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Romance Fiction

The darkness was cool, almost startlingly so, as if the loss of light from the screen added to the atmosphere. Ashley shivered and curled inwards, rubbing the backs of her arms with the opposite hand. She bit her lip as the chill and anticipation worked their way simultaneously up her spine and she eyed him in the dark. 

Chris was still staring at the screen, watching the last few names scroll upwards from nothing and disappearing into just as much darkness. The faint leftover light illuminated his long blonde lashes and she wondered how on earth it was fair for a man to be so beautiful. He was tall and thick with broad shoulders and a trim waist that made her more jealous than anything else. He worked out, sure, but also ate like a bull when they were out to dinner, devouring everything on his plate and sneaking fries off of hers. The heavy muscles in his arms were enough to drive her insane and she’d spent more than half of the movie with her arm pressed against his, accidentally on purpose sharing the same armrest. She could feel how firm he was, how warm, even through the layers of clothing between them, and the thought was so distracting, that she’d nearly missed the end of the film. 

Not that she’d paid much attention to the rest of it. 

Her mind was a mess, playing over every single moment of their dinner before the show, wondering if she’d said the right things, smiled at the right moments, laughed when called for. She already knew she’d messed up royally when she swallowed her Coke too fast and burped like a monster right in front of him. Her cheeks had burned hot and embarrassment had sunk her stomach. He hadn’t mentioned anything; he just smiled politely with those gorgeous, plump lips and went back to his dinner. 

Oh, if only she wasn’t so disgusting, maybe she’d have a chance with him. If she wore more makeup, knew how to do her hair properly, dressed better. Perhaps if she were more lady-like she wouldn’t be stuck in this never-ending nexus of first dates that never evolved into a second. Maybe if she were just a little bit prettier, a little thinner, a little… Ah, what did it matter? Chris was too perfect for her, too handsome, way too out of her league. 

Chris ran his hands down his thighs again, discretely trying to wick away the sweat from his palms before he had to touch her again. Even in the cold theater, he was sweating. There was just something about her that made him more anxious than he’d been in forever. 

He was usually really good at first dates, but Ashley made him nervous. From the second he’d picked her up at her apartment, he knew he was way out of his comfort zone. She was short and perfectly thick, with curves in all the right places; curves that he wanted to sink his teeth into. Her hair was pulled back in a simple ponytail and hung down her back in natural ashen ringlets and her eyes, unmasked by color or synthetic lashes, shone a bright blue that reminded him of summers on the lake as a kid. She was stunning without even trying, and it made his stomach flip. 

Anytime she looked at him, Chris felt his cheeks burn. Each time he made her laugh, his heart swelled with the sound. When he caught her staring it was as if the sun were looking at him and even the tips of his ears glowed bright pink. She was too much for him, too beautiful, too down-to-earth, and just plain lovely. 

The girls he was used to dating were always done up to the nines, with gilded nails and too much makeup. One of the worst things to him was leaning in to kiss a cheek and being met with a lung full of perfume and the stench of foundation. They were always clicking their tiny heels too fast trying to catch up with his gait, and they never ever ate dinner. The most they’d do was order a salad that they never touched and sip on lemon water until their thin lips puckered from the sourness. 

Ashley ate with him. 

Ashley ate a cheeseburger and fries with him. Hell, she’d burped in front of him and Chris had only one thought in that brief moment when her true self was exposed: she was absolutely beautiful.

If only he wasn’t so shy. If only he could have spent the last one hundred and thirteen minutes holding her hand instead of staring blankly at the big screen dreaming of holding her hand, maybe he’d have half a chance. He hadn’t a clue what the movie was about save for a random car chase that had caught his attention for a little while, but the plot? Characters? He had no idea. He wondered if he’d picked the wrong type of movie for a first date, if Ashley had liked it at all, but then again, she was probably bored with him anyway.

The studio logos flashed off of the screen and for a moment, the world was plunged into utter darkness. 

Ashley held her breath, still chewing nervously on the corner of her lip, waiting for the inevitable ‘It was nice to meet you. Yeah, I’ll call…’ before never hearing from him again. 

Chris dug his nails into his jeans and took a deep breath, waiting for the lights to come up, praying that she would be smiling his way. 

What if he doesn’t like me?

What if she hates the way I laugh?

If only I was taller.

If only I was clever. 

The theater lights dawned, slowly climbing up the walls and lighting the room. The music was gone, leaving a deafening silence in its wake, and the audience sprang to life, busting about collecting coats and garbage and heading towards the exit. 

Everyone but two figures in the front row. 

Two figures who opened their eyes to find the other staring just as hard, their lips gently parted, their hands hovering, reaching in the dark. 

Chris felt the blush hit his cheeks and he ducked his chin, looking up at her through thick and unfair lashes. 

Ashley exhaled too quickly and sucked in her bottom lip to compensate, biting down hard to stop herself from swooning. 

He cleared his throat. 

“So… what'd ya think?” 

Blue eyes glazed over as his voice filled her ears. “Think?” 

Chris laughed softly. “About the movie.” 

She shook herself back into reality. “Yeah, I-I liked it. You?” 

“Was alright.” He shrugged and stood up, holding out a hand for her. 

Ashley took it, sinking her tiny hand into his big palm and smiling as he helped her up. 

“Such a gentleman.” 

He grinned and let his fingers close tighter around hers. “Only if you really want me to be…” 

Her heart skipped. She took a breath and jumped. “You don’t have to be all the time.” 

Chris felt the butterflies churning in his gut and he squeezed her hand, tugging her a step closer. “Good,” he said, taking the leap with her, bending to reach for her lips, “because I’ve wanted to do this all night…” 

May 25, 2022 12:50

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15 comments

Jason Okurumeh
11:02 Jun 04, 2022

I loved the way you separately drew out both characters point of view and then put them together in that one spot where they where...In the Dark... This was a lovely read❤️

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Rebekah Jordan
18:55 Jun 04, 2022

Thank you!!

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Cindy Strube
17:53 May 31, 2022

What a nice story! The dual perspective is well done, and the ending is sweet.

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09:36 May 30, 2022

This is adorable and gave me the warm fuzzies. Great read, thanks for sharing. :)

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Ashley Marchant
04:22 May 30, 2022

😍😍😍

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Jennie B
02:55 May 29, 2022

This was the story I needed to read today. :)

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Rebekah Jordan
14:22 May 29, 2022

Awe im so glad. Thank you!

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Rebecca Miles
18:59 May 28, 2022

Oohhh the frisson!!! I loved it!

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Rebekah Jordan
14:23 May 29, 2022

Hehe thank you!

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Ace Quinnton
18:33 May 26, 2022

I'm a hopeless romantic, a sucker for wholesome scenarios and hilariously witty banter. This story is so attention to detail, that when you described something, the image just popped immediately into my head. Wonderful writing, truly beautiful. I'm excited to see what you'll do next.

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Rebekah Jordan
14:22 May 29, 2022

Thank you so much! 💖💖

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Russell Norman
10:36 May 26, 2022

I thought you kept the suspense about how it was going to turn out really well.

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Rebekah Jordan
14:22 May 29, 2022

Thank you!

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Anissa Waterman
21:43 May 25, 2022

Loved your story. You captured first date jitters perfectly. I liked how you did both characters point of views.

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Rebekah Jordan
23:31 May 25, 2022

Thank you so much!

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