By the time James arrived for the big date, my nerves were completely shot. I had totally wound myself up into a frenzy, biting my nails and twirling my hair non-stop. I doubted I could sit through an entire concert, even if it was the Eurythmics.
He held his car door open for me to get in, which was a complete surprise. I had heard about guys opening doors for women but I had never experienced that kind of chivalry myself. I got in and immediately started chattering, filling the quiet with the sound of my voice even before he entered the vehicle.
“So, what kind of Doctor do you want to be when you graduate?” I asked as he closed my door. He ran to the drivers door as quickly as he could to answer the question.
“Pediatrics, oncology," he said, closing the drivers door behind him. "I have a cousin who battled cancer when we were young so I decided back then that I wanted to get into oncology and save children,” his hands gripped the steering wheel as he put the car in drive and gently stepped on the gas.
“That must have been hard for you as a kid,” I couldn't believe my luck. A doctor, helping kids. My mouth was dry and I got that dirty penny taste from nervous adrenalin.
“It was hard on my whole family. At least I’ve know since childhood what I wanted to be when I grew up,” he said smiling at me. “How about you, did you always want to be in public relations? That must be a fun job.”
“Well, funny you should ask,” I caught myself mid-sentence from admitting to him that I wanted to be a reindeer when I grew up.
“I was originally a journalism major hoping to graduate and cover sports. Actually, my motivation was to get into the men's locker room. I didn’t know anything about sports. I don’t even like football. In fact, the Super Bowl bores me to tears. But I did go to high school with quarterback John Elway.”
“I see,” he grinned. “Did you get into many locker rooms then?”
“No, I ended up writing about women’s sports at my college newspaper. No luck there unless I wanted to change sides, if you know what I mean,” I winked. Why am I doing this, I thought. Why am I sounding so stupid? Here’s this great guy and I am coming off as a complete idiot.
I couldn't wait to get to the Greek Theater, an outdoor amphitheater nestled into a green, tree-enclosed canyon on a hillside in
Once I stepped out of his car (I had to wait for him to open it), I began to take deep breaths, trying my best to settle down. The grandeur of the trees surrounding the theater took the edge off. We barely sat down in our seats when James went to get us some beer. I was happy to have a few moments alone hoping the soft night air would do its magic and finally calm me down. Everything
was going to be just fine, I repeated to myself over and over again. Griffith Park.
When he returned, he handed me a beer while I searched inside my purse for my wallet. I handed him a $20 bill. “Here," I said. “How much do I owe you for the ticket?"
He laughed and said: “You don’t owe me anything, this is a date, remember, the guy pays?”
“But you’re a student,” my throat started to close up, my hands felt clammy. I wasn’t used to being treated like a lady. I picked at my cuticles, embarrassed.
“My parents help me out financially,” he explained. “They expect me to have some fun once in a while,” He took my hand in his and smiled. “You worry too much,” he said as my heart raced out of my chest. He sure had me pegged. I did worry too much but I had no idea how to stop.