When I went to the center the next day, I found Hunter in
the garden again. From afar, I thought he looked anxious.
He was pacing back and forth in front of the bench and I
couldn’t help smiling, thinking that I was doing that to him…
I was making him nervous.
He was wearing a pair of jeans and a dark blue knitted
sweater. His hair was disheveled as always. And I couldn’t
help thinking… if he wasn’t blind, would he ask me out at
all? Girls in my school would kill for a guy like this.
I walked as slowly and as quietly as I could. He stopped
pacing when I was a few meters away from him. He turned
towards my direction and said, “I was afraid you weren’t
“I… took my time getting ready,” I said. I meant that. I
was wearing a pair of skinny tight jeans, a yellow off-
shoulder blouse, brown boots and a white beret on my head
and I spent hours curling the ends of my long hair.
I know! Hunter was blind. But that did not mean I
shouldn’t make an effort to look good for him, the same way
I knew I would if he could see me.
He smiled at me sheepishly and I had to take a silent
deep breath so he wouldn’t notice how much he could take
my breath away. “Thank you,” he whispered. “That meant a
lot to me.”
“So… what are we going to do today?” I asked.
He reached out for my hands and then he intertwined
“I don’t believe you have seen the rest of this place
yet,” he said. “Let me show you around. You would be quite
He led me out the garden, never letting go of my hand.
“You smell good, by the way. As always,” he said.
I smiled. “You not only smell good. You look good too.”
He led me inside the center. We took the elevators to
the right. Hunter moved and walked like a normal person…
well, almost. He knew the place very well. He even pressed
the number ‘2’ button on the elevator quite precisely.
The elevator opened to what looked like a library. We
entered it and were greeted by a woman with gray hair and
“Madam… we are going to use the game room please,”
Hunter said to her.
“You know your way,” the lady told him.
We entered a room towards the right side and I was
surprised that it looked like an arcade.
Seriously? Inside a library?
There were billiard tables, air hockey tables, and several
video game consoles.
Hunter pulled me towards the third door. He swiped his
access card. The door opened to a small room with a huge
screen in the center wall.
“Voice command activated. Welcome, Hunter Vaughn,”
the computer said.
“One of the perks of being blind. They automatically
activate voice command option for you,” Hunter whispered
against my ear and I couldn’t help laughing. “Let’s sit.”
I pulled Hunter to sit in one of the cozy couches in front
of the screen.
“Game,” he said loudly, commanding the computer.
“What game do you want to play today, Hunter?” the
“Chess. Two players. Hunter Vaughn, black side. Player
two, white side.”
Immediately the screen in front of us changed into a
“Display guides,” Hunter said and I saw the numbers
appear on the left side and the letters under the board.
Hunter turned to me and grinned. “I am assuming you can
“Of course,” I said. I even thought I was pretty good at
the game. But I was worried about Hunter. He couldn’t see.
“Will give you a hard time winning this. Watch me,” he
said cutting me off mid-sentence. “Your move.”
I turned to the screen. “Knight G1 to F3,” I called and
then I watched my chess piece move on the screen in front
Hunter grinned and then he said, “Pawn C5 to C7”.
The next moves we made actually amazed me. I
wouldn’t even guess Hunter was blind. He knew where all
my pieces were… like he was playing them by memory,
which I think was…
Genius! This guy could be a genius!
In the end, I lost. To a blind person! When I thought I
was probably one of the best at this game. He was staring
at me, probably waiting for me to say something. He has an
impish grin on his face that sort of irritated and challenged
“Rematch,” I said a little louder. The computer actually
caught that and reset our game. “Knight B1 to B3,” I called
“Pawn D7 to D5,” Hunter commanded the screen.
“Pawn C2 to C4,” I said.
He smirked. “Pawn D5 take Pawn C4.”
I took it seriously this time. I was calculating my moves.
And I knew he was too. Only, he was doing it inside his
head! That was already a huge handicap and that is why I
didn’t want to lose again.
After five minutes, I watched in dismay as Hunter
announced, “Queen D3 to C2.” He turned to me and with a
proud smile he added, “Checkmate.”
I groaned. “How did you do that?”
He stood up from his seat. “Hunter Vaughn, Chess
Master since the age fifteen!” And he bowed left, right and
center. He looked so proud of himself, it made my loss even
“How is that even possible?” I asked him. “Are you sure
He laughed. “I would give everything to see the glare on
your face right now,” he assured me. “And to answer your
question… it’s all about having a very good memory and a
lot of imagination. I was playing blindfold chess even
when… even before I lost my eyesight.”
I buried my face in my hands. “Oh my God, I feel so
Hunter laughed. He went to me and raised his hand,
reaching out for mine. I took his hand and he pulled me up
on my feet. I felt him snake his arms around my waist as he
pulled me to him.
I stared up at him and gulped. I was sure that my heart
was pounding loudly inside my ribcage. I hope he couldn’t
“I was gonna wait until the end of the date to kiss you,”
He took a deep breath. “I haven’t really been a patient
guy.” And with that, he leaned forward and his lips found
mine with so much accuracy I couldn’t have escaped that
kiss even if I wanted to.
His breath smelled like mint. His lips felt like velvet. His
arms were like iron bars, caging me, holding me against his
body. I went pliant and helpless. My heart pounded
uncontrollably, and my pulse hammered like crazy.
When the kiss was over, I felt dizzy. I was glad he was
holding me. I don’t think my knees would be able to support
me. He leaned his forehead against mine and inhaled the
scent of me. I closed my eyes. I didn’t look. Instead, I did what Hunter did. I felt! I savored the moment without
seeing… without looking.
“What are you thinking?” he asked in a whisper.
I took a deep breath. “That… that was my first kiss,” I
He leaned forward and gave me another kiss. Then he
smiled. “Then you will never forget me.”
“I have a feeling I won’t,” I whispered against his lips.
He gently pulled away from me and took my hand in his.
“Come. I don’t want to ruin this date by beating you in
another game of chess. Apparently, you are not such a good
“What? No!” I protested, glaring at him.
“And you have a short temper,” he said, laughing. He let
go of my hand. Then he pulled me, wrapping his arm around
my shoulder, hugging me to him and kissing the top of my
Next, he took me to the music room. I got excited to see
all the musical instruments around me. When my parents
were alive, my life was full of music, happy tunes and
inspiring melodies. My stepfather’s musicality was one of
the things that attracted my mother to him.
“Apart from the guitar, what else can you play?” Hunter
I saw a grand piano in the center of the room. I smiled
widely and then I took Hunter’s hand and pulled him
towards it. I pulled the piano bench and sat on it, telling
Hunter to sit down beside me.
“I’m going to sing and play for you. I’m actually a
frustrated singer,” I joked.
I placed my fingers on the keys and then I closed my
eyes, letting my hands play the notes I knew from the heart.
I sang the song for my mom… for my stepdad and for
Hunter’s mother. The people we held dear in our hearts,
who were taken away from us too soon.
“Spend all your time waiting, for that second chance…
for a break that would make it okay…”
I didn’t realize it but tears were rolling down my cheeks
when I sang. I remembered my mother… and how she didn’t
have a choice but to save my life… how she chose escape
than face the consequences of what she had done to her
I remembered my stepdad, and how he never made me
feel I wasn’t his flesh and blood… how he truly cared for me
and provided me with the fatherly love I had craved so
much since I was a kid. And that, had he been himself… had
he not lost his lucidity… he would never have scarred me.
I also cried for Hunter. I understand how he chose to
cave in, and shut his father out. He was angry… he blamed
him for losing the most important woman in his life. And not
only that… he lost the most important gift of God… the gift
I wanted to comfort him… to convince him not to give
up… to give him even just a little sense of purpose again. So
he would continue his journey… and realize that no matter
how much he lost, life was still worth living for… there was
still so much in the world that was worth fighting for.
“In the arms of an angel… may you find… some comfort
I sang the last words and played the last notes a while
ago, but we both seemed to have frozen in time. None of us
spoke. We were lost in our thoughts. I was not strong
enough to speak again. Tears kept rolling down my cheeks
but I refused to make a sound. I refused to let Hunter carry
my burden… because I knew he was already carrying too
much of his own.
“You sing… like an angel.” Finally, he spoke. When I
turned to him, I saw that he was trying his best not to cry.
He took a deep breath. “I feel your pain. But you are
stronger than that. Don’t let your misery define who you really are. You… are an angel to me, Allison. And yes… I do
find comfort now. Because God sent you my way.”
He reached forward and felt for my chin. He tilted it up
and leaned forward to kiss me. He tasted my tears. I’m sure
he also felt my pain, no matter how hard I tried to hide it.
Then he pulled me into his arms and hugged me. I felt
him kiss the top of my head and inhaled through my hair.
We sat there for a while in silence, listening to the beats of
each other’s hearts.
I never felt like this before. For the first time, I felt a
sense of thrill… a sense of excitement, coupled with a sense
of comfort. Hunter may be blind, but I felt like he saw
through me, pierced through my tough shell, broken through
my bottled-up emotions. I felt that there was no one else in
the world who could see the real me, who could protect me
and keep me safest in the world.
After a few more moments of silence, I heard Hunter’s
watch beep. “I think that would be the call for lunch.”
I didn’t know where he was leading me next. But we
entered the elevator again and this time, he pressed for R.
“Rooftop?” I asked.
He grinned. “Top of the world.”
The elevator doors opened and Hunter took my hand in
his. Carefully, he led me out and then he counted his steps
towards the right. I found a door in front of us and saved
him the trouble of opening it for us.
The door opened to the rooftop pool. “Where to? You’re
not going to push me, are you? I can’t swim,” I said in a
He raised a brow at me, as if he was really bewildered
with my confession. “A kick-ass chick who plays the guitar
and the piano like a rock star, sings like an angel, and
challenges my genius in the game of chess… cannot swim?”
“Well, what do you know? My parents thought music
was a life-saving skill. I’m sure they’ve been misinformed.”
Hunter took a deep breath and I didn’t miss the trace of
frustration on his face. “I wish I’ve met you before…” He
trailed off. “I would have loved to teach you how to swim.”
I smiled and reached out to squeeze his hand. “It’s
never too late for that. Maybe someday.”
He smiled back at me. “Yes. I’ll figure something out.”
He led me towards the covered gazebo on the side. I
was surprised that the table had been set for two. There was
a waiter there. Hunter felt for the chair and pulled it for me.
“Thank you.” I wanted to tell him that he didn’t have to
do that, but I had a feeling that before he lost his eyesight,
Hunter was raised to be a gentleman. And he needed to feel
like he was still his old self today. He needed to feel normal.
That he could still ask a girl out and give her the time of her
life. And I realized that I was having the time of my life. I felt
better than I ever did in a very long time.
After lunch, we made a stop in the dormitories. He
opened the door of one of the rooms. When I stepped inside,
I found a neatly arranged bedroom. Everything was white.
The bed, the couches, the lamps and other decorations. The
only things that were blue were the wallpapers and the
carpet floor. There was a drum set in the corner.
“You play drums too?” I asked.
He nodded. “It was the only thing I could play after my
accident. Somehow, for the past year, all I wanted to do
was… hit something.” Surprisingly, he said that with
amusement in his voice.
“Won’t you disturb the others in the next room?”
“The rooms here are sound-proof,” he replied. “Just let
me get my guitar and we’re out of here.” Then he grinned.
“I wouldn’t want you to think I have dishonorable plans laid
out for you.”
I actually glared at him and hit him in the stomach with
the back of my hand. “Oww!” he yelped. “I was kidding!”
“Go quick. I don’t want anybody to catch me here,” I
said. “I don’t sneak in to a guy’s bedroom on the first date.”
“Just tell them you couldn’t help it. You find me very
irresistible,” he said in a conceited tone.
“I will tell them you’re only pretending to be blind, so I
would feel bad enough to go out with you.”
“Ouch! You don’t really mean that, do you?”
I stared at his face and I thought I saw pain cross it. I
immediately felt guilty… and stupid!
What were you thinking?
I didn’t know how to tell him how sorry I was for saying
what I said. I guess my time talking to no one else but
Meredith made me a little insensitive.
“Hunter… I’m sorry.” I stepped closer to him and
because I didn’t know what else to do, I gave him a hug. “Of
course I didn’t mean that.”
“Good. Because here’s your chance to explain what
you’re really doing here with me,” he whispered.
I didn’t know what he meant by that until I heard
somebody behind us call, “Hunter Vaughn!” The shrill voice
belonged to an old nurse who was standing by Hunter’s
door, arms crossed over her chest. “This is a rehabilitation
center, not a motel room.” She gave me a look of
I opened my mouth to defend myself, but no sound
came out. She raised a brow at me.
“Mrs. Devlin? Shoot! Did I not lead my guest to the
library?” Hunter asked, faked innocence enveloped his
“No. You’re in… you’re in your room.” The woman
looked confused now. She was starting to look guilty too.
Hunter’s feigned innocence was working on her.
“I’m sorry. You know… being blind and all. I still get lost
in this building,” he continued.
Get lost? Ha!
Hunter probably knew every turn and corner of this
whole estate. Maybe even better than the nurse herself.
The lady looked at me. I cleared my throat. “He… he
said he wanted to play chess with me. Thank God you got
here in time! I was beginning to think he was… not being a
I heard a low growl coming from Hunter’s chest and I
couldn’t help smiling to myself.
Mrs. Devlin shook her head. “Library is two floors down.
Hurry. Visitors that are not family are not allowed here.” And
then she left.
I laughed as soon as she was gone.
“What did you say to her?” Hunter asked. The tone in
his voice told me I was in trouble. “I was not being a
I laughed. “Come on, Hunter. I was joking.”
He shook his head. “Oh, my angel… I was trying to be a
gentleman all day. But since you mentioned I wasn’t…”
Without warning, I felt him snatch my waist and pull me
against his chest. Then he pushed our bodies towards the
wall. I stared up at him in panic. His face descended towards
mine and he took my lips in one heart-stopping, head-
spinning kiss. Laughter died in my lips and I savored the
sanity-disturbing kisses he was giving me.
When the kiss was over, I felt like I have been
recharged… electrocuted even. I was thankful that Hunter
was blind. Otherwise, he would see how disoriented he
made me. My lips were probably bruised, my skin was
flushed, my eyes looked lost.
His face was a few inches away from mine. He raised his
hand and touched my scars. I flinched at first. But he kept
caressing the damaged skin with his cool, soothing fingers.
“You’re beautiful,” he said.
I took a deep breath. “You couldn’t even see me.”
He shook his head. “I see you… Angel. And you’re
beautiful to me.”
He leaned forward and I thought he was going to kiss
my lips again. But instead, he turned to the side, to where my scars were. He took his fingers away and replaced them
with his lips.
I fought the urge to cry. I always felt ashamed of my
scars. I hid them, afraid that they would scare people away.
I’m scared to look at them myself sometimes. But Hunter
made me feel that I had nothing to be ashamed of. That I
was perfect… even with my past and my nightmares… even
with my scars.
Meredith picked me up at exactly six in the evening. I
had a lovely time with Hunter. It was my first for many
things. First date, first kiss… first thrill, first spark. I never
thought about boys before my domestic ordeal. And every
day after that, everything I went through seemed like a veil
of smoke that still looms over me. But today… I realized I
haven’t thought about that night since I started dressing up
for my date with Hunter.
Before we parted, he took me to the gates leading to
the parking lot. He took a step closer to me and said, “I had
the best date of my life.”
“I’m glad,” I said. “It was perfect for me too. It was a
wonderful first date.”
“I’m happy I measured up to your other first dates.”
I gently blushed at that. “It was… it was actually my first
He stood still for a moment and then he grinned. “Good
luck topping this one up,” he said in a smug voice.
I laughed. “You’re unbelievable. Well, I’m glad the best
date you had since your accident was with me.”
His lips curved into a smile. Then he leaned forward and
kissed me again. One kiss. And yet it lasted for a couple of
seconds… it was so gentle, so sweet, so electrifying. Then
he whispered, “I didn’t mean that was my best date since
my accident.” He took a deep breath and added, “It was my
best date… ever… Angel.”
I sucked in a deep breath. I felt flattered that even
though Hunter may have dated tons of gorgeous girls before his accident… I, somehow, measured up and stood out.
“Will you come back tomorrow?” he asked.
“Okay,” I replied. “You wanna hang out?”
He shook his head. “No,” he replied. “I’m asking you out
for a second date.”
I stared at him for a moment. He looked serious and
nervous at the same time, as if he was unsure that I would
“What time?” I asked.
He let out a breath that told me he was actually holding
it for my response.
“Seven in the evening,” he replied. “I will send
somebody to pick you up. Tell your aunt that you will be
home by midnight. She doesn’t have to worry, somebody
will drive you back home and make sure you are safe.”
I didn’t know what he was planning, but suddenly, I felt
excited. “Okay. Seven it is. What should I wear?”
“It doesn’t matter. I… wouldn’t be able to see you,” he
said, there was a trace of sadness in his voice.
I stepped closer to him and said, “It matters to me. I
want to look good for you.”
Hunter smiled and I knew that what I said meant a lot to
him. He wound his arms around me and he gave me a hug.
“Then wear a dress. Blue if possible,” he whispered. I smiled
and nodded, knowing he could feel me nod against his
I heard Meredith honk behind me. I pulled away from
“Your aunt?” he asked.
“Yes,” I replied. Then I gave him my house address so
he would know where to have me picked up. “I’ll see you
“Can’t wait,” he said, smiling at me.
Then I turned around and hopped into Meredith’s car.
While we drove in silence, I replayed the details of my date
“You look like an idiot, you know,” Meredith said,
snapping me out of my thoughts.
She laughed. “If you had seen your face, you looked like
“I did not!” I protested.
“Yeah, you did. You were staring at the dashboard and
you were smiling like a clown! I’m pretty sure the dashboard
wasn’t funny, and neither was I. And yet, you were smiling
to your ears. I’ll bet you would scream if you could.”
I rolled my eyes to hide my embarrassment. Was I really
“Well, he looks cute. Although I didn’t get a full view of
him,” Meredith said.
I bit my lip to keep from smiling again.
“When’s the next date?” she asked.
It took me a while to reply. “Tomorrow night.”
“Hmmm… he’s not wasting time, is he?” she teased.
“He asked me to tell you that somebody would pick me
up tomorrow and also take me home by midnight,” I said.
“Fair enough,” Meredith nodded. “Where is he taking
you? I mean… because… you know, he can’t drive or go
around. Options are limited.”
I shrugged. “I guess I’ll find out tomorrow.” I really do
not have any idea what Hunter was planning. “Which
reminded me that I have to wear a dress. Blue if possible.
Something cute, chic and does not show much skin.”
“Hmmm…” Meredith said thoughtfully. “Do you have
“To be honest, I’m sure. When my stepfather was alive
and earning decently, he used to take me shopping and I
would buy some clothes for special occasions. But I haven’t
really rummaged through my closet recently.”
When we got home, I went to my room while Meredith
cooked dinner. I offered to do it, but she insisted I try to find
something to wear for my date instead.
I opened my closet and checked what clothes I had.
Since my parents died, the only things I felt comfortable
wearing were jeans, baggy shirts, sweaters and pajamas, of
I went through some clothes I had not seen in a while. I
pulled out a sleeveless blue dress with subtle prints of dark
gray. It had a wrap-around waist, a V neckline and a
wraparound self-belt. A sad smile crept through my face.
When my mother and I bought it, I thought it was too chic,
too sophisticated, it wasn’t me at all. I didn’t like it at first
but my mom insisted we buy it.
“It’s on sale, silly!” my mother said.
“It doesn’t matter, Mom. I would never wear it!” I said.
It was an expensive brand but we were getting it for a
bargain. My mother couldn’t resist it. She insisted that I go
to the fitting room to try it on.
Back then, I thought it was so not-my-style. When I tried
it on, it ended below my knees, it looked a little big for me
and the V-neck was unflattering to my small chest. But since
it was a wrap-around, all my mother needed to do was
choke me around the waist so the dress would look like it
fitted me. Viola! She found an excuse to buy it.
“What would I use it for? It’s too big for me!”
“Someday, we might go out on a casual night. Or…
maybe when you’re allowed to date. By then it would fit you
Now, as I caressed the matte silk material of the dress, I
remembered my mother like she was just beside me…
begging me to try on the dress because it was the first time
she could afford to buy me something with a designer tag
After purchasing the dress, there wasn’t a chance to
wear it. And we all know everything went downhill from
Now, I realized… if I didn’t hate her for pulling the
trigger on herself, I would remember how much I loved her,and how much she loved me… and how hard she tried to
stay strong over the years, because she didn’t want me to
feel the pain she was going through.
I realized that one day… she just snapped. She
protected me one last time, and then she just gave up. After
all… it could be tiring to be so strong all the time.
I sighed sadly at the memories of my mother. Then I
took off my clothes and slipped on the dress that she once
thought of seeing me wear. I wrapped the self-belt securely
into a knot on my left side. I stared at myself in the mirror
and even I almost did not recognize the girl in front of me.
“Wow,” Meredith said as she peeked in to my room.
“Alice…” She stared at me for a moment. “It’s too bad your
date couldn’t see you in that dress.”
I smiled at her ruefully. I feel bad too. I must admit I did
look good. Mom was right when she first insisted to buy it
for me. But now, looking at myself in the mirror, I realized
that there were two people I wish could have seen me
wearing this. My mom and Hunter. Too bad, they both…
The next day, I was ready ten minutes before seven. I
wore the blue dress along with Meredith’s high-heeled glass
sandals. My hair was curled and clipped on one side and
cascaded freely on a side-swept style on the other side
where my scars were, hiding them from view.
“You look gorgeous.” Meredith smiled at me when she
finished doing my makeup. I looked like… not me and yet
still me at the same time.
The doorbell rang by seven in the evening and I
nervously opened the door. A man wearing a tux stood on
“Miss Harley?” he asked.
“I’m here to pick you up.”
Meredith came up behind me and asked, “Where are
you taking her?”
“I’m from The Riviera. Mr. Vaughn has made dinner
arrangements and asked us to pick up Miss Harley.” He
handed Meredith his card. “You can verify that from the
Meredith looked at the card and took her cellphone to
call the number. “You can never be too sure nowadays. I
hope you don’t mind.”
“Of course. Please call to verify.”
After speaking to the hotel’s concierge and confirming
the man’s identity, Meredith turned to me. “Call me if you
need anything. I’ll pick you up.”
“Madam, Mr. Vaughn had also arranged for her to be
taken home safely,” the man informed her.
I leaned forward and kissed Meredith’s cheek. “See you
A few minutes later, I was in The Riviera Hotel. As I
walked towards the rooftop garden, I was mesmerized by
the view. Light posts surrounded the well-lit garden, the pool
was illuminated by the lights under the water, and a table
was set for two on the side where a violinist stood beside it,
playing a classical tune.
I saw Hunter standing on the side, waiting for me. I
walked towards him. He was dressed in a pair of black
pants, blue-collared shirt and a black jacket. The minute he
heard me approaching, he took a deep breath and then his
lips curved into a crooked smile, indicating that he sensed
“Hello, beautiful,” he greeted.
“Hello yourself,” I said.
He raised his arm and I took it. We walked slowly
towards the table. I was guiding him, but it didn’t look like I
needed to. No doubt he spent some time memorizing the
steps before I arrived.
I was struggling to walk on the soft grass in Meredith’s
sandals. I was still not used to wearing heels. Just before we
reached my seat, I lost my balance and tripped. Well, almost because the minute I lost my footing, Hunter was there to
wrap his arms around my waist, catching me and then
keeping me steady.
“Okay, we make a dangerous pair. I’m blind and you’re
clumsy.” He chuckled.
“I’m sorry,” I said, giggling. “I’m wearing Meredith’s
heels. I’m not used to it.”
He smiled. “And you wore a dress.”
“Yes. Blue. Like you asked.”
“I would give everything to see how you look tonight.”
There was a trace of regret in his voice.
“I look okay. Just imagine me in heels, wrap-around blue
dress, with my scars hidden behind my hair.”
He fell silent for a moment, as if he was really imagining
how I looked like and then he said, “You look enchanting.”
He pulled a chair out for me. Then he traced the back of
his palm on the side of the table until he reached his seat.
We had dinner under the stars with a romantic tune
playing around us. We talked about ourselves… our past
lives. Talking to Hunter about my history felt effortless. I
didn’t try to keep anything from him because I felt that no
matter what I said, he wouldn’t judge me or force me to be
okay. He was just there to listen.
It was easy to admit to myself how torn and broken I
was. Because I know… that he was too. But no matter how
horrible my scars were… it was nothing compared to what
Hunter must have felt right then. He not only lost his mom.
He also lost the most important thing he needed to survive,
get up and fight back… he lost the ability to see.
After dinner, he stood up from the table and held his
hand out to me.
“May I have this dance, Mademoiselle?” he asked.
I smiled. As I took his hand and he took me in his arms, I
couldn’t help wishing that Hunter could see how perfect the moment was, and how wonderful he made everything for
I rested my head on the curve of his shoulder. Another
first for me. This was my first dance.
“How’s your date so far, Miss Harley?”
I smiled lazily. “Perfect,” I whispered. “You made
everything perfect, Hunter Vaughn.”
“What time is it?” he asked.
I looked at my wristwatch. “Ten.”
He gently pulled away from me. “I think we should sit.”
I took his hand and guided him towards our table, but he
pulled me back.
“There,” he said referring to the bench a few meters
away from our table.
“Okay.” I took his arm and guided him towards the
bench. He felt for the back of the chair and sat down. He
reached for my hand and pulled me to sit beside him, then
he wound an arm around my shoulder, making me rest my
head against him.
He rubbed his fingers against my bare shoulder. “You’re
a little cold.”
He pulled away from me and took off his jacket. He
handed it to me. “Here. Wear this.”
After draping his jacket over my shoulders, Hunter
pulled me to him again.
“Can you tell me what you see?” he asked.
I fought the urge to cry. He deserved to see this garden.
He deserved to witness this moment.
I described the garden to him in detail, using the right
adjectives to make the picture in his head as vivid as
“Can you look up, Allison?” he asked.
I did as he asked and saw the breathtaking view of the
“There’s a crescent moon surrounded by millions of
stars twinkling above us and…” I stopped short, when I saw
a string of light flash across the sky. It disappeared in a few
seconds, but I knew I didn’t imagine it. I was about to say
something, when another flash came across… followed by
“Make a wish, Allison,” Hunter said. That told me that he
already knew what I was seeing.
Tears filled my eyes. It was another first for me. It was
my first time to witness a meteor shower.
“How did you know?” I whispered.
“I listened to the news last night,” he replied. “And I
realized how to make our second date more spectacular
than the first one.”
Another shooting star passed by. I closed my eyes and
made a wish from my heart.
I wish… that Hunter would be able to see again.
I knew that right at that moment, there was nothing I
wanted more. I wanted him to see, not for me… not even to
see me. I wanted him to see because he deserved to see
the beautiful swans in our garden. He deserved to look up
the sky and watch meteor showers again.
The peak of the shower came soon and I watched star
after star shoot across the sky.
“It’s beautiful,” I whispered to Hunter. “Thank you so
much for this.”
He smiled at me and then he slowly leaned his face
towards mine. I leaned forward and met him halfway.
If there was something more spectacular and more
magical than the meteor shower above us, it was the
magical kiss that we shared in that magical moment.
When I went to the center the next day, I found Hunter in