September 25, 2012
The air is still warm and the sun is just beginning to dip below the trees as I walk out of the library. My next student cancelled at the last minute, so I hike up the cement hill towards my car. As I climb into the driver’s seat, I send a quick text message to him, letting him know that I am free earlier. Then I put the car in drive, click on my blinker and coast down the hill.
As I am rounding the high school, my stomach begins to knot up with nervousness. I take a deep breath and remind myself that adults go on lots of first dates all the time. It doesn’t help much. I pull into my steep driveway and try to calm the butterflies in my stomach.
Inside the house, my sister chats with me while I touch up my makeup, brush my hair and spray on some perfume. Then he calls me to say he is outside. I say bye to my mom and sister and scoot myself outside before either of them can say something embarrassing to him.
Connor walks towards my driveway wearing jeans and a black shirt. We meet in the middle and smile awkwardly at one another. As I get into the passenger’s seat of his tan Ford Explorer, I try to think of a topic to talk about. I settle with known common ground. We talk about our college and our classes as he drives, a little fast for my liking, towards Chili’s on Route 59.
We both eat chicken sandwiches and talk about our families, our favorite television shows (Supernatural being on both our lists) and our favorite kinds of music (classic rock also being on both our lists). I am relieved that our conversation flows naturally, without either of us consciously searching for the next topic. We talk, eat and steal glances at one another.
After dinner, we walk back out to the parking lot and Connor sets his GPS towards the mini-golf course. I thought it was corny-sweet when he first told me that he wanted to take me mini-golfing for our first date. We arrive at the course and get our little clubs and colorful golf balls; there are a few guys at the driving range, but we are the only ones on the mini-golf course.
We quickly find out that neither of us are really any good at mini-golf. We each have to hit the ball multiple times before it goes into the little hole, but we have fun anyway. We laugh at our terrible golf skills and share funny stories with one another. Once we finish the eighteenth hole and return our clubs, it is almost 10 o’clock. Neither one of us wants to go home yet, so I suggest a movie.
I assure Connor that I know the way to the mall and he doesn’t need the GPS, but after about fifteen minutes of driving we find ourselves crossing the New York / New Jersey border in the complete opposite direction of our destination. After I embarrassingly apologize for getting us lost, Connor laughs and sets up his GPS.
We settle into the red theater seats, holding hands while we watch the movie. After the movie ends, we walk through the empty mall with the metal cages pulled over the entrances to the stores. We talk about the movie on the drive back to my house and when we pull up to my house, Connor kisses me.
September 25, 2016
Four years later, Connor and I go mini-golfing again. We are still just as terrible as we were on our first date, but now we’ve made up our own rules – like how a hole-in-three is really a hole-in-one and a real hole-in-one means we get to subtract a point from our score. We spend the whole time laughing and reminiscing about our first date, and a few hours later Connor asks me to marry him.