Marcus studied himself in the mirror; nervous was not the word for what he was. He adjusted his tie and looked himself over once more, he shrugged his suit jacket off and rolled the sleeves up of his shirt, rolled them down and put the jacket back on, then quickly yanked it back off, it was 80 degrees out the jacket was overkill. He was almost out of the house before deciding to grab the jacket just in case.
As he drove to Becca’s home only a few minutes from his own he remembered the first time he met her, it was the last game of the season, fan appreciation night and he was being especially hard on himself that night after taking a stupid penalty the game previous that had ended up resulting in losing the game. In the grand scheme of things he guessed it didn’t really matter if they’d won or lost the last game though the Sabres had made leaps and bounds in their abilities to play as a team and have great players they still hadn’t made it anywhere close to being in contention for the playoffs. But it was for the fans and the fans of Buffalo were like none other he’d played in front of, their energy filled the room more than anything else and that fact made him want to play well that night.
He remembered walking out of the locker room early, trying to get his mind in the right place for the game and in the locker room with all the guys laughing and carrying on was not the quiet space he needed. He regretted it almost immediately when he remembered that the fans were allowed even earlier rope access tonight and there were a few standing in the hall waiting for players to come out. He’d almost turned back around and went into the locker room again but something caught his eye, two girls standing over near the wall talking and laughing, when one caught his eye she slapped her friend who’d had her back to him, he could see she was wearing his jersey and by the look on her friends face she was obviously his fan. He held back a chuckle when the girl with her back to him tried and failed to look at him discretely over her shoulder, her face and neck flushing when she made eye contact. He took a few steps closer to the pair while they muttered between themselves now both facing away from him.
“Becca, oh my God you just made eye contact with the good looking Foligno, it’s fate you need to ask for his autograph” the first one said over dramatically waving her hands in the air “I am not asking for his autograph, because I made eye contact with him, are you kidding me it’s embarrassing! He just caught me in the age old ‘slowly look at someone so they don’t know it’s you’ trick and it massively failed.” He swore he could almost hear the pout in her friends voice when she whined out “Becca… just ask for his autograph” he was right behind them now and in the spur of the moment he leaned down a bit and quietly said “Yeah Becca, just ask for his autograph” once again her neck and face and now ears flushed bright red as she shook her head in disbelief her ponytail just grazing his cheek as he backed up “No, no he’s not right behind me right now” she mumbled covering her eyes and turning around slowly her fried giggling as she did as well “Dear lord kill me now” she said opening her eyes a striking green that caught Marcus off guard up close.
How bold he was that night asking her out for a drink after the game, later she told him it was the way he smiled with his whole face that made her say yes, so he’d made sure to smile even more when he asked to see her a couple weeks later. They’d hung out often since then, most often in a group of at least 5 or more and though they’d always enjoyed themselves it never felt like a proper date. Which was probably why he sat in the car with the air condition on full blast and still felt like he was sitting on the sun. Nervous was definitely not the word for what he felt, anxious was probably better, as he made the right onto her street he’d settled with terrified that was the best word.
He pulled up in her driveway and killed the engine; everything could go to crap if he wasn’t as charming as he was in a group setting. Now that the sun had set and the wind was kicking up he was glad he’d brought his suit jacket and half hoped Becca wouldn’t bring a jacket. He knocked on the door and it only took a moment for it to open, she smiled up at him sliding on sandals and grabbed her purse off of a small table in her front hall. When she turned back around Marcus noticed that her dress was a beautiful mix of blues and greens almost as vibrant as her eyes. Her hair was pulled up into a complex looking up-do as she locked and closed the door behind her Marcus finally found his voice “You look beautiful” he say it sounding more shy o him than he’d wanted, she smiled anyway chewing slightly on the corner of her bottom lip, it was a nervous tic she had that he’d noticed over the past month or so of knowing her.
For it only being early June the weather had been uncharacteristically warm for Buffalo, they were both glad for the completely clear night sky knowing it would mean a nice cooler break “I hope you don’t mind boats” he said absentmindedly as he drove “I don’t know, I’ve never been on one” she said staring out the passenger side window watching the houses pass by paying attention as lights clicked off in one room only to click on somewhere else, the signs of a city slowly falling asleep. He found himself studying her briefly at stop signs and more intently when he started hitting red lights moving towards downtown, she looked so relaxed, so at home in the passenger seat of his car like this was just the way things always were, the only indication she was nervous was the way she was chewing on her lip still when she spoke to him. As they neared their destination he almost reached for her hand perched steadily on the arm rest, he shook his head clear as he almost missed his turn.
They made their way towards the boat he’d rented for the night, he almost asked his dad if he could borrow his but the fact that he’d never took the time to properly learn how to drive it made him change his mind. Plus it just felt kind of spoiled of him, like he’d be trying to show off, instead the captain of the boat met them on the dock, it still felt show off-ish but at this point it was too late to care. They carefully made their way onto the deck Marcus carefully emptying the contents of the picnic basket he’d brought. He opened the bottle of wine pouring each of them a glass.
The water was quiet and calm, they sat side by side not saying anything for a while, it was cooler on the water and when Marcus noticed Becca’s slight shiver he draped his suit coat over her shoulders dwarfing her, she smiled and said thank you before slowly leaning against his side. He wrapped one arm around her content and he could feel her breath on his neck as she rested her head on his shoulder “It’s beautifully quiet out here” she said watching the city twinkle by Marcus only nodded studying the bright full moon and few stars he could see over the glow of the city. They quietly floated further around Lake Erie, still close enough to Canal Side and downtown that they could smell the Cheerios of the General Mills plant. They talked and laughed and slowly emptied both bottles of wine that Marcus brought, he kissed her temple as she leaned back into him settling into the quiet rhythm of the water hitting the side of the boat.
“Dance with me” she said her eyes sparkling as the light off the water reflected in them, he couldn’t have said no if he wanted to. They slowly rocked back and forth with only the sound of the water to go by and when she looked up at him smiling from ear to ear he couldn’t help it and kissed her slowly. He wasn’t cold but a shiver ran up his spine anyway when she ran her fingers through his hair, she smiled even more into the kiss.
They got off the boat somewhere after midnight, her hair was slowly falling out of her up-do from the breeze on the water, he laughed as she tried and failed to push small bits out of her face. Giving up she shook it free from her clip it hanging in loose waves around her shoulders he smiled softly opening the car door for her and slowly sliding his suit coat off her shoulders, his fingers grazing her arms and leaving goose bumps in their path. The ride back to her house went way too quickly for his liking, but his hand found hers over the center counsel and in that he was entirely content.
He kissed her again at her front door, her hands in his hair sending that same shiver up his spine, he wasn’t disappointed when she didn’t invite him in, it didn’t matter the night was already perfect. He got back in his car waiting a moment before starting the engine watching her hall light click off and a light upstairs turn on. This moment he thought, this day, he knew would be the day he would tell his children and grandchildren he knew for the first time he was in love with Becca. Though he would save telling her for now, he drove home still savoring the way her hand felt in his, the way the wove slowly though his hair, this he thought was definitely a night he wished he could rewind.
I'm sorry I've been AWOL. Writers block and life has gotten in the way. You can all thank my best friend Ashly for kind of kicking me in the butt and jump starting this one. Hopefully I will get back to regularly writing and posting and working on requests.
Song is Rewind by Rascal Flatts