Chapter 5

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Four and a half hours later, after getting the carseats and the stroller put together, Mark and I sat down for the first time today other than when we were driving. 

"So, you have an hour and a half until your date with Nadia." Mark said. "Where are you going to take her?"

"I'm thinking I may take her to The Olive Garden All women like The Olive Garden, right?"
"That is true, I guess. I do like it, too." Mark said.
"That's because you're a woman!" I laughed and he punched me in the arm. He didn't find it as funny as I did.
"Anyway. Olive Garden. What are you going to wear? You don't want to dress too fancy, but You also don't want to look sloppy."
"Oh yeah, I never thought of that." I explained, "Come here, How about this?" I lead him to my bedroom, and grabbed my favorite shirt out of the closet. It was a white and black, tshirt shirt I had bought from h&m and  I had never worn it because I like it so much, I wanted to wait for the perfect time to wear it. I grabbed a light weight vneck sweater to wear on top of it, and some dark wash jeans.
"That's perfect." Mark said to me.
"Good, because I'm dressed and I'm not changing again." I laughed and headed down stairs.
"I'm going to have a beer, you want one?" Mark yealled from the kitchen.
"No thanks. I'm driving and I want to have some wine with dinner." I said, looking in the mirror, fixing my shirt collar.
"Ok." Mark said and walked into the livingroom and took a seat.
"Mark, What are you doing? Watching a movie?"
"Yeah," he started. "we have another hour before we have to leave."
"We have an hour until we need to be there. It'll take us about half an hour to find the place. Also, now that I think about it, you're watching her kids. No beer for you."
"Ok, Mother." Mark scoffed. He put the beer down. "But I'm going to watch this until we leave anyway"
"Fine, just don't drink." I walked upstairs to brush my teeth and fix my hair. Mark always makes fun of my hair because I "had it styled the way that every seventeen to thirty year old man has his hair like; shaved short in the back and spiked up in the front"...a fade, I have a fade.

When I came back downstairs, I tapped mark on the shoulder and told him we should go. "But we still have fourty five minutes." He whined.
"Well, I need to go into the 7-Eleven first. I have no gum."
"Fine, let's go." and we headed out the door. We got in the car and drove to the 7-Eleven. I quickly ran in and grabbed a package of gum, and went back out to the car.
"I have absolutely no clue where her house is, I'll just put it in my GPS." I typed in her address and it said we were about 30 minutes away, which was good because that was about how much time we had. After driving there and debating with myself if it was infact her house so I drove around the block three times, I decided to pull in the driveway.
Her house was beautiful. It looked like something you would see in a tv show, It was beautiful. We got out of the car, it was about ten minutes after five now, and we walked up to the door. I rang the doorbell, and stepped back. "Hey there!" I heard her voice and then the door opened the full way.
"Wow.." I mumbled out, looking her up and down. "I mean, hello. You look amazing."
"You do, too. Come on in." She said, stepping back gesturing us through the door with her hand.
We stepped inside and the house was more beautiful than I had imagined it. I had seen the layout in a catalog but I had never seen one built. "I love your home, is it from Bryer Homes?" I asked her.
"It is, actually. How did you know that?"
"My dad works for them. I used to go to work with him. I've seen a lot of houses, but I have never actually seen this one built."
"Really? Let me give you a tour, then." She showed me around, it was beautiful. it's just like the model except... better.
"wow" i said, Nadia giggled.
"You going to say anthing else?"
"you know," Mark said, "I agree with him. wow." and we all started laughing.
"Well, Mark, since we're down here, this is the kids play room. The kitchen is right here, help yourself to anything at all, don't be shy. Do you mind cooking something for you and little lady and giving my little man a bottle?"
"Not at all, what should I make?"
"She's two, she changes her mind about what she likes every day, so you could ask her, shes a great help in the kitchen."
"Ok. Well, have fun."
"Thanks again, Mark!" I said.
"No problem at all, have a good time, see you when you get back!"
Nadia went and kissed both of her kids on the head and we went on our way. I was more than excited.
When we got into my car, Nadia looked at me. "This is the first time I have been on a date in years, I didn't even go on a date with either of the kid's fathers. They were just mistakes brought home from the bar. I mean, if you would call this a date"
"Nobody asked you to go out? And yes, this is a date" I asked, surprised
"I have been asked to go out, I just declined."
My face turned red, I turned and smiled at her then brought my attention back to the road. "Well, I'm glad you didn't decline my offer. I think we're going to have a good time!"
"I hope so." She said, I could see her smiling in my prereferral vision. "So, where are we going to eat?"
"I was thinking The Olive Garden, you like that idea?" I asked her, making sure that would be okay with her.
"Definitely sounds like a good time. I love The Olive Garden." She sounded really excited now.
"Ok, good!" I said, "it's right up here, so ... Do we want a booth , or a table ?"
"Definitely a booth." She said as we pulled into the parking lot. I parked the car and unbuckled my seatbelt. I opened my door and started to get out. Nadia reached for her door handle.
"Stop. Don't move. Stay right there." I said. I got out and walked around the car to her side. I opened her door and extended my hand. She placed her hand in mine and got up out of the car. I closed the door behind her.
When we got inside, we were seated fairly quickly for it being a Friday night at dinner time.
"So," I said, stirring my ice around in my cup with my straw. "Where are you from?" I asked her. Looking up from my sprite.
"I'm from California," she explained, "I moved up here with my dad when my parents split. I was thirteen at the time."
"Oh. I'm sorry about your parents. And wow, I've always wanted to go to California, but obviously I don't have the money, I drive an '03 Honda Civic." I said jokingly, trying to make this less depressing.
"It's okay. My mom was kind of crazy anyway. She was never home and was always mean. She never hit us or anything, she just was never happy."
"I guess it's better that you guys left. But I'm sorry it took so long."
"My mom never actually lived with us until I was ten, It was only three years. She was in rehab for a few years after leaving us when I was really young. She begged my father for another chance when I was ten and moved back in." She explained this to me and looked down at her glass of iced tea. I reached across and put my hand on top of hers.
"I'm so sorry. That must of been really hard for you and your dad."
"It was harder on him, because he had loved her. I didn't have time enough to know her and love her so it didn't bother me too badly. I was mostly just upset she treated my father like that." I could see it in her eyes. At this point, her beautiful, happy, blue eyes weren't as happy as they appeared before.
"How about we talk about something else. I didn't mean to upset you." I said, rubbing her hand with my thumb.
"It's okay. I just hate that my kid's father isn't here anymore and I don't want him to ruin their lives. I'm scared he's going to come back." She said. She looked up from her drink now, I could see she was pretty close to crying.
"Well, Nadia. You're doing a wonderful job with your kids and they don't need a no good dad in their life. They've got their hard working, loving, not to mention beautiful mama taking care of them." I said, she flipped her hand over in mine, squeezing it, smiling.
"Excuse me for a second." She said, and got up. "I'll be right back." And she got up and walked to the washroom.
When she came back, our food had come. We both started eating, and Nadia started laughing. "Is something funny?"
"Well, I was just thinking. I left my kids with a complete stranger. I mean, I don't doubt your brother is an amazing babysitter, but that is so not like me."
"He's actually my cousin. But yeah, he's a good guy. He's great with kids." I explained.
"Oh, I thought I heard him mention he was your brother." She questioned.
"Well, technically he's my cousin, but he pretty much lived with me growing up, and basically still does. We're best friends, cousins and we call each other brothers."
"Oh, makes sense I guess."
I noticed Nadia just spinning her pasta around, I didn't know if it was gross or what was wrong. "Do you not like it?"
"I love it. This is going to sound stupid, though. I ate before I left so I wouldn't eat too much." She said to me. I started laughing. Her face turned red. "I know. It's stupid, right?"
"It's not stupid, I just think you're cute. No worries." She smiled again. I decided then that I really liked her smile, it was cute. Like she didn't know how cute it was. "What do you say we get out of here? I can call Mark and see if he'd be okay with watching the kids a bit longer and we can go over to my place and watch a movie or something."
"That sounds good to me." She said. "Let's get these to go, and then we can pay and get out of here." Our waitress came back and we paid , then headed out.

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