Chapter Seventeen - Hannah Goes for Dinner

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After Breakfast I said goodbye to Tristan watching him walk out the door and off towards the woods. He disappeared into the forest. There was a strange feeling at the pit of my stomach as he left, like a longing feeling urging me to follow him. I shook my head and went back inside the house.

Lou was cleaning in the hallway. She switched the vacuum cleaner off as I shut the front door.

"Nice boy is Tristan," she said, with a warm smile.

"Do you know him?" I asked.

"Sure, I've been friends with his mam for years."

"I see. You're not going to tell her about..." I thought about what she'd walked in on.

"No, don't worry I won't, but you have nothing to worry about. Tristan's mam just wants him to be happy."

I smiled and she started cleaning again, so I went back up to my room.

Lou finished off and left an hour later. The day seemed to drag by as I waited for my first date with Tristan. I spent most of the afternoon getting ready, taking a long bath, painting my toenails and fingernails. I picked out different outfits and perfected my makeup. I didn't normally take this long to get ready for a night out but I really wanted to make an effort with him. I felt a mix of excitement and nervous energy. It had been a long time since I'd felt this way about a date.

At long last seven o'clock arrived. In a cute blue dress I walked out the front door to find Tristan waiting in his car. He looked good in a dark shirt and smart jeans. Tristan left my driveway in a hurry and we chatted as his car whizzed down the narrow roads. We carried on with small talk about the usual topics, like the autumn weather, how my day was, how his day was. I sensed that we were saving better conversation for later.

It was good to be alone with him again. A wave of happiness engulfed me. Being so close to him made my skin tingle with anticipation.

Tristan took us past the village and onto a busy main road. We drove out to the next town east of the village. It was much bigger and there were more people about, cars on the roads, shops shutting up for the night, and bars just opening up. Urban life was a territory I was more familiar with, not the sleepy countryside we'd just come from. He pulled his car into a small car park and then directed us along the path to a small Italian restaurant.

It began to rain as we approached and so we quickly ducked inside. The restaurant was warm and cosy, the walls painted a deep red and picture fames of rustic Italian farms were dotted around the room. Music played in the background and there were burning candles on every table, giving the place a romantic atmosphere.

"Do you like it?" Tristan asked, as we waited to be shown to our seats.

I nodded my head, a smile stretched across my face. Tristan took my hand and sparks tingled up my arm.

There were a few couples dinning, but we were seated at the back in our own booth. It was so private and intimate I could pretend we were the only ones here. We ordered our drinks and a young waitress brought them over, two cokes, nothing fancy. She was shy and didn't quite look us in the eye. When Tristan thanked her, a blush appeared on her cheeks. I tried not to laugh under my breath.

She returned and took our order. I chose a Sicilian Pasta dish while Tristan went for a simple pepperoni pizza. The waitress continued to blush as he spoke.

"She fancies you," I whispered, when she left.

"Really? I didn't notice," he replied, looking only at me.

When she returned with our food, Tristan leaned forward across the table and took my hand in his. He entwined his fingers with mine and sparks went up my arm. The waitress placed our food down and scuttled away in a flash.

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