I’m going on a date with Davis, I excitedly told myself as I stood before the mirror in Nonna’s first-floor bathroom. I felt a little dazed. He seemed like a great guy – a recent grad from the college of my dreams, studied biology, wanted to be a doctor, played the cello, seemed uber polite, was helping out my grandparents, and was super hot to boot. I must be in heaven.
Gage! I thought suddenly, my smile disappearing. What was I going to tell Gage? The truth, silly. He’s a big boy. He can handle it. Davis was obviously the better choice. Then why do I feel so guilty?
I hopped in the shower and rinsed off, taking extra time to enjoy the honeysuckle soap Nonna always kept in stock. Then I drove home quickly to pick up some extra clothes and to tell Mamma where I’d be. She said that was fine. Cari had an overnight dance meet in Bay City, and Andi was spending the night at Lisa’s. Mamma looked tireder than normal as she headed back into her bedroom after we chatted briefly. I could’ve sworn I heard her crying through the door. I suddenly felt a little guilty about taking off for Nonna’s again. Maybe her depression was acting up again. I hoped there was nothing wrong between her and Clark. I still had to meet him.
But first I was off to meet my guy. Oh I liked the sound of that. My guy! I realized Davis and I hadn’t clarified what we were calling each other. He didn’t exactly call me his girlfriend, but he wanted to date me and he liked me. Good enough for now,I decided.
Davis had me sit at the table as he was just finishing cooking the macaroni and cheese when I arrived. I was glad I opted for a casual look. Davis looked suave in his red shirt and red-and-black swim trunks. It was a hot night so the windows were open, but the pool house was still a little stuffy. I couldn’t tell if I was sweating from the warm air or because I was nervous.
“I hope you’re hungry,” he said as he poured the mac and cheese from the pot into a bowl.
“Yeah, I am,” I replied. “It smells good.”
“I hope you don’t mind. I added a little pepper.”
He carried our bowls over.
“Oh I forgot to light the candle.”
“That’s okay,” I smiled. “You got matches?”
“Yeah by the sink.”
Davis cupped the light while I lit the wick. His hand hovering near mine made my hand shake. His touch was electrifying. If he noticed my nerves, he was nice enough not to say anything.
“Well, dig in,” he smiled, scooping his spoon into the bowl.
I rubbed my sweaty hands nervously on my legs. Davis practically finished two bowls by the time I was through with my first. He dropped his bowl in the sink before coming back over to sit with me.
“You take such dainty bites,” he observed.
“Oh,” I said, feeling a little embarrassed.
“It’s okay. I think it’s cute,” he smiled.
“Cute?” I wrinkled my nose. “Puppies and kitties are cute. Little babies are cute…”
“…but beautiful women aren’t, am I right?” he finished for me.
I smiled shyly, hoping he’d think the red in my cheeks was from the heat and the glow of the candle.
“I’m really glad you came tonight,” Davis said as I finished. “This place still has a bit of work to do but I’ve got all the basics moved in.”
“Thanks for having me,” I nodded. “I’m glad I found you.”
“I’m glad you found me too,” he reached for my hand and gave it a little squeeze.
My heart fluttered. Isn’t he just perfect?
“So tell me about yourself,” Davis said.
“Tell you about myself?” I wrinkled my nose.
“Yeah, like your interests, hobbies…”
“Besides massive amounts of coffee drinking?”
We both laughed.
“Tell me what it was like growing up here, about your family… I’ve gotten to know your grandparents a little and they seem pretty active for their ages. I’m surprised they requested in-home care.”
“Well Nonno and Nonna are both cancer survivors, Nonna had breast cancer and Nonno suffered from lung cancer. After he was diagnosed with lung cancer, Nonno quit smoking and it’s like he developed a new purpose for life. He stays pretty active, but he has slowed down a little in the last year.”
“Nonno and Nonna?”
“Oh, that’s Simtalian for grandpa and grandma. Nonno… Grandpa… came over from Simtalia as a little boy, and Grandma… Nonna… well, she’s adopted the Simtalian way of life.”
“Yeah, your grandmother has been making all sorts of delicious Simtalian meals. I feel like I’m getting doubly spoiled since we have a new Simtalian chef at work too.”
“Yeah, she’s like that. She loves to cook. Not so much on the cleaning though. That’s probably why she hires extra help.”
“Yes, I’ll be doing a lot of housecleaning. They have a big house, but it’s beautiful. Did you live here as a little girl?”
“Did I say something?”
“Uh no… just… well, yeah, I did live with my grandparents for a little while between the ages of 13 and 16 while my parents were going through their divorce.”
“Oh, I apologize. I hit a sore spot,” Davis said quietly.
“No, don’t worry about it. It’s something that’s apart of me… my history… and it has shaped me for better or for worse depending on the day,” I said, offering a weak chuckle.
Davis stood up and took my dish over to the sink. I stopped talking for a moment while I waited for him to wash my bowl. The sound of the running water was soothing. He returned to the table and sat across from me.
“I get that. I feel the same way about my parents,” he said slowly.
“Are they divorced?” I asked.
“Oh no, they’re still together,” Davis shook his head. “And they’re crazy in love with each other, but I hear ya when you say they’ve shaped you for better or for worse.” He paused for a moment, meeting my eyes, then added sincerely, “Don’t ever be ashamed of your past, Kass. It’s part of who you are.”
I wondered why he said that… how he could’ve known I needed serious reassuring right now but I decided to accept his advice.
“Thank you,” I sighed heavily. “I don’t always feel that way, but I try.”
“I see a beautiful confident woman sitting across from me,” Davis smiled. “The moment you walked in the coffee shop I could tell that.”
“Really?” I squeaked.
“Yes, and I thought that’s a woman I have to know,” Davis exclaimed.
“Davis, you sure know how to compliment a woman.”
Chapter Ten, Part 2 Coming Soon
- How will the rest of Kass and Davis’ evening go?
- Will Kass learn more about Davis?
- Is the term ‘girlfriend’ going to apply to Kass in the near future?
Author Changes: What’s different?
- An instance of Nonna was added.
- Picture size has been edited.