In the days leading up to it, I was more excited about Thursday evening than I had been for almost any other night. Even compared to the trip that I took the previous weekend for Frostbite, Thursday night won out. Why? Because I was truly excited about where I was going, about who I was going there with, and about the experience we would have.
On Sunday, when I was coming home from Frostbite, I was talking with Sonya about picking me up, and how I wanted to repay her. Her suggestion was that I take her out to dinner one night that week. I gladly accepted this as compensation, both because it would be something she’d enjoy, and because I’d love doing that anyway. Win/win situations aren’t the most common thing, but damn if they aren’t fantastic.
That same night, I had our destination in mind – Tachibana, the Japanese restaurant that we both love so much. I weighed my potential courses for announcing this to her, and wondered, to an extent, what she would think or say about it. It was a special place for the both of us – would she see any deeper meaning in it? Should I even worry about that? Eventually, I decided that my best course of action was going to be to simply ask her if she had any suggestions, or whether she wanted me to pick the place, and so I did on Wednesday morning. When she found out what I had in mind, she seemed genuinely excited, and that only made me more so. Thursday morning dawned with the hope of a wonderful evening, and so accordingly work took forever to finish. I raced home, where we had agreed to meet.
Her outfit… oh, god, her outfit. She looked amazing. She wore a white flower-themed shirt atop a simple pair of jeans. Black heels and flower earrings completed the look. It was a fantastic outfit and I told her as such. We left for Tachibana in high spirits, and the drive there seemed to fly by. Parking was more of an issue than normal, and we had a brief scare when I tried to fit into a parking spot just barely large enough for the car. I made it in alright, before Sonya convinced me that it wasn’t a good idea. Backing out of that parking spot was terrifying for both of us, though she almost seemed to have a heart attack from it. We got a “normal” parking space, however, and ventured inside.
Tachibana itself was as amazing as it always is. We debated about trying new things, and eventually mixed it up a bit on appetizers, but we both ordered the “Special” sushi dinner. I felt a bit embarrassed ordering the same thing as her, especially with wanting to be adventurous, but damn it, that was some good food. We got age-dofu (fried tofu) and sawara miso yaki (broiled mackeral) as our appetizers, and they were both delicious. Our sushi was fantastic, as it always is, minus the sea urchin roll. I don’t think either of us really cared for it too much. Our dinner was finished off with mochi ice cream, per tradition, and we got the white sesame (which, earlier in the night, I mistakenly called black peppercorn… kill me now) and green tea varieties. The drive back was a bit more quiet, but we did talk briefly about a trip to Japan. Since it had come up, I had wondered if she’d still want to go with me. She had told me that she would quite a long time ago, but I didn’t know how true it would hold, and I couldn’t think of a good roundabout way to ask her. Finally I just did, and she said “maybe”… but she said maybe because she was considering her work schedule and plans, not because she didn’t want to. That was enough for me.
She asked me, on the way home, if I’d like to play a round of Fortune Street before she left, and I enthusiastically agreed, as it had been a long time since I’d really gotten to play it. The game went fine, though we both ran into some bad luck early on (her more than me) and we struggled through much of the game. I ended up winning thanks to a lucky card draw at the very end of the game – if I hadn’t, I was going to give her the money to ensure that she would. Letting a computer win would have been absolutely unacceptable.
The night was fantastic, and I enjoyed it a lot. I’m glad that we can still enjoy each other’s company as much as we do. I need to continue to enjoy the time I have with her while not longing for but so much more – I have to continue to focus on my own life before anything else.
As I told her that night, though, when I look into her eyes, I can’t help but be happy. And then I can’t help but smile. It’s literally an involuntary reaction. That… scares me, a bit.