She could remember it like it was last night.
She had worn her favorite lacy black top and tightest jeans. Every curve was highlighted, every attribute accented. Her eyes were smoky and her lips were light. Even back then, she knew bold lipstick was bad for a date. With a colony of butterflies dancing in her stomach, she had waited at the door of her dorm.
She heard his engine before she saw him. The roar of the sports car made her friends squeal with glee as he pulled up. When he climbed out, his thick dark hair glinting in the moonlight and crisp white shirt cracking in the night air, the squeals turned to sighs.
"Look at you!"
"What a catch!"
"Does he have a brother?"
"Shhhhh," she hissed, waving off their giggles as the door opened. He grinned at the matronly monitor glaring behind the counter and waved to her friends. "Evening, ladies."
They giggled. With a swoop of his hand, he pulled a bouquet of daisies from behind his back. "I wasn't sure what you liked," he apologized, his brow creased. "I knew roses had been done, but everything else seemed so...not you. These looked perfect."
Her friends sighed. Her lips burst into a smile and she looked up into his dark brown eyes. "They're perfect," she whispered. She wanted to add like you, but knew it would come off as completely cheesy.
"We'll put them in water for you," her friend said, practically snatching the flowers out of her hand. Her friend shoved her into him, knocking her head into his shoulder. She prayed her foundation hadn't smeared on his shirt.
"Go on!" they caroused, waving the couple out. "Have a good time!"
And they did. Nestled in a dim Italian restaurant, the magic of food and wine unwound around them. She couldn't remember what the dinner tasted like, but she remembered the way his lips curled and everything he said. They talked about their families, school, their dreams and the future. She teased him about his taste in sci-fi movies and he twirled her thick hair around his finger. Holding hands, they walked the streets of downtown until they stopped into a late-night sundae shop. Over ice cream cones topped with sprinkles, they kissed under the streetlight as the lights of shops dimmed.
It was perfect.
Now fifteen years later and three kids later, she didn't know if one of her legs would fit in those jeans. Her eyes were shadowed with fatigue, not shadow. Her lips were not quirked in a seductive smile, but shouting instructions and commands to three beings that ruled her every waking hour. She hadn't seen a movie that wasn't a cartoon in seven years and ice cream came in tiny cups at birthday parties with goody bags.
And she was tired of it.
On Friday night, she went into her closet and pulled out a slinky black top, with lace in all the right places. She shaved her legs and curled her hair, painted her cheeks and made her eyes as smoldering as she dared. Pulling on a skirt that would make her mother blush, she slipped on heels and waited at the front door.
He pulled into the garage and her children squealed. They hopped up and down as the babysitter tried to wrangle them into the kitchen. Her two dogs barked along in joy, their tails slapping the back of her legs.
"I want pizza!"
"Macaroni and cheese!"
"Ice cream with gummy worms and peanut butter covered in chocolate chips with nachos and hot dogs!"
The door opened and her breath caught in her throat, just as it had fifteen years ago. He had put on a suit and polished his shoes. His hair gleamed in the light, hiding the small patch of skin underneath. Reaching around his side, he pulled out a wad of bills and handed him to the babysitter.
"Order them whatever you like," he told her. "Just keep them alive. We'll be back late."
Leading his wife out to the car, she exclaimed with joy. A bouquet of daisies sat in the front seat.
"I wasn't sure what to get," he told her, his forehead crinkling with deep lines. The creases around his eyes crinkled. "I know roses is traditional, but they seemed so blah. And all the other bouquets looked like they belonged to a wedding. I wasn't sure if you still liked daisies."
She looked up into his eyes and smiled. "It's perfect." Holding her hand, he opened the door and helped her in the car.
"Italian?" he asked.
She smiled and nodded. "Then ice cream."
It was a perfect first date.