I was in my room, painting a giant mural on one wall, when my mother pounded on my door. "You've got a call!"

I was in the midst of mixing my blues and purples and blacks in a coffee can so I could create a storm where before there had only been a slightly off-white wall,and I had just invented the perfect color, so I yelled over the pounding music, "I am not here. Got it! I am NOT AVAILABLE!"

Obviously he heard this over the music and the sounds my mother was making as she breathed into the receiver, because when I heard knocking 10 minutes later, it was him.

He didn't really even stop to say hi. He just turned my music down to barely audible and said,"We are going on a date."

I continued painting my wall, considering his comment. The fact that somehow it had been neither a request, nor a demand, but rather a statement of absolute truth finally piqued my interest. I turned around. He had one eyebrow raised, waiting for an affirmative answer, and it struck me that I simply could not agree with him.

"I don't believe in dating."

Then I fell into his eyes. He was looking at me with the most perfect, crystal clear blue eyes I had ever seen.

"So, I'll pick you up at 7:00?"
"Sure, but this is NOT a date."
"ok, see you then."

I started painting again. Then it hit me. . . I had just agreed with him.

Finally, at about 6:30, I decided that I should maybe clean up my mess. When he got there at 7:00 (exactly seven) I wasn't done yet, and I finally decided to just go as I was. It wasn't a date or anything. . .

I got to the top of the stairs, and saw him. . . only this time the jeans were gone. He was wearing a tie, and a jacket, and holding a rose. . . for me. Suddenly, I was a little ashamed of my paint splattered cut offs, bright orange flip flops, and pink panther T-shirt. He only smiled and said, "You look great."

He tucked the rose (a perfect rose) into my braid, and we left.

"You know," I said as he opened the car door for me, "this is NOT a date."

He just flashed me a grin, and closed the door behind me.

Apparently he had made reservations, because when the car stopped, we were at the most expensive restaurant in town.

"Maybe you're confused. . . this isn't a date!" He opened the door.

The host was dressed impeccably , and when he saw me (and how I was dressed), he sighed. A little frown decended onto his features, and he seated us in the back of the room where neither he, nor the rest of the diners would have to look at us. He brought us our menus, running through a litany of fine wines that we were too young to drink anyway, and suggested something on the menu that I never did catch, though I had him repeat it twice.I stared at the menu, unable to read the French titles and descriptions, wondering what I should get.

"Have fun." Was the only comment from my escort.

When the server returned, he ordered "Pommes frites" (which I later learned was French for fried apples) and some other equally undefinable delicacy (which turned out to be a pasta concoction that loosely resembled spaghetti). He smiled at me, and urged me to order. . .

I ordered a big mac and icecream.

He smiled.

The waiter merely looked pained.

"This is not a date," I told the server. "I don't believe in dating."

The waiter's response: "would you like fries with that?"

All in all they were the best fries I had ever eaten.

The food was great, the company was even better, but I had this nagging feeling. . . did he even pick up on the fact that it wasn't a date?

When he insisted on paying, I was convinced that he was confused.

"Listen. . " I said, as he was helping me into the car.

He interrupted me. "Thanks."

I was confused. "Thanks for what?"

"Thanks for allowing me to take you on The only date I never went on."

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