not-so-romantic, not candlelit picnic

Submitted into Contest #81 in response to: Write about a first date that surprises both people, but in different ways.... view prompt


Romance Fiction

He and Dixie didn’t talk much- after all they only met a few months ago and Dixie and himself barely had anything in common, besides being superheroes-so it was a surprise when called him (on a burner phone, of course) and insisted he shows up (as Trydez, of course) to a certain rooftop. He noticed which one it was from afar, it had candles and roses.

It also had (something Dixie didn’t mention) Avica.

She was sitting on a chair, looking bored out of her mind. 

Everything was still. He stared at her through his peripheral. 

Her hair was a frizzy mess and her lower lip was being brutally abused, (beautiful, a part of his sighed) she looked antsy. Was she waiting for him? 

Hope and dread warred at his heart. 

She has been so cold to him recently. With good reason! He rejected her after months of pursuing her- but, she wasn’t just cold, she was hurt. Confident Avica seemed to suffer a huge blow. 

It didn’t make sense. Avica couldn’t possibly like him as much as he did her. Yet she held herself like she was afraid he’d say something cruel, tense, waiting for him to speak. She was never like that before. And worse, she was obviously trying to hide it.  

Also, he accepted, he loved her still. Just as much as he did in the beginning. Just as much as he loved Sage. He loved Avica too, still. 

He landed on the rooftop pretending he didn’t see her. If he pretended then Avica would be forced to make the first move, right? He was tense, waiting for her to point him out. Maybe that’s why he startled when Avica spoke up in a hard, colder than him, voice.

The wind was whistling, flickering the candles and he stiffened, ice cracked around him.

She was standing now, shoulders thrown back, chin tilted up defiantly.

“What are you doing here, Trydez?”

He throws his hands up, “I was summoned.”

Avica’s lips twist, “This isn’t for you.”

A tightness enters his chest, “What? This candlelit dinner under the big moon isn’t for me?”

“That’s what I said.”

He clenches his fist to keep from saying anything stupid. Like asking who the guy was and why the hell was she courting him as a superheroine and not as- “Why are you still dressed up?”

“What the heck are you-oh. I didn’t have time to change...not that it matters! What are you even doing here?”

“Of course it matters,” he snapped, he sees his hair frost over in the corner of his eyes. He had to calm down, more softly he said, “your secret identity is at risk.”

She snorts, muttering something under her breath. 

“What’s that?”

“I’m wearing a mask, genius!” 

“He knows who you are under the mask?”

There it is. The jealousy, filling his throat and eyes with acid. It would explain the burn.

She didn’t even tell Trydez who she was under the mask. That was how strict she was about wearing a mask. About keeping their secret identities secret and separate from each other.

Avica was frowning at him, whether in anger or confusion he wasn’t sure. Her visors were especially dark.

“Of course not.”

He slumps against the wall, “Let’s backtrack, you are dating a guy as a superhero?”


“Because that’s bullshit,” he interrupted, “if he doesn’t like you for who you are under the mask then he isn’t worth your time-”

“Well, you’d know all about that, wouldn’t you?”

The lamposts flickered, the sky darkened covering the moon. Rain fell, trailing down her suit and putting out the small bright candles.

“What do you mean?” asked Trydez.

But Avica was looking at the candles in horror, tears in her voce, “Ah shit,” Avica never cursed, “Dekan is going to be so bummed. I-I ruined everything,”.

The petals were plastered to the ground because of the rain and cold. Swept to corners of the roof and no longer spread romantically. The candles all extinguished and a few knocked over. The blanket and food most likely soiled, Aviac joined the mess- crumpling to the floor. Hugging herself.

“Why would Dekan be disappointed-oh.”


She was dating a superhero, that’s why she was still dressed as one. 

Was this why Dixie sent him?

So that he can try and sabotage the romance, Trydez noticed Dixie eying Dekan appreciatively a few times. 


This was fucked up.

He wanted nothing more than to run away. Retreat and lick his wounds on his own. Find Dixie and give her hell for putting him through this. But- but Avica was crying. And he loved Avica and he couldn't just leave her like this. 

He stepped on the flower petals, a little more viciously than necessary but he made his way to her.

Trydez sat next to her, wrapping his arms around her-she shoved him back. Body crackling with electric energy. She sounded furious when she said, “This is all your fault! You screwed this up!”

He scrambled backwards to avoid being electrocuted, her eyes glowed behind her visors. 

“You-you fucking showed up and just pissed me off- you ruined the romantic candlelit dinner! You! You after you rejected me! Who does that? The hell, man!?”

He sunk into himself.

She was right.

“And you have the flipping nerve to say that if he doesn’t love me for my civilian identity then he doesn’t love me at all. You can’t sound jealous. You are a hypocrite! A hypocrite who makes outlandish assumptions.”

“I wasn't- I was right though, if he doesn't love you for your alter ego he doesn't deserve you-”

“You heard me, right? You idiot! You can hardly fault me for keeping my identity secret even after you rejected me for that exact reason- furthermore this isn’t even a date. I was just taking care-”

He stands up, cold rushing through his lungs- until he sees the tear marks rolling down her chin and cheeks.

“I have no idea what you're talking about,” he whispers. “I just know, regardless of the guy, you shouldn't just let him fall in love with one side of the mask. You have nothing to fear, how can they not love you-”

“You didn’t!” she screamed, the rain has stopped and now dry lightning cracked across the sky. Her eyes were glowing grey-white and were seemingly small “You found out I was boring clutz Sage and you changed your mind about me,” she rips the helmet off her face, showing a tear stained blotchy face. A tear stained blotchy face that was Sage’s. Sage’s. “How can I not be cautious after that? You have no right-”


Sage, the girl he loved was the same woman as Avica- a girl he also loved.


“I never knew about your secret identity.”

“Li-ar. Now you are a hypocritical liar who makes assumptions. Anything else you want to add to that impressive-”

He messed up. did she.

Hands floundering, she was pointing at him, the sky, the floor, cheeks pink with exertion. 

Just like Sage, she was Sage. 

Eyes bright with tears and power. He strides to her and crushes her into his chest. She struggled against him, arms pinned by his, wriggling like a worm, yelling-until she collapsed into his hug. Panting silently.

He loosened his hold on her and she looked up at him, “You-you change your mind so fast,” she choked, “I can’t keep up. You pursue me as Avica then flirt with me as Sage. And when I tell you that Avica likes you, you reject her and avoid me too. Are you a commitment phobe? Is that it? Or- or do you have a girlfriend  or do you just like fooling around with girls hearts-”

This. He realizes. This was going around in this amazing girl's head, insecurity and doubts and fear all placed by him. Or at least, encouraged by him. 

But she wasn’t the complete victim either.

He gripped her shoulders, and the temperature slowly dropped around him. His suit, made of dry ice and crystal evaporating, the first of his skin and hair warming.

“What about you? You reject me repeatedly as Avica, hold me at an arm's length too- but as Sage you let me in. You let me fall in love while dreamy-eyed for another boy. And when I try to kiss you, thinking that you might like me back you push me away telling me to pursue another girl-”

“Who’s me.”

He lets go of one shoulder to run his finger through his hair, rubbing off some of the frosts, “I didn't know that! I didn’t know shit, Avi- Sage. I thought that was your nice way of rejecting me. And- and I was fucking heartbroken and torn and felt like shit for liking two people at the same time. I wanted both of you, so much. You see-I-I just thought that if I can’t decide on which one of you I loved more then I didn’t deserve either. That's why I avoided you, ice melted off his face- as both Louis and Trydez.”

Her lips part, eyes widening and her cheeks flush.


She stables away from him, “You’re...”


She looks at him, big eyes blinking and...laughs. She fell to the floor, laughing. Hands behind her, supporting her as she laughed her face off. Half crying, half laughing, “We” she wheezed, “have been rejecting each other for each other!” 


The guy she liked was Louis. Which was him. He was Louis. Louis was Trydez.


“This isn’t funny!” He tries to get her to shush, but that just made her laugh more, “Stop laughing!”

“We,” she grins at him, “are such idiots.”

He slumps on the chair, not caring if he gets wet. He had to sit down.

“What are you doing here then?”

Her big smile sobers and he immediately regrets asking, “I, oh damn,-I was supposed to take care of the romantic candlelit dinner on the roof for Dekan. He wanted to woo his girlfriend. You know, Dixie. Shoot. They are going to be-”

“Hold up! They’re dating?!”

Sage smiles, “Of course you didn’t know. You’re oblivious.”

“That hurts.”

“So...what are you doing here?”

“Dixie just told me to come here,” he admits, “I thought she wanted to brag about a new skill or whatever.”

They nodded, just sitting on the rooftop. 

Sage seemed to believe that Dixie would call for something silly like that.

They sat, staring at the mess in front of him. A part of him wished they were facing the city, but a bigger part didn’t want to move.

Sage helmetless and Louis suitless, wearing his school clothes. 

Sage rubbed the back of her neck, “I’ll give, eh, I’ll give Dekan a call.”

The phone rang for a few awkward beats before the man, er boy?, answered the call “Helloooo?”

“Where are you?” she hissed, then as if remembering she and Lois more or less destroyed his candlelit dinner she softened her voice “Actually your picnic thing is a bust...I- erm, lost my temper and you know-”

A rasping laugh echoed, amusement, “fine. I’ll take her to my beautiful place and cook her a beautiful meal. I don’t want to show her that atrocity. The food is waterproof though, enjoy yourselves.”

“Oh, okay. Sorry about the mess. And...thanks!”

“No problem,” his smile was obvious in his speech.

She hung up.

“Wait….” Sage ventured, “how did he know there were two of us?”

Louis smiled at the suspicious look on her face, “Maybe you misheard him?”


“Well- let's see what he packed-”

She stands and as she moves toward the picnic he grabs her onto her hand, she was standing and he was kneeling, looking up at her “Will you be my girlfriend?”

Her eyebrows shoot up before a playful smile graced her lips, “We should go on a date first.” Before he can ask her on the date, Sage beats him to the punch, “Will you, Louis, please join me on a not-so-romantic not candlelit picnic on a random roof?”

Grinning he said, “I’d love nothing more than to be your date, princess.”

She pulls him to his feet.

As far as first dates go it was pretty damn good. If Sage’s kiss was any indicator, she agreed.

February 17, 2021 21:30

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Grace Arons
00:18 Feb 26, 2021

I love it! Fun spin on the prompt to make the couple superheroes! My only issue with it is: I've already been told by a little girl that the plot of her favorite book involves two superheroes falling in love with their alter-egos, so the story is not entirely original. One piece of advice I've been given to help avoid cliches is: never go with the easy choice. Whenever you are making a decision, come up with five to ten different ideas and choose the most surprising one. However, it was an enjoyable read and very well told. It's rife with co...


Carole Cobos
13:36 Feb 26, 2021

yeah...I sunk my teeth into that cliche, didn't I? I regret nothing!!! thank you for your feedback- I'll make sure to keep that in mind when I feel like being original!! And, again, thanks for taking the time to write a comment-----and can you give me the name of that book? It sounds like my kind of read!!


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Carole Cobos
19:13 Feb 18, 2021

can be read as a standalone but is connected to 'playing cupid' and 'fear of rejection', feedback is greatly appreciated :D


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