A date? The more I thought about it, the more nervous I got. I had a boyfriend before, I wasn’t new to having a relationship, sure it may have not been the best one, but still it had earned me some life experience. But a date. This was new. I had never really dated before. If I liked someone, I liked them. I had no need to test the waters first to check and make sure. Same with Bubble, I knew I liked him, a lot. I just hoped that this dating thing would convince him that he felt the same. That wasn’t wasn’t what worried me most though, I had a good idea he liked me back, I just didn’t want to blow it. What if I didn’t talk enough and he got bored, or what if I did something to offend him, and he left me just like that kid on the dance floor. My mind as usual was my worst enemy.
“Can I help you with something?” Seance, butted into my internal dialogue, and all my thoughts scattered.
“I said, do you need something? You been sitting there for like a half an hour staring at that spot on the wall.”
“Oh, No. I was just thinking.” I drummed my fingers nervously on my pants.
Seance paused his game and dropped the controller onto the seat between us. “Yeah right sis. Now spill it, or do I have to use our magic twin powers.”
I laughed. “Fine. I have a…” I paused. Come in Wist! You can get the word out! “Date, with Bubble today. I just don’t want to mess it up. I really like him.”
Seance shook his head. “How would YOU mess it up?”
“I don’t know, what if I do something embarrassing and scare him away.”
“You worry too much.”
“Yeah, tell me something I don’t know.”
Picking up the controller again, Seance started to play. “Just be yourself. He’ll like you that way just fine, and if he doesn’t? Well he is dumb and you can do better.”
“Thanks.” Wow every once in a great while, something would come out of my brothers mouth that really made me appreciate him. This was definitely one of those times. I felt a little better after that. That is until the doorbell rang.
“You gonna answer it? Or do you want me to do it?”
“No I got it.”
“I got it!” I yelled across the empty hallway. No one was home besides Seance and Affair. It’s one of those habits that was hard to break.
“Have fun!” Seance cooed before plopping back down onto the sofa.
I stopped just short of the door. Checked my breath and gave a little twirl to my hair, before reaching for the handle. With my hand resting on the knob, I took a breath. “Okay.” I swung the door open.
There of course, was Bubble and his sweet face on the other side of the door. “Hey!” I grinned.
“Hi Wisteria. Hope, I’m not too early. Didn’t take me as long to get here as I thought it would.”
“Nope. It’s fine.” I called back through the door. “Bye!! I’ll be back later!”
“I won’t! And neither will Affair, the house will be empty. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do!” I quickly slammed the door. “Hah! Alright. Ready?”
We hopped in his truck and started to drive, circling a few times around town before he finally admitted. “So I don’t know Twizzlerbrook very well at all, do have any suggestions on where we could go?”
“Oh! Right.” I thought for a moment. “There is a really nice park in the middle of town, we could go there. Just walk around and talk.”
Funny enough were only a block away, so it took no time at all to get parked. I started to reach for the door, but Bubble was already running around the front of the truck to open it for me. “After you.”
“Why thank you.”
Our date was amazing. All of the things I was worried about fell to the wayside. There was never an awkward moment of silence, or if their had been, it went unnoticed. He was sweet and as charming as he always was, and I could feel myself getting more and more attached.
How could I not. It was in his nature to be sweet and kind. I was hooked.
“Maybe next time we could go swimming. I think we passed a pool on the way here. Right?”
“Oh no. I mean we did, but I don’t swim.”
“I don’t go out in public in a suit.” Truth was I didn’t even own a suit by that point. After the last time I had gone shopping for one and left the shop in tears, I vowed to never swim again, but that was a little more information than I was comfortable giving at that time.
“You shouldn’t be ashamed. You’re gorgeous.”
We started to lean into one another. Maybe it was a kiss, maybe it was, I didn’t know. Unfortunately I never found out, because I heard the tinniest squeaking noise and my whole body recoiled.
“Did you hear that?” I asked, trying to keep my voice down.
I turned towards the origination of the noise. This time I heard scraping sound. “There! Did you hear it?”
“I think so.”
I searched around the empty park, the noise was being muffled out by the water-fountain, so it was hard to get a real lock on it. Then my eyes narrowed in on a trashcan.
“I think it was over here! Come on!” I took of into a dead run towards the can. The squeak was definitely getting louder as I came in closer.
“There is something in there!” I exclaimed. Without any hesitation, I lifted off the lid and dove head first into the can. There thankfully was not a lot of gushy stuff so I was able to keep from getting too dirty, but sweetness did it smell nasty.
“Oh man. Are you sure?”
“Yes!” My hands ran across something, small, furry, warm, and definitely alive. I carefully wrapped my hands around it and lifted it out.
My mind could scarcely register what I was seeing. The tiniest little kitten. My heart started to sink at the thought. “Who would do this?” I whimpered. “Who would throw something so small and helpless away?”
“Maybe he fell in?”
I wanted to believe that was possible, but the lid was on the can, there was no way for him to “slip” and then put the lid back on himself. He looked healthy enough, well besides the layers of dirt from who knows what he had gotten himself into.
“Oh Berry! He smells really bad.”
“I know. Poor little guy. Who knows how long he’s been in there. Let’s take him back to my house, so we can clean him up.”
Holding his breath, Bubble nodded and pulled his keys from his pocket. “Alright, but can we roll the window down?”
It took everything I had to keep from throwing up. The little guy reeked, but it wasn’t his fault. I pulled him in close and he buried his little face into my neck. His motor started in and I gave him a few pets. “It’s Okay baby, Wisty’s got you now. Ohhhhh. Who’s a big ol box of purrs?”
We got back to the house and true to his word, Seance and Affair were gone. The house was completely empty. Which was good, because I wasn’t too sure how much they would have liked me dragging in an unknown stray filthy kitten.
Bubble looked around the living room. “Every-one’s gone?”
“Ya. No idea where they went, but they said they would be gone all day.”
“Let’s use my bathroom upstairs.” Holding the kitten in one hand, I boldly grabbed Bubble’s with my other. We made our way to the top floor, and I led us both down the hallway.
Now I have always heard that cats don’t like water. Not this little guy. Well, if he didn’t he sure put up a good front for me. Filling the sink with warm water, I used some of my natural shampoo to give him good scrub. He never tried to jump out, not once. Bubble was like my assistant, handing me shampoo and then a towel when I needed it. Due to his gentle nature, his bath didn’t take long at all. Before we knew it, I had him bundled in a towel, trying to dry him off and warm him up. His little body trembled for a couple of minutes, before he started in with his motor once again.
Lying him down on my bed, the little bundle of now clean fur curled up into a tiny ball and went straight to sleep. He was the sweetest thing I had ever seen. I ran my finger down his spine and he stretched his arms and legs out in all directions before immediately curling back into his little ball. “Sleep well cutey.”
“So what are you going to do with him now?”
“Keep him I guess.”
“Any idea what you are going to call him.”
“I think you should call him Dreamer.”
“Ya, I mean look at him, he probably thinks this is all a dream. He probably has never been treated this nice ever in his life.”
I watched over his sleeping form again. “I like it. Dreamer it is.”
“It’s getting kind of late. I should probably go.” Bubbles voice was laced with disappointment.
“Oh. Alright then.” As was mine.
I started to give him a hug, when I let out a big yawn. “Oh goodness, sorry about that. Guess Dumpster diving was more tiring than I thought.”
“I think it was! Why don’t you lie down, I can walk myself out.”
“You sure?” I yawned again.
“Totally. I’ll call you later. Okay?”
I settled in next to Dreamer and closed my eyes. “Bye Bubble.”
“Bye Wisteria, sleep tight. Dreamer you take good care of her, alright?”
I heard the door shut, and then everything faded away. Wasn’t sure why I was so tired, but I must have needed it. Dreamer stayed by me the entire time, never making a sound. It wasn’t until I heard the doorbell about an hour later, that I finally started to stir.
Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I sat at the edge of my bed. Then remembering I was the only one home, I pushed myself up and headed for the door. Careful not to stumble on the stairs, I slowly made my way down to the first floor. To my surprise, I heard my grandmothers voice in the kitchen. “You got that dear?”.
“I got it!”
I pulled open the front door, and to my surprise it was Bubble again, but this time his arms were full of stuff.
“I can’t believe you bought all this!” I looked down at all of the kitten supplies, my eyes were wide with astonishment.
“It wasn’t much really. I just grabbed the cheapest of everything I could find, you might want to get something better, but at least it’s a start.”
I shook my head. “Bubble, I don’t even know what to say.”
“Glad to help! I’m sure Dreamer will be happy.”
“Oh are you kidding! He is gonna love it!”
Our hug lasted a little bit longer this time. Leaning my head against his shoulder, I held on onto until he started to pull away. “I really gotta go now, my parents are probably freaking out.”
“Sure. Of course.”
“Would you like to walk me out this time?” He lent out his arm for me to take.
Linking his arm with mine, I opened the front door. “I would.”
We stood out by the edge of his truck for several minutes, just talking about anything to keep the moment going, my heart was racing, and I never wanted it to end. The night sky was so crisp and clear, every star was visible in the sky and it was making the mood all the more romantic.
“I had a really nice time with you today.” He grinned, his tone low and sweet.
“Maybe we could do it again sometime soon.”
“I would love that.”
Would you? Would you like to go out with me? Like boyfriend and girlfriend?”
I couldn’t think of anything memorable to say, so I just said “Yes.”
The moment I said yes, he leaned in and gently pressed his lips to mine. It was soft and sweet, and I instantly pressed back into his. I wanted so badly to slide my arms around him and pull him closer, but I never got the chance.
Because he made the first move. Drawing me in, we held on to one another, I could feel every movement, every breath, it was incredible, it had been over a year since I had kissed anyone, and even then it wasn’t like this. I had been wrong before, now I never wanted it to end. The best part was, he held onto me, not even a hesitation, and I never cringed not once, at though of him touching my…fat. I could have said I love you, right then and there, but it wasn’t time. I would leave it for another day.
Once Bubble’s truck was out of sight, I walked back up to the house, still buzzing from our amazing, kiss, I almost failed to notice my grandmother waiting near the door. “Young lady, I think you and I need to talk…”
“When were planning on telling us about your little friend upstairs?” My face fell into a confused state which did me absolutely no good, so I added. “I was… going… to talk to you about it tomorrow.”
“I don’t know what your mom is going to think about this.”
“But I will talk to her, and see what we can do.”
I wanted to scream “I love you! Thank you! You are the best grandma ever!” But all I could think was… how is she always the first to know?