February, the Romance Month

February just started, filling the air with hints of romance. I... am not very romantic! So as a writer I often find conflicting feelings during this suffocating month. I could write something warm, heartfelt, fluffy, and erotic for those who are drugged by this problem, or I could go the other way and write depressing, angstful, horrific tales of death and despair to suit my own tastes.

Last year I tried my hand at a romance story, and it went horribly wrong. I ended up killing him off instead of giving him love. So I scrapped it and tried it again. After repeating this several times I just gave up and vowed to try again later. I never did. What a shame.

So, to prove that I am not a liar, and to give a nice little taste of romance, I present a small Valentine's day drabble!

I’m trembling slightly as he holds the door open for me, flashing him a timid smile as we enter the dimly lit restaurant. Taking a seat in a plush red plastic booth for two in the corner, our drinks ordered and menus in hand, I take a breath and give a shaky smile. He returns it gently, his fingers brushing over my own.

“Nervous?” He asks me, and I nod. A steadying breath, his hand over my own, helps me find my center. 

We agreed to do our date today, on the Lover’s holiday, and that we would get through this. My fear of crowds and other people often makes it hard for me to get out, and my lifestyle makes it even harder. But I am not ashamed of Paul, I love him. He’s done so much for me, helping me, that stepping outside my area of comfort is the least I can do for him.

A young waitress comes over to our table to get our order. I feel my throat tighten nervously again and Paul takes up the task. He knows what I want, he always does.

“We want a large hand-tossed pizza, half with pineapple, mushrooms, and ham and the other with sausage, ham, hamburger, and cheddar cheese. Bread sticks and alfredo sauce, and a family size alfredo pasta as well.” Paul confirms the order when the teenage girl repeats it back, and she lets us know it shouldn’t be too long. The Pizza Hut is rather empty, as most couples headed out to the fancier Italian restaurants. It is rather nice to have it this way, as it’s usually very busy.

“Talk to me, Gene. Are your classes going well?”

I attend online classes and it has been going well, so I tell him this. He knows it already, but he’s just trying to keep my mind off of the fact that I am not at home. I tell him how it feels like I’m the only one in my class who knows what is going on, and how Pr. Gibson made a typing error that was amusing.

Paul talks about a client at work who couldn’t tell the front end of a computer from the back, even with a road map. I love hearing about his work, the people he works with, and the people he helps. I hear so much about them that I could almost say I know them well. If I had ever met them I probably could.

When the food comes I am much more relaxed. I even give a genuine smile to the young woman serving us, and she gives one back. We are silent as we eat, though his hand never leaves mine, our fingers entwined.

“Thank you Gene,” he whispers to me as we are leaving the restaurant. He presses a warm kiss against my own lips, drawing back to give me a bright smile. “You did wonderful tonight.”

I blush at the praise, running a hand through my hair. It was easy to ignore everyone when we were talking, and Paul did a very good job at making everything seem small and insignificant.

“Come on, the night is still young and what I have planned shouldn’t be done in public.” The grin on his face and the blush that spreads across my own confirm the plans for tonight. It’s a well-earned reward, I would say.

-M. Hendrix

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