April 25 was perfect, it was a little windy, but the sun was still out and the birds were having the time of their lives chirping along in the skies. Lucien finally got the courage to ask his crush on a date. It was nothing grand, just a simple picnic at a park, getting to know each other and stuff…
In truth, he didn’t plan anything for his first date. Could you blame him? Lucien was a hopeless romantic; he never thought he would get this far with anyone. It was kind of scary for him, he barely knew the guy! They talked to each other a few times during their classes but they never actually spent time together.
Their date started at 4:30 pm and time was going so unbelievably slow, every minute felt like an eternity. He set the date on a Sunday so that both of them didn't have to worry about classes. Lucien spent the whole night picking snacks, blankets, and activities for the picnic to distract his nerves. Finally, after a long and warm shower, he stood in front of his closet wondering what to wear for this wonderful occasion. He took his favorite lilac hoodie that had daisies sowed into the sleeves and tossed it on the bed along with some tight-fitted, black ripped jeans. He sat on the carpet in front of his bed for a solid minute questioning if it would be okay to go on a date in a hoodie.
He heard the house alarm beep as his younger sister came home from her tutoring session and he got an idea. He called out to his sister with a whiny tone, almost begging her for fashion help. Alis, his sister, walked into his room and threw her heavy backpack at him saying she’ll only help if he does her weekend homework. Without waiting for an answer, she started taking clothes out of the closet, discarding his shirts into a pile on the floor, looking for something good. Lucien knew that it would take a while. His sister loved to pick clothes inspired by the weather, the situation, and feelings. It's what made her so great with fashion.
To speed up the wait, he walked into the bathroom to touch up his fading strawberry hair. In his school, there was an annoying rule on dyed hair, therefore, he challenged the school system and grew out his hair to be a little longer than chin-length, got an undercut, and dyed that part, that way it could only be seen when he pulled up his hair.
After a few minutes of his sister pairing clothes and matching colors, she popped her head in to tell him she was done picking. She showed the three options spread on the bed, one was a casual green jacket over a yellow t-shirt with a sowed on the heart as a chest pocket, paired with light blue denim jeans and white vans. The second outfit was a black turtle neck paired with a neutral plad dress pant and a medium-length burgundy coat alongside black platform boots. The last one was a light blue button-down with thin white stripes, half-tucked into the jeans he had taken out earlier with a thin black leather belt, and brown Timberland boots. This was a picnic date, the first date, he wanted to look casual while also looking hot, but he did not want to be a show-off, thus making him choose the ladder of the three.
By 3:45 pm he was already at the park, he settled under a big scarlet oak tree and placed a thin red blanket on the soft, bright green grass. Lucien ran back and forth from his car to bring the small glass bowls of cut mangos, chips, cookies, and a jug of apple juice that his sister helped him pack in the trunk of his grey Toyota Corolla. He was about to lock the car until he saw the white crocheted blanket that his grandma gave him. He always had it in the back seat for emergencies, well, in case he ever needed a blanket. Taking the blanket for an aesthetic addition, he finally locked the car and laid the soft blanket over the red one, the blue forget-me-nots contrasting the red beautifully.
When he finished setting up the little space for their picnic it was 4:15 pm, he was so nervous now that he settled down. Sliding his rough hand over the worn cover of his favorite book, he sighed, wondering if he should text Skylar, his crush. The Friday that Lucien asked him out also happened to be the first time he asked someone for their number, making him a stuttering mess, the embarrassing memory making him blush a light shade of pink. He took his earphones out of his pocket and untangled them before plugging them into his phone and opening his book.
After spending his time laying against the tree reading and desperately waiting for Skylar to arrive, he started to wonder if the other was even going to arrive, as it was already 10 minutes past the meeting time. The sun was in the perfect position for the day, it wasn’t too bright out either, making it incredible for taking pictures. A soft breeze passed him, playing with the grass and blankets as it moved along. He took out his earphones to listen to the quiet birds sing and the leaves above him rustle, it was truly a perfect day.
Flying onto his open book, a ladybug stood on the beige-colored page, walking around occasionally moving its tiny black wings, trying to fit them back under its spotted body. Lucien absolutely adored ladybugs, laying on his stomach, he set the book down and just stared at the miniature insect. Little by little he started to feel the lack of sleep push down his eyelids and make the rest of his body feel heavy.
Suddenly, he heard a dog barking in the distance, forcing him to look up. A big, old, Saint Bernard was running towards him with its tongue out, barking loudly, now and then stopping to pant. Looking up to the owner who was almost running behind the dog, Skylar called out to Lucien, laughing and apologizing for being late with a big smile.
He was beautiful, his light brown hair was messy from running and his green cardigan was slowly slipping off his shoulder, the way he laughed sounded like a million angels harmonizing, it was all so mesmerizing. Lucien had to break himself from the trance before Skylar could notice and think he was weird. Skylar got to the blankets and sat down after telling his dog, who was named Clover, to lay down. He set down a dark brown basket in between the two and asked if it was okay that he had brought sandwiches. Before Skylar started to explain why he was late, he quickly hugged Lucien without thinking, causing the couple to blush almost as bright as the tree's scarlet leaves.
The two energetically talked through the hours about everything, never having a stale moment. They were still strangers to each other but yearned to learn more. Even the littlest things Skylar shared with Lucien made him so happy. The great part about glass containers was that despite the time that the mangoes were out, they never dried and still tasted as sweet as the yellow fruit looked.
At 6:40 pm they decided to leave the park because the sun was starting to set and it was getting colder. It was a shame to end their date so early, then Lucien thought of a way that they could spend more time together, and hopefully make more memories, he had remembered that Skylar had to walk home again. Quickly offering to give him a ride home, Skylar agreed and helped pack everything back into the car. Lucien laid the red blanket across the back seats of his car for Clover to be comfortable, while also preventing possible damage that can be caused to the seats from her big paws.
Following the turn of Lucien’s keys, the car roared to life, lighting up the road in front of them, shining against the signs of the park. While driving past a few other cars another idea struck Lucien’s mind, what if they went somewhere to watch the sunset, or stars, considering the possibly long drive. He turned briefly from the road to face Skylar, mumbling a quick comment about watching the stars before officially ending the date. Skylar excitedly wiggled in his seat, slightly turning his upper body to face Lucien, trying to hold himself from smothering the other in a hug. Skylar expressed with absolute joy in his voice how much he always wanted to watch the stars with someone. They both burst out in laughter because Skylar’s excitement had broken the awkward silence in the car from earlier. Swiftly typing the directions to a secret spot, the GPS lit up, a loud robotic voice following. Lucien often went to this place when he wanted to think, or get inspiration, overall, he spent a lot of time here.
The sky was spotted with fluffy pink-tinted clouds flawlessly contrasting the minty sky that faded into a peachy color and soon yellow appeared as well, each color surrounding the tired sun. The ride to the mountain was enjoyed with loud music but no conversation, just the enjoyment of each other’s presence. Lucien parked his car in its usual spot at the top of the mountain with the city view.
By 7:50 pm it was pretty chilly outside, but the couple still wanted to get the full experience, and considering the convenience of the crochet blanket, it looked like the date was going to continue with the two cuddling.
Lucien opened the door and went to retrieve the warm blanket before going to Skylar’s door and knocking on the window to let him get prepared for the sudden cold. Taking in a deep breath Skylar gripped the door handle and opened it to the fresh night air. He giggled at his own overreaction since it wasn’t as cold as expected but Skylar still wrapped himself in the blanket after opening the backdoor for Clover to walk out if she wanted. Lucien shivered from the night wind that rustled through the bushes and the small patches of grass.
Soon they settled onto the hood of the car, looking up at the stars that were starting to appear like disturbed fireflies in a patch of tall grass. Even though the starry night was the same as any other day, this one felt special for them, under this sky, nothing but them mattered. In the comfortable silence, while holding hands, the date ended with the plan for another.