Delancey was always like an enigma to Ellis-- A girl that was both well versed in sterotypically feminine and masculine activities was something that he didn't think was possible in a single person. How she could go from discussing fashion and makeup with the girls to discussing skate tricks and sports with the boys in only seconds flat was more than impressive. It was the very thing about her that had captured his attention from the very beginning.
Ellis was never the most confident guy to begin with, but to be interested in a girl with such overwhelming confidence was intimidating to say the least. Of course, he didn't think that was a bad thing, rather he found it to be an attractive quality that he liked very much about Delancey. The problem was--- how would he ever match that?
He had known the girls in their friend group for a long time at that point, and the boys he had known for even longer, so they were easy to talk to. Without them, he had always assumed he would be more of a loner, too awkward and unsure of how to approach others. And then there was Delancey who had just moved to New York recently, and although the group immediately took to her, she just didn't have that long-term history with them that felt like a safety net to Ellis.
Delancey was a spontaneous girl, unpredictable and impulsive. Traits that were equally as terrifying as they were attractive. She'd been clear about the type of guy she was interested in, one that takes control and just goes for what he wants, and although Ellis was normally the exact opposite of that, he had successfully managed to ask Delancey on a date during the groups trip to Jamaica. Of course the only trouble following was that he had no clue where to take things from there.
The other girls weren't shy when it came to vocalizing their ideas. Nolee was the first to come up with a suggestion: Take Delancey to a quiet, peaceful place where they could meditate together. She insisted that this would create a deep bond between the two instantly. Something about aligning their auras or something, Ellis couldn't exactly remember the details.
Next, Madison suggested a simpler idea: Take her shopping. According to her, no matter what, girls just wanted to be set free and shop to their hearts content. She was certain that any girl would instantly fall for a guy that would come up with such a simple yet effect date.
Ellis wasn't sure about that one, and so Chelsea was the next to offer some advice. She told him that regardless of what they did, anything from a movie to a park visit, the only thing that truly mattered was what he was wearing. "As long as you look good and dress properly, she won't care what you're doing," were her exact words.
Lastly, Barbie came forward to give a helping hand to Ellis. After hearing the ideas offered by the other girls, she came up with a master-plan of her own, because (according to her) planning was the most important thing of all. She gave some thought before pulling a small notebook from her bag, and quickly went to work as she jotted down ideas with as much speed as she could muster. Within only a moment or two, she tore the page from the book and handed it to Ellis with her signature confident smile.
"It's the perfect date!" Barbie exclaimed, flipping a lock of her long blonde hair back. "With all of our ideas combined, you're sure to win Delancey's heart!"
Ellis had read over the list several times, and although he was certain he could recite it from memory at that point, his nerves still got the best of him and he constantly found himself referring back to the list.
His uncertainties built up inside of him, causing butterflies to dance in his stomach. Would the date be a success? Would Delancey have fun, or would she think he was a freak? He had no way of knowing how things would turn out and it was making him undeniably nervous.
Even as Delancey arrived to their meeting point, the corner where their favourite group hang out The Dish was located, Ellis couldn't help but swallow back in nervous anticipation.
Following along with Chelsea's fashion advice, Ellis opted to wear something more daring than his usual fashion sense. With a bold red undershirt, he wore a buttoned-down black dress shirt, coupled with a pair of black pants that was neatly held up by a slick designer belt. His sleeves were rolled up to the elbow to ensure that the fancy new watch on his left wrist was displayed nicely. Completing the look was a pair of freshly-shined black loafers. The girls had advised him that this look was a sure way to capture Delancey's attention, and according to the raise of her eyebrows, they may have been right about that.
"Wow, check you out." Delancey commented, looking Ellis up and down. "You're really pulling out all the stops, huh?"
A bright blush began to form on Ellis' cheeks at the compliment, as he unconsciously began to scratch at the back of his head out of nervousness. He gave a short, awkward laugh before replying, "Uh-- y-yeah, haha. Thanks, you too. You look really nice. Uh, blue is a really nice colour on you."
Delancey glanced down at her own outfit briefly- it was more casual than Ellis' look but it left an impression as well. Her top was long sleeved and the neck-line was low cut, coloured in a pastel baby blue. At the waist was a black belt with a large dark buckle, and beneath it was a crisp white skirt that fit snuggly on her body. To pull the look together was a pair of knee-high white boots with a short, thick heel.
"You think so?" Delancey asked with a smile, her gaze returning to Ellis. "Thanks!"
Ellis nodded his head, finally making eye-contact with Delancey, which only caused his cheeks to burn up even more. "Of course," he managed to reply. "Uh, do you wanna get this started?"
"For sure!" Delancey eagerly replied with a grin, "Lead the way, captain."
A half an hour into the date, Ellis and Delancey found themselves at the local mall as per Madison's advice. Barbie had written that they should spend an hour there maximum, before moving on to the next phase of the plan. Ellis couldn't help but nervously glance at his watch constantly, not wanting to be even a second off of the 'perfect' schedule. Delancey seemed to take notice of his strange behaviour, raising an eyebrow in curiosity.
"Already eager to get out of here?" she teased, absent-minded ruffling through a pile of discount tank-tops.
"H-Huh?" Ellis stuttered, quickly struggling to think up a quick response. "No, of course not! I'm just making sure, uh--"
"Making sure what?"
"Making sure that it's not getting too late, that's all."
Delancey stepped away from the clothing pile, now placing a hand on her hip. "Do you have somewhere else to be? I'd hate to be keeping you."
It was difficult to read her mood- whether she was annoyed or just teasing Ellis to a degree that he wasn't used to from girls. He swallowed back and shook his head.
"No, I don't. I just had other things planned for us to do, that's all. But we can take our time here."
"Other things planned?" Delancey asked, her eyebrow raising in curiousity. "We can totally go ahead with that, then. I was at the mall the other day and everything is pretty much the same now as it was then, anyway."
"Oh, really? Yeah, we could go ahead then." Ellis replied, glancing at his watch once again. There were still another thirty minutes to go until he was supposed to begin the second phase of the date, and he instantly began to feel nerves taking over him at the thought of going against the schedule Barbie swore was undeniably perfect.
He bit down on the corner of his bottom lip, mentally panicking.
Oh man, what do I do? What do I do?! The girls never warned me about what to do incase the schedule doesn't get followed perfectly. Is this gonna mess things up?!
"Earth to Ellis!"
Ellis' panicked thoughts were cut off prematurely as Delancey called out to him, her hand waving in front of his face.
"Is everything alright?" She asked.
"Yeah, sorry, do you wanna get going now? The next place isn't far from here." Ellis replied.
Delancey smiled, and nodded her head. "Let's do it!"
It was a quick on-the-spot decision, but based on how Delancey seemed disinterested in the mall after having been there so recently, Ellis had naturally assumed that going a tad off-schedule wouldn't do any harm.
Their next destination was quite the contrast to the large, busy mall. Only a block away, a five-minute walk at the most, the couple found themselves at a quiet and serene yoga studio.This portion of the date was, of course, Nolee's suggestion. She positively insisted that the tranquility of the experience would bind their soul together within no time.
Looking around, Delancey remained quiet for a moment and Ellis once again found himself unsure of how to read her expression. Was she bored of the date or was she having a decent time? Was the fact that he was unable to tell a really bad sign or was he just reading too deeply into things?
Delancey turned to face Ellis again, her face dressed with a vague smile that still left much to the imagination. "I didn't know you were into this sort of thing." She commented, leaving it at that.
The next few moments were silent, and eerily so. As the two shifted into different stretching poses and held them, Ellis stared at Delancey for the hope that she would reveal even the slightest implication regarding how she was feeling about things. But there was nothing.
"I'm sorry, I-" Ellis began to speak, lowering his arms from the upwards stretching position that they were in. "I messed this all up, didn't I? You're totally hating this."
Delancey followed suit in lowering her arms as well and turned to face Ellis, now with a hint of amusement in her expression. "Huh? What gives you that idea?"
"Well-- everything." Ellis began to explain, the words hard to find. His cheeks began to burn a light red, as his eyes averted Delancey's gaze. "You seem so... I don't know, bored? I feel like I chose all the wrong things to do. I'm sorry, I just... I tried to put a lot of thought into it but I just messed it up."
Delancey blinked a few times, before tilting her head into Ellis' line of vision. "I think it's pretty cool that you put so much thought and consideration into this date."
"Of course! I can tell you tried really hard to do all the sort of stuff you think I like."
Ellis gave a quiet, nervous laugh. "But you don't actually?"
"I mean, don't get me wrong," Delancey began to explain, waving her arm into front of her. "I do like these sorts of thing and they're totally cool and all but, you-- you know you don't have to try this hard to do everything I like. I want you to have fun, too."
Ellis quietly nodded his head, before Delancey continued to speak.
"And you know well enough that we have hobbies we both enjoy in common! I mean, come on, that's how we met! That's the kind of date we should be having!"
Ellis laughed again, only this time he felt less awkward and more comfortable, due to Delancey's words. "What, you mean like--"
Before he could get his question out, Delancey nodded her head sharply. "Uh-huh! Exactly!"
"And I've totally been perfecting this new move-- I've been dying to show it to you. It's killer and I can even teach you how to do it!"
Delancey spoke eagerly, her skateboard in her hand, a helmet fastened snugly onto her head.
In a similar fashion, Ellis was buckling on a pair of safety pads to his knees as he listened to the girls excited rambling with a large grin plastered on his face. As he stood, he gave a firm nod of the head.
"I can't wait!" He replied, "Come on, show me now!"
The two hurried off together, entering the fenced off skatepark where they would spend hours upon hours showing off their new tricks while simultaneously teaching them to the other.
From just across the street sat their close, personal friends who observed them with amusement.
"I guess there's many different ways to have a perfect date." Barbie commented, her hand in her cheek as she absent-mindedly sipped on her strawberry-banana smoothie.
"I'm glad things worked out for them in the end!" Chelsea responded, feeling delighted to see her cousin having a lovely time.
"Think they'll start going steady?" Madison asked in a hushed, teasing tone.
Nolee smiled as well, letting out a soft giggle. "It might be a little too early for that. But... all that matters is that they're enjoying each other's company right now, in this moment."
To that, all the girls nodded their heads in agreement.
As long as they were happy, then things had turned out perfectly after all.