Daniel was standing outside the church; in the sun with his eyes closed and his face turned upwards. The heat felt good on his face and he wanted to loosen his tie and take off his suit coat. He was startled when she tapped on his shoulder.
“Hey,” she said.
It was Jeanine. She was in his chemistry class at school but he had never seen her at church before. Jeanine was one of the ‘Goth’ kids. She always spiked her hair; she had a lot of piercings and always wore short black skirts with grey or dark red tops that hugged her curves. Not today though. Today she had donned a knee length sun dress. A sun dress with a floral print done in pastel colours, greens, and blues, and pinks primarily. The hues of her dress served to deepen the violet of her eyes and he couldn’t help but stare. Her eyes were mesmerizing. Daniel had always thought she was pretty but they ran in different circles. He had never known how to approach her. Now the tables had been turned and she was approaching him.
“Uh, hi Jeanine, what are you doing here? Uhm, I… I mean I’ve never seen you here at church before. Do you come here normally or is this your first time?”
“We come here all the time but we usually come for the second service. If you’re always here for the first then it makes sense that we haven’t seen each other. We came early this week because of Mother’s Day. My brother’s home on leave and we’re taking my Mom to brunch at that restaurant on 7th Street… You know; the one down by the harbor. I got all dressed up and everything.”
“You uh, you look really nice,” Daniel stammered and he felt his ears getting hot. He knew that he was blushing and that only embarrassed him more.
“You think so?” she asked. She turned a little pirouette making the hem of her sundress flare outward. She laughed.
The stood awkwardly together in the bright sunshine; his hands in his trouser pockets her hands holding one another – twisting; both of them searching for something to say.
Finally she nudged his arm with her elbow, “Finals next week. I’m so excited. We’ve only got to get through these and we can graduate.”
“Oh God,” he replied, “I’m dreading them, especially Chemistry.”
“What do you mean – especially chemistry – you’ve done great in that class.” She was clearly surprised by what he had said.
“I struggle with it. I don’t really understand it. I have to memorize shit, er sorry, I meant stuff, to pass the tests.”
“Really? I thought you were a brainiac? Chemistry isn’t really that hard. I can help you study if you want.”
“You would do that for me?” It was his turn to be surprised.
“Sure… can you come to my house tomorrow after school? I would start tonight, but my brother has to go back to his boat tomorrow. I want to spend a little more time with him and my mom today. I’ll see ya tomorrow.” Janine smiled and waved at him with her fingers, turned, and wandered through the ornately carved doors back into the church.