“What was that?”
Dielle rolled her eyes. “I said I thought they made a good couple…” They were walking in the middle of Maple Lake Park after they had left the restaurant. She had wanted to see the moon reflected in the water and had refused to listen to Gage’s litany of crime statistics, or that the park had closed at 11. “What did you think?” She asked again.
Gage tried to remember what he thought of Dielle’s friend L. He knew that L had told him his name but he just couldn’t remember it, one of those long Polynesian names. He remembered him as an earnest and polite in a shy nerdy sort of way. And his date… what was her name, Inna… Anais? Something long. She seemed nice too… but when he stopped thinking about it, what really stuck out was the way they loomed.
This was strange since when he thought about it in a perfectly rational way they seemed perfectly normal and smaller. He certainly didn’t remember a low rumbling bass that rattled his fillings when either of them spoke. “Yeah. They were all right. ” He said.
Dielle grinned. Her smile was blinding. “What’s the matter with you, Clarence? If you got any stiffer I would have had to get L to carry you home… and that would have spoiled his night”
“I was not stiff!” Gage shouted out instantly and instinctively.
“Of course you weren’t, Clarence. ” Dielle laughed putting a hand on his shoulder. “I could see you fidgeting all the way through. It’s a good thing those two were even more nervous than you were. ”
“I wasn’t that nervous. ”
“Of course you weren’t..” She repeated and paused looking up at the sky she looked back at Gage. “Full moon sure is pretty, isn’t it?” She said.
“The moon. It’s not full. it’s waxing gibbous. ”
Dielle frowned. “Clarence? Do you always correct girls making small talk?”
“Uh I didn’t mean…” He began to stammer but Dielle put a finger to his lips.
“You want to be careful. The next one you run into might think you’re being rude. But you had fun, right?”
“Oh yeah… We really should do this again…. Can we?” He asked.
Dielle gave him an enigmatic smile turned and sat down on a park bench. She took off one of her shoes. “I don’t think I’ll ever get used to heels,” She said. “My feet are killing me. ” She grinned mischievously and raised a stocking foot towards Gage. You want to rub them for me?”
Before Gage could say anything there the noise of a loud explosion followed by several more. They looked up to see fireworks going off all over the city. Gage thought he could hear a tune he couldn’t recognize being played through loudspeakers. The fireworks seemed to go on for over a half hour until finally they filled the sky over the lake with the words “LOVE YOU FOREVER”.
Gage and Dielle stared at the sky speechless as the display ended. Neither seemed to notice their hands touching. In the distance they could hear people talking, dogs barking, car alarms and sirens.
Dielle glanced at Gage they both pulled their hands away. “Aww, Clarence, you shouldn’t have.” She said smiling.
“What!? How could I have….”
“No. Of course not.” Dielle frowned. “But damn. Somebody has it BAD”