We sound our victory cheer
Sat Oct 28, 2017 14:00

He hadn’t had time to consider how she might react, as he had made his decision to ask her out in the few seconds between almost bumping into Marissa and actually voicing his proposal. He had imagined this moment before, however, many times since their break up at the start of term. He’d imagined a thousand different ways she might react; some favourable, some less so. Yet he had never anticipated complete silence. It was both unnerving and unsettling.

Marissa took his hand and led him to a bench, where he let the weighty bag rest on the floor against his legs, and still she hadn’t said anything. This couldn’t possibly be a good sign, but thankfully Danny’s mind seemed to be entirely blank, which was a blissful relief from the tumbling half-considered scenarios that would otherwise be attacking his thoughts and making this silence unbearable. He was calm as she said his name, and able to pay attention to the rest of her words. He almost wished that weren’t the case.

Marissa spoke, and Danny felt like he’d been drenched by a bucket of ice-cold water - his throat felt constricted and his skin rippled with goose flesh. He’d hurt her again; even by staying away from her he’d somehow managed to hurt her feelings. It hadn’t been unintentional (it had never been intentional) but at least this time he could console himself that he really hadn’t known she was hurting. She hadn’t said anything - he told her he was taking Rachel on a date and Marissa hadn’t given any indication that it wasn’t okay. Before midterm she gave such mixed messages he wasn’t sure what to think - she’d said she still liked him but he’d tried to kiss her and she’d pulled away. Danny thought it would be helpful for them to try being with other people (Marissa had obviously thought so when she’d - no, he wasn’t thinking about that), but maybe by doing that he’d - wait. She was going to say yes?

She was saying yes! Danny tried to school his expression into something more appropriate than a fully fledged grin of utter jubilation, with only limited success. “It will be really amazing,” he nodded. “Best Valentine’s ever. So far. Guaranteed.” He had only a very fuzzy idea of what he might do but he still had a few days to sort out the details.

He squeezed the hand that was holding his, and with his free hand he reached up to gently brush back some of her curls that had escaped their tie. “I’m very sorry,” he said, meaning it even though a hint of a smile was still tugging at his lips. “Honestly. I never meant to hurt you. I make,” (he paused for emphasis) “really bad choices sometimes.” Like smiling throughout an apology. He couldn’t help it. She should have let him apologise before telling him she would be his Valentine so he would have a fair shot at solemn contrition. “But this,” he put his other hand over hers, like he was planning on never letting it go, “isn’t one of them.”

He wanted to kiss her, but she had just said that he’d hurt her, and the deal was for Valentine’s, not right now. He had already conveniently forgotten that not thirty minutes ago he was on a date with somebody else.

  • Where do we go from here? - Marissa, Fri Oct 27 19:23
    Everything moved really fast, and it took her a few moments to keep up. She let him take the bag from her shoulders and enjoyed the momentary weight lifted from her shoulders. Then, he started to... more
    • We sound our victory cheer - Danny, Sat Oct 28 14:00
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