Cassie woke up in her bed to a quiet house. It was strange to wake up in a quiet house especially since Mr. Tuttle was still staying with them. When her alarm clock didn’t wake her up, Cassie was normally woke up by Mr. Tuttle, whom was going to drag her on some grand adventure that she didn’t really want to be a part of, or to her father, who was yelling at Mr. Tuttle for doing something foolish and irresponsible which was most of the time.
It took Cassie a few moments before she realized what day it was. It was Friday. Her father was at work, Mr. Tuttle was off doing God-only-knows-what, and she had the day off from school. The news wasn’t all good, however; Cassie had a date tonight.
Cassie hated dating; well, that wasn’t completely true. She had no problems with dating; she had a problem with going out on dates. Dates had so much pressure incorporated in them; someone had to act a certain way and certain things were expected. Cassie found the pressure was greater now that she was going on a date with a good friend. As friends, they use to just hang out but there was no expectations on how they were suppose to act or what was going to happen; that all changes on a date.
She groaned as she stared at the ceiling. This was going to be the most awkward date in history. Sure, she had gone on dates with him before but she found with each date, they just got more and more awkward and she wasn’t sure why. Cassie had wanted to talk to someone about it but she really couldn’t talk to her dad about dating and Ace was useless when it came to this sort of thing, regardless of how many romance novels he’s read. This was one of those times she wished that she had her mom around but that wasn’t really something that could be help.
Cassie decided that despite her problem, she might as well drag herself out of bed and make breakfast for herself. She quickly got dressed, putting on her favourite pink dress. She grabbed her mp3 player as she ran downstairs; if she was listening to music, she wouldn’t have to think about anything else.
When she got to the kitchen, Cassie put in her ear buds and played the-music-her-dad-would-not-approve-of while she got out the ingredients to make her favourite breakfast ever...strawberry pancakes.
While she made her breakfast, she listened to her music, sang along, and danced around. Her choice of music may not have been the best choice for that but she liked it and that was all that mattered. She was having fun and best of all, she didn’t have to think and dread that most-awkward-date-ever that was happening tonight.
“There's hope in the words and emotion in the eyes. It's so easy to be misled by the savvy gentle guise and like fools we trust the delivery but it's all just drunk sincerity,” Cassie sang along as she flipped her pancakes over the stove. “It’s all j-” she quickly pulled her ear buds out and turned around when she heard someone join in her singing.
“Just drunk sincerity,” Mr. Tuttle finished singing as he looked at Cassie with a confused expression. “Aww, why did you have to stop, Kiddo?”
“I don’t sing in front of people, I sound like a banshee,” Cassie muttered before she turned back to making her breakfast. “I didn’t know you were home.”
“I just got back.”
“Where were you anyways?”
Mr. Tuttle began to laugh. “I don’t think you want to know, Kiddo.”
Cassie looked over her shoulder and raised an eyebrow. “That bad?”
“Well, you see, Kiddo, I was -”
“One second thought, I don’t want to know,” she cut Mr. Tuttle off. She knew her godfather well enough to know that she really didn’t want to know what he had been up to. Mr. Tuttle was Mr. Tuttle and some of the stuff that Mr. Tuttle did, Cassie just didn’t want to know about and if she knew, she blissfully ignored it.
“Good choice, Kiddo,” he replied as he sat down at the table.
“Have you had breakfast yet?” she asked.
“No, was that an invitation to join you?”
“What are you making?” he asked.
“I should have guessed.”
Cassie finished making her pancakes and divided them on two plates: one for herself and one for Mr. Tuttle. She placed the plate on the table and sat across the table from Mr. Tuttle. She picked at her pancakes with her fork as her mind went back to thinking about tonight’s date.
“What’s the matter, Kiddo?” Mr. Tuttle asked noticing Cassie’s strange actions. “You’re not your normally cheery self.”
“Eh?” She looked up from her breakfast. She hesitated for a moment before she decided to confess everything to Mr. Tuttle. “I have a date tonight.”
He raised an eyebrow. “Oh...how horrible...You know, most girls get all giddy when they have a date.”
“Please, don’t generalize, Mr. Tuttle, people shouldn’t generalize.”
“So what’s so bad about this date?”
“From what?” he asked, getting slightly worried.
“Dates come with the pressure that you have to be perfect.”
“Oh!” he started to giggle from relief. “Well how long have you known the guy?”
“We have been friends for about four years now but we’ve only been dating for a few months,” she explained. “And he’s a really great guy and I really like him but I’m afraid that if things don’t go perfectly we aren’t going to work out and I’m going to lose a really great friend.”
“Well, Kiddo, some of the best things in the world are worth taking a risk,” Mr. Tuttle smiled. “And I know what I am talking about, Kiddo, I have taken so many risks and I have seen so many amazing things.”
“But how do you know when the risk isn’t worth it?” she asked looking up from her breakfast.
“You don’t, Kiddo, but you’ll never know unless you take that risk,” he smiled trying to be as comforting as possible.
“I guess but it’s scary.”
“I know,” Mr. Tuttle smiled softly. “I know.”
Cassie went back to eating her breakfast, still thinking about the date and what Mr. Tuttle told her. She looked over at the clock and sighed. “Mr. Tuttle, would you mind washing the dishes? I’ve got to start getting ready.”
“Sure, Kiddo,” he smiled as he began to clear the table. “And Cassie, don’t worry about tonight. If he really cares about you, he’ll think you’re perfect already. Never act like something you’re not, okay?”
Cassie smiled and nodded. Mr. Tuttle was right, she shouldn’t be with someone who didn’t like her for who she was. She was Cassie; she couldn’t change that and she wouldn’t want to change it. She liked who she was and so did a lot of other people and that was what really mattered in the end.
Cassie date was awkward; she was expecting that but it turned out a lot better than she thought it was. She felt less of the awful pressure to be perfect and she was slowly being to feel that, even though they were dating, she could be herself around him. And that night, despite all the worrying and dreading that she did about the date, Cassie shared her first kiss. She returned home flustered and embarrassed but at the same time, deep down inside, she felt a warm fuzzy feeling inside that made her smile softly whenever she thought about it.