It was freezing.
Cold air blew over my lips and nose. I put my hands in my jeans pocket. I was really not dressed for wintry weather right now. Sean paced the strip back and forth, looking up and down the tracks. Sean and I barely held a conversation that lasted longer than three to four minutes. Here and there we would talk. I couldn’t tell if he was irritated with me. My nerves made me fidget.
A few people started gathering with us, waiting for the train, so Sean walked closer to me. I sat on the bench watching his face. Waiting for some kind of reaction. Had I done something wrong? Maybe I was just over-reacting. Maybe.
I looked up. I nearly fell out of my seat. Standing in front of me, was my best friend from high school’s boyfriend, Doug. I introduced my friend to him, and now, she was too busy to talk to me but spent as much possible time with him. I stood up, swallowing what little bitterness I had.
“Hey! I can’t believe… it’s been like 3 or 4 years right?”
We hugged and talked on and on about how much things have changed.
“Yeah, so what are you doing up here?”
“I’m just… you know. Just.. Hanging out.”
I motioned for Sean to come over and Sean shook hands with Doug. The three of us held conversations about college and pretty much life after college. The PA announcement played a few more times, all with the same message. 45 – 60 minutes of delay. Perfect.
The wind blew blistering cold winds on our faces. I moved closer to Sean. Part of me realized it, the other part didn’t. He moved his arm slightly, allowing me to move closer than before. It was nice, being that close to him. I just smiled.
We stood outside for 30 minutes, almost 40 minutes waiting for the train. Then someone from the train company came around the corner for us, and told us they were shuttling everyone to the stops. The train was delayed more than anticipated. I walked right behind Sean, matching his pace.
We got on the bus and I sat down beside him. It was dark on the bus. I asked for Sean’s phone again, and I called home.
“Sam’s still not home and I don’t know when she will be.”
I turned to Sean and he nodded.
“Okay, well when she does come home, tell her not to worry about it. Sean said he’ll take me home.”
I thanked her and ended the phone call. I handed Sean back his phone. We sat in silence most of the way back. He was picking at his fingers and I, without really thinking, reached over and grabbed his hands. I released them and he put his hands flat against his pant legs. We got off in Egg Harbor City and we walked… no. We almost ran to his car to avoid the blistery winds.
I took a seat in his passenger side seat and smiled. I liked his car. It wasn’t a new fancy car or anything, but it was a car that I could see him in. It was nice. I gave him directions to my house, thanked him, and started singing along with the country music playing on his radio. After a minute or so, I turned to him. Breaking the silence.
“So, what was your favorite part about tonight?”
“Getting off at the wrong station. Walking all those miles and being so adventurous.”
“Me too. ”
I smiled and laughed a bit.
“What’s so funny?”
“Well, I didn’t think I would have had so many firsts with you tonight.”
“Haha, yeah? Like what?”
“Well, first time I ever took a train in the United States before. First time I ever lost my wallet. First time I laughed this much in one night. Haha.”
He laughed then too.
“Haha, yeah. I guess you’re right.”
We laughed a little louder. We drove until we reached my house, filling the drive with conversation along the way. When we reached my driveway, I asked him if he wanted to come in and hang out for a bit before heading home, but he told me he was tired. I had to admit, I was exhausted too.
I didn’t know whether or not I should have done anything. Should I hug him or not? I wanted to, but I just grabbed my stuff and waved. I thanked him again and told him to please text me when he made it home.
I walked into my kitchen door and Harley greeted me in her loving manner. I showered and changed for bed. I crawled into bed and flicked the television on. After a few minutes, I reached for my phone and texted him.
“Thank you for tonight. I had a lot of fun with you tonight.”
After about twenty minutes or so, he texted back.
“I just made it home. I had a lot of fun too. 🙂 I’m heading to bed. Good night.”
I pulled the covers up over Harley and I put my phone on my dresser next to my bed. I looked at the alarm clock. It was nearly 1 am. I smiled and within seconds I was fast asleep.
We missed the wrong stop, went hiking in the woods, I had stickers in my hand, had to walk 2.5 miles, my phone died, my sister never picked me up, my wallet was lost with everything in it, and Sean had to drive out of his way to drop me off at my house. Despite all of that happening, I had the best night out in a long time. I never learned so much about myself or someone else in such a short amount of time. I have never laughed so hard, to the point where I was crying. I never was just so daring. I wasn’t afraid to be myself for fear of being judged. I never just connected with someone on such a level that it seemed nearly impossible not to be his friend.
I don’t really know what the future holds. All I know is, I’m 22. I have time to wait and let things fall into place. I have a future ahead of me that is seemingly bright and promising. If Sean is a part of that future… only time will tell. For now, being friends is perfect. At least, if nothing else, our friendship and this perfect day. This disaster of a beautiful afternoon turned to a chaotic evening is one for the books. The kind of day you remember and laugh about with your children one day, when telling stories. I’m not rushing anything and luckily neither is he. I’m not looking for a whirlwind romance.
All I do know is, I am genuinely looking forward to seeing this boy again.