“Would you happen to be free for a while yet?” asked Trix after taking a drink. My heart leaped for joy as I looked into the girl’s beautiful eyes, because I wanted any excuse to spend a little more time with her. “Not at all… I mean I’m not busy. I’m free. I think. Let me double check.” I told her, the words shooting out of my mouth with little order. I checked my schedule on my phone, and tonight’s job still said, “Unconfirmed.”, so I shot Aaliyah a text, telling her that I wouldn’t be available. Oh shoot. There was something this morning? I didn’t remember seeing that job earlier, so I’d have to look into it and make reparations if possible. Mentally, I made a note to tell Aaliyah that I found a flaw in her notification system. “Yes, I’m free. Sorry for the wait.” I told her. Trix giggled at me and said, “Well, I have an extra ticket to see Annie at the theatre soon. If you’re interested that is… I mean.. I know some guys don’t” I interrupted her, saying, “I love Broadway. Thank you! This sounds wonderful. Shall we go?” Trix smiled beautifully and started packing up the basket. Then we folded the sheet together before she tucked it over the dishes.
When I started to walk, Trix grabbed my arm and said, “Mind walking there? If you consider traffic this time of day, it’ll probably be faster even.” I only hesitated a moment before agreeing. Trix did seem to know her way around this area, having suggested this cozy spot for a picnic. I took the basket, and Trix took my hand. There was something unbelievably relaxing about this girl. Feeling her fingers intertwined with my own seemed completely natural, so much so that I was surprised when I found that we had arrived. Our seats were in the center of row ten, which gave a great view of the stage. Trix and I shared stories of other trips to the theatre, which was another area she beat me. I mainly saw performances with my parents when they had been in the mood. Trix seemed to know countless musicals by heart, quoting lines with ease. As the show started, the bright red of Annie’s hair had me thinking of Brandon and Brenna, and I wondered how they were today. I skipped giving them lessons today after convincing Emma to take over in my stead. Then I found myself looking around the theatre for Alma, Alma whose hair was a beautiful red when it caught the sunlight.
I easily could imagine Alma seeing countless performances in London, though I was sure things were a bit different there. I wondered what her singing voice was like, feeling that it had to be incredible going off her speaking. Did her accent vanish when she sang as it did for some British performers? I chuckled as I thought of how The Hard-knock Life wouldn’t suit Alma at all. If such a girl had been born into poverty, would she have became a criminal, taking all she wanted? Was there even someone to stop her? Trix squeezed my hand, leaned against me, and said, “I love this. Isn’t it amazing how such a small girl can have a huge impact?” I smiled and nodded. Alma and Trix were both small girls, but Aaliyah took the cake on that one. Of course, Aaliyah did love her cake and was an enormous influence on my life. If there was some reasonable way to explain how much Aaliyah did for me, Trix would probably grow bored listening to it at great length. Then again, she might just call child services instead. I really needed to make an attempt at tracking the number of hours Aaliyah worked. The volume in contracts alone was staggering. I reminded myself that her cybernetics probably sped such things up considerably. Still…
I felt my face flushing as Trix kissed my cheek. She smiled at me when I looked over at her. “Sorry, but you looked too adorable. I couldn’t resist.” she teased. I smiled and gave her hand a squeeze. Trix was something special, and I didn’t want to screw up this date. I needed to stay in the moment. The number of times I had to remind myself of this was inexcusable, but Alma had a way of slipping into my head. Still, I was on my feet as swiftly as Trix to applaud the performance. All of the actors seemed marvelous, and the overall performance was exceptional. I only wished that I had given it my full attention. “If you’re still free, there’s somewhere else I’d like to drag you.” announced Trix on the way out. “You have me for as long as you want.” I told her. “Dangerous words to tell a girl on a date, James. I might decide to fight the universe, so I can keep you forever.” she claimed. Laughing, I said, “No offense, but I would doubt your reach if I wasn’t busy doubting the universe would want me.” She grinned and claimed “Then the universe is a foolish place, and I wonder if we should skip out on it.” I shook my head and told her “Alas, but I cannot abandon my home so easily.”
Not terribly long later, I was standing in a room filled with animals, part of an animal shelter that Trix supported. “Sorry, James, but after seeing Annie, I just had to visit the orphelins in the orphelin’s home,” said Trix as she petted a puppy. “Orphelins?” I asked. “Well, I was referencing Meet Me in St. Louis, but Margaret O’Brien’s pronunciation of ‘orphan’ in that movie made me think of the French term.” After a moment’s consideration, I had to agree that many of the animals here were comparable to orphans. There truly was something undeniably relaxing in playing with animals, especially when a gorgeous, fun date was involved. I felt a bit disappointed when we were told that the place needed to close for the night, but not so much to steal the smile from my face. Trix seemed equally jubilant as we started walking back to Mila, at least until the rain started. Late August showers could be surprisingly chilly, and this was a downpour. We quickly ducked under a nearby awning, but I hadn’t thought of bringing an umbrella when I left. I was tempted to just have Mila pick us up, but I quickly was distracted when Trix started talking with a man I hadn’t even seen.
“Oh, don’t worry. Keep the basket.” she was telling the man who now held her picnic basket. “Thank you. Thank you both.” he replied. He appeared to be in pretty bad shape from the filthy state of his clothes, and I could guess he was homeless. “Let’s duck in here, James. I’ll kick your butt at some games.” claimed Trix. As I was caught up in studying our company and wondering how there was so much leftover food, Trix had realized that we were standing in front of an arcade. I was even more surprised when she pulled out a membership card. “Come here often?” I asked, following her inside. “Maybe.” she replied with a wink. From shooters to air hockey, I never quite won, though I at least came close a few times. In my defense, Trix didn’t play fair. When we were taking turns, she’d tickle me. On shooters, she’d block my gun if I got too close to her score. Then when I tried to get a little payback, she proved extremely talented at playing under duress. For some “strange” reason, I couldn’t talk her into trying the basketball game with me. She couldn’t think that I’d use my tremendous height advantage against her, right? Her playful grin said otherwise. She was right.
I finally won playing skeeball against Trix. She almost beat me in that as well, but I managed to nudge her arm on her last shot, throwing her off just enough. “Oh, you! You cheated! Against a girl! James, how could you!?” she demanded, laughing and indignant. “I must apologize for my clumsiness, Trix. As you can see, my shoelace came untied. Tripping into you right as you made your shot must’ve been pure coincidence, like when you happened to grab my butt when I was trying to beat your score at that motorcycle game.” I claimed. “Uh huh. Claim what you want, cheater, but I know the truth!” she replied, hitting my arm. I glanced at my phone and was absolutely amazed to find that I was still having a great date after nearly twelve hours together. “No-no. No sighing and copping out after beating me in such an unfair manner. I demand bowling, so I can have my revenge!” she announced. I actually sighed only because of the time, thinking she’d be wanting to leave soon. I was up for some bowling. Luckily, the rain was passed when we looked outside, and there was a bowling alley just a couple blocks away according to my phone.
I made an attempt not to grin when Trix was handed a pair of bowling shoes obviously meant for children, but she hit me nonetheless before saying, “Oh, and what size do you wear, mister?” I rolled my eyes and told the man at the counter. Trix stared at the shoes he handed me with wide eyes before looking down at my feet. Then she grabbed one and ran off to our lane. “These are clown shoes!” she announced, walking around with one foot barely staying in my shoe. “Then you’ll feel extra bad when you’re beaten by a clown.” I told her. “But when I win, I’ll just feel like you were clowning around now.” she replied, grinning. I laughed and put on the shoe I had. Then I chased after Trix and carried the giggling girl back to our lane, setting her on my lap as I sat down. “May I have my shoe back now?” I asked her. Smiling, she told me “Maybe.” just before kissing me. The sensation was just as incredible as the first time, and she slipped off my lap before I fully came back to my senses. As she handed me my shoe, she inquired, “Prepared to get your butt kicked?” I shook my head negatively and said, “No, but I’m prepared to see you try.”
Not staring when she bowled was difficult due to the lovely curves of her slender body, but not blushing on my turn was even more difficult with the catcalls she made. The first game was entirely playful with shots between the legs, granny bowling, and other such silly moves. Trix ended up winning, so I took the second game more seriously. By the fifth frame, we both had nothing but strikes, and then on the sixth I fumbled and ended up with a spare. To my dismay, Trix’s streak continued until she won 300 to 254. The third game was closer, but she still won 300 to 276. My arm was sore by the fourth, and I dropped down to 235. She kissed my head as I was switching out my shoes and said, “Aww… Poor, James, mercilessly beaten by someone half his size.” Her grin really was infectious. “Maybe we’ll have to have a rematch someday, though I can’t say I’ve ever seen someone bowl three perfect games in a row before. You definitely got some attention around here.” By the third game, a fair number of people had been watching us play. After the fourth, Trix earned applause and the staff was asking where she learned to bowl so well. To my shame, I had checked if she was using magic to cheat. At very least, she wasn’t using any that I could see, and I felt guilty for doubting her.
The bowling alley was closing as we left, and I was amazed to find that we were out past one in the morning. I gave pause when Trix asked “Mind walking me home, James? We’re not terribly far away.” We weren’t near any residential areas that I knew about. Was she living in a hotel? I, of course, assented and enjoyed her company as we walked. I really wasn’t expecting us to end up at a harbor though. Trix casually walked along the dock and guided me into an enormous yacht. “You live in a boat?” I asked. She nodded and said, “I own a Princess S72 to be precise. Come aboard and let me show you around. They’re quite cozy.” I accepted and followed as she showed off the various lounges and bedrooms. The yacht was far more spacious than I ever imagined a boat to be, and, despite the time, I gladly accepted when Trix offered to take me out on the river. We used the highest helm, so we had a better view of the glowing city lights around us. Whether from the reflections on the water or the excitement of my present company, the city’s glow seemed more breathtaking than ever before. I smiled as I thought to myself that this was what a date should be like.