Published on September 3rd, 2009 | by TLV News0
“What the Faulkner Presents: Adventures with Pinecone – The Date Continued” by Charles Hale (From TLV #88)
Dinner with Shelia was going as well as I could have ever imagined. We were talking, laughing, and making fun of the other people in the restaurant. But something was still nagging at me-I hadn’t figured out if this girl was quirky enough for me. She did have a brother named Pinecone so I kept wondering if any of the uniqueness that spawned Pinecone had skipped over Sheila.
It was dark outside when we had both pushed our plates toward the center of the table and were finishing our wine. “Do you want to get a drink somewhere else?” I asked, not ready for the night to be over.
“Before I say yes,” Sheila said and leaned back in her chair and spread a mischievous smile across her face. “I want to know if you know anything about gymnastics.” She must have seen the puzzled look on my face because she pointed at me and said, “Well, do you?”
I looked at Shelia and smiled. I didn’t know what she meant and I had no idea where she was going with it but I knew I wanted to be on the ride. “Sure, of course,” I said and when she stood up I stood up with her. Shelia didn’t say anything as we crossed the restaurant and outside onto the sidewalk. She was half a block down before she turned around and smiled at me. It was a wicked grin, one that told me she wasn’t trying to get away from me and happy that I had followed.
“Try to keep up, Charles,” she said before launching her body into multiple cartwheels. I watched her legs flip into the air, then back on the ground and back into the air. She had nice form and as she spun I saw other people outside staring at her and I felt good being the guy that was with the girl who was doing cartwheels on the square. Then she stopped and I realized I was supposed to cartwheel as well. “Come on Charles. There’s no way you’re getting a good night kiss if you can’t do a cartwheel.”
As you might have guessed, that was all the motivation I needed and I wasn’t fazed at all when I heard a few snickers when I attempted my first cartwheel. I could tell that my form wasn’t as solid as Shelia’s was. My legs didn’t exactly get vertical, I could see them dangling as I pivoted from one hand to the other on the concrete and prayed that my feet would eventually land on the ground and I could stand up. It seemed like an eternity between the time my legs left the ground and when they were both back on the ground, but when I looked to Shelia she was still a good ways away and I knew that I would have to do a couple of more cartwheels. Which I did, in similar form to the first one but when I completed these Shelia gave me a minor round of applause.
“Very nice,” she said while I tried to catch my breath. I wanted to tell her thank you and that I thought Costa Rica would be a good place for us to go on vacation but I was so out of breath I couldn’t say anything. “Now try this,” she said, as I nodded my head no. But she didn’t care; Shelia bounced away again. This time in back handsprings. They were infinitely more impressive than the cartwheels and I knew there would be no way to I would be able to replicate her gymnastics so I ran after her.
I caught Shelia just as she finished her final handspring and when she turned around I was standing in front of her. Our eyes met and wiggled briefly before I leaned in and kissed her. It was a short kiss but as soon as I pulled away she pulled me into her and kissed me harder. Her kiss was immediately comfortable and exhilarating, I could feel her pulsing throughout my body. We both smiled as we ended our embrace, then before she could say anything I asked her a question that had been on my mind for weeks.
“Do you ever wear glasses?” I figured it was as fair a question as her asking me if I liked gymnastics.
“I used to,” Shelia said visually unaffected by the absurdity of my questions. “I’ve been trying contacts all summer but I don’t like them. I think I want to go back to glasses.”
“I’d vote for that,” I said and thought about dropping to one knee and playfully asking for her hand in marriage but she was too intelligent for that kind of thing. She would have seen it for all the corniness that it would have been. So thankfully in this instance I was slow to react. Instead she took my hand and we walked up the street toward the courthouse.
This is Part 7. To read part 6, click here.
This article was originally printed in The Local Voice #88 (published September 3, 2009).