"Are you asking me out?"
I just love it when Mark Adams decides to be sentimental.
It was February 13--the day before Valentine's Day, and my three best friends, Mark, Aaron Stanwick, and Michael Florence, were helping me get ready for my big date with Joy Harris, the girl of my dreams.
"What cologne were you going to wear?"
"Eternity, same as always."
"No, you need something stronger, something that says I want to be your man."
Aaron normally wouldn't have said something as--well--stupid as that. In fact, he's the smartest out of all of us, but he also doesn't really know how to handle himself in these types of situations. Maybe it comes from being Mormon?
My name is David, and I'm a normal high school student.
And as a normal high school student, I was feeling slightly at a loss. I had never been on a date before, and Joy was someone who I had been wanting to date for weeks. If I blew it, I could never go back to the Coffee Plantation ever again (Who said that? What?)
"I know. You should wear Eternity!"
"Wow, that's an original concept." Mark's definitely not the most intelligent person on the planet, but he's a great friend (who also has a LOT of experience in the dating world.)
"Ok, so we have the flowers, the cologne, what are we forgetting? Is Rebellion full?"
"I filled her up this morning." Rebellion is my charcoal Pontiac that my folks got me for my 16th birthday. That was back when things were a little smoother in my household.
"GO TO HELL, CAL!"
"ALREADY THERE, LINDA!"
Speak of the devil.
"I'll be right back you guys."
While I smoothed things over with my parents, the guys went through my closet to find something for me to wear. We were just going to get some pizza, but it WAS a first date, and it WAS on Valentine's Day.
When I got back to my room, I saw that the guys had laid out a pair of jeans with a black dress shirt and a red t-shirt for an undershirt.
"You wear the shirt untucked."
"I figured as much."
"Okay, so we're all gonna be at my house while David's on his date?"
"Not that I don't enjoy being David's fairy godmother, but I have a date too. I hear she's very flexible."
"OK, unneeded information, have a great time."
"And I'm meeting up with Leslie." Leslie was Michael's ex, but they ended on really good terms and decided that since neither of them was seeing anyone that they would get together for the night. This would be interesting to say the least.
"Don't worry, Aaron. I'll swing by after my date and pick up a really bad chick-flick."
"Me too, but probably not in the same sense you guys will be." Mark was a virgin, but he did so many other sexual things that you would never guess he's never gone all the way.
Shortly after the guys left, I got a call from Joy. "Eager to talk to me?" I seemed to have become much more smooth since she asked me out.
"Listen, about that, I have to cancel."
"Please don't get the wrong idea. My boss is making me work tomorrow night even though I requested the time off. No one will cover my shift because they all have dates. Even Clarisse, and you've seen her."
"She's not that bad..." Actually, she was, but I was trying to be nice.
"I'm really sorry David. If I could get out of it I would."
"Don't worry, it's not your fault that your boss is a jerk."
"I knew you'd understand."
"Of course. Call you tomorrow?"
I couldn't believe she cancelled on me. I had gotten a car wash and everything.
It was about 9:30, so I figured it would be ok to call Michael and ask him what I should do. Mark may have been the expert at giving head, but Michael was the expert on using your head with this kind of thing.
"I'm really sorry about that, David. I wish there was something we could--wait! I just had an idea. I'm gonna call Aaron and Mark really quickly. Stay on the line!"
As I waited for Michael to call me back, I thought about Joy, about when to ask her out again, and, more importantly, what Michael's idea was. After about six minutes, Michael called me back.
"Meet us in front of Coffee Plantation at 7:30. Wear what we picked out, and you might want to brush up on your Billy Joel."
"'For the Longest Time' to be specific."
So at 7:20, I hopped into Rebellion and jetted to the coffee plantation, singing "For the Longest Time" the entire way there.
Mark, Aaron, and Michael were waiting outside for me, dressed in the matching tuxedos we wore for choir.
Michael looked at me. "Are you ready?"
I looked inside to make sure Joy was at the counter. "SHE'S NOT THERE!"
"Relax, she just walked in from the back."
"Now are we ready?"
I took a moment to think. I was either going to win over Joy's heart, or I was going to make a complete fool of myself. But whatever the case may be, I was going to have my three best friends there to catch me if I fell.
"Let's do this thing."
Before we walked in, we waited for the lights to go off (Michael arranged all of this in the six minutes between our phone calls). Once the lights were turned off, we went in, and a flashlight pointed at Michael, Mark, and Aaron, who began singing the "Woh-woh-oh" part of the song. After they had done that phrase twice, another flashlight shone on me, which I figured was my cue.
"IF YOU SAID GOODBYE TO ME TONIGHT, THERE WOULD STILL BE MUSIC LEFT TO WRITE, WHAT ELSE COULD I DO, I'M SO INSPIRED BY YOU, THAT HASN'T HAPPENED FOR THE..."
We sang the entire song, me on lead and my friends on backup, and the entire time I looked at Joy, who seemed to be enjoying the performance. As we finished the final verse, I approached the counter.
"I figured that if you couldn't make it to Valentine's Day, then Valentine's Day would just have to make it to you."
"I--I don't know what to say. This was the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me."
"FUCK BEHIND THE COUNTER!"
Thanks for that one, Mark.
Joy looked into my eyes and I looked right back into hers.
"Happy Valentine's Day, Joy."
"Happy Valentine's Day, David."
And that was when Joy and I kissed for the first time. And while I hadn't really had any frame of reference, I thought it was a pretty good kiss. And our first kiss, the moment that this could be serious, was shared with my best friends and the rest of the patrons at the Coffee Plantation. I have to say that it turned out to be a pretty great Valentine's Day.
Normal High School Student