Monday, August 27, 2012

And The Verdict Is?

When I told Mike that the girls were excited to meet him, he suggested we all go bowling. I was hesitant at first but decided it would be a really fun way to introduce him to my friends. We all met at the bowling alley and I was nervous from the second Mike and I got there. Zoey brought Wesley and Anna brought Theo. Molly didn’t bring Calvin because “we don’t go on dates”. I rolled my eyes and went to go get shoes for Mike and I.

When I came back, Mike had the girls in stitches with a story from one of his first fires and he was on a real roll all night. We got some drinks and snacks from the food bar and had a blast bowling. There was trash talk, laughter, and Wesley kicked everyone’s ass with a score of 268.

“You neglected to tell us you were a professional bowler, Wesley.” I said queuing up another game for all of us.

I looked around for Mike and saw that he was on his phone. He came back and looked hurried.

“Is everything okay?” I asked.

He pulled me aside.

“Faith, I am so sorry. I have to go.”

“What? But we’ve only been here for an hour.”

“I know, there’s a big fire downtown and I’ve been called in for back-up. I have to go. I am so sorry. I promise I’ll make it up to you and your friends.”

“O-okay.” I said with a great deal of disappointment.

Mike said good-bye to everyone before leaving. It was hard for me not to pout the rest of the night.

“Oh, cheer up, Faith.” Anna said, “We get that he has a job.”

“Seriously. I love him.” Said Zoey.

“Hey now.” Wesley joked.

“You guys like him?” I said looking up from my soda and cheese sticks.

“He’s great. And he’s great for you.” Said Molly.

“The way he looks at you is adorable.” Zoey said stealing a cheese stick.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s already falling in love with you.” Anna said.

“It’s a little early for that.” I said, “But I’m so happy you guys like him. I was really nervous you wouldn’t like him like you did with…”

I trailed off and things got awkward. I try to avoid referring to Sean directly as it’s a sore subject for all of us but Theo saved the awkward silence.

“Hey, should we get bumpers this time? Molly kind of needs them.”

“I do not!”

“Your high score was a 12.”

“I’ll go tell the shoe rental guy that we want some bumpers.” I said getting up.

“I’ll go get us some more food. Or maybe we should just grab some pizza after this game?” Wesley asked.

We voted for pizza after one more game and ended up going to a deep dish pizza place that is to die for. I am definitely bringing Mike there on our next date. Anna and Theo are having a barbeque on Labor Day and invited me to it. I’m going to see if Mike can come, too, it’ll give him more time to visit with my friends since tonight was cut short. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Girls

The girls and I were having brunch at our favorite little bistro. Anna brought the twins which was an extra treat. They were, of course, perfect angels the whole time and are really starting to get big. It’s hard to believe they’ll be two in February.

“Theo is thinking about taking a fellowship. It’s optional and it means another year of being a student, but it could really help him career-wise, but enough about that, Faith, tell me about your new guy!” Anna said over her Belgian waffles.

“His name is Mike and-”

“Ladies, all you need to know is that he is SUPER HOT.” Molly said.

“Yes, he is.” I added gracefully.

Anna and Zoey vaguely remembered him from the night of the fire but when I showed them a picture of him on Facebook with my phone, they remembered him instantly.

“Damn, he IS hot.” Zoey said.

“Mmmhmmm.” Anna nodded.

I dug into my cheese omelet and let the girls gush some more.

“His looks are really just a side perk, though.” I said, “He’s such a genuine and sweet guy. I really want you guys to meet him and give me your read on him.”

They were excited to get the invitation and we decided on a day next week.

“Faith, I’m so happy for you.” Zoey said eating a sausage link, “You’re in such a good place and I think this is the first time you’ve ever been excited for us to meet a guy you’ve been seeing.”

“Mike doesn’t make me nervous when it comes to taking steps towards commitment. He’s just…having a relationship with him is so…easy. I don’t feel pressured at all and I think that’s why I’m so excited for you guys to meet him…I’m…ready for it to happen, I’m ready for this next step. And I’m not really sure I was with previous boyfriends.”

“So, how’s the sex?” Anna said mouthing the last word.

“We actually haven’t done that yet. We did talk about it pretty openly on our last date, though, which was nice. I’m hoping it happens soon but I don’t think he’s ready yet or he just doesn’t know if I’m ready yet. We need to talk about that a little more, I think.”

“Wow. Look at Faith, all grown up!” Molly said grabbing a slice of toast.

“Yeah, yeah.” I said sipping my orange juice.

I’m so glad the girls are excited to meet Mike. I hope everything goes well and he’s not too nervous. I sent him a text last night asking if he was interested in meeting my friends and he sounded really happy about it. The real boyfriend meter, of course, is Murphy. Mike will meet Murphy after he meets the girls; after all, I don’t let just anyone meet my baby. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

In the Friend Zone

“Zeke, do you see him?” I said craning my neck.

We were in the booth watching as the audience filed into the auditorium before the start of the play. Zeke, my light booth operator, was double checking to make sure the right lights were up.

“No. You weren’t all that specific, though. A tall guy with brown hair…there’s like 25 of those just in the front row.”

“Fair enough.” I said a little crestfallen, “I have to go give the 10 minute warning to the cast, maybe I’ll see him on the way back.”

I handed Zeke my headset and climbed to the door.

I climbed out of the booth which led to the ticket office and then wandered from there into the lobby and then to the backstage area and dressing rooms. I didn’t see Mike on the way there or on the way back to the booth and I’m embarrassed about how sad I was about it. I was excited for him to see the show but I was worried that there was a problem with his ticket or that he wasn’t going to come.

I checked with the Head of House, she told me he picked up his ticket so I went back to the booth and made Zeke help me look for him until it was time to start.

The show went smoothly but I’ll admit that I was nervous. I’m not usually nervous when I call the cues for the show but knowing that Mike was there watching made me get knots in my stomach. When the house lights went up, I let out a sigh of relief as the audience filed out.

“Zeke, do your shut down stuff once the ushers are done cleaning the house. I want to get out of here early tonight.”

“Sure thing boss.” Zeke saluted me as I left the booth.

I didn’t see Mike in the lobby so I went backstage and started shutting lights off and locking doors. The cast was cleared out within 20 minutes and my crew had gotten all the props and costumes locked up by 30 minutes past curtain call. I was happy that we all had it down to a science so I could leave sooner. I put the ghost light out on stage, plugged it in, and gave Zeke the okay to shut the stage lights off.

When I went back to the lobby, I finally saw Mike. He was wearing a black button down shirt over a white t-shirt and nice dark-wash jeans.

“Hey!” I said running over to him. He pulled flowers from behind his back and I was so surprised.

“Oh, these are beautiful! Thank you.” I said.

I gave him a kiss before he proceeded to rave about the show.

“I loved everything! The lights were so cool and the projections they had on the windows? Amazing!”

He followed me as I locked up the doors and grabbed my purse.

“I’m starving,” I said, “Let’s get a cheeseburger.”

“Yes!” Mike held my hand as we left the theatre and walked to a nearby diner. We got two cheeseburger meals to go and ate in a park next to a fountain. Mike told me what he thought about the acting and the set as we ate. He was so animated about it and genuinely excited.

“I want to see it again! It was the best show I’ve ever seen.”

While we were finishing our dinner, I looked up at the sky and was instantly reminded of a less than happy memory. Sean and I were on a picnic almost two years ago, exactly, and he accused me of still having feelings for Kevin because I didn’t press charges against him after the he attacked me at work. I blinked the memory away but Mike noticed.

“Are you okay? Did I say something wrong?”

I shook my head.

“No…no…I just remembered something I have to do tomorrow. That’s all. These cheeseburgers are great, aren’t they?”

We finished up our food and then sat by the fountain and talked.

“You know, your friend Molly did an excellent job. I definitely think she was the best out of everybody-”

“Mike, I lied earlier.” I winced.

“About what?”

“About remembering to do something tomorrow.”

“Oh…You don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

I turned my body toward him.

“I do want to tell you. I was…” I took a deep breath, “I was thinking about my ex boyfriend. Actually, my ex fiancĂ©.”


“We went on a picnic in a park on a night like this, too, and it just reminded me of how unhappy I was in that relationship. I lied because I…I wasn’t sure how you would react to the fact that I was thinking about my ex boyfriend while on a date with you.”

“Why did you tell me the truth?” He asked. It wasn’t accusatory, it was curiosity.

“Because…I…I didn’t like the idea of lying to you. I don’t want that for whatever it is that we have.”

“Do you still have feelings for him?” He asked.

I looked Mike straight in the eye.

“Absolutely not. Our relationship was…not the healthiest for me and it took me awhile to deal with our break-up.”

I had never felt more honest about my relationship with Sean until that moment. I think the relief that washed over me was noticed by Mike, too.

“Okay.” He said and then held my hand.

“Really? You’re just going to…be okay with that?”

He laughed.

“Yeah. You were honest with me. I can see that that was a difficult thing for you to bring up and I believe you.”

I was in awe. Sean never really trusted me when we were together.  He constantly gave me the third degree but we lied to each other a lot. Having Mike’s trust was a new feeling, almost, because I never really had that with Sean.

“Here.” Mike said. He pulled out a quarter and placed it in my palm, “throw it in the fountain and make a wish.”

I looked at it and closed my eyes before tossing it in and watching it float to the bottom. I looked up at Mike and he pulled me to him and kissed me deeply.

“What did you wish for?” He asked when we pulled apart.

“For that.” I said blushing.

“Let’s go for a walk.” He said standing up and holding out his hand for me.

We walked through the park and talked and laughed. We stopped at the top of a big grassy hill.

“Faith, I don’t want to make you uncomfortable but I’m not seeing other people. In case you were wondering.” He said. Mike was nervous and it was adorable.

“Is that your way of asking me if I’ll be your girlfriend?” I asked.

“Yeah, pretty much.” He said laughing.

“Well, then…I’m not seeing other people either, in case you were wondering.” I said.

Mike broke out in a big smile and kissed me again. When we pulled away he looked at the hill we were standing on top of.

“When you were a kid, did you ever roll down hills like that?”

“Um, yeah.” I said with surprise.

Mike looked around mischievously.

“I loved doing that as a kid; I bet it’s still just as much fun.”

And before I knew what was happening, Mike rolled down the hill laughing and goading me into joining him. I stood at the top of the hill and briefly thought about how insane anyone who could see us probably though we were but then I threw caution to the wind and rolled down the hill after him. I landed with a thud next to him and we ended up laying next to each other, holding hands, and looking up at the stars.

“This is a weird date.” I said laughing.

“I hope you’re having fun, though.” He said turning his head to look at me.

“I am.” I said. I leaned over and kissed him again and he wrapped his arms around me and pulled me on top of him. We sat up and I straddled his hips while continued to make out. His hands roved over my back and in my hair. Things were really heating up when I felt him get hard between my legs. He pulled away and blushed.

“I’m really sorry.” He said.

I slid off him and he pulled his knees up to his chest and folded his arms on his knees.

“It’s okay.” I said.

“I don’t want you to feel like I’m trying to rush you into…anything.” He said.

“I don’t feel rushed. I’m glad that I turn you on. I don’t want you to feel embarrassed for that.” I put my hand on his arm.

He looked at me with genuine concern.

“Really, Mike, it’s okay. For what it’s worth, you turn me on, too. We’ll get to the sex part when we get to it. I don’t feel rushed at all.”

“Okay.” He said. He looked relieved.

I looked at my watch.

“It’s getting pretty late, do you want to get out of here?”

He nodded and I went to get up but he didn’t follow.

“Um…I might need another minute or two before I can get up again…”

We both laughed and I sat back down. When Mike was ready he walked me to the train stop and waited with me until my train arrived. I gave him a good night kiss and went home so incredibly happy. Mike is now officially my boyfriend and I feel so comfortable with him. He’s not judgmental about my past and he trusts me and he allows himself to be vulnerable in front of me. I’m going to introduce him to the girls as soon as they can all get together.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Magic Mondays

I went out on another date with Mike and it was really nice. He decided to cook for me at his apartment. So it was a first for both of us, it was the first time I’d been in his apartment. I stopped on the way there to pick up some wine, a dessert, and to rent a movie for us. I decided to go with a comedy rather than a romantic movie or something super dramatic. I decided to wear something low key, so I went with a pair of blue jeans and a black cotton t-shirt.

I was sort of nervous when I got to his building and waited for him to buzz me in. This was the first time I wasn’t going to be in public with him, we would be completely alone and that thought made me nervous. Not because I was afraid to be alone with him but because it seems so much more intimate than going to a restaurant with a bunch of strangers around you.

He was waiting for me when I got to his floor.

“Oh, what did you rent?” He asked.

“It’s a comedy. I thought we could watch it after dinner. And I brought some wine and chocolate chip cookies.” I held up the bottle and the grocery bag as he let me in.

Mike’s apartment is totally a guy’s apartment. His furniture is leather and dark and the whole feel of it is masculine. It’s a one bedroom apartment and his kitchen and living space are combined. He has a kitchen island/bar that separates the two areas pretty nicely.

“Something smells great.” I said.

“It’s lasagna,” he said, “my mom’s recipe. You’re…not a vegetarian are you?”

“No.” I said.

“Oh, good, cause it has meat sauce in it. If you were, it’s okay, though, because I had a back-up plan just in case.”

I giggled.

“Alright, put me to work.” I said.

Mike put me in charge of tossing the salad and prepping the garlic bread while he set the table and chilled the wine. Dinner was ready in about twenty minutes and we sat down at his dining table.
First of all, Mike is an excellent cook. I’ve never had lasagna as good as his. Second of all, Mike is great at talking. I don’t remember the last time I felt so comfortable with someone so quickly. He talked more about his family and it was nice to watch him get so excited and happy when he talked about them. He asked about my friends and how the show was going.

“I feel really bad that we only ever go out on Mondays. But my schedule is so crazy with the show and work and now searching for my next job.”

“Well, you said you didn’t have to go to work on Thursday after the show, right?”


“Why don’t I come see it on Thursday and we can go out afterward?”

“Seriously?” I asked.

“Yeah, it doesn’t get out too late and I can help you close up and then we can go grab a burger or something.”

“Okay. I’ll reserve your ticket tomorrow so you can just stop by the ticket office on Thursday before the show, give them your name, and they’ll get you your ticket.”

“Sweet, I’ve only ever seen high school theatre productions so this should be super cool.”
Mike seemed genuinely excited and was asking me all sorts of questions about the play and what the set looked like, it was cute. We settled down on his couch to watch the movie with cookies and wine. Mike is fun to watch movies with. He laughed in all the right places. After the movie we watched some television.

“Can I ask you a question?” I said abruptly. He had his arms wrapped around me.


“You seem so shy about physical stuff…why?” I blurted out. It was an awkward question and Mike laughed.

“I’m not usually; you just make me so nervous sometimes. You seem like such a lady and I feel like I’m out of your league.”

“Are you serious?” I said looking at him.


“Well, you can kiss me whenever you want.” I said.

“Okay….so…how about now.”

We made out for awhile but eventually I had to go back home. I’m glad Mike isn’t weird about the physical stuff for some other strange reason and that it really is just nerves. I don’t feel rushed with Mike. I want to have sex with him but I’m also just comfortable where we are right now. I’m okay if we hold off on the sex part.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Boy Talk

I had lunch with Adam today. He’s been getting a lot of freelance work writing on crime. He’s had a lot of mass shootings to write about lately.

“Doesn’t it get depressing?” I said while eating my grilled chicken salad.

“Yeah, but you cope eventually. The worst is having to interview parents of little kids that die. Those are my least favorite interviews to write.”

“Do you like freelancing? I don’t think I could do that. I need the security of knowing I will have a paycheck. Plus I hate applying for jobs and freelancing seems like that’s all you do outside of work…look for the next way to pay the bills.”

“It’s definitely not my favorite type of work. I miss the security, like you said, but I also have a level of freedom that I didn’t have before. You’ll probably freelance though, you’ll get to experience it in all its glory, too.” He said sipping his water.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, are you going to keep up the stage managing thing? Because if you are, you’ll probably end up freelancing. My understanding from friends is that freelancing is basically the foundation of booking theatre jobs.”

I was struck by what he was saying. I had really never thought much about it. I’ve been so distracted lately with dating Mike and the show and work and Murphy that I didn’t even think about what I would do once the show closes. If I want to keep stage managing I’ll need to start applying now to a bunch of different places.

“It’s great about Murphy, though.” Adam moved on.

“Yeah, it was a miracle. If I hadn’t been sent to that shelter on that day I never would have found him. It’s amazing to me that he was relatively fine and came through the whole ordeal of being in a fire, living on the streets, and then being put up for adoption only to be found by me a second time.”

“It’s a shame that they still haven’t found anything out about who set that fire. I imagine the trail is cold at this point.”

“Yeah. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve stopped looking into it altogether.”

We finished up lunch and Adam told me about this new girl he’s dating. They’ve been dating for about three months and he seems pretty happy right now. I didn’t tell him about Mike. Mostly because Mike and I are only dating right now and also…it just felt weird to tell him about it. Like I’d be rubbing it in his face that I didn’t choose him even though we both have feelings for each other.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Quick Step

I was being indecisive about my outfit for my date with Mike. We had decided on an evening date and I couldn’t figure out what to wear for it. I wanted to look sexy but I didn’t want to give away the farm and be too over the top. Eventually, I ended up borrowing a dress from Molly. It was a strapless black cocktail dress with a fuller skirt and button details down the front to make it not as dressy. The top of the bust line was inspired by a shirt collar so it was fun but sexy. I wore it with a pair of black platform pumps and silver dangly earrings. I pulled one side of my hair up to keep it out of my face (and used a silver barrette to pull in the earrings) and then curled the rest. Molly suggested a black choker but I vetoed it and decided to accessorize my neck with just a small amount of perfume.

I met Mike on a train platform near my apartment.

“So what are we doing?” I asked coming up to him. He smiled and took me in.

“I thought we’d do dinner and dancing.”

“Oooh fun!” I said taking his arm.

We talked on the train on the way to dinner. He asked me about work and how Murphy was doing and I can honestly say that it was one of the easiest conversations I’ve had with a guy in a really long time. I feel like I’ve forgotten that dates don’t have to be complicated or painful. It was just a really nice train ride. We went to a place that had tablecloths and pretty candle centerpieces.

“This is a really nice place. I’ve never been here before.”

“It’s fairly new. I thought it would be a quiet place for us to talk and get to know one another.”

We were given warm bread and butter before Mike picked out a nice wine. I ordered a five cheese tortellini dish and Mike got spinach and cheese stuffed ravioli and a pasta salad. The food was great and so was the wine but the conversation and company was so much better.

Mike and I talked about our families. He told me about his sisters.

“Sarah is the youngest; she’s a sophomore in college. Then there’s me. Claire is next; she lives in D.C with her boyfriend who’s a law student. She’s a pre-school teacher. And Maggie is the oldest. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Jamie, and two kids. What about your brother?”

“Oh, his name is Justin. He’s 26. He lives in New York and got back from being deployed this Christmas. He was in the Marine Corps, but he was honorably discharged a few months ago. Now he’s doing the whole actor thing there.”

“That’s cool! Is he doing theatre work or film work?”

“He’ll take anything at this point. He’s had a sort of rough year. His girlfriend broke up with him and he’s been struggling to find work. He’ll pull through, though.”

“What does he think of you working as a stage manager?” Mike asked before taking a bite of ravioli.

“He was surprised when I told him about it. I don’t think he expected me to get back into theatre after college. I was surprised myself, so I imagine he was even more surprised than I was.”

The conversation flowed all throughout dinner, there was never an awkward silence and we shared a dessert: a Neapolitan mousse.

After we left the restaurant, Mike and I headed over to a bar with hot music and cold beers. Mike is a great dancer, a little nerdy, but fun. We danced for an hour before settling down in a booth and having a beer each. It was refreshing after dancing our behinds off. Once we cooled down a bit, it was time for our date to end. Mike walked me to the train platform while holding my hand the whole time. We stood there awkwardly again. It was the only awkward moment of the date and I was disappointed that he was so nervous.

“Well…I had a really great time with you tonight.” I said rubbing his arm.

“I-I’m glad. Do…do you want to do this again sometime?”

“Yes.” I said.

“O-okay.” He said, “Why don’t you call me?”

“Okay.” I said.

Mike’s face was red and he kept looking down to avoid my eyes.

“Well, I…I should go.” He said. He gave me another hug and then left down the stairs back to the street. I leaned against a light pole and sighed. Suddenly I heard clunking on the stairs and turned around.

“Mike? Is everyth-”

“Faith, can I kiss you?”

I was so surprised but happy.

“Yes.” I smiled.

He leaned down and kissed me gently. I put my hand on his cheek and the other on his chest while his hands rested on the small of my back. Before I knew it my train was pulling into the station and we broke apart. I gave him another quick kiss and waved good-bye as the doors closed. Mike had a goofy smile on his face and waved back.

What a great night.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Marvelous Mike

I met Mike for coffee this morning. He was waiting for me outside a little bistro near Bruno’s.

“Mike?” I said approaching the tall, fit brunette standing nervously by a public mailbox.

“Faith?” He asked, his big brown eyes widening.

I nodded and smiled. We shook hands. I decided to wear myhair down and wavy, with a black and white patterned flowy top and simple blue jeans. I topped it off with a silver mod necklace and a pair of simple black and white polka-dotted flats. Mike was wearing a gray v-neck that accentuated him in all the right places and pair of dark-washed jeans. He held the door open for me when we headed inside.

I got an iced latte and he got an iced cappuccino and a giant bagel for us to share.

“Thank you for the coffee and the bagel.” I said as we sat down in a quiet window nook.

“No problem. I’m really glad you agreed to this, Faith.”

I asked Mike what it was like to work as a fireman. His dad and grandfather were both firemen and he’s been at his house for only two years. He told me about some of the guys he’s worked with and a few stories his dad told about fires before he retired. Mike is a year older than me and three sisters. I told him about my brother and about how I got Murphy. He doesn’t have a dog but they have one at his fire house. Her name is Dolly and he loves her.

“We got her when she was a puppy and I’ve been teaching her all sorts of tricks. I house broke her and made up her little bed for her. She’s a great girl.”

“What kind of dog is she?” I asked.

“A Dalmatian of course!”

We laughed. Mike has a really nice laugh, I feel like I could listen to it for hours. I was genuinely sad when I had to get to work. Mike offered to walk me the block down to Bruno’s.

“I had a really nice time.” I said stopping at the side door to Bruno’s.

“I’d…I’d like to see you again.” He blushed.

“I would love that. When are you free?”

“Well, I think it might be easier to schedule around your work than mine.”

“You’re probably right. Let’s see…Monday is my day off from both jobs, so we could do something then.”

“Monday. Okay. It’s a date.” He said. He smiled and we kind of stood there awkwardly for a few seconds.

I wasn’t sure if he wanted to kiss me and was working up the courage or if he wasn’t sure if he should kiss me. I smiled to try and give him a signal but I think he just got nervous. He leaned in like he was going to kiss me but I think he chickened out and we ended up hugging. It was a nice hug but…it would have been nice to get a kiss, too. Oh, well. I’ll just really have to turn up the romance on Monday. Mike said he’d plan the date and that I shouldn’t worry. I’m really excited.