Chapter 14: Date
The elevator doors opened to Ashton standing in the lobby with a huge smile on his face. He was wearing a dark red sweater, black skinny jeans, black converse, and a black beanie with his hair sticking out of the sides. He looked so good in his own punkish way.
“Hey, sorry! I lost track of time!” I said as I rushed up to him.
“Not a big deal. We’ve got plenty of time! Did you figure out what movie you wanted to see?” he asked me.
“Honestly the only movie that I saw that looked good was ‘Safe Haven’. It’s a chick flick so I totally understand if you don’t want to see it!” I said.
“Are you kidding? I love chick flicks! In a non weird way…” Ashton said with a laugh.
I laughed in return. “Okay perfect. It starts at 8.”
“That gives us just enough time to walk there. If that’s okay? It’s not terribly freezing outside,” Ashton said.
“That sounds perfect.” I said. I followed him out of the hotel and we started our trek downtown.
London was beautiful at night. It was warmer than I had ever felt in London, which wasn’t saying much. But I wasn’t cold as we walked. My outfit was just warm enough. I felt the wind brushing through my hair and I loved how I could feel the warmth of Ashton’s presence next to me as we walked. We didn’t talk much, but it was our usual comfortable silence.
“Rylie?” I heard Ashton say from my right.
“Yes?” I answered.
“You look really beautiful.” He said shyly. I felt my cheeks redden.
“Aww well thanks. You don’t look so bad yourself,” I said awkwardly.
I started to feel really guilty again. No Rylie. Stop it. You have nothing to feel guilty about.
We walked in silence that now felt awkward until we were outside of the theater. I stood next to Ashton as he bought the tickets and followed him into the theater. He then bought some popcorn and two sprites. I was thankful when we took our seats and had two hours of forced silence.
Half way through the movie, once the popcorn had been emptied, something happened.
I had my right arm on the armrest that had Ashton’s drink in it. He picked up his drink, took a drink and then put it back in the cup holder. Instead of putting his arm back onto his lap, I felt his armrest on top of mine. I looked over just in time to watch his hand take hold of mine.
At that exact moment I felt an immense amount of different thoughts go through my brain.“Oh my gosh we’re holding hands”, “It’s so soft”, “this is weird”, “are my hands sweaty?”, “so he definitely likes me”, “do I like him?”, “what if Luke finds out about this?”, “No Rylie shut up, we don’t care what Luke thinks. Do we?”, “Oh my gosh what is wrong with me?” just to name a few.
I suddenly panicked and stood up. Ashton’s head shot up to look at me. He looked confused and a little bit hurt.
“I have to go to the bathroom,” I said too loudly. I heard a couple people laugh out loud behind me.
Without waiting to see Ashton’s response, I ran down the steps, out of the theater and into the bathroom. I quickly locked myself into a stall and sat on the toilet.
What was wrong with me? Why did I panic? He was just being flirty. Ugh I feel horrible. He probably thought that I didn’t want to hold his hand. I hope he isn’t feeling embarrassed. That might have taken him a lot of guts to do…now I feel like a bitch.
I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me. Why did Luke pop into my head every time that something happened with Ashton? I didn’t like Luke…right? I know that I really enjoyed spending time with Ashton. But did I really LIKE him like that? I don’t know.
I sat there for another 5 minutes before I decided I needed to go back. I returned to my seat and Ashton kept his hands in his lap for the duration of the movie.
After the movie ended, we left the theater, and started walking down the street in silence. He stopped suddenly.
“What? What’s wrong?” I said quickly.
“Did you still want to get ice cream?” he asked sweetly pointing to the shop that we were standing in front of. I felt my stomach turn.
“Uh yeah! Sure.” I followed him into the shop, we ordered and he paid once again. I then followed him to a table in the corner.
“So how did you like the movie?” I asked him after several moments of silent eating.
“Umm it was really good! But listen. I wanted to apologize for what happened in the middle of the movie. I didn’t mean to make you uncomfortable or anything. I just really like you Rylie,” he said quietly. I felt my stomach tighten and turn over again.
“Ashton I have to be completely honest with you. I really like you also, but there is this other guy…” I said and he cut me off.
“Ahhh of course. I thought you said there was no boyfriend?” he said trying to hide his disappointment.
“Well there isn’t. Just some guy that I’m not really sure where I stand with him. I’m really confused about it and I think I need some time to figure it out. I really want us to continue being friends. You are honestly the sweetest person I’ve ever met and I am having so much fun with you. I hope that you can understand.” I said feeling sick to my stomach. Ashton sat for a few seconds, swirling his ice cream around in his bowl with his spoon.
“Of course I understand Rylie. I want us to be friends more than anything. You are great. I hope that you can figure out what your feelings are. When you figure it out, let me know either way. Until then, we’ll just go back to how we were before,” Ashton said sweetly.
We left the ice cream shop and he walked me back to my hotel. Once at the elevator I turned to him again.
“Thank you for taking me out tonight. I am glad that you understand. Thank you for being so amazing.” I said. He smiled but didn’t say anything. I leaned into him for a hug. I wrapped my arms around my neck and I felt his arms slip around my waist. I took in the familiar scent of him. We hugged for what felt like forever. I finally felt him pull away and his eyes met mine. I could see the disappointment and I felt my stomach clench again. Ugh this wasn’t easy.
“Goodnight Rylie. Thanks for coming with me tonight. See you in the van tomorrow.” He said before he gave me a small smile before turning around and walking through the lobby. I got onto the elevator.
As the doors closed, I saw the image of Aston’s figure disappear. This was not good.