After 20 some years, (being almost 30) I was used to Nathan's spur of the moment trips, but I was really surprised when I was asked to go on one of those trips. Usually I was the one asking him if he was too busy to do something, not the other way around.
"Hey, V, some friends and I are planning a trip up to this street fair across from the University you want to come?"
I grinned into the phone.
"How do you know I don't have a book launch?" I teased.
"You didn't mention how stressed out you were on Facebook, or, text me in a complete panic." Nathan replied automatically.
"True. You know me so well."
"Sure, I'll come. Just give me directions to where you want to meet.
"No problem," Nathan replied, "I'll text you the morning before you drive up."
"Okay. See you then."
It was only a few hours drive from Nashville to Indiana and once I had gone over Nathan's directions I knew exactly where I was going. Getting there wasn't a problem it was finding Nathan and his friends that was harder, fortunately I saw Nathan's car before I started to panic.
When I finally found a parking spot Nathan was there to greet me.
"Hey, I was wondering where you were… But fortunately I saw your car."
A few minutes later Nathan was introducing me to his friends, they were people he had gone to school with and still lived in the area.
"Come on, let's go," one of the other guys said (I couldn't remember his name) "I can smell the funnel cakes from here!" The guys all cheered and I rolled my eyes.
"Didn't any of you eat breakfast?" I asked.
Nathan shrugged, grinned and chuckled.
"Maybe, maybe not. We'll live."
I rolled my eyes again.
"Sure, that's what you want me to think."
The fair was just as chaotic as I expected there were people everywhere, vendors calling out from their carts and booths, dogs barking and music playing in the background.
The guys made a beeline for the funnel cakes, I got one too and maybe twice as many napkins (I was a neat freak). As we walked through the streets we picked up more food looked at the various vendors. I even stopped to pet a sheepdog who was more interested in the rest of my funnel cake than anything else (this made the owner laugh).
While Nathan and his roommate were shoveling kettle corn into their mouths between seeing the sights I stopped to throw a handful of coins in a nearby fountain. I could wish for many things but all I wanted was success with my next novel and to be kissed before I was 40. It wasn't that I believed any of that stuff, but it made me feel better.
Just as I was turning away from the fountain I heard the opening beat of one my favorite songs. Grinning, I looked at Nathan.
"Come on, dance with me!"
Nathan held up his hands and took a few steps back.
"Oh no, I told you I don't dance."
"Yeah when you were 14," I replied, not missing a beat, "not going to work this time Dr. Clarence." Then before he could protest I grabbed his hands and pulled him towards me. We worked into this awkward two-step; much to the amusement of his friends and roommate. I don't think many of them knew how close we were and I was surprised not to hear catcalls and jabs about us dating--yet.
"Vivian where are you going with this?" Nathan asked, his tone was an odd combination of annoyance and curiosity.
I don't know, I'll tell you when I get there."
Nathan raised his eyebrows.
"Okay, what does that make me nervous?"
"Maybe because I'm pushing you out of your comfort zone?" I asked smiling coyly up at him.
"Yeah, way out of it." Nathan muttered. Behind us, I knew most of his friends were laughing their heads off and his few female friends were giving us speculative looks, but at the moment I didn't care.
"Where are you going V?" He asked quietly. Then his blue eyes were serious and as we continue to sway I was lost in those eyes… Trying to find my equilibrium. It was one of those moments where I just got lost in everything that was him. I tried to read him but found he was giving me that look again I couldn't decipher. I knew he cared about me but my question was always how much.
Finally the last few notes of the beat faded away and the loudspeaker switched to another song. Nathan and I broke apart and resumed our walk. If his friends were going to say anything they didn't at that moment; none of them knew me that well or our history. I was stuck in that awkward spot of staring at my feet not wanting to look Nathan, and for the hundredth time I wondered what was going on in his head.
I was distracted from my thoughts by a vendor who was selling silk scarves. I saw one that was all shades of blue and green. It was one of those things I instantly wanted but after rummaging through my purse I realized I was about $20 short.
"What is it?" Nathan asked.
"I was going to get that scarf, the blue and green one, but I'm about 20 short--they're 45."
"I'll take care of it." Nathan responded easily.
I opened my mouth to protest then shut it again. He was always spoiling me; we never made a big deal that he had more money than me but he always paid for me. If he was my boyfriend it be one thing, but just a friend was completely different; it was the principle of the thing.
Several minutes later Nathan was holding the scarf and draped it around my neck.
"There you go, don't worry about it." He smiled and his eyes sparkled. He seriously didn't care and he was doing it to be nice.
I still didn't know where the friendship ended and the something else began, but I wouldn't have traded us dancing by the fountain for anything because Nathan's eyes said more than he would ever really tell me.