At 4am, I was ready to go. After a long night of tossing and turning, playing out all possible scenarios for the upcoming day in my head, I needed to get going. As quietly as I could, I gathered my clothes and snuck in to the bathroom, trying not to wake my sleeping family. I had showered the night before, so I didn't have to worry about disturbing everyone with the sound of running water. I put on a pair of grey thermal pants, and a pair of heavy black yoga pants over them. I also had on a black tank top, a hunter green, long-sleeved shirt, and a grey zip-up hoodie. There were 3 pairs of socks covering my feet. I quickly fishtailed my long hair, and stared at myself in the mirror. I was going to be spending the whole morning with a group of good-looking snowboarders-Should I make more of an effort? I briefly considered putting on some makeup, but I quickly shook that ridiculous thought. I wasn't here to get a boyfriend, I was just learning to snowboard. Besides, my face would be covered with a helmet and goggles, so I would really be the only one to know what I looked like. Before leaving the washroom I brushed my teeth and washed my face, and put on some moisturizer to protect my skin from the whipping cold. I checked my phone. It was only 4:15. Breakfast wouldn't even be served downstairs for another 45 minutes. I couldn't go out to the slopes and start practising, as it was still dark and the ski lifts weren't open. So I decided to go to "my" lounge down the hall, and use my phone to find out everything I could about snowboarding.

   I managed to kill a full hour going over proper equipment, proper stance, how to actually ride a snowboard, lingo and slang, and different tricks (which I was sure I wouldn't need to worry about, they were just fun to know). I walked down to the dining room, with thoughts swimming in my head. Keep knees bent, back straight. Always check behind you before stopping. Stomp is slang for hitting a trick. I was the first one down there, and took advantage to having the continental breakfast all to myself. I dished out a bowl of Shreddies, a bowl of oatmeal, a bowl of fruit, a yogurt cup, and a glass of milk. What can I say? I'm a nervous eater. It took me about 15 minutes to down all of my food and go back for seconds. By the time I finished breakfast, it was finally light outdoors. The lifts still weren't open, but I decided I could kill time by wandering around the resort.

   After walking, and walking, and walking some more, I checked the time on my phone. It was exactly 8:00! I was going to be late! I started speed-walking to the rental shop, calling my parents on the way. “Hey Dad, I'm on my way to the slopes. I met some guy-uhhh, some people yesterday, and they offered to teach me how to snowboard. They're really cool, I promise. I'll meet you guys back in the room for lunch! Love you!” I hung up before my father was able to utter a single word. So really, I don't even know if I was allowed to be out doing this. Oh well. My theory is that it's easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to ask for permission. I raced through the process of renting a snowboard, boots, and goggles. I ran to the back of the shop, where the ski lift was located. My head swivelled around, searching for my companions. I scanned for Mark, Matt, or Damon. No sign. It was 8:15. My shoulders sagged. I had been ditched. Of course. I knew this was all too good to be true. Who in their right mind would want to hang out with an awkward oddball like me. I turned to leave, when I heard someone call my name. “Liz! Liz! Where are you going? Come back!” I whipped around, and saw Mark standing near the front of the line, frantically waving me over. My heart fluttered. They hadn't forgotten about me. Huh. I jogged up next to him, and glanced around, searching for Matt and Damon. They must have already been up on the mountain. As if he could read my mind, Mark answered “Dumb and Dumber bailed. They decided to go to the halfpipe instead, so looks like it's just me and you Liz.” It took me a moment to even register what he was saying. I was captivated by the cool, lazy way he spoke. It was as if he didn't have a care in the world. The total opposite of me-a compulsive worrier. Then, his words processed in my mind. It was just the 2 of us. My hands started to get clammy. A group of guys would have been hard enough to spend time with, but I wasn't sure that I could handle spending time alone with just one! Especially a super cute, super famous one. “...If that's okay with you. If you don't want to you don't have to or anything.” Mark said, a bit uncomfortably. Get it together Liz, don't be a psycho! I scolded myself. I forced myself to grin. “No, no worries. I'm just stoked to finally get on a snowboard.” He smiled back at me. “That's the spirit I like.” I blushed, and turned away, trying to hide the real smile that was forming on my face.

Baby Steps (Mark McMorris FanFic)Read this story for FREE!