I felt like I was failing. Not only was she not impressed, but I was boring the poor girl and making her uncomfortable. I told her that we were leaving again. She looked at me, confused.
I learned a lot about Candy that night. She definitely wasn’t the party girl that I thought that she was. I was definitely surprised to find out that none of my normal spots even thrilled her a little bit. I thought of one last place to take her, a club on First Ave.
But, on our way to the club, my car caught a flat tire.
“It’s okay,” I said, trying my best to reassure Candy. “I have a spare. I can change it.”
I opened the door and got ready to get out.
“You’re going to change your tire in the dark?” asked Candy, her eyes wide with fear. “Isn’t that kind of dangerous?”
I thought about what she was saying and decided that she was probably right. But, I didn’t want to be seen as weak, like I couldn’t take care of us.
“Look, there’s a bowling alley over there,” said Candy. “Instead of trying to change your tire in the dark, why don’t we go inside of the bowling alley for a little bit and call for a ride?”
I looked at her. She looked back at me, her eyes almost pleading with me. I sighed, somewhat relieved to have a way out of having to change a tire in my best suit.
“Okay,” I said. “Only for a little while. I don’t even know where we are, really?”
Candy smiled at me and reached over, touching my cheek.
“We’re at a bowling alley, silly,” she said, laughing easily.
I couldn’t help but stare at her. I loved the way that her cheeks dimpled when she smiled. It drove me wild and turned me on. And it made me think back to the night before and how she tasted. She had tasted so good, sweet. Addicting. She’d mentioned that she was a baker, and I wondered anything that came out of her oven could possibly be as sweet and intoxicating as she was.
I turned off the car and locked the doors. We walked into the bowling alley and called for a ride. The only person who answered was Candy’s friend, Amelia. She was at home and said that she was more than happy to pick us up. Only she had ordered a pizza, so it would have to be after the pizza got there.
She apologized profusely, but I was fine with waiting. I wasn’t really in much of a rush for the night to be over, especially after having bored Candy all night and having it end on such a bad note with a flat tire. I wanted more time with her, more time to turn this night around.
“Want to play a game?” Candy asked, playfully.
I looked at her and smiled. She had an infectious smile. It made me want to agree to whatever she was asking for.
I nodded dumbly.
“Great,” she said. “Because I already got you some shoes and got us a lane.”
It was my turn to laugh.
We started playing. I hadn’t played in years and it showed. She beat me terribly. And she wasn’t really much of a gracious winner. She made sure to rub in the fact that she won with a full victory dance. I laughed hard at her dancing. It was amusing to watch her dance around the bowling lane. I could tell that other people were amused, too, because she got a lot of smiles and laughs from people playing in nearby lanes.
This was the Candy I wanted to see, the curious, fun, vibrant girl I’d seen hiding in the corner at that first auction. Despite her hesitation that night, there was something in her eyes that spoke volumes. There was something wild in her aching to be set free, and I wanted to be the one to uncage her.
But, even while they were making my heart bloom with unexpected feelings for this girl, her dances were also turning me on. The way that she shook her ass, moving her hips in circles made me think about the way that she writhed on the stage beneath my tongue.
More than anything, being there in the bowling alley with her, laughing until my belly hurt, reminded me that I was having more fun than I could remember having in a very long time. She was showing me that things didn’t have to be a crazy party for it to be fun. She looked like she was having more fun dancing around the bowling alley than to any of the wild parties that I could have taken her to.
It made me think that maybe I should consider slowing down a little bit and taking things in more. It would help me to better appreciate the finer things in life rather than speeding through life at such a break-neck speed that it’s hard to appreciate much of anything.