Destination: Love

Submitted into Contest #100 in response to: Write a story that involves a secret or magic ingredient.... view prompt


Fiction Happy Romance

It’s a typical warm summer evening in Glendale. The summers are short, hot, arid, and clear, but winters are lengthy, cold, rainy, and partly cloudy. A city known not only for its offbeat galleries and museums but also for its beautiful scenic mountains. When the sun sets, one will discover live music and a variety of food options all across the city.

In this lively town filled with interesting activities for anyone and everyone, a very curious turn was about to take place in the lives of two people namely, Lizzie and Paul. 

At about 2 pm, as Lizzie sat in her chair, reading the book of her favorite author, Abigail Maiers, described as an epitome of success by the avid readers in the world of mysteries. It was at this time the Universe had decided to chime in with a small Bzztt. It was Lizzie's phone.She looked at it. It's from Paul. She opens it and gasps a little.

The text read Hey Lizz, if you don't have any plans tomorrow,I was wondering if you would like to go out with me?  Lizz goes completely silent for a moment. She's been waiting for Paul to ask her out for 6-7 months and now that the moment is here she can't contain the excitement.

They have been talking for quite a while now and though they haven't really hung out together even once Lizz gets a vibe from him that she hasn't felt with anyone. Her friends were of the opinion that it's all probably because they are both hiding behind a screen. "Hanging out and talking is a lot different than some hi hello on the street," Lizzie still remembers Ann remarks. She's probably right. But some or the other thing kept pushing this meeting until today afternoon at 2 pm. The only thing standing between the wait and the meet are three letters YES. Lizzie's smile widens with every letter. It's finally happening.

Over at Paul's place ,things are equally interesting. He awaits the response with his fingers crossed. As he waits,his mind seems to be a few steps ahead already,which is quite normal considering his romanticized nature.Ironically he's usually ‘that one’ in a group,you know the one who appears all shy and quiet,till you get to know the person and then they are oops,still quiet. Unless it's something they know and love,then they just won't shut up about it.

Paul knows this about himself and wonders “is it why my mind can't shut up about Lizz?”

Paul shakes his head and says to himself, "No ,paul. That's impossible. I mean you need to get your head right.You have never met her and what's more she's not even said yes. "

(He's unaware of how strongly Lizz feels for him,too.)

It's strange though,he never thought or looked at Lizz in that way. He smiles a little, wondering how he fell for someone without ever even flirting with her. She is the only girl he never tried to impress, he never ‘tried to talk to’, someone with whom he could just be himself.

Paul's thoughts are distracted by the ring on his phone. "Oh damn" Paul almost yells and hurriedly picks the phone. "Ah man! It's just another sales call from some telemarketers.Why would you pull such a prank on me,eh God?" He sighs in dismay and is about to put the phone back when his phone beeps with two words that will be one of the moments that Paul remembers forever. The words were 'Lizzie' and under that a big 'YES!' Paul can’t stop smiling, it’s actually going to happen. I am going on a date with Lizz.He becomes a bit teary eyed. "Okay ,Paul that settles it. You're in love. For real this time!"

He wipes off the tear and picks up his phone and calls her.

Lizz picks up the phone. "Hey,Paul. Oh gosh. I can't believe it took you so long to ask me out. I can't wait for tomorrow."

"Haha. I know. sorry about that. I'm a bit of a slow poke,ain't I? Let me start by making it up to you."

"And how do you plan on doing that,Mr.Slow poke?", says Lizzie in a mocking tone.

"Um how about you meet me after your classes outside the station ,we go to your favorite cafe from there and umm..well we'll keep the rest of it a suspense." 

"Ahem ahem. You have done your research,eh? So, tomorrow 10 am it is!" ,says Lizz with a giggle.

"Yes! I'll see you soon, Lizz!"


The next day arrives. Paul gets up early. The classes of Lizz are in LA about 20 minutes away. Paul decides to board the 9:30 train,so that even if there is a delay due to some reason Lizz wouldn't have to wait.

He gets up early,finishes his chores and gets ready. He leaves home all dressed and as he starts walking to the station a little feeling of nervousness begins to dwell on him. It’s been a long time since he last went on a date. He reaches the station and tries to calm himself down. Luckily the train seems to be on time. He boards it and takes a deep breath, “It’s ok you got this. Just be yourself,buddy!”

It's about 9:25 when he reaches the decided spot, his heart racing. Five minutes seem like a lot. He’s busy with pep talking to himself when there is tap on his shoulder. He turns, it’s Lizz. All of a sudden,surprisingly, all of the nervousness seems to have disappeared. Instead there is a silence within him. Paul can’t understand what just happened. Never had he felt such a feeling of silence from within.

After they exchange pleasantries, they head over to board a cab to Lizz’s favorite cafe.

He asks her about her classes, she shares a funny story that happened with her BFF, Katie and they have a good laugh.

They reach the cafe and everything is going very smoothly for a first date,nay if someone was asked it would be hard to figure out for a person these two were on a first date.

Paul orders the food and drinks and while they wait for their orders to come he asks Lizz, “Hey, didn’t you just go on that trip to Paris with your family. You said you’ll tell me all about it when we meet. Well here we are.Tell me about it!”

As Lizz begins to describe her trip, how it was decided, her favorite spots, some fun facts about Paris, their hotel, the must visit spots, Paul becomes completely engrossed in it. With every little laugh, the way she describes things, her little quirky and cute expression, he seems to be falling for her.

They talk and laugh, Lizz seems to like Paul’s sense of humor a lot, though his dimples might be the ones helping him more than his puns. 

“You know, it’s so weird that I can be completely weird with you” says Paul with a little chuckle. Lizz starts laughing and says, “I know right. It’s like two weirdos in a pot. Haha!”

They go on to a small dessert shop nearby after their brunch. After sharing it and having a cute-clichey moment, where a person pretends to feed the other and then takes the bite at the last second , they return to the station, waiting for the train to head back home.

Lizz checks her clock and is shocked. It’s been more than 4 hours. She says to herself,smiling a little within, “Man! How did time fly by so fast? Are you in love,Lizz?”

He asks her what had happened,seeing her smile. She says nothing with a smile and grabs his hand. He smiles.

Their train arrives and after a little chit chat Lizz rests her head on Paul’s shoulder, hugging him a little. Paul holds her hand and as he sees her, that feeling of silence, a calm within once again makes him think. He smiles a little, you see it was at this moment, he knows. He knows she’s the one and that he is in love.

“And that my dear little angels is the tale of the one where Lizz and Paul go on their first date!”, says a jolly looking,teary eyed,a little bald and now a 42 yr old Paul.

“WOW! That was so cooooool!”,yells little 9-yr old Ben. Claire chimes in,too “ Aww! Pa, that was really one of the sweetest stories I have heard till now.Mommy and you are truly goals,aren’t they Ben?” 

Ben,who’s not that old to understand such slang terms like goals and all just nods along in excitement. 

“Kidssss, dinner’s ready!” Lizz calls them from the kitchen. 

“Coming,Mommyyyyy”, they all yell, laughing and giggling their way to the kitchen.

“Mommy, mommy guess which story dad just told us?” asks Claire.

“It was the first date of Lizz and Paul!” Ben breaks the suspense and gets a friendly tap on his shoulder. “Gosh,what part of guess, do you not understand, B!” Claire frowns a little.

“Haha. Now,now. Don’t you fight. How about mommy tells you something as interesting as your dad’s story?”

They seem to like the idea and look up to her with curiosity.

Lizz says, "Well,you know how your dad is always in awe of the food I make and keeps asking me about my secret ingredient?"

"Yessss, hehe, we want to know it as well,mother. What is it? Oh,please do tell us!"

"Woah! I want in on this,too!",says a shocked Paul.

" How about I give you a hint,the story you just heard ,the answer's hidden in it only."

Both Ben and Claire look at each other, gossip something in each other’s ears and Claire yells out, “LOVEEEEE!”

Lizzie holds Paul's hand,looks in his eyes and says, “That is correct,dear,that is correct!”

June 30, 2021 16:12

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John K Adams
17:06 Jul 19, 2021

A charming story. I advise you to learn to love the editing process. A little revision can remove minor distractions and allow the reader to enjoy the story more easily. Misplaced commas and spaces detract from the natural flow. Reading aloud before publishing helps to catch little glitches. Keep writing!


Pranav N
19:17 Jul 19, 2021

Thank you so much,John. I have just started writing and getting such valuable inputs at an early stage will definitely help me improve. I'll work on it. :))


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Palak Shah
16:58 Jul 18, 2021

Nice story Pranav and it was awesomely written. Well done !!!!


Pranav N
18:50 Jul 18, 2021

Thank you so much. :))


Palak Shah
19:03 Jul 18, 2021

Np x


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Abhishek Todmal
11:40 Jul 05, 2021

Enjoyed reading this, brother. Really cute story :) I kind of guessed what the secret ingredient was before Lizz said it out loud :) Also, the time difference between when Paul boards the train and arrives in L.A., is it quite right ? Wasn't the train supposed to be the 9:30 one ? And he arrives in L.A at 9:25. I only say this because I know editing isn't the most fun aspect of writing, and one is only wholly, understandably, absorbed with getting just the story down. So small details may sometimes go amiss. But, it was a really fun read ma...


Pranav N
12:26 Jul 05, 2021

Thank you so much,brother! Haha! Glad you could guess it. I was aiming for the audience to guess it beforehand. Oh snap. I meant to write 9:55. Great catch! I'll definitely have to learn and improve from this. Thanks for your kind words. Always great to be appreciated by a good writer. 🤗


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