Taking Amber by the hand, Mom led her to the room once occupied by her sister. Upon entering she flung open the closet doors to reveal that it was filled to capacity with dresses, skirts and blouses. She began to inspect the hanging clothes and sliding those that didn't meet her inspection from right to left.
"Between mine and your sisters old dresses we will find you something special to wear."
"Mom, its not like I don't have any clothes."
"Yes, you have school clothes. But I am willing to bet that you will find your dressier outfits a little too tight around the mid section."
"I'll bet Bruce isn't gonna dress up."
"I bet you are wrong."
"What will Alison say when she discovers that we butchered one of her outfits?"
"Probably nothing. By the way have you called her?"
She has enough to deal with at college and I don't think she needs to hear that her kid sister got herself pregnant."
"You should still call her anyway. Ah, this will be perfect."
Mom spun around holding a standard issue little black dress that appeared to be made of velvet.
"Slip this one on."
Amber closed the door before she disrobed and donned the dress lest her Dad walk by and see her. As she figured it was a little big on her and she voiced her concern to her Mom.
"It's a little baggy. Did you forget that Aly is built like an amazon?"
"Nothing a little session on the sewing machine can't remedy."
"You can do that?"
"Who do you think sewed all my skating outfits in the beginning of my career?"
She rummaged around the floor of the clogged closet and produced a large sewing kit. She pulled out a pin cushion that was full on pins and a piece of tailors chalk. She then assisted Amber in standing on a sturdy desk chair. She began to make chalk marks on the material and then inserted pins in those places.
"So what's up with you and Bruce?"
"There's nothing up with us."
"Do you like him?"
She then told her Mom how he stammered and got red in the face before he finally asked her out.
"Well that answers my next question, he likes you too."
"He's probably doing it out of pity."
"Honey, if he stammered and got embarrassed when he asked you out it's because he wanted to."
She then helped Amber remove the pinned garment and get down from the chair.
"While I do this its your job to get dinner started."
Saturday seemed to drag on forever and nothing helped to make the time pass faster. Not reading, watching TV or being online. Finally 5:00pm arrived and she began the long process of getting ready. She was just finishing her hair when she heard a car in the drive and a knock at the door. A few minutes later her Dad call upstairs.
"Amber, your date is here."
She took one last look in the mirror, her Mom had done wonders with the purloined dress. It was tight enough in the right places and loose enough around her midsection so it was comfortable to wear. She then grabbed her purse and headed downstairs.
All eyes were on her as she slowly descended the stairs to the living room. When Bruce looked up his mouth hung open and his eyes grew wide. She was stunning in a black velvet dress that looked tailor made.
"Its a little short," Dad said judgmentally.
"No its not," Mom responded and he made no more comments.
Amber noticed that Bruce was wearing a suit and it fit him well.
"I thought you said he wouldn't dress up," Mom whispered as she brushed by her to get her coat.
"Young man. I expect you to have her home by 11:00 or 11:30 at the latest," Dad said in a firm voice.
Amber kissed them both goodbye and then took Bruce's hand. He opened the car door for her and made sure she was well inside before he closed it. She even allowed him a long lingering glance at her legs before she tugged them hemline down.
He then got in the drivers seat and soon they were headed down the street. There was an uncomfortable silence for a few blocks until Amber broke the silence by speaking.
"Do I look OK?" she said asked with a smile.
"OK? You are so beyond OK. You are beautiful."
"You look pretty good yourself."
They pulled into the lot of a well known steakhouse and he dropped her at the curb. She stepped in out of the brisk October weather while he parked his car. He soon joined her and they approached the hostess stand.
He was asked if they had a reservation Amber was surprised when he answered they did. They were escorted to a table by the fireplace where he helped her remove her jacket and then pulled her chair out for her before he took his seat opposite her.
"This place is expensive," she said in a low voice after glancing at the menu.
"You're worth it, order what you want."
"Only if you let me pay for the movie."
"No, this is a date and I got it covered."
She fixed him with a stare.
"Amber, I will probably never be on a date with anyone like you ever again. So please let me treat you like you deserve to be treated."
An elderly couple was making their way to the door. They were standing up and Bruce and Amber were being seated and they noticed her condition. They stopped momentarily at their table and the woman spoke.
"Such a pretty girl," she said touching her cheek.
Amber blushed and thanked her.
"How far along are you?"
"Congratulations to you both."
"Looks like you got yourself a winner young man," the older male said patting his shoulder.
"Yes I do."
"May you both be very happy together."
Amber and Bruce just looked at each other as the couple moved on. Any further comments were interrupted by the appearance of the waiter. The food was excellent and the small talk made the meal that much more enjoyable. About an hour and a half later they were headed to the movie theater.
"So what movie are we going to see?"
"The newest James Bond movie called Skyfall."
"Really? I saw the previews and it looked great."
"Wow, you must be the only girl I know that actually likes Bond movies."
"I have seen them all, Dad owns them."
Soon they were settling in their seats with boxes of popcorn and tall cups of Coke. There weren't that many people and they were spread out so they basically had the row to themselves. Amber wrestled with asking him a question that had been on her mind since the restaurant. She finally gave in and hoped it would not ruin a perfect evening.
"Why didn't you tell those nice people at the restaurant that we are not really a couple and that you were taking pity on a poor pregnant girl by treating her to a date?"
For the first time that evening the smile that had been on Bruce's face since he picked her up vanished and he looked upset. His response was in a low voice that broke a few times as though he was struggling to maintain his temper.
"I didn't ask you out because I pitied you, I did it because I wanted to be with you. I didn't say anything because that's not what that couple wanted to hear. I'll tell you another thing that will probably really piss you off. Half the school believes that we are already a couple and that I am the one that got you pregnant. I wish it was me and we were really a couple, because that means you would be around for awhile."
Amber's eyes filled with tears as she listened and she saw tears in Bruce's eyes. This speech was straight from his heart and filled with emotion. When he finished she leaned as close to him as she was able to and embraced him.
He noted that her face was warm and flush and that there were tears in her eyes as she placed her arms around his neck and gave him a long kiss.
"Oh Bruce, don't cry or be upset with me. Please forgive me, it was a stupid thing to say. Blame it on my condition. I am so happy you asked me out and I have never, ever enjoyed myself on a date as much as I have tonight. I just needed reassuring."
Amber smiling through her tears led Bruce to believe that she was telling the truth. He brushed the hair out of her face and kissed her cheeks and forehead. Just then the theater lights began to dim and the coming events trailers began. They dried their eyes and smiled at each other.
The coming attractions ended and the movie started. In the dark her hand sought his and their fingers interlaced. She then pulled his hand to her lips and kissed it and he did the same.