I dressed slowly in the morning, not wanting to admit how much I truly wanted to see Konai again. I brushed my hair back into a low ponytail, the curls from the night before making an unruly fluff down my back. It seemed warm outside today, warmer than yesterday at least. Or maybe it was all me, and I was still excited from the night before.
I looked at myself in the mirror one more time. My eyes were bright and sparkling, and my skin could almost pass for a rosy peach. I smiled, my teeth glimmered in the early morning sunlight. I stared. I smiled again, forcing my lips back from my teeth. I had never noticed how different my smile was, or was it the light? My teeth were a perfect, flawless white. I turned myself this way and that, trying to focus on looking nice for him.
"This is as good as it gets." It looked as though it might be overcast later, so I tugged my blue sweater on over my t-shirt and jeans, and headed out the door. The streets seemed to blow past me as I ran to the docks, too excited to simply walk. The dock was empty when I got there and my heart sank a little. I walked up to the large Sitka Spruce at the head of the dock, and leaned against it, wondering if he had changed his mind.
I looked around, little starts of wild iris's were starting to push out of the ground where the snow was melting. Not too far away, a small grouping of fireweed was glowing a bright pink across the rocks. I closed my eyes, thinking of how beautiful the lakeside was going to be when the rest of the flowers finally bloomed.
There was a low thud in front of me, and I opened my eyes to see Konai sitting at the end of the dock, his long legs almost touching the still frozen surface. His long black hair was wrapped at the nap of his neck with a leather tie. It was almost silly, how much I wanted to see his hair flowing freely down his back again. He wore only cutoffs and a light tank today. Wasn't he cold? I tried not to stare at the muscles of his back, his shoulders. I swallowed lightly and took a step forward.
I walked slowly down the dock. I had a random thought, of how nice it would be to sneak up on him, scare him for once. My feet made no sound as I walked, then stopped directly behind him. His shoes were tapping idly at the top of the frozen lake. I reached down slowly to put my hands in front of his eyes.
My hands snapped back. "How did you hear me?" I sat down next to him, the narrow dock forcing me to lean out, so I wouldn't be shoved against him. He looked at me then, a crooked smile turning up the side of his mouth. "I didn't hear you." His smile widened. I blinked, he was so...beautiful. Not the right word, for a boy, for a man. But he truly was, unerringly, painfully beautiful.
I could feel the color creeping up my skin again. I forced my eyes away. "You, you wanted to talk, so..." He sighed, and I saw his features darken slightly. "Andrea, about last night." He paused and ran a hand over his face, "I'm sorry." He stared out at the water and ice. It felt like I had been dumped in the frigid waters. My skin turned incredibly cold and my body froze in place.
He was sorry.
I shook my head. Of course, it made sense. He had been more than kind the night before. I suppose he hadn't meant to be quite such an attentive date. But last night had been magical. We had both been confused. I glared back at the lake, not willing to admit this final blow. He was apologizing, so my feelings wouldn't get hurt.
"Hey, it was nothing," my tone was sharp and my voice broke. His head snapped up, "What do you mean? It was ridiculous of me to expect you to forgive me in one night for what I had been doing to you for all this time, how could you?" I turned away from the ice to stare at him, I was confused.
"Forgive you?" I whispered. He was making no sense at all. He sighed, slowly taking my hands into his. "Do you? Forgive me?" My mind swam, what was he really asking, what was he talking about?
"Forgive you for what?"
"Andrea honestly!" He was shaking his head, "I've been a monster to you for our entire lives, then last night," he flushed red again, "last night I... I needed to be near, to be with you, more than you know. I never expected you to be so willing to be there with me, to dance with me. And you, there in my arms.
I....I never expected you to be able to be that close to me, to feel, even close to what I'm feeling." His eyes met mine, and that strange light was there again, consuming me. "Do you feel anything for me, Andrea?"