* Sorry, this is kind've a crappy chapter. I just wanted to try and update now in case I don't have time over the next few days!" :)

The next day, I was a complete zombie. There were dark circles under my eyes the size of Australia, making me resemble a raccoon. I couldn't stop myself from yawning and groaning every few seconds because of my fatigue. I had stayed up until 2am texting Mark about, well, everything. Normally, I was the worst texter in the entire world because I just couldn't keep up a conversation. I would get distracted, or think that the text was just too stupid to respond to. Talking to Mark was surprisingly different-a lot like speaking to him face-to-face. The conversation just flowed, and we never ran out of things to say. We talked about everything, from music to TV shows, snowboarding to surfing. As it got later, we started rambling more and more about pointless topics. For example, around 1:45am, I received a text saying Yeah, Europe is a pretty sick place. Do u like cheese? I was still okay with that, because talking to Mark about nothing still made me feel a happiness that I couldn't explain.

   I rushed through breakfast, gobbling down my food without really breathing or tasting. We had made plans last night night to meet at the same time and place for another morning of snowboarding. I was so excited, I wasn't even thinking about food, and that's saying something. However, Mom and Dad caught on to my anxiousness. “Why are you eating so fast, you have plans or something?” Dad asked suspiciously. I chewed and swallowed loudly. “Yup, Mark and I are going snowboarding again.” I didn't give an extra details, because, really, there weren't many more to give. Mom piped up, eagerly. “Did you ask him about having supper with us tonight?” I sighed, because I was praying she would have forgotten about her request. “He said he'll come if I want him to.” I answered shortly. “Tell him we'll see him at 6.” Mom responded, not allowing me any opportunity to protest. I knew that I had to agree, or I had no hopes of going snowboarding for the rest our vacation. “Will do.” I said, jumping up and putting my jacket on. I made my way to the exit and waved. “I'll see you guys this afternoon!” I turned and walked out into the crisp morning, trying to contain my anticipation.

   After going through the usual process, Mark and I were back to sitting on the chairlift, climbing the mountain. “So Liz, how're you feeling after yesterday's run? Pumped to get back out?” He asked, sounding genuinely interested in my response. “I'm feeling good, I'm actually really pumped. Like, you can't tell how happy I am right now.” I said, in a playfully monotone voice. He laughed, getting my sense of humour. “Boy, I can sure tell!” He joked back, the two of us chuckling in harmony. Together we jumped off the lift when we got to our destination. This time, I managed to stick my landing (with a bit of flapping my arms like a maniac, but that's okay). I flashed him a 10 000 megawatt smile, feeling accomplished. “Did you see that?” I asked, feeling giddy. “Impressive.” He nodded in approval. We stood at the top of the hill, surveying the slope. “Okay, it's not busy yet, so I have a plan. We're gonna start you with a warm up-the same thing you were doing yesterday. Just take your time and focus on staying balanced.” He instructed, sounding very official. “And after my warm up?” I prodded, hoping I would finally be able to try something a bit more challenging. “Then we'll get you going as fast as you possibly can. You went fast yesterday, but not your maximum. We'll work on getting that down today.” He told me. I grimaced slightly. Me and speed do not mix well. “Sounds like broken bones.” I muttered, not necessarily meaning for him to hear me. Apparently, I was loud enough, because he laughed again. “If you feel uncomfortable or like you're going to wipe out, just stop or start turning, that will slow you down.” I nodded, trying to psych myself up. “Okay, here goes nothing.” I fastened my rear boot into its binding, pulled my goggles down, and positioned myself correctly. I took a deep breath, and focused like I had the day before. I shifted my weight and off I went.

   Today, I had made it down the hill my first few times without falling, and making a perfect stop each time. I met Mark at the bottom after my third run, glowing with pride. “Can we step it up now?” I questioned him, looking eager. “Yes Energizer Bunny, let's go for it.”

   We rode the chairlift back up, and I decided that now was just as good a time as any to bring up dinner. “So,” I started awkwardly. “Are you still up to having supper with me and my family?” I asked, trying to make it sound as casual as possible. For the first time since we met, I saw Mark get a bit nervous. He rubbed his hands together and licked his lips, like he was thinking of what to say. “I uh-um, yeah. I uh, I think that would be cool.” He stammered, not quite looking me in the eye. I felt myself turning red, because I thought that he was embarrassed about me asking. I didn't blame him. I lowered my voice and spoke again. “Listen, you really don't have to come if you don't want to. It's just, my parents are overprotective and they wanted to know who I was hanging out with. You honestly don't have to come.” I dismissed, trying to save us both from humiliation. He quickly backtracked. “No, no. I want to come!” He assured me. “It's just that I uh, I'm not a very... formal person. Most parents don't really like me. They think I'm a bad influence.” Even though I could tell he was a bit upset, I couldn't help but smile slightly. Mark McMorris was nervous. I never thought I would see the day. To me, his shyness was really sweet. “Don't worry, I'll try to keep them under control.” I promised, attempting to lighten the mood. He finally faced me, smiling back. “I'll hold you to it Liz.” And with that, we jumped off, ready to ride some more.

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