to compromise, “How about we split it all?” But she would have none of it, knowing it would put a damper on the date he conceded and never even got to see the bill.
They walked over to the theater. It was a short walk as the fountain continued to spray. The geese and ducks swam up to them hoping to be fed as they walked by. There was a station to buy feed for them, Phil put in a quarter and the two of them spent some time watched the birds and fish greedily eat.
When the food was gone, she asked, “So what movie are we watching?” Phil considered looking at the plaque “I dunno, I was going to let you decide.” She stopped, “You mean you didn’t get advanced tickets, it’s Friday. Everything is going to be sold out silly.” Phil had not even though of that. “Well… I guess I should have asked you earlier in the week…” He stared dejectedly at the ground.
They went inside and almost everything was sold out for the next three shows. “Well, unless you want to watch a documentary on Penguins?” He said. She smiled, “let’s not let this ruin a good time, we could go for a walk around the lake?” He stared at the lit pathway that wound around the lake. There were security guards all around this place, he knew it would be safe. “Ok, that sounds like fun,” he said an put out his hand. She smiled and put hers in it and the two of them started around the path.
About halfway round where the trees took over the path, she stopped and he turned to her. She fell into his arms and the two stood there in silence staring into each other’s eyes. Finally, Phil took his chance and leaned in and they kissed. His brain seemed to catch fire, as their lips met. He didn’t know how long it lasted, but when he came up for air he was gasping and so was she. They both smiled at each other and he kissed her again but lightly. Still, it was as if her lips were fire, but he pulled back not wanting to get drawn in again. He just held her for a long moment and then the two of them continued walking hand in hand.
The night over Phil walked her to the door of her apartment. The two had been quiet for a long time. “I really like you,” he said. “I like you a lot too,” she replied. “Call me tomorrow?” She smiled and they kissed again. She went into her apartment and as Phil walked away, he thought he heard her yell out, “YES!” As Phil got into his car, he couldn’t believe how lucky these last few weeks had been. It had all been mere happenstance…