The first time Geoff and I made a date he was late. Over the phone we agreed to meet at the mall. I lived nearby with my family, in University housing, and he could get a ride from his mom. And so it was settled and with plenty of time to spare, I headed to the shopping center to meet the boy with beautiful eyes, who spoke with kindness and respect.
I waited in front of the theaters, near the skating rink entrance. My youngest brother came by after awhile, on his way to the arcade. A movie let out and I thought I might not see Geoff arrive in the small crowd of people filing out of the theater. Enough time passed that my crush and affection were tested; I wondered if it was too shameless to stand around waiting. I wondered whether I had much pride. And then he was standing with his mother, and sister and her friend, and he was explaining his plans, and saying his goodbyes, and he saw me and walked toward me. I saw his long legs, and shy, reserved smile. I saw the casual way he he was walking, and I even looked around; he could be meeting someone else I thought.
His hands were in his pockets, and though his approach was confident he seemed now a bit hesitant. "Sorry I'm late," he explained, his hands still in his pockets. "I had to wait for my mom. I don't have any money or anything. So, what do you want to do?"
Suddenly I knew exactly what I should do. He would have to pass the brother test. I figured if my brothers liked him, then I could be sure. "Let's go to The Yellow Brick Road. My brother Hans is there."
Do you know what we did after our time in the arcade, after Hans and Geoff met, and talked about their favorite games? We walked over the to the grassy hills at the north western corner of the mall, and we kissed. We kissed a lot. We kissed sitting on a bench, under a tree, and we kissed until my lips were a bit numb and tingly at the same time. In the middle of the day, in Summer, with no money or plans; we kissed and kissed.
Where the grassy hill was, there is a Nordstrom and William Sonoma. Where the arcade was, there is a Great Khan Mongolian Festival. The theater is a sporting goods store. We live in a home with a view now, and children and chickens and my grandparents. Hans comes by, and other family and friends, and we have good talks. Geoff tends to run late. And he is still a very good kisser, with beautiful eyes. I'm glad I waited.