Chapter 17: Sadie Hawkins Dance...or not
"So are you planning to ask me to this Sadie Hawkins Dance this weekend?" Erik said teasing me at lunch about a week before said dance.
"Actually, no, I'm not." I said with a smile and took another bite from my sandwich.
Erik looked confused but shrugged with a teasing smile. "Alright, well then I guess I can tell Elsie Reynolds yes then?" he asked.
I knew he was joking, I struggled not to laugh. "Well you could I suppose." I said with a shrug. "But I did have other plans for us....if you're agreeable."
"Plans that are NOT the dance?" he asked raising his eyebrows.
"Well if you'd rather go to the dance we could, or you could go catch Elsie before she asks James." I said as Todd, Mei-Ling, Timothy and Veronica sat down around us. Veronica sat on the other side of Erik and did not look at me.
"You're not going to the dance?" Todd asked surprised.
"Apparently not." Erik said with a shrug. He did much like dances anyway.
"What?" I asked. "I can't miss a school dance?"
"Ginny, you love school dances!" Todd said still shocked that I was voluntarily missing a dance.
"And there will be plenty more. But I'm - WE'RE - missing this one." I said looking at Erik with a wink.
Todd was a little disturbed by my attitude but shrugged. "What is a Sadie Hawkins Dance anyway?" Mei-Ling asked.
"Sadie Hawkins was a character in the Li'l Abner comic strip, she was a spinster and soon Sadie Hawkin's Day was created in which all the unmarried women in town could - literally - chase down a potential husband." Timothy said.
All of us stopped eating and stared at him.
"What?" Timothy asked.
I shook my head and looked at Mei-Ling. "Girls ask the guys - that's the difference." I said with a smile.
"Ah." Mei-Ling said. She turned to Todd and proceeded to ask him to the dance.
Erik and I finished early and left the table, never having exchanged a word or look with Veronica. I sighed inwardly but let it pass.
"Are you seriously not going to tell me what you have planned for Saturday then?" Erik asked twining his finger in with mine.
I laughed. "I could, but where would be the fun in that?" I asked.
"Because then I would know and it would make your boyfriend happy?" Erik suggested.
"Nope...don't think so, I like making you wait it out." I said with a chuckle.
"Maybe I can make you talk" he said pulling me to a stop in the hall. He looked around and put his hand on my face giving me light kisses. Most everyone was in class or at lunch so for a few brief moments, we were alone.
"Is this working?" he asked.
"Well it's very nice but I'm still not telling." I said and winked.
"Gahh!" he moaned but he was still grinning.
I laughed and started walking again. "Come on, we better get to our classes."
For the rest of the week Erik teased me about the date plans, Veronica and I didn't speak and Timothy spent more time with Ranna. I heard it from someone else that she asked him to the dance and he accepted. Veronica didn't ask anyone that I know of.
Finally Saturday rolled around and I met Erik in front of his house with a taxi. "Your chariot." I said with a laugh.
Erik smirked and got in the back of cab, I slid in after and as I closed the door the driver took off. He already had the address. I took Erik's hand.
"Not even a hint?" he asked looking out the window to see where we were going.
I just squeezed his hand in reply as the cab left the outer edges of our town center and moved into the less populated areas. Finally the cab stopped on a hill, on which sat a castle - a small, built for show, castle but a castle none the less. I paid the cab driver and tugged on Erik's hand.
"What is this place?" he asked looking around. We could just see the tops of the towers over the trees and bridge.
"Welcome to our castle." I said leading him around the trees and hill along a rock path.
"I've lived here almost a year and I've never even heard of this place." he said taking it all in.
"One our best kept secrets I suppose." I said with a smile, the path landed us right in front of the hedge maze. "What do you think?" I asked.
"It's great." he said, he was still looking around when I surprised him with a kiss.
He put his arms around me and returned the kiss. It was early afternoon so we had time to explore. "Every year they host a Renaissance Faire here in the fall but during the rest of the year it's used for weddings, parties and such. And on the second weekend of every month they play old movies on a huge screen on the side of the castle over there." I pointed to where a large screen was already set up for the evening showing. We wound our way through the maze and even though I knew the way by heart, I let Erik lead us down several dead ends.
The sun was beginning to set when we came to the little bench hidden within the maze. "This is wonderful Ginny." Erik said as we sat down. "It's great to have time alone together."
"You've been very accommodating of my desire to do school activities and we don't get a lot of time away from other people so I wanted to do something that's just the two of us." I said leaning against him.
"This wouldn't have anything to do with the fact that I may be moving in a few months would it?" Erik asked holding me close.
"Not at all." I said covering the growing ache in my chest by kissing him.
The sun was getting lower in the sky and I took the lead on the maze so we'd get out of it before sunset. We ended up crossing back over the bridge as the sun set beyond the castle and paused to watch.
"There's still a chance she could change her mind." I said "Right?" I said glancing at him. We hadn't talked much about his parents or the potential move but I knew it was weighing on both of us.
"Sure there is." he said, entirely unconvincingly. I laid my head against his shoulder as the sun set and the air turned cooler. "Sure there is." he repeated softly.
We made our way to the courtyard where benches were already set up. During the Faire, acts would perform in the square so the benches were a fixture. Across the small river was a hill top where cars could park and watch the movie or was used for market stands at the fair. Tonight they were playing an old vampire movie. Erik and I didn't talk during the movie and simply snuggled into each other during the movie.
When the credits rolled, he turned to me and and stroked my cheek. "Thank you Ginny. This was more than any dance for me." he said with a smile.
"I'm glad." I said giving him a kiss. We waited until the final credits were rolling across the screen before moving to get up at all.
Before we stood, Erik stopped me. "We'll figure it out." he said. "Not sure how but we will."
I smiled, trying to hide the creeping sadness. I didn't want to spend what could be our last couple of months sad. "I'm sure we will." I said softly. After a few moments more I looked over and saw the cab I'd scheduled waiting for us. "We better catch your chariot." I said with a small laugh.