A Licorice Beginning
“Hey! That was mine!” She shouted, reaching to grab her last licorice candy from him.
“Then come get it!” He answered, quickly putting it between his teeth as he sat onto the chair at the adjacent side of the table.
“Don’t think I won’t.” She answered, climbing over the table surface and biting into the bit that stuck out from his teeth.
Aghm!” He responded, catching her hands in his and leaning backward as he tried to regain control over the piece of candy.
Their weight quickly became too much for the chair that was already tilting backward from his efforts. Without much of a warning, they found themselves sprawled on the floor, their lips pressed against each other.
She was first to react, taking advantage of his shock to pull the candy from his gaping jaw.
“So, you were saying?” She asked as she finished the last bit of candy.
“Ah.” He answered, remembering the reason for his visit. “I…”
“Yeah?” She encouraged.
“I… I don’t have a dance parther for my sister’s upcoming wedding banquet… since… we’ve known each other for forever now… so, I was wondering if you’d like to go…” He answered, sitting up.
“Sure!” She answered, giggling at his hesitation and beat red face, before standing and turning to go up the stairs.
“Where are you going?” He asked, standing.
“You just invited me to a dance. I have to see what I have available.” She replied, with a wink at the top of the stairs. “Can’t have you losing face by inviting me. Especially not when the slightest embarrassment turns you into a tomato.”
“Ah yes.” He answered, clearing his throat and looking away, his face burning brighter than it already was.
“Be Back!” She said with a wink, as she disappeared behind a wall.
He looked back at the table, where the candy wrapper remained. He thought back to the first candy they shared. The candy that first brought the two of them together, that first made them friends. He still remembered that day, when she found him crying. The way she ripped her licorice candy in half and offered him a piece. The way she stayed by his side even when she didn’t need to.
“Satisfied?” She asked, interrupting his thoughts. He looked up to find her looking down at him from the railing. Dressed in the most beautiful dress he’s ever seen, her long blonde hair trailing behind her, she smiled at him. She was stunning.
“More than satisfied.” He answered with a grin. “Thanks for agreeing to come.”
“I knew you’d ask eventually.” She replied. “I’m just surprised it took so long.”
“You… you knew?” He stammered, taking a step back.
“Still tonight?” She asked.
He nodded, unsure whether he could trust himself with speech.
“Silly boy. Next time let me know sooner. I can’t always read your mind, you know?” She said, with a wink. “Give me a moment to fix my hair and makeup. I’ll be right with you.”
He watched her disappear behind the wall again. It was indeed short notice. He hadn’t expected her to agree to come at all. Although, he’s been thinking about asking her all month, he’d somehow put it off until it was “now or never.” He returned his attention to the railing and smiled. A warm feeling came to his heart as he thought of her and of their accidental kiss. Perhaps a future between the two of them wasn’t as hopeless as he imagined.
“Ready?” She asked when she emerged again.
“Yes.” He answered, bowing as she came down the stairs, and offering his hand to her when she arrived at the bottom.
“You’re only supposed to do that when in the presence of the princess.” She giggled, placing one hand over her lips, but taking his proffered hand anyway.
“But tonight, you are my princess.” He answered, pressing his lips over the back of her gloved hand.
“Since when have you become such a smooth talker, Mister beat red?”
He felt his face flush as he offered her his arm. She smiled as she took it, and together, they stepped outside, where a black car decorated in licorice-like ribbons awaited them. Sometimes, the simplest things can lead to the most beautiful beginnings.
This scene was inspired by the “A Word A Day” writing prompt from the “Promptly Written” Publication for February 22nd.