I sat in front of the computer, staring at the screen in disbelief.
“No, that can’t be right. He didn’t just–“
For the past five minutes I had been having a conversation with someone who made my insides twist into a slightly nauseating, exciting ball of dough. The very person who broke my heart in eighth grade. And four years later, the same one I realized I could never “just be friends” with.
It was Adam.
I looked at my blinking cursor. And gulped. My trembling fingers began typing. I never would have been this brave face-to-face. But that is how it has always been for me. The words that fall silent at my mouth find voice when they reach my hands.
“YES, THAT SOUNDS FUN.”
I press enter and squeal. This is actually happening. Adam and I are going to see the new Star Wars movie. Together. Alone.
But wait. Maybe this isn’t really a . . . date. It can’t be. A whole bunch of people must be going. We graduated from high school three days ago, and summer is officially in full-gear. Everyone’s anxious to get together outside the many parties we’ve been attending. I’m sure he’s just organizing a big group of—
He writes back. “GREAT. I’LL PICK YOU UP IN A HALF HOUR.”
That ball–the one in the pit of my stomach–unravels in a split second. I’m about to be sick.
“What?!” I choke.
I run to the phone and call my best friend. She picks up. Thank God.
“Sara,” I begin, panicked. “You have to be my back up plan. So I don’t look like a complete idiot.”
“Wait? What?” she asks, confused.
“If he has some friends in the car, you need to be ready to meet us there. Just in case. It starts in a hour.” I wipe my sweaty hands on my pants. “I’m freaking out so bad.”
“Adam,” I say.
I’m sure there is a fairy god-mother involved, because I somehow manage to shower and pull myself together in the next twenty minutes. When Adam comes to my door, I’m still in shock at what this means. Then it’s just us in his car and no mention of anyone else. If there’s any residual doubt lingering in my veins when we get there, it vanishes when he insists on paying for my ticket.
This is a date. A real date.
The Phantom Menace is good enough that I actually follow the story instead of obsessing over who I am sitting next to. The credits roll. We leave and end up at his house. I’m finally feeling more like my normal self. We talk about college (the same one we both just happen to be attending next fall) and laugh and hang out.
Later, when Adam drops me off, he asks me if I want to get together in a couple days.
I say yes.
As his car backs out of my driveway, complete joy overtakes me.
I think . . . Adam likes me. Me. Just an older version of the same shy, nerdy, clumsy, awkward girl he dated in middle school.
After all these years, he still sees me.
It’s wonderful and scary, and I’m all nerves. But in a good way. Such a good way.
I call Sara.
“So!?! How did it go?” she asks me.
“Perfect,” I say.