"bye dad!" el exclaimed as she closed the car door.
"tell wheeler to have you back home in a few hours." hopper said, lighting a cigarette.
"okay!" she hollered, not looking back.
her dad had just dropped her off at the new starcourt mall, and she was beyond excited for who was waiting inside.
the whole party had gone the previous week, and although hopper was reluctant to let eleven go, joyce had thankfully convinced him.
el had spent endless nights leading up to the day dreaming about everything she would finally get the chance to do.
and to her surprise, the day was even more adventurous than she had expected.
the girl had learnt and seen so many things in just a couple of hours.
now, el was going again. but this time, with mike and only mike.
when he had called her last night, she vividly remembered him calling it a "date."
"hey, el!" mike exclaimed. even though el couldn't see him, she could tell he was grinning from ear to ear.
"hi, mike." she softly smiled, wrapping the telephone cord around her finger.
"so, i-i wanted to ask you something." mike stammered.
el instantly frowned. she could tell by the tone of his voice that he was nervous. why was he nervous? had she done something wrong?
"is everything okay?" she asked.
"uh, yeah." he lied. he could feel his heart beating out of his chest.
"do you want to go to starcourt with me tomorrow?" mike winced, holding his breath as he anxiously waited for a response.
"the mall?" she questioned, barely recognizing the name.
"yeah." he breathed heavily, still anticipating an answer.
"sure! i'll go. what time are you and the party going to be there?" she asked, clueless.
"t-that's the thing, i was thinking that maybe you and i can go alone..." he trailed off.
"alone, why? do they not want to come?" the girl chewed at her fingernails.
"no, i-i don't know, i just thought it would be fun if you and i went on like, a date." mike blushed.
"date?" eleven was starting to become agitated with herself because of the excessive amount of questions she was asking.
mike rolled his eyes at his own stupidity. of course she didn't know what a date was.
"y-yeah, it's when people like you or me, or nancy and jonathan just hang out, i guess."