Prompt: “What area of your life do you tend to enjoy in excess instead of moderation?”
Miranda tapped her fingers on her desk. Her sociology teacher was droning on about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Physiological, Safety, Belonging and Love, Esteem, Self-actualization, and Self-transcendence. Blah. Blah. Blah. Boring. Boring. Boring.
Miranda looked down at her smart watch.
Only two minutes to go. Then she could get out of here and go meet Jake. It had been weeks since they had a proper date. Miranda started a new internship two weeks ago and was taking 18 credit hours worth of classes this semester. Jake had a job as a Pizza-delivery guy and was also taking 18 credit hours. Both were so busy and it was beginning to put a strain on their relationship.
Miranda and Jake have been dating for just over a year now and they both were swamped on their actual anniversary. Miranda had two papers she had to write while Jake had to work a 10 hour shift and then complete a take-home exam. Missing their one year anniversary really made them both upset, but today was going to make up for all of that.
Miranda checked her watch again.
Today Miranda and Jake were going to celebrate their anniversary. Just enjoy each other with nothing else to do. No work. No internship. No homework. Just her and Jake together.
“Ok class, that’s all for today. Remember that we have a quiz over chapters One and Two on Tuesday. Please read those chapters,” The Sociology Teacher said as students started to file out of her classroom. She got louder and louder as more students left before she was finished talking.
Miranda was at the very front of the wave of students exiting the classroom.
She pulled out her phone and saw a text from Jake.
J: Can’t wait for tonight. Meet you at your house at 5?
Miranda typed back.
M: I can’t wait either. 5 sounds perfect to me.
Miranda smiled as she walked out of the building and out into campus. She checked her watch and noted that she had about an hour to get back to her house, shower, change clothes, and get ready for the date.
She got on her bike and raced across campus towards her house. There were some students yelling from behind her that she wasn’t supposed to ride her bike on the sidewalks, but she didn’t care. Nothing was going to stop her from getting home.
She skidded up to her house a few minutes later and opened the back door. She placed the bike in the hallway and walked into the living room. There her roommate Terra was watching Reality Television and eating a bowl of cereal.
“Didn’t you have class today?” Miranda asked Terra.
“Skipped,” Terra said while shoveling another spoonful of cereal into her mouth.
“Do you ever go to class?” Miranda asked.
Terra shrugged, “When I feel like it.”
“Which is never,” Miranda said.
Miranda pulled of her shoes and threw them at the pile of shoes by the front door.
Terra looked over at her.
“You in a hurry or something?” Terra asked.
“Yeah Jake is going to be here at 5 to pick me up for our anniversary,” Miranda said.
Terra groaned. “Not Jake, he’s so bland.”
“He’s not bland.”
“The guy is as bland as vanilla pudding. Same skin tone too,” Terra said.
“Why do you say that?” Miranda asked.
“He’s all goody-goody upstanding citizen. His only quirk is how bland he is. I bet he has never had a speeding ticket,” Terra said returning to her television. “I mean look at this guy. He is addicted to blowing up balloons and popping them. That’s interesting.”
Miranda looked up at the television, “You know they make up all that crap.”
Terra shrugged, “It makes good TV.”
Miranda shook her head and went upstairs to her room. She spent the next few moments getting a shower and then standing in her room with a towel wrapped around her. She studied her clothes like she was trying to defuse a bomb. Does she go with the red top or the blue dress? Too many decisions.
Miranda’s phone buzzed and she picked it up. She had a message from Jake.
J: About 10 minutes out. Be ready for a surprise!
Miranda had a moment of relief and panic all at the same time. One part of her brain was thinking about how sweet Jake was and the other part was freaking out that he was only 10 minutes away. She threw on the red top with some ripped blue jeans (Miranda’s father called them ‘her Sunday best’). She shook her head. What is they were going somewhere fancy? She couldn’t wear this!
She picked up her phone and texted Jake back.
M: Can’t wait. What should I wear? Super nice or jeans ok?
She waited a moment for a reply.
J: You’ll look beautiful in whatever. But maybe fancier the better.
M: Great. I have a ball gown from Senior Prom I’ll throw on! 😛
J: Perfect! I’ll bring the spiked punch and corsage.
Miranda laughed. Jake always had the best sense of humor. It’s one thing that she loved about him.
Miranda threw on one of her nicer, black and white dresses and some matching 2 inch heels. She was in the middle of straightening her hair when she heard Terra yelling from downstairs.
“Miranda! Vanilla Pudding is here!” Terra yelled.
“Don’t call him that!” Miranda yelled back. “I’ll be down in five minutes!”
Fifteen minutes later Miranda walked down the stairs with her outfit on and her hair perfected.
“Doesn’t she look fantastic,” Jake said.
He was wearing a black suit with red tie and was holding a bouquet of Red Roses.
“You look spiffy,” Miranda said.
“That’s what I was going for,” Jake said with a large smile on his face.
Terra was making audible gagging sounds on the couch.
“You ok, Terra, choking on some cereal?” Miranda asked.
“I think there’s some kind of poisonous cloud in here. It might be radiated from Jake,” Terra said.
“Yeah I have that effect on people,” Jake said with a smile.
“I’m escaping to my room so I don’t get smothered in the grossness,” Terra said as she got up from the couch and headed to her room.
“She’s like the two-year old we never wanted,” Jake laughed.
“She eats sugar like she’s two years old,” Miranda said.
“Yeah she had three bowls of cereal while I was sitting here,” Jake said.
They both laughed.
“Here,” Jake said handing Miranda the flowers.
“Red roses. They are my favorite. How did you know?” Miranda smiled while admiring the flowers.
“I read your diary,” Jake said with a smile. “You have really strange dreams about clowns and unicorns.”
Miranda laughed. “You leave Mr. Sparkles out of this!”
“Is that the clown or the unicorn?” Jake asked.
“You should know, you read my diary,” Miranda smiled. “It’s the clown, by the way.”
“Duly noted,” Jake said.
“Get a room!” Terra yelled from her room.
“Love you too,” Jake yelled.
“So where are we going tonight?’ Miranda asked.
“It’s a surprise,” Jake smiled.
“Come on, just tell me! You know I hate waiting for things,” Miranda said.
“Oh that reminds me! I bought your Christmas present already, but I can’t tell you what it is,” Jake smiled.
“I hate you!”
“I know, I’m the worst!”
“You really are!” Terra yelled again.
“Come on, let’s get out of here,” Miranda said.
“Good idea,” Jake nodded.
“Let me put these in a vase and we can go,” Miranda said, still holding the flowers.
“No bring them with you,” Jake said. “It’s part of the surprise.”
Miranda looked Jake up and down.
“Just come on,” Jake said grabbing Miranda’s hand.
They both walked out the front door and to Jake’s car.
“Wow we never have to walk again,” Miranda said.
“Yeah I know. Walking is overrated anyway,” Jake said.
“Your car smells like pepperoni and garlic butter,” Miranda said.
Jake laughed. “Is that a turn on or turn off for you?”
“A definite turn on,” Miranda said with a wink.
“Glad to hear that,” Jake said.
Jake started the car and they both started heading down the road. Miranda had her phone out and was using it as a mirror as she fixed her makeup and hair.
“You look great,” Jake said noticing Miranda messing with her hair.
“Thanks,” Miranda smiled. “You look pretty great yourself.”
“Only the best for you, my dear,” Jake said.
“Yeah whatever,” Miranda replied.
Eventually Jake stopped the car and parked it on the street.
“We’re here,” Jake said.
Miranda was really confused. She had seen this place before. This was Jake’s house.
“What are we doing here?” Miranda asked.
“Come on you’ll see,” Jake said.
He went around the car and opened the door for Miranda.
“Wow, such a gentleman,” Miranda said.
Jake held out his arm and Miranda took it. He led her up the door and opened it. Miranda stepped inside followed by Jake and Miranda gasped.
This was Jake’s house like Miranda had never seen. The lights were dimmed and candles were lit all over the dining room and living room. The table in the dining room was set up with plate settings and candles and an empty vase.
“That’s where the flowers go,” Jake said almost like he was reading her mind.
Miranda was in tears. She was just so overwhelmed by all of it. It was like something out of a romantic movie or Nicholas Spark’s novel.
“Hey, you ok?” Jake asked.
“I love it so much,” Miranda said wiping her eyes.
Jake smiled. “I’m glad. Hopefully you’ll still love it after we eat.”
“Eat? Did you cook food?” Miranda asked.
Jake blushed a little.
“Yeah I’ve been working on it all day. I’ve burnt over a dozen bread sticks and I made three trips to the store today,” Jake said.
“Bread sticks, huh? So what else are we having for this romantic diner?”
“Only the best for you darling,” Jake said in the worst, “fancy person” accent Miranda had ever heard.
“Geesh, Terra would have had a field day with that,” Miranda laughed.
“Yeah I’m not good with accents,” Jake said.
“Speaking of Terra, where are your three roommates?” Miranda asked.
“I kicked them out for the night. I told them I would do the dishes for a month if they all went away for the evening,” Jake explained.
“Wow. Such a sacrifice. And all for me,” Miranda smiled.
“Totally worth it,” Jake said with a wink.
Miranda’s stomach rumbled.
“You mentioned something about food?”
“Take a seat and I’ll bring it out,” Jake said.
Jake and Miranda proceeded to have a fantastic dinner for two. Jake had made lasagna with super creamy, ricotta filling, salad from a bag, bread sticks with homemade garlic butter, and for dessert they had chocolate cupcakes made with love and some help from a boxed cake mix and canned icing. Throughout the entire evening Miranda and Jake laughed and conversed with one another. They caught up on the past few days and got to swap roommate stories back and forth. The whole evening flew right by and Jake and Miranda didn’t notice it. They were so into each other that nothing else mattered. The most important thing in the world was each other.
As the evening began to wrap up, Jake put the leftovers in the fridge and stacked up all the dirty dishes in the sink.
“I’ll get to them later,” Jake said.
Jake and Miranda went up to Jake’s room and Jake turned on their favorite Disney Movie: Lady and the Tramp.
They laid in bed together and Miranda rested her head on Jake’s chest. Her head bobbed up and down as Jake inhaled and exhaled. She could hear his heart beating fast and it made her smile.
“Hey one thing before we call it a night,” Jake said.
“What was that comment about vanilla pudding?” Jake asked.
“Oh it was nothing, just Terra being Terra,” Miranda said.
“Come on, what’s it really about,” Jake said.
“You know how Terra is. She says stuff all the time. It’s usually nonsense.”
“But this time?”
“Terra thinks you’re boring. That you don’t have any quirks. She thinks you’re plain like vanilla pudding,” Miranda said. “But come on, you know how she is.”
Jake laid there for a few moments and Miranda raised her head to look at him.
“What’s wrong?” Miranda said.
“I have quirks,” Jake said.
“I know you do,” Miranda said.
“I…I… have a car that smells like pizza. That’s a quirk,” Jake said.
Miranda sat up as Jake got out of bed to pace in his bedroom.
“I also say the alphabet backwards when I get nervous. I think that it may help me if I ever get pulled over and the police officer thinks I’ve been drinking,” Jake said.
“Jake, calm down. I don’t think this. Terra does. I’m not her.”
Jake took a moment to just breathe and he eventually sat down on the edge of the bed.
“Yeah you’re right,” Jake said. “Sorry for freaking out like that.”
“That’s ok,” Miranda said wrapping her arms around Jake’s waist. “Now let’s just enjoy each other’s company and not think about Terra.”
“I couldn’t agree more,” Jake said.
He got back in bed and wrapped up the blankets around the two of them. Jake and Miranda laid there together. Jake as the big spoon and Miranda as the little spoon.
“So have you ever gotten a speeding ticket?” Miranda asked.
“Never, why?” Jake asked.
“No reason. I’m just really turned on by guys who drive the speed limit,” Miranda said.
“Then you’re going to really love me,” Jake said as they both drifted off to sleep.
Header Photo Credit to London UK Tourist Guide