"Wow. This is a nice place. I don't think i'm dressed appropriate for this place, Jackson" I said nervously.

"You look perfect. Very nice." Jackson said as he flashed a million dollar smile.

"Uhm. Thanks. You look good. I mean, you too. Nice. Uhm....I'm gonna stop talking now." I said as I turned toward the window. I blushed hard when I heard him laugh.

"It's all good. But thank you." He said.

 We walked in the restaurant and were seated right away. I figured that the staff knew Jackson by the way they greeted him and brought out a bottle of wine that was his favorite.

"So, I guess you're well known here?" I asked, stating the obvious.

"Yeah. I know the owner of this place. Its a pretty sweet deal. I can walk in and get seated right away and get served." Jackson explained while looking over the menu.

 "Everything looks really good." I said as I looked at the menu.

 It also looked fattening but I wouldn't say that out loud.

"If you're checking the price, don't worry about it." Jackson said.

"I wasn't. I was looking at the calories...Oh my god, that just sounded so gay." I said with a small smile.

"Nah. Just a little. You look good, really fit. I'm sure its allowed for one cheat day a week." He said with reassurance and a slight smile.

"Thanks. You know what, I am going to go all out. I mean at first I was going to go with something less messy to avoid the first date anxiety and such, but I am gonna show my true colors." I said with a grin.

"That's the spirit! And don't worry about the whole first date rule BS. We've eaten meals together since we were toddlers. I've seen you scarf down an entire pan of tuna-mac casserole and a whole rack of barbecue ribs. Nothing you do know could surprise me." Jackson said with a chuckle.

"Well bring on the messiest of messiest foods" I laughed.

The evening went really great. Until he took a phone call in the middle of our conversation. The phone call seemed to have lasted for fifteen minutes. By the time he came back our, fresh out of the oven, chocolate molten cake was cold.

 When I asked if he needed to go or if it was important he just brushed it off saying that it was nothing that needed his attention right that second.

Other than the interruption the night went really great. It was like the past was erased. Like nothing had changed and we were just perfectly in sync.

For the first time in a long time, I felt at peace. I felt like I could fly. Like I was invincible.

It was wonderful.

"Goodnight." I said as Jackson and I were at my doorstep.

"Can I take you out for lunch tomorrow?" He asked as he took my hand.

"Its a weekend so, Yeah. I'd like that." I replied.

"Is this too cliche'd or is it just me?" He asked with a smile.

"Thank god I thought I was the only one seeing it." I laughed.

 We stood there not knowing what to do next. I was pretty sure this was the part where he kisses me but we were adults. Not teenagers in a really cheesy '70s movie.

"So. Bye!" I said in a slightly high voice.

"Peace." He said with a serious voice.

 We both started laughing and couldn't stop. When we started to stop one of us would start again and it would just continue.

 Being the adults we are. We shook hands and parted ways. The moment I walked in my house I regretted the decision to ignore the kiss. Millions of thoughts ran through my head but one in particular kept running through

'You're not good enough for him'

I sighed and leaned against the door in dismay. I wondered if he still likes me. What did I do wrong?

A knocking on the door startled me. I jumped and stood up and opened the door.

"Jackson? Did you forget something?" I asked confused.

"Yeah. This."

 Jackson pushed his way through the door and grabbed me by the arms. He stared into my eyes intensely and leaned forward. I felt his lips on my own but my mind couldn't process what was going on. All it knew was that this was amazing.

 I finally realized what was happening and closed my eyes and pulled him in tight. I returned the kiss with as much passion as I could muster. Before we could get any farther the porch light turned on.

"I guess that's my cue to get inside." I said as we pulled apart and took a breath.

"I will be here around 11:30 to pick you up." Jackson said.

"Okay. Goodnight."

"Goodnight. Sleep well"

 I waved goodbye to Jackson as he pulled out of the drive. When I walked in my dad was standing there waiting for me. I smiled thinking back to my teenage years of sneaking back in and my dad always catching me.

"Sorry." I said as I took off my jacket.

"Don't be. You're an adult now. I just wish you'd leave a note or call when you'd be late. I don't want to make the same mistake twice." Dad said with a sad expression.

"I'm sorry dad. What happened wasn't your fault. I shouldn't have-"

"Its not yours either. Don't ever think that."

 I nodded. When I started to walk to my room, dad grabbed me and held me tight. I was shocked for a moment but then I grabbed him and tried my hardest not to cry.

"I'll never leave you to face the world alone. Not anymore. I love you son." Dad whispered.

"Thanks. I love you too daddy."

 I went up to my room and stripped down to my underwear not bothering to do any of my usual night time routine.

I collapsed on my bed and closed my eyes. I fell asleep right away. I can't remember what I dreamed of that night, but I do know it was very pleasant.

I wished that day would go on forever.

***

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