The Y-files [GL]
Now that Claire and Anna were finally out of the door, I would have to hurry. Bernie would be here in less than an hour. I had picked out my dress yesterday, A nice white one-piece with a flower pattern. But during the night I had started to second guess my choice and I wanted to test a few other sets to be absolutely certain that I picked the right one.
My yellow cardigan would accentuate my red hair, and my green dress would hide my nervousness a little. I put on all the different outfits I could think of one by one and looked at myself in the mirror. I think I felt more nervous than I did for any date I ever went on. It had been over 16 years since my last date, and over 20 years since my last 'first date' with someone. That realization did not calm my nerves in the slightest. After all the testing, I decided to just go with my first choice: the white one-piece with the flower pattern. I hoped Bernie would not be disappointed with my choice. Maybe I should wear my blue cardigan open over the dress...
Now that I knew the dress, I could do my make-up. When I was younger I would probably have gone all out with the make-up, as I did for Claire when she had her date, but now that I was a little older, I decided to go for a more distinguished look. Surprisingly, I learned the hard way that that was harder to pull off. I had to start over two times.
When I emerged back from the bathroom I noticed I was running late. “Oh no.”
I grabbed my purse and ran out to the closest subway. I needed to get to the Brussels South railway station fast. We agreed to meet in a little café just outside of it.
Luckily I could catch a metro fast. There was even enough room to sit down.
If I had learned anything, it was that you really did not want to be late for a date, and I was running late. It would look like I did not care when I absolutely did care.
We passed stop after stop. To me, it looked like it went excruciatingly slow. Of course, I had to be at one of the furthest stops from home... I decided to send a message to Bernie to let her know I was running late, but when I opened my phone I noticed that in my hurry I forgot to charge the battery. I sincerely hoped Bernie would still be there when I got to our rendezvous point. When the doors of the metro finally opened for the South Station stop, I ran toward the exits of the stations.
When I got out, I immediately saw the cafe. I could even spot Bernie sipping from a cup of coffee. Luckily she had not left because I was late. When I ran toward the cafe I felt the floor become unsteady. Then I heard my heel snap. I fell down and ripped my stockings in the process. My knee was scratched. It was my first date in ages with a wonderful person, and I had to ruin it before it even started. Tears started dripping from my eyes. The realization that that had also ruined the makeup, I did all that effort for, just made me cry harder.
I felt a strong hand pulling me close into a hug. : “There, there. Nothing happened that can't be fixed.”
I looked up and saw a stunning Bernie. She had gone all out and looked quite sophisticated. She wore white wide trousers and a black blouse with an open long mantle. In comparison, I just looked like a mess now. So I just embraced her and started crying even harder. Explaining between my sobs everything that had happened. How when I finally made it, my heel had snapped, and how I looked like a mess when I did all that effort to look my best.
Bernie just caressed my hair and comforted me. “There there, we will get you fixed up in no time, and then we can still enjoy our date.” She took out a handkerchief and wiped away my tears and the ruined makeup.
She then pulled me up, took my hand, and set out to the shopping mall inside of the station.
“First of all we need to get you a new pair of shoes.”
Bernie had always been like that, as long as I could remember. Ready to put everything back into order. When I fall down, she is always there to pick me up and put all the pieces back together. She is a burst of positive energy that could blow away any shred of darkness. What on earth would I have ever done without her.
I let her lead me into the shoe store. Instead of waiting meekly for someone to help us, Bernie took control and commanded one of the girls to help me get a new pair of shoes.
The girl was clearly intimidated by Bernie, but when she saw my state, she said “Oh, you poor thing, that is a 38 isn't it?” I confirmed my shoe size and then she ran to the back of the store to get some pairs of shoes in the style of the ones that I was wearing. While she was out Bernie said “They also sell stockings. It seems like we can get you completely fixed up with one store.” in a bright tone, clearly meant to cheer me up.
I did my best to look happy. I was happy with Bernie fussing so much for me, but at the same time, I felt guilty. I wanted to make this a special day where I would be there for her. Bernie had planned the date. I had no idea where she was taking me. All I needed to do was show up, and I even messed that up. But it was not the moment to let that get to me. I needed to get myself together, to turn this date around. “I hope I did not ruin your plans?” I probed.
“Don't you worry about that. I factored in some extra time. I knew you would be running late. After all, back in the day you always ran late too.”
I felt myself blush from embarrassment. Was I really still as irresponsible as back then?
The shopping assistant brought back a few pairs of shoes. One was a definite no, because of the kitsch golden buckles. But I had a difficult time deciding between the other pairs. “Bernie, what would you like to see on me today? ”
I noticed the self-confident Bernie took a hit from my obvious flirt, as she started blushing a little. So I decided to add a little extra oil to the fire. “After all, I am dressing up for you.”
The red of her blush became even more pronounced, then she looked over the shoes and picked the one without heels. It was a cute ballerina type of shoe. “Oh, so you like me to go for a cute look.” I continued the flirt.
Bernie coughed. I knew I was getting to her. But she gathered herself together and said “Your fall earlier must have hurt your ankle. I think it will be best not to tax it too much.” So she chose it while thinking of my comfort. That was so adorable, but I was not about to let her get away with avoiding my flirts. “So you don't think I look cute in them?” I said pouting. “I need to be able to present myself next to a stunning lady, you know.”
That one clearly hit the home base as I noticed Bernie's blush intensified.
This time Bernie got saved by the shopping assistant. The poor girl had been in the middle of my obvious flirts and clearly felt embarrassed. “I think they look really cute on you. Maybe you should step around a bit to see if they really feel good too,” she said a bit nervously. I smiled at the poor girl that got caught in the middle.
I walked a bit around the store with the shoes on my feet. Bernie was right. My ankle felt a bit sore, but with these shoes, it would bearable. She always paid attention to the little things.
“They are perfect, I will take them, and I will also be needing a new pair of stockings. Is there somewhere I can change?”
We were in a shoe store so of course there were no fitting rooms, but the girl, who we were calling Cindy in the meantime, showed me to one of the back rooms, where I could change in peace.
I had just removed my shredded stockings when she entered the room again with Bernie and a first aid kit. “We'd better clean that wound on your knee before you put on those new stockings, '' Bernie said.
I was happy that I had not removed my skirt to take off my stockings, or I would have been caught in my underwear. After seeing that Bernie was really just going to clean my wounds, Cindy went back to the front of the store.
Bernie took out a compress and some disinfectant. Of course, there was only alcohol in the set so it burned like hell.
“It's over already. That's a good girl.”
I felt a little self-conscious. Being treated like a little girl at my age. I guess she was used to doing this in the infirmary at school.
Since there were only band-aids for kids, She finished up by putting a cute ladybug band-aid on my knee and then gave a little kiss on it.
“There! All better!” Bernie said.
I think my face was redder than the ladybug on the band-aid.
Bernie had always taken care of me, but this was definitely the first time it made me skip a heartbeat.