Steve and Annabelle

Steve nervously walked up the driveway. The thirty minute drive to Privett Avenue seemed to take forever. He brushed his shoulder clean and reached some steps by a flowerbed. The flowerbed had a rainbow of colors, roses, daffodils and orchids. He clenched tight at the bouquet of lilies. Maybe a little bit of color. He bent low and picked up a couple of roses and daffodils. He thought that the orchids looked so pretty in the flower bed and left them. He looked at his bouquet and smiled. Pretty. He took another step up the steps and scuffed his shoes at the welcome mat. This is it. He took a deep breath and pressed on the buzzer. He waited for a second and pressed it again.

Annabelle ran past her living room mirror. That must be Steve. She back stepped and looked at her hair. Gorgeous. She twisted her head and tucked a loose hair behind her ear. The doorbell rang for the second time. “I’m coming!” Her heels clicked on the wooden parquet floors and pulled the L-shaped handle on her door.

The door was white and had gold plated numbers of 2-0-1-8 just above the peep hole. Steve heard the door creak and he broke out a crooked smile. His teeth showed completely on the right and completely covered on the left. He looked like Popeye without the pipe. A beautiful girl appeared from the gaping door frame. She had brown ringlets and deep dark eyes highlighted by some mascara. Wow! She’s gorgeous!

Annabelle smiled at Steve. He’s cute…well except for that smile…what is up with that? “Hi Steve.”

“Hi Annabelle….these….these are for you.” He handed the bouquet of flowers over.

“Lilies!” Annabelled pulled the bouquet close to her and took a sniff. “How did you know?”

He smiled trying to cover the slight twitch at the end of his mouth. “I just thought that you were a lilies girl.

“What else did you guess about me?”

 She’s into me…I think. “I’ll let you know.” He bent his arm and raised it toward Annabelle. “Shall we?”

Annabelle giggled. He’s a little charming. “Where are we going?”

“It’s a surprise.”

Annabelle locked her door and hooked her elbow on Steve’s. She walked beside him down the cemented driveway. I wonder where he is taking me.

Steve reached his silver Toyota and held the door open until Annabelle slid in. He jogged to the other side and sat on the driver’s seat. “Buckle up.” He turned the key in the ignition and drove away. “Annabelle, tell me a little bit about you.”

Annabelle looked at the stack of CD’s and flipped through them. “I don’t know where to start. Hmmm let’s see…. he likes Queen, Metallica, Red Hot Chili Peppers….not my kind of music.

Steve noticed Annabelle flip through his CD’s. “Well tell me what kind of music do you like?”

“You know Rihanna, Faith Hill and all of that….so you could say I kinda like RnB”

Steve smiled. I have the perfect CD for you. He turned on the radio and switched to the CD player.

“Akon!” Annabelle shrieked and turned up the volume.

“You like?”

Annabelle smiled. “Is that one of the things you guessed about me?”

“Maybe.” Steve winked. “What kind of stuff do you do for fun?”

“Well I like movies, theater….concerts.”

Hmmm….ok Fazzolis is out of the question. “Do you like to watch indoors or outdoors?”

“Indoors mostly.” She danced in her seat and turned to Steve. “How about you?”

Ok that leaves only the park and Hard Rock. Hard Rock is playing rock music though but it is indoors. “I like outdoors. I love watching a concert under the drizzling rain.”

“I would need an umbrella.” Annabelle frowned

“I don’t have an umbrella.”

“Well then you have to buy me new shoes.”

Steve laughed.

“I’m serious!”

“You are?”

“No!” Annabelle giggled. “You’re so cute!”

Steve drove out of the suburbs and on the highway. He was still thinking of the park or Hard Rock. “So you don’t like picnics?”

“Oh I love picnics!” She shook Steve’s arm. “Are we going on a picnic?”

“Maybe.” Steve smiled. He took a right into Anderson Drive.

“You’re teasing me you know.” Annabelle pouted her lips. “I don’t like that.”

“I will make it up to you.”

“You’d better!” She changed the track to Sean Paul. “I love this song!”

Steve turned left into Nathan drive and parked the car under a red and white striped canopy. “Here we are.”

Annabelle stepped out of the car and looked in all directions. There was a small cafe and a convenience store. The road was fairly deserted and slightly dusty. She looked down at her black and white heels. “I think I am overdressed.”

“Don’t worry you look fine.” Steve walked to the cafe and talked to the waiter. A moment later the waiter handed a covered wicker basket to Steve. “Shall we?”

“Where are we going?”

“I think you have an idea.”

“We’re going to a picnic?”

“Not really.”

“Then what is the basket for?”

“Surprise.”

Annabelle folder her arms and followed Steve. She peeked over his shoulder and tried to lift the lid on the basket.

“Tut-tut! We are almost there.”

“Where?” Annabelle’s feet started to ache. The dirt road was uneven and she struggled to walk on the bumps. “My feet hurt.”

“And here.” Steve pulled out a checkered sheet from inside the picnic basket and unfurled it on the ground. He took some rocks and placed them at the corners of the sheet. “White or Red?”

“What?”

“What kind of wine do you like?”

“Beer!”

“I have that too.” Steve pulled out two small bottles of beer and a platter of sliced meat, cheese and bread. He extended his arm. “Come sit with me.”

Annabelle sat close to Steve and rubbed her arm on Steve’s “We’re watching stars?”

“Kind of.”

“And when we get bored?”

Steve smiled. “It’s up to you.” He looked at his watch. “It should start in five minutes. He flipped the bottle caps with the butt off his lighter.

“What is about to start?” She looked up at the stars. He is a geek! Such a waste of cute dimples.

“Right over there.” Steve pointed to a clearing below them.

Lights shone brightly and danced in the sky. A stage appeared behind curtains and in the distance a crowd roared. A man walked up to a mike stand and screamed. “Is everyone ready?” The crowd cheered. “I can’t hear you!” The crowd cheered louder. “Ok guys since it is the month of love we are going to start with a loooooove song.” He turned toward a guitarist to his right and started singing.

Annabelle leaned forward. “Oh my god! UB40! It’s UB40!”

Steve smiled. ”

“I love it!”

“Do you recognize the song?”

Annabelle strained her ears. She listened closely and heard the words “I got you babe.” She turned to Steve. “I got you babe? Is that right?”

“Yes…I got you babe.” Steve smiled.

Annabelle moved in close to Steve and spoke in a love voice. “You think you’re pretty smooth don’t you?”

“Maybe.” Steve held Annabelle’s chin with his fingers and pulled her close. I can’t believe that I am going to kiss her.

Wow! he is going to kiss me! Pretty gutsy on the first date…I like that.

Steve pressed his lips against Annabelle’s and tasted the sweet strawberry lip gloss.

Annabelle pulled away. “That was nice.”

“Nice?” I’m nice? That is not a good sign. “So I’m just nice?”

Annabelle giggled. He is such a cute guy. “No not just nice. You are also…”

“I am also what?”

“I will tell you later.”

“Huh?”

“Shut up and kiss me again.” Annabelle leaned close and kissed Steve. She rested her hand on his chest as the words “Fools rush in…” sang in the background.

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