[Sequel to Thoughts About Dating a Girl]
Why am I so nervous? It’s been over a week now. Still… this is our first proper date. Maybe it’s just the butterflies.
I look over at Linda. We’re on the subway heading up to the stop closest to the museum, and I’m not sure either of us really know what to say right now. I certainly don’t, and she’s been quiet too since we first greeted each other. The thought that I’m not the only one who’s nervous is a little comforting.
I decided against wearing a skirt this time. I went with some dark trousers and a warm jumper. It’s a nice jumper, though. It has a cute seal on it. I like cute things. I blush a little as I glance over at her again. Cute like her.
Linda’s trousers are a bit more stylish than mine, and her v-neck goes well with it. No adornment on it, which makes me feel a little bit silly about my seal jumper. Not that I know too much about these things, but I’ve gotten the impression she has a good eye for fashion. Certainly better than mine.
That red lipstick of hers is making me think inappropriate things… actually, are they inappropriate? I mean, we’re dating now. Surely it’s normal wanting to kiss, and… and stuff. Ack, I can feel my face heating up. Thankfully we arrive at the station, and my thoughts get derailed.
We get off the train, and I look up to our right.
“It’s up that way, right?” I ask, and Linda looks at the map on her phone.
“Yup, looks like.” Neither of us have been here before. I’ve been meaning to go, but I’m not the type to go to museums on my own I guess. I suppose she isn’t either.
We head up the stairs, and then up the hill. It doesn’t take too long before we can see it. It’s basically at the edge of the city. The treeline that marks the start of the outdoor area above the city isn’t far off. I think one of the main paths leading in should be around here…
“So what are you looking forward to seeing the most?” I’m stirred from my thoughts as Linda asks me that question.
“Um… I’d definitely like to see the transport exhibit, but I’m also curious to see just how much stuff they have. How about you?” I glance over, and suddenly feel very aware of how close we’re walking. Did I drift closer, or did she? But I can’t move away, right? I don’t know the rules. Are there rules? I wish I knew more about how this all works.
“Well, there’s a special games exhibit going on right now. I saw it on the page, so I’d like to see that.” Right. We both play videogames, but I’ve gotten the impression she’s more into it than me. “Otherwise I’m fine just wandering about. No hurry.” She looks up at me and smiles, and my heart skips a beat. I definitely feel my legs tremble a little. I smile back, hoping it doesn’t just look like a goofy grin.
“We have something resembling a plan then,” I say jokingly.
I shan’t claim this has been a very good week for my studies either, considering I’ve been far more interested in just spending time with her and talking about things. I’ve felt more okay asking about things now, though there has also been a lot of plain chit-chat. Still, I think I know her better now. Maybe that’s a bit much to assume after just a week…
I really don’t know what I’m doing, when it all comes down to it. For once in my life I wish I’d paid a little more attention to these things in the past. Read some romance, or watched the movies, or something.
There’s no entrance fee here, so we just head inside. We look at the exhibit map near the entrance, and see that the games one is down to the right, while the transport exhibit is one floor up in the back.
“Let’s head down to the left, then up, and come back around,” Linda suggests. “That way we can save the games for last, and I won’t have to get bored since I have something to look forward to.” I think she’s joking, but I’m not entirely sure. There was something in the way she talked about having something to look forward to. She flashes me a grin as I agree to the plan though. I want to take this slow. Being here is cool and all, but being here with her is really the important thing.
It’s my first date ever, so I want it to go well, and to last a while. Ideally all day, but that might be too much to ask for.
When I found the courage to ask, I learned that Linda has dated before. I elected to not ask for any details, though. Maybe a time to go into that will come up, but at least for now I would rather not know any more than that. I know it’s childish to be disappointed I’m not her first, but I had a slight hope.
Despite it being a Saturday, there’s really not a lot of people here. We don’t entirely have the place to ourselves, but it does feel like it at times. Maybe more people come later in the day, or maybe museums are just this empty nowadays. I’m not sure whether I feel more, or less, conscious about being here with the girl I love when we’re nearly alone.
We chat idly about the various exhibits we look at. There are of course signs to read, but a fair amount of them also have interact-able elements. They are obviously aimed more towards kids, but we still have some fun with them.
The electricity exhibit has one of those globes you can touch where it arcs to your fingers, and there’s one about blood where you can look at yourself with a thermal camera to find the hottest parts of your body. A bit too many jokes to pick from there, though it does make me curious how your face looks when you blush… I certainly feel quite warm when it happens.
We pass an audio exhibit that touts you can make your own music. As I am looking at a curious device, Linda startles me by testing out one of the music machines. I give her an annoyed look, but she just laughs at me. It wasn’t that funny…
Going up the stairs we find the transport exhibit, and I beeline for the trains. I’ve always liked trains. I had a Brio set when I was a kid, and my parents say I used to bug them about getting more parts and trains for it. I don’t really remember that part. They also say they would indulge me, because it was one of the few things that made me sit still and keep quiet for hours. I don’t think I was that much of an unruly child…
I’m telling Linda about this, even though it’s a little embarrassing. You’re supposed to share things like this, I think. She confesses she never really had any great passion for this kind of stuff, though if she were to pick one, it would probably be aircraft. She’d like to go skydiving one day. Maybe we should…
There’s a quiet moment as I’m watching the model train they have set up, and I feel something soft and warm envelop my hand. I genuinely don’t realise what it might be until I look down and see Linda’s hand holding mine. I can only assume I go bright red.
“L-Linda?” She seems surprised at my reaction, and suddenly looks a bit unsure. Did I sound shocked? Outraged?
“I’m sorry, shouldn’t I have? I can let go…” I can feel her grip starting to loosen, and I quickly squeeze her hand, almost as if by instinct.
“N-no!” That’s a little louder than I intended. “No… don’t… I… it… it feels nice.” I definitely must be completely crimson now. She smiles at me and gently squeezes back. Maybe we should go back to the thermal camera now. I think we’re both quite red.
“That’s good. I… I got worried I had overstepped there. Maybe I should have asked first…” She seems a little flustered, which warms my heart. Often she can seem like the cool type, giving off a bit of a detached feel. It’s nice to see behind that sometimes.
“Your hand is quite warm,” she says and giggles. I think she’s teasing me. Why do I have this sudden urge to pull her against me?
I settle for saying: “So is yours.” Her hand really is very soft. More than mine, I think.
This past week I have been a little worried myself. I know I’m one of those ‘wears her heart on her sleeve’ types, I’ve had that pointed out a lot. Linda is not quite that easy to read, so I’ve started to worry whether she had agreed just to make me feel better. I mean, I’m the one who fell in love. I’m not sure whether it had even occurred to her before that night. Yet she said yes, and… I was getting worried she might be regretting it.
Her reaching out to me like this is like a burden lifted off my shoulders. I still can’t be exactly sure what she’s thinking, and I’m afraid to ask… but she reached out and took my hand. That has to be a good sign.
It takes a little while before I remember where we are, and I say something about how we should keep going. She nods at me, seeming a bit preoccupied herself.
Honestly the rest of the time there is a bit of a blur, as I keep being really distracted by the feel of her hand in mine. Our fingers so nicely intertwined. The height difference might take a little getting used to, but I don’t want to let go. Ever.
[Sequel: Movie Night]