As I was eating, my thoughts had taken over. What was I going to wear tonight? It would mostly be jeans and a T-shirt, but I had to make sure that it looked right. I wanted to impress him but also didn't want to make it obvious. What would happen if he didn't like me back? I would be so humiliated and would lose another friend because of it. I was careful with my feelings because I didn't want the same event to happen. Joel had me humiliated, so it made me think cautiously. I had so many doubts about him rejecting me that it made my head spin like crazy.

I washed my dish and put it on the rack to dry. I decided that I was going to go in my safe haven for a few minutes and speak to Mom. Before I got three steps away from the sink, the phone rang again. I answered it blindly, without thinking. "Hello?" I asked, nervously. "Breanna, are you alright?" asked Marcus, concerned. I took a deep breath in. "Oh, it's just you," I said, laughing. "What happened? Did he call again?" he asked, anger hinting in his voice. "No. I just answered the phone without checking the ID." I explained. "He won't hurt you, Bre. I promise," he replied back. His promise made my heart do double flips in my chest. "I'm on my way to get you. I'll see you in a little bit," he said and then hung up. I quickly ran into my room and changed into different clothes.

"Did I tell you that you look absolutely gorgeous?" asked Marcus, smiling. My face was completely red from the compliment. No one has ever said that to me before. "Thank you, Marcus!" I exclaimed, smiling back. He really did care for me and it seemed like he has feelings for me. I didn't want to read into things, considering the bad luck I had with guys. For all I knew, Marcus could have been playing the good guy card, but was really a horrible person. I never doubted his personality, though. I believed that he was a good person, inside and out. "So, we can get skates at the rink. Since it's the grand opening, the skates are free for tonight only," he explained. "Awesome! I'm really excited." I said. "I am too. It makes it even better that you're here with me," he said, his eyes shining under passing street lights. My heart was pounding so hard, not from the walking, but from what he was saying. I always wondered if he could hear it.

The crowds were huge when we arrived at the rink. The sheet and ribbon were still on, so we didn't miss the official grand opening. Our special guest to open the rink was Mayor Gibson. He funded the community to build the rink, so we would have something fun to do. If it wasn't for him, I think Springwell would have died in popularity. He was sitting down on a bench. He was wearing his tweed, brown jacket, with black gloves. His freshly gray hairs were slicked back neatly with gel. He had shaved his beard. If you didn't do a double take, you wouldn't have recognized him before. He was holding a pair of giant, silver scissors. They were getting ready to open the rink. Everyone was moving around, trying to get the free pair of skates early. "I'll go get the skates. Just stay here," said Marcus, moving along with the crowds. "Marcus, don't leave me!" I shouted, but he never heard me. I just stood there, nervous of Joel or Cristal coming around to taunt me.

I felt a tap on my shoulder, but I wouldn't turn around. I was just too scared to face Joel by myself. "Miss, are you moving forward or what?" someone asked. I stayed quiet, not trusting my voice. He moved ahead of me anyway, mumbling words under his breath. I saw Marcus coming back with the skates, and I relaxed finally. "Bre, you're pale as a sheet. What's wrong?" he asked, looking at me from head to toe. "I just got nervous, that's all," I explained. "He isn't here. He won't hurt you, as long as I'm around. How many times do I have to say that?" he asked, looking at me.

"Ladies and gentleman, may I have your attention please?" shouted Mayor Gibson. The chattering had stopped, all focus on Mayor Gibson. "This, underneath the white sheet and ribbon, is the new Springwell Skating Rink. I had funded this because I have noticed that the town was getting a little boring. Yes, we have a theater, but I thought we could use something new for a change. This rink is dedicated to the founder of our beautiful town, Mr. Archibald Hastings, who lost his battle with cancer. So, I officially open Archibald Skating Rink!" he explained, cutting the red ribbon with the scissors. The security guards had taken off the sheet and revealed the rink.

Even though it was just frozen water on top of the metal, it was still beautiful. The face of Archibald and his family were in the center of it. None of us knew if his children were still alive. For all we knew, his generation had died off. This was the best way to remember him. The rink fit perfectly underneath the brick bridge that was built a few years back.

Marcus and I sat down on the bench, tying the laces on our skates. "Have you ever skated before, Breanna?" he asked, looking at me for a brief second. "No, so this will be interesting," I said, laughing. He gave a chuckle and stood up. "If you fall, I'll pick you right back up," he replied, holding his hand out for me. I took it and he helped me up. We went onto the ice and started by the edge.

"This is so fun!" I shrieked, flying past a bunch of people. "Slow down, Bre!" shouted Marcus. I was flying like the wind, picking up more speed. I turned around to look for Marcus, but then realized it was a bad idea. By the time I turned around, I went straight into the wall, falling down hard. I started to laugh, not from humiliation, but because I thought it was funny. Marcus skated over quickly, concern in his eyes. "Why are you laughing?" he asked. "It's sort of like something that a cartoon would do," I said, laughing even harder. He laughed, but the concern never left his eyes. He helped me up but took me off the ice. "We got curfew. Let's get you home," he replied. He took off my skates, and then his own, leaving them on the bench for the next couple. We put on our shoes and started walking to my house.

We stood in the doorway of my house, not wanting to leave each other. "I had a really good time," he said, smiling at me. "I did, too. Thank you for taking me out." I replied, my cheeks flushing red. "Have a good night. I'll see you tomorrow," he said, walking down the driveway. I smiled and shut the door behind me. This night had to be one of the best nights I ever had in a long time. Marcus drove me crazy, in a good way. I like him and I hoped he likes me. Nothing could ever change my feelings for him, even if he had a dark side. I walked into my safe haven room and sat down on the couch. As I always did, I started talking to my mother about the night I had. She deserved to know what happened.

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