The Troubles of Dating (and Time-Travel)
I suppose she was the first girl I fell in love with because of something other than a nice pair of breasts, and therefore, the first girl I fell in love with whom I actually succeeded in asking out on a date. More than anything it was her hair, the way it was neither curly nor straight, but wavy, and in a dark and dreamy shade of red that nearly seemed black. It reached down beyond her shoulders, and I could find myself staring at the back of her head for hours during our classes, mesmerized by it. Breasts weren't half-bad either though.
And she was a nice person. At least, that was the impression I had gotten during our after-movie dinner at Alessandro's. Passionately interested 70s music, loving long walks in the wild, preferred old-school horrors to the film we'd just seen which we both agreed was tragic. All in all, we seemed to go along quite nicely. After finishing our capricosa, I led her to the car thinking this might as well have been a Hollywood style evening if what was waiting for us had been a convertible which I owned, and not my father's dented old hatchback.
Cleverly, I drove her home by the old by-pass road through the woods, which she liked. Then I lowered our speed, and we cruised calmly by the lake, which presently was displaying a festival of colours, helped by the setting sun. This she loved. Then our car broke down, which she saw as a far to eager move from me, and did not like, until I got out of the car and told her I hadn't stopped hoping for a snog, but because an inch long nail was stuck in my front left tire. She apologized coyly, then asked me if I needed any help changing it. I thought briefly and, fortunately, quietly, that I had no idea how to change a bloody tire, and until she suggested it never considered such a thing, but instead said no, and started to rummage the boot.
I found an old tire, a well-used jack, and some other tools I half-imagined I knew what to do with, and started to work. When she saw me jacking up the car, she jumped out to make it easier, and walked around a bit. Now, say what you like about my manliness, but changing a tire gives you such a boost of y-chromosomes you may spontaneously grow a beard. On your teeth.
Sadly, she wasn't studying my newfound masculinity, but gazing upwards, at the unveiling stars. As I dropped something I had suspected might unloosen the bolts, I peeped up over the bonnet to hear her say something about a pair of parallel shooting-stars. Not thinking of anything clever to reply, I shrugged, and continued working on my punctuated tire, hoping some grease would somehow find its way to my cheek and make me look rugged.
Not knowing just what the hell to do, it took quite some time to get the old tire off. Checking that my arms were thoroughly greased, I rolled it towards the back of the car, and started to work on the fitting the new one on. The sun had now set, and my arms and hands were starting to freeze a bit. This made screwing the bolts on a proper hassle, but I got it right in the end. I think. Anyway, it stayed on for long enough to make me believe I had done it, and therefore proceeded to knock on the hub-cap, and look around to make sure she saw me clapping my hands and lifting the old tire up in the back.
She wasn't there. Had it been any later in the year, I might've suspected that she had gone down to the river for a bath. Sadly, it was far too cold for something like that. With some difficulty, I popped the old tire back in its position, and slammed it shut. Where the hell was she?
Then I heard her call my name from the woods. Turning around, and hoping I looked rugged and greasy enough, I replied. She came walking barefoot towards me, her dark, wonderfully wavy hair blowing in the chill evening breeze, and a look of half-surprise, half-suspicion on her face. Then, amazingly, she managed to overlook the magnificence of my work, and went and sat down in the passenger's seat, asking me if I could turn the heater on. Surely this isn't allowed? Surely, she has to say something?
Trying not to let my disappointment show, I sat down, turned the key, and let warm, heated air fill the cramped cabin. She looked me straight in the eye, still this look of suspicion on her face. Then she asked me the time, to which I replied there was still plenty left before the time she'd said she'd be home. Her eyes narrowed. Then she started to search her pockets for her cellphone, which she flicked open, and started to franticly hit some buttons while she hid the screen from my face. Whatever she found on the phone must've been something good, because she suddenly let out a relieved laugh, and sunk back into her seat.
I asked her if everything was alright. Did she have to reach something perhaps, or was it something she had forgotten to do? She shook her head, and let out a small laugh, eyes closed. I think I might have stared at her for a while. Then I turned the key, and drove on, towards her house. She kept her eyes closed for a few minutes, before she slowly sat up properly, buckled her seat, and turned down the heater. As we neared her house, her smile grew wider and wider, and she gazed longingly at every house we drove by. As I pulled up beside her house, she even let out a small whimper, before turning towards me as I unbuckled. She put my hand in hers, and stared at me. If you are thinking this is when we kiss, then brother you interpret signals the same way as me, and sadly we are both wrong.
Instead, she started to tell me this incredible story of how this had to end tonight, and told me not to talk to her again. Her voice was solemn when she told me that though I found her hair pretty now, one day I would hate it, and that though we might seem to have the same taste in film and music, the differences would only grow larger until we disagree so much we cannot see a movie together at all. Lastly, she added chuckling a bit, as she eased her gaze at me and unbuckled her seat, her breasts would one day become unbearably saggy, and I would no longer find her even remotely beautiful. Then she turned around, opened the door, and put one foot out on the pavement. Her face was a great smile when she suddenly stopped, mid stance, and turned towards me.
The last thing she ever told me was that I did a good job on the tire, and looked quite rugged and handsome, even though I hadn't gotten any grease on my cheek.
Next week, we changed places, and I no longer sit behind the girl with the pretty hair. Instead I sit two rows behind a girl with such fiery eyes that though I only see their reflection in the window, it feels as if she stares right down to my soul. We're going on a date Friday. And, just to make sure, this time I've read the weather forecast and it should be far too cloudy for stargazing.