A brand new installment because there seemed like a gap that needed to be filled….or something. The others can be found here.
How do you know when you’re really in love? Seriously, I’m asking because I don’t have the slightest idea. Oh, sure, I was positively head-over-heels when I was 14 with pimply-faced Devon Vanderhoven because he could play “Yellow Ledbetter” on electric guitar and I was sure that he’d see beyond my huge glasses to the beautiful me that existed in the mirror when I pushed so close to it that all I could see were pieces of my face like some weird Picasso portrait. But it never happened, and my heart was broken.
And then there was Corey in college. We fumbled our way through mutual attraction and mutual physical shenanigans and fumbled on to other people. But none stuck for me. Until now.
I’ve never “done” Valentine’s Day. Sure, when I was little I handed out those goofy cards and traded conversation hearts. When I got older, I joined the cool Galentines gals. Valentine’s is a commercial holiday blah blah blah, flowers, blah blah blah, candy, blah blah blah, expensive dinners. Who needs it? Yeah, who needs it? Except, a part of me wanted to try it on. And, now, here I am.
As we walked into the restaurant, I wasn’t impressed. It was a hole-in-the-wall Italian place right down to checked red and white tablecloths and chianti bottles as taper holders. It didn’t matter. We hadn’t been going together for that long and some people book reservations in advance. Really, I was just happy to be here with him and, no, I’m not protesting too much. I just hoped there were cockroaches.
But I quickly learned, first impressions can be deceiving. A man played piano and sang love songs. Wine filled glasses. Buttery garlicky breadsticks filled a basket. And Dominic placed his big warm hand over mine and gazed into my eyes. His eyes were like melted chocolate and I felt myself melting in them.
“Everything okay?” he asked.
I nodded, afraid to speak. Except that it’s very hard for me not to speak. Hey, I work in a library where conversation is not exactly at a premium. I like to gab given the chance.
“This is fantastic. So romantic and I’m so happy,” I said, gushing.
He grinned. Those dimples. I’ve never thought about licking a man’s face until right now. I could almost feel my eyes glaze over. As if he could read my mind and these lascivious thoughts, his grin widened.
“Red is your color,” he said.
“Yours too,” I said, dazed, realizing ever so slowly he was talking about my dress. I giggled. “I mean. Huh. Strong wine, right?”
“I think we should just see each other,” he said.
“I already do.”
He laughed, his thumb rubbing over the back of my hand. I think I managed to keep my sigh inside, but I wasn’t sure about anything anymore because there’s a really strong chance that I’d fallen in love.