A New Beginning (Short Story)

 

The huge smile that grows on Nick’s face when he opens his door and sees me sitting there is one that I had been looking forward to since I started to plan this surprise. I remember how excited, and anxious I had been all at the same time. I was scared that he wasn’t going to love it; I mean we aren’t dating yet. It might be too much. I also don’t know how much he likes surprises, or if he even likes them at all. Everything about this scares me but it excites me too. I like knowing that he has no clue. At least, I hope he has no clue. I don’t truly know if he’s caught on or not. I had told him that I couldn’t hangout so I could make sure he would go home, instead of showing up at my front door like he has so many times before. He’s so unpredictable while being so predictable at the same time. I like it. I just hope he likes everything. That’s my only hope at this point.

I had just finished getting everything perfect, when his car pulls into the gravel parking lot behind his apartment building. I had been adjusting the candles into a formation that I thought looked perfect. I even made sure the food was perfect one last time. I see his headlights pull in, and I can hear his tires on the gravel, even though the window was closed. The window beside the kitchen table looks out onto that gravel parking. I hear his footsteps as he walks up the stairs to the second floor, and I can hear the door to the stairwell close behind him. I can hear his key jiggle in the lock as he tries to open his door. His door usually doesn’t open without a struggle. The lock on his front door is one thing I’ve always struggled with mastering.
I’m sitting at his kitchen table in the dimly lit apartment. The only light is coming from the light in the kitchen that I had left on as well as the six candles that had been set out in lines on the sides on the table. There are two wine glasses sitting on the table just waiting to be filled with wine. A wine that I had gotten one of my friends to get for me since I wasn’t old enough to buy it myself. I wanted tonight to be romantic and I thought that wine would do the trick. Plus, I didn’t know anything about wine except for the fact that I needed some. Anthony knew a kind of wine that he thought would be perfect. I can do only the best for Nick. I’m sitting there, on the bench stool, in a black dress with my brown hair in curls. I’m dressed up nicer than I had been for a long time. I’m not a person that likes dresses. I think the last time I wore a dress was nearly four years ago, and that was for a formal party that I had to go to. I hate dresses, but I was willing to wear one for him. I want to look the best that I possibly can for him. He honestly deserves it. My hair was curled by another one of my friends. We had sat on my bedroom floor for over an hour trying to get my hair perfect and she’d done a good job. I thought so at least.
He opens the door and I pop my head out from behind the wall that separates us. He doesn’t notice me right away. I take that opportunity to get a good look at him. He’s wearing his work uniform and I admire how good he looks in that work shirt. He looks so good. I never would have thought anyone could look good in that ugly work shirt that we’re forced to wear but god damn, he pulls it off. Who would have known anyone could look good in that collared shirt. He looks so amazing. The way the light is shining on him, he looks like a masterpiece. His blue eyes are shimmering in the dim light and they look stunning. I’ve always loved his eyes; they’re so beautiful. I get lost in his eyes so easily. They remind me of the ocean on a stormy day, when the waves are big enough to swallow boats whole. His eyes are the same colour as the sky when there are rain clouds so big that you can only see little spots of the blue sky in between. They are the colour of the rain drops from those rain clouds hitting the surface of the ocean, or the puddles formed on the ground. Despite me associating his eyes with days that don’t necessarily make most people feel pleasant, his eyes make me feel so good. Especially when they’re fixated on me. They’re blue but they also have specks of grey in them that you can only see if you get close enough. I’ve always loved those grey specks in his eyes, because they showcase his individuality and his beauty. His eyes are different from other people’s, but they’re beautiful in their own way. Just like he is. The way his freckles look makes me smile. You can’t usually see them well from a distance but in this lighting, you can, and I just admire them. He lips look soft and his nose looks cute, I want to kiss them both. I want to run my hands on his face. I want to run my hands across his chin and his neck and feel the stubble from the growing beard that he’s shaved off. I want to run my hands through his red hair that looks like fire in these dim lights. I want to kiss him, and that’s all I can focus on.
“Hi,” I say with a smile, and I watch his face light up. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him look more surprised, and I wouldn’t trade that feeling for anything in the world. I live for his smile, it makes me smile and takes my breath away all at once. He fills me with life.
“Hi,” he smiles back. He looks as though he is at a loss for words. It’s beautiful. The way his lips form a huge smile that takes up his whole face is something I adore.
“I made you dinner.” I say softly, just loud enough for him to hear and he looks over at the pot sitting on the stove. He flips out in the softest, cutest way. He’s so excited. He runs over to me and kisses me. His lips are so soft and delicate, and they’ve always felt like they were made just for me. There’s nothing I love more than the feeling of his lips against mine. Nothing makes me happier. He kisses me and looks around, taking everything in.
“Go get dressed,” I say kissing him once more, and running my hand up and down his chest “Go put on something fancy.” No matter how good I think he looks in that work shirt, he has been wearing it for the last eight hours. Not only that, it smells like work. It smells like coffee.
“Something fancy?” He asks with one of his signature goofy grins on his face, in such a teasing way. That’s another thing he likes to do, tease me. I always tease him right back. Give him a taste of his own medicine, and I know he loves it.
“Something fancy.” I confirm with a gentle smile.
“I’ll be right back,” He smiles and turns to walk away. He heads down the hallway to his bedroom. Flashing me a smile on the way.
He comes back wearing one of his plaid flannels that he wears as dress shirts. This one is blue. He’s wearing a white t-shirt on underneath and he’s got some of his blue jeans on. He looks so handsome. His hair is in a mop on the top of his head like it always is, but you can see that he tried to comb it back. It looks good. His auburn hair is always something I’ve loved. It looks so good. We both get our food. I serve it, and I get him his first. I give him a lot because he’s always hungry, and plus I did make this just for him. I wasn’t even famished. I send him to sit down and get myself a bowl, placing it on the table before grabbing the bottle of wine from the fridge and pouring us each a glass. I sit down and he’s just watching me. His eyes are watching me so intently, and I love it.
“You’re so beautiful,” he says softly, as though he is in awe. If only he knew how much I’m in awe at the sight of him, every single time I lay my eyes on him. I’m constantly in awe of him and his beauty, and I hope that, that never goes away.
“Thank you” I smile at him, graciously accepting his compliment. He compliments me so much, and it always makes me feel so good. He knows how to make me feel beautiful. I have yet to completely get used to it, it’s still so new. I love nothing more but it’s still new and weird. I still don’t understand what he sees in me. I sure as hell don’t see it.
“Eat,” I say motioning towards the bowl sitting in front of him. He still hasn’t taken a bite.
I’m anxious that it doesn’t taste good, and that he won’t like it. Even though he’s the type of guy that would pretend to like it and eat the whole thing anyways to not hurt my feelings. He’s that kind of perfect. I watch him as he eats. He’s not exactly the neatest eater in the whole world. He tends to sort of make a mess when he eats. He eats so fast I don’t think he even knows what the food tastes like, but it’s always been something I’ve adored about him. I love watching him eat and how he shoves the food into his mouth like he hasn’t eaten for a week. It’s cute. That’s such an odd thing to find cute, but he’s such an odd person. He’s so far from normal, I love it. Stuff like that, shoving his food into his mouth when he eats, is the kind of abnormal thing that makes up who he is. It would be kind of hard to me to say that I like him, and mean it, if I didn’t adore the little things about him like that.
He grabs his wine glass and puts it up in the air waiting for me to clink mine against his in a toast. So, I do and we both take a sip. He puts his glass back down, on his left side. He’s left-handed, and because of that, his roommate Michael and I had had trouble figuring out which side to put his glass on. We couldn’t figure out which hand he holds a cup in. We had decided on the left side and we were right.
Michael had been home the whole time I was getting the dinner ready. He had even helped me with making everything perfect. He did the dishes and cleaned up the apartment. He had said that he thought it would help set the mood if everything was clean. He had been the one who let me into the apartment, so he was the whole reason that this was possible in the first place. I owe it all to him. He had even lit the candles for me with one of his lighters. I’m the type of person that doesn’t know how to use a lighter. So, I had him do it for me. He helped a lot, and I’m forever grateful.
Nick stops eating and just looks at me for a second like he has something to say. So, I wait patiently for him to speak. “I’m going to ask you out tonight. I’m not going to tell you when, but I will.” He sticks his pinky out for me to twist around mine. Despite how old he is, he’s always used pinky promises as a legitimate foundation of trust whenever he makes promises. It’s the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. “I promise.”
He finishes eating his bowl of pasta and laughs at the fact that I’m not even halfway done my bowl. Not only was I more interested in admiring him anyways, I’m not hungry at all. I urge him to go get himself more and he does. I want him to eat until he’s so full that he can’t move. Not that he gets that full easily. He’s the type of guy that is always hungry. He can always eat more. If you put food in front of him he’ll eat it, even if he said before that he wasn’t hungry.
“Did you like your present?” I ask him, remembering how I had bought him some of his favourite candy. I had placed it on his bedside table for him to find when he went to get changed out of his work uniform.
“Yes, thank you,” He says politely, thanking me. “You didn’t have to do that.”
“You’re welcome” I say smiling at him, and he flashes me a beaming smile back. “And, I know I didn’t, but I’m just doing my job.”
That’s his line; I thought I’d use it against him for once. He’s constantly doing things for me, or buying things for me, and when I tell him he doesn’t have to, he always tells me it’s his job. I’ve always loved that way of thinking, but at the same time I don’t. It makes it sound like a chore, or like something you must do. I know I shouldn’t think of it that way, but I can’t help it.
We both finish up dinner and we’re standing in the kitchen trying to decide what to do now. We can’t decide if we want to watch a movie, or an episode of the show we have been watching together, or just cuddle in bed. He grabs my face to kiss me and I jump up on him, wrapping my legs around his waist. He sits me on the countertop, continuing to kiss me. He doesn’t let go and I don’t want him to. Eventually he pulls away and just stares at my eyes. “What do you want to do now?” He whispers to me. He’s only inches from my face. “Do you want to cuddle on the couch and watch TV?” He grins at me the way he always does and I can’t wipe my smile off my face.
“Sounds amazing,” I smile at him. He pulls me off the counter and takes my hand in his, dragging me to the couch. He lays down, pulling me on top of him. “Can we get changed in to something more comfortable first?” I ask
“Of course,” He declares.
We get up and he takes my hand again, leading me to his room where he picks me up and throws me onto his bed. I sit up so that I’m sitting on the edge of his bed and he’s kneeling on the floor in front of me. This is the kind of moment that is perfect. It doesn’t need any words. I’m perfectly content just looking at him, taking in his whole appearance. I admire how handsome he looks, how shiny his eyes are, and how stunning his smile looks. He’s staring at me with a giant smile on his face. “Will you be my girlfriend?”
“Of course, I thought you’d never ask,” I say grabbing his face and kissing him. He climbs on top of me on the bed.
“I just wanted it to be perfect,” He says. It was perfect. Nothing could have made that any more perfect than it was. There couldn’t have been a better moment. I had been admiring his beauty, and knowing him, he had probably been admiring me in the same way. I know that that is a moment I’m going to replay in my moment in my head a million times over, and I wouldn’t change a single thing about it. Even if I could, even in my wildest dreams.
“it was perfect.” I smile at him, kissing him over and over. I can’t get enough of him. I can’t get enough of how his lips feel on mine, perfect.
Eventually I gather enough strength to get up and go to take my dress off. Unexpectedly, I remember the zipper in the back of this dress and how I could use that as a perfect opportunity. “Babe, can you help me unzip my dress?”
I watch the smile on his face grow and I turn around so he can unzip it and it slips off. “Can I borrow a shirt, as well?” I ask “I don’t actually have one here.” I had worn only a sweater here without a shirt on underneath. Simply, because when I had been getting my hair curled I had thrown that on because it was something I could slip off without ruining my hair. The dress drops to the ground, still wrapped around my legs. I step out of it and throw on the leggings I had worn here. As well as a white t-shirt, that he pulls out of his closest for me to wear.
“How’s this?’ He asks.
“Perfect,” I smile as I slip it on.
He takes his dress shirt and undershirt off and pulls his jeans off, throwing on some pajama pants and pushing me into bed. He throws the covers over us and inches his arm around me, holding me close to him. I’ve never been happier than I am laying here with him. We talk, and talk, and talk, about everything and nothing all at the same time. He’s the kind of person that can’t be serious unless he actually needs to be, and even then, there’s usually at least one joke thrown in there somewhere. He asks me if I want kids and we talk about that, he throws jokes in there and we both laugh. I’ve never been happier. He’s my boyfriend. He’s mine. I had been waiting so long to get to say that, months, and finally I could. He was finally mine.
There’s a moment when we both just stop talking and it’s completely silent, but what’s wonderful is that it isn’t an awkward silence. It’s a silence that is completely comfortable and that’s what I love most. Things aren’t awkward with him. In fact, I’ve never been more comfortable with someone in my life. It’s like he was made for me. His hand fits in mine like it was made just me, his body fits with mine like a jigsaw puzzle when we’re laying in bed and he’s holding me in his arms. It’s like we’re perfect for each other, like we were made for each other. I’ve always thought that there was something special about how when we lay in bed, we’re always both so comfortable. He’s someone that I could share a bed with without getting mad that he’s hogging it, even though he is. He’s the one person that I could sleep in their arms with no complaints. He makes me feel so warm, and loved. That’s how I want to feel for the rest of my life. The way he knows how to make me feel better and the way he always knows when something is wrong is something special. He can read me, he always knows when I’m upset. When I’m upset he always holds me in his arms. He always manages to make me feel a million times better. He makes me happier than anyone ever has. No one’s even come close to what he’s achieved. I didn’t think it was even possible to be that happy until I met him.
“Are you ready for desert?” I ask lifting my chin to look up into his eyes
His eyes go wide with excitement “You mean the candy wasn’t desert?”
“How does brownies and ice cream sound?”
His eyes go so wide and a smile grows on his face. He gets so excited. He’s like a child when it comes to stuff like this and I adore it. I adore him. He nods over and over and jumps out of bed. He grabs my hand and pulls me with him. Such a child, in the best possible way. We go into the kitchen and I open the cupboard revealing the brownie mix I had bought. I don’t even have a chance to say anything before his lips are on mine and he’s lifting me up. I wrap my legs around him and he sits me on the counter top, attacking me with kisses. I love this. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
He’s my entire world. Not only is he my best friend, but now he’s also my boyfriend. I’ve never been happier. I could stare at him for days; I adore the way he looks. He’s the best view. Even if we were in a room full of art, I’d still stare at him. He’s art in his own way, and he’s far more beautiful than any conventional art piece. He’s my art piece. I love the way he sings off key, and the way he always talks in different voices. I could watch him play guitar all day, he always looks so focused. Or when he’s playing his video games and his eyes are glued to the screen. He’s beautiful in the simplest way. He doesn’t have to try to be attractive, or funny, or sweet. It’s just part of who he is and every part of him makes him even more amazing. He is amazing and he makes me feel amazing. If only he could see himself the way I see him. He would know just how perfect he is. When I say he’s perfect I don’t mean that he is flawless, he’s not. In fact, he has so many flaws but I don’t see them as flaws, I see them as part of him. It just makes me adore him more. Every new thing about him that I discover, I just feel stronger about him. I could never get bored of him. I always love learning new things, seeing different sides of him. I wouldn’t mind spending the rest of my life learning about him, and what makes him the way he is.
As he’s kissing me all I can think about is him, how his blue eyes look when they’re only inches away, or how soft his lips feel when they’re pressed up against mine. All I can think about is his mop of hair on the top of his head and how much I love running my hands through it. All I can see is his smile radiating through me like the sun and his handsome face. He pulls away from the kiss but he doesn’t pull his face away from mine. The tips of our noses are touching and when I open my eyes all I can see is his eyes and the giant grin on his face. His grin makes me smile so much I feel like my cheeks are going to explode. I couldn’t physically smile any more than I am right now. He makes me a kind of happy that is hard to describe. It’s virtually impossible to string a series of words together to describe how he makes me feel, how I feel when I’m around him. He makes me feel beautiful, loved, special, like I’m the only thing that matters. He makes me feel as though I am perfect even though I am so far from it.
I jump down from the counter and grab the box. I read the directions on the back of the box. I can feel his body come up behind me and his hands abruptly grab my hips. I feel his breath on the back of my neck, in my ear, and it gives me goosebumps. He’s so close. He reads over my shoulder. I can’t even read the box anymore, I’m way too distracted.
I make my way to his cupboard and pull out a bowl to mix everything together before reaching for the oil as well. I make my way to the fridge and grab the milk. I can feel his eyes on me, and I love it. I measure everything and throw it all into the big mixing bowl. I do my best to mix it together before I turn to Nick. “You’re strong, can you mix this, please?”
He laughs to himself “Of course.”
He mixes it for me and I pull out a pan that is perfect for cooking the brownies in. I grease it as he mixes the batter and I pour it into the pan. I look at his oven making sure it’s ready. It’s an old oven that doesn’t really make much sense. There’s no display on it at all, you turn it on and set the temperate by turning a knob. It tells you how hot it is with a red light. I’ve never truly understood it myself. We throw the pan into the oven, and I set a timer on my phone for half an hour. He grabs my hand and leads me back into his room. I climb into bed and he climbs in with me. We just lay there and talk for the half an hour but it couldn’t have been more perfect. One thing I’ve always liked about him is how we can just sit and talk and it doesn’t get boring. He always has jokes to throw into the conversation, or a funny story to tell. It’s always something with him. I like it. I’ve always liked it.
When the timer goes off we pull ourselves out of bed. I grab oven mitts out of the cupboard and pull the pan out of the oven. It looks ready to us so we decide that is in fact done. I try to cut it and take it out of the pan but the brownie completely crumbles and falls apart. Still good, just kind of messy. I throw a large piece of it and three scoops of ice cream into a bowl for him and hand it to Nick. I send him to the couch, telling him I’ll be there in a second. I grab myself a bowl and head to the couch with him. I sit down across from his and he entangles our legs as we sit there across from each other. Our eyes locked, talking. We don’t even bother putting anything on TV, we’re not going to watch it anyways and we both know that.
He tells me about his day; we just talk and talk. I love listening to him talk. If I could I would just listen to him talk about himself for hours and not say a single word. I love his voice and how vocal he is. His voice is always so full of expression and he can make even the most boring topic or story interesting. He’s just that interesting, at least to me. He has the kind of voice that I could never get tired of. In fact, I could never get tired of him at all. He’s the kind of person that is just so interesting. He always has stories. They tend to be stories about stupid things he and his two brothers did as kids. I love hearing those kinds of stories because they’re always so funny. They always make me laugh. He always knows how to make me laugh; he doesn’t even have to try. He just has to be himself, that’s perfect enough.
“How are you?” I ask when we get to a point where neither of us has anything left to say.
“Happy,” he says instantly without even thinking about it. “How are you?”
“Happy,” I smile
I watch the smile grow on his face. I’m so glad he’s happy. I just want him to be happy.
“You’re my girlfriend,” he smirks. “I love saying that”
“And you’re my boyfriend,” I smirk back.
I sit up so I can reach his face and grab his cheeks with my hands, kissing him. He deserves a kiss for that one. I don’t want to say goodbye but I should. I must go home even though I wish I could just climb into his bed. I want nothing more than to kiss him goodnight and close my eyes, and just fall asleep right there in his arms. That’s how I want to sleep for the rest of my life.
That’s how I know he’s the one I want to be with for the rest of my life. He’s the person that I want to come home to after an exhausting day at work. He’s the one that would make me want to get home from that grueling day at work and cook an enjoyable dinner because I know he had an exhausting day too. He’s the person I want to sit across from at that dinner table every night, and I want the pleasure of watching him eat what I cook everyday. I want to sit there everyday and listen to him tell me about his day, the good and the bad. I want to be the one that makes him feel better if it was in fact a bad day. I want to climb into bed with him every night and just have him hold me in his arms until I fall asleep. I want to kiss him goodnight. I want to listen to his snoring every single night. But not only that, I also want his to be the first face I see when I wake up in the morning. I want to open my eyes every morning and have his face be only an inch away from mine. I want to kiss him right when I wake up even though we both have stinky morning breath. I want to run my hands through his bed head and watch him as he gets up and gets dressed every morning. I want to admire him as he splashes his face to water to wake himself up, and watch him brush his teeth. I want to be there when he gets out of the shower and see how his hair falls on his forehead when it’s wet. I want to be there for that every day. I want to be there for the basic stuff, the everyday things, the routines. I want to be there, be apart of that. That’s how I know. That’s how I know Nick is the one I want to spend the rest of my life with, because I can myself see doing all that stuff for the rest of my life.

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