What on earth am I doing here? you wondered as you handed your dance ticket and light jacket away and were admitted inside the dance hall. You blew on your hands and rubbed them together, hoping the friction would warm them from the cold outside. You weren't used to how cold it is in Canada.
You tugged at your backless, sparkly black dress and you recalled how you got into this mess. Yesterday your friend Alfred F. Jones introduced you to his younger brother, Matthew, and suddenly you were going to a dance with said boy. You weren't told any other details, except that you were to dress up because it was a formal dance. Seeing as you'd finished all your university midterms, you decided to just go along with the date. But secretly, you only came to see the maple trees, which around this time of year – mid-October – would be changing colours.
"_____, so you decided to make it!" Alfred shouted upon spotting you. He was wearing a black tuxedo. "Looks like my bro won't be stood up, after all!" He laughed maniacally.
"I wouldn't do something like that," you mumbled. "Where's Matthew, anyway?"
"Not here yet," Alfred said and ran onto the dance floor into a crowd of girls, leaving you alone.
You sighed and sat down on a bench as couples walked past you. You stared at the floor, hoping no one would take notice of you sitting alone, and tapped your foot in time with the music while you waited for your date to arrive. You blamed all of this weirdness on your dress. It had to be cursed. It had ruined your high school prom, after all.
A gloved hand appeared before you, interrupting your thoughts. "May I have this dance?"
"Sorry, but I'm already – " you began to say and glanced up. It was Matthew who stood in front of you, wearing a nervous smile. He was dressed in a traditional RCMP uniform, complete with brown hat, red tunic, leather belt, dark pants, and boots.
Matthew took off his hat and spun it nervously in his hands. "Is it too much?"
You shook your head. "No! You look great!"
"Eh?" He smiled and adjusted his glasses. "These are the most formal clothes I own. But, y-you're the one who looks great, _____."
You blushed and decided to change the subject. "Let's go dance!" you said and grabbed his hand, dragging him onto the dance floor. You couldn't help it because (fave song) just started playing.
You didn't know Matthew very well, but you now knew he was a decent dancer. He was a little nervous at first, but he eventually warmed up. Every couple of minutes Alfred came running over and began dancing bizarrely with the two of you, then would leave again. After (song of your choice) had ended, a slow song began playing.
"Shall we?" Matthew asked and held out a hand to you.
You blushed and placed your hand in his, and he placed his other hand on your waist. You haven't slow danced with anyone since your old boyfriend at your high school prom, so you found it comforting to be dancing like this with Matthew. Even though the room was pretty dark you could tell that he was blushing, too. When the song ended, Matthew backed away from you as if he had been burned. You didn't think much of it and shrugged it off.
A few minutes later (fave slow song) started playing. You thought it was cute how Matthew was being such a gentleman, but for this song you decided to heat things up a bit. When Matthew held out his hand for you, you instead threw your arms around his neck.
"_-_____?" you heard him say. He put his hands on your waist, but you had the feeling he only did because he thought you were falling over. You could feel his heart beating rapidly under his tunic.
You immediately felt embarrassed. Timidly, you asked, "You don't want to dance like this?" You inconspicuously surveyed the other couples, who were dancing a lot more – liberally – than you and Matthew.
"T-that's not true! I like dancing like this." His arms tightened around your waist, and you felt his heart beat even faster.
You felt your cheeks burning up and buried your face in his shoulder. You were so close to him that you could smell the skin of his neck. He was warm, and you felt comfortable and relaxed with him. You hadn't felt that way with a guy for a long time.
The song ended too quickly, in your opinion, and once again Matthew hurriedly backed away from you. He tugged at his shirt collar. You didn't quite catch what he said, but you thought you heard, "I'm going to get some air."
You thought that maybe you had been too forward with the slow dance and decided to apologize. You followed after him as he made his way through the dancing crowd and outside to the parking lot through a side door.
It was a massive shock to you to enter the freezing air after being inside on the hot dance floor. You immediately began rubbing your arms to try and keep warm. Matthew took off his gloves, and you heard him take a deep breath and then exhale. You waited behind him for a few minutes, trying to formulate an apology in your head. No matter how you worded it, it sounded dumb.
Matthew turned around abruptly and looked surprised to see you standing there. "Oh, _-_____, I didn't know you were there."
"Gee, thanks," you mumbled.
"No, that's not what I meant! It's funny, though, usually I'm the one who doesn't get noticed. Anyway, what are you doing out here? I just came out because I found it too hot inside."
"I didn't think it was too bad." You stood facing him awkwardly for a moment. "Listen, I just wanted to –"
"_____, your hands are red!"
You looked down at your hands and it was true, they had turned a brilliant shade of red. "Huh, must be the cold."
Before you could say another word, Matthew had covered both your hands with his. His bare skin felt warm against yours. How could he not find this weather cold?
"And your lips are turning purple!" he said, sounding panicked. A moment later you felt Matthew's warm lips against yours. You didn't even have time to blush before he had released your hands and backed away. "I-I-I'm sorry! It was the first thing I could think of to warm them. I –"
He abruptly walked past you and hurried back into the dance hall. You waited a minute, standing in the cold, until your brain registered what had just happened. Matthew had kissed you? Your face and neck felt hot. You waited until your heartbeat had evened out, then decided to go back inside because your legs were freezing.
But, when you tried opening the door, it wouldn't budge.
Okay, don't panic, don't panic. There are other doors to get in, right?
You tried getting in through the other side doors, but they were locked as well. Even the front door was locked, and no one was within sight to open it for you. You wandered back to the door you came out of and tried opening it again in vain.
It mustn't have closed properly when I came out, and that's how Matthew was able to get back in, you thought to yourself. Now that you thought about it, of course the doors would be locked from the outside.
You thought of knocking on the door, but no one would be able to hear you over the loud music. You would have waved in the window to get someone's attention, but a couple was now blocking you from sight, busy necking by the door.
You crouched down by the door in an attempt to retain body heat. You could see your breath in the air and it frightened you. Matthew will notice me missing after a while, right?
Fifteen minutes later Alfred turned to Matthew. "Where's your date, dude?"
Matthew lowered his gaze. He hadn't seen you in a while. Had he offended you that much with a kiss? "I don't know. I haven't seen her for a while."
"Maybe she left." Mathew stared at his brother, who started laughing. "I'm only kidding, bro. She's probably just in the bathroom. Girls like to hang out there, right?"
"Yeah, you're probably right," he said and laughed nervously. He hurried over to the washrooms and asked a passing girl to check if you were inside.
"Nope, no _____ in there," she said after checking.
Then it hit him. No, she wouldn't possibly be outside. She said it was freezing!
He wandered quickly over to the door you had used. He spotted Feliciano Vargas dancing casually nearby. "Umm, Feli..."
"Actually, I'm – never mind. Have you been here long?"
"Vee~ I've-a been here for hours!"
"No, I mean by this door?"
"I've been by this-a door for about fifteen minutes."
"Have you seen _____ come in?"
"_____? I have not-a seen her come in. I would have noticed her because she is the prettiest signorina here!"
Matthew felt the blood drain from his face and ran out the door, leaving the confused Italian behind. "_____!" he said, louder than he had intended.
You slowly lifted your head from where you were crouching on the ground to see Matthew panting by the door, his breath forming small clouds in the cold air. You were a bit disoriented, and now that Matthew had found you, you attempted to hide your shivering. Your legs were wobbly as you tried to stand and Matthew held you by the arms to make sure you wouldn't fall over.
He quickly unbuttoned his red tunic, so he was outside in only a t-shirt, and draped it over your shoulders. "I am so sorry, _____!" he said and rubbed your arms to try and warm you. You didn't dare let him see your bluish fingers.
"So are you...g-gonna take me inside or w-what?" you asked and mentally cursed your chattering teeth. You were shivering uncontrollably and you pressed your numb lips together to try and get some feeling in them. You couldn't feel your toes at all.
"No, I'm not," he said, and half-led, half-carried you to his grey pick-up truck. "I'm taking you home so you can get warm." He helped you inside, then walked around to the driver's side, started the truck, and blasted the heat. You were finding it hard to think clearly. My home, or his home? It didn't really matter at this point.
He started driving out of the parking lot, when you shouted, "M-my jacket!"
He slammed on the brakes. Apparently you had scared him. You were going to apologize, but he was already out of the truck and hurrying back inside the dance hall. Why were your reactions so delayed?
When he came back with your jacket, you said, "Honestly, I think I'm f-fine, Matthew. We don't have to l-leave the dance already." The truck had finally warmed up.
"You're not fine," he said and threw his gloves on the dashboard. "I think you have hypothermia."
"Hypo-hypo-hyp –" you said, eventually giving up trying to say the word. "D-doesn't that only happen in, like, m-minus thirty degrees Celsius weather?"
Matthew adjusted his glasses as he sped out of the parking lot. "Usually it happens in a lot colder temperatures, yeah. But you're not used to the cold here, and all you were wearing was a dress."
Damn dress, you thought to yourself. It really is cursed.
"I'm so stupid," he said and smacked his forehead. "But I thought you were..."
He didn't finish his thought, but you could tell he blamed himself. "It's not your f-fault, Matthew. At least you weren't l-locked outside with me."
"Besides, there's n-no way I have hypothermia. I'm just really, really cold." You could tell how dumb you sounded.
"You have all the symptoms: shivering, pale skin, reduced brain function..." You took offence at that, but you knew it was true considering you couldn't think clearly. Matthew reached over and held onto your wrist firmly. It took you a moment to realize he was checking your pulse. He sighed and removed his hand, only to twine his fingers through yours. His hand was so warm, your fingers must have felt like icicles to him. You tried to hide your burning face – you told yourself it was caused by the heater – by snuggling up in his jacket. "We're almost there. As soon as we get inside you should change into warmer clothes."
"I d-don't have any. All I brought was this dress." Stupid dress.
"You can borrow some of mine, then."
You were still shivering uncontrollably, and it worried you. Why weren't you warming up?
When Matthew pulled into the driveway and helped you out of his truck you felt sick being back in the cold air. You must have paled further, because Matthew looked nervous.
"You're gonna be okay," he said. "Let's get you inside, eh."
You giggled when he said "eh" but it sounded more like you were choking. Inside, Matthew helped you out of his jacket, then grabbed a blanket off the couch and wrapped you in it. Then he led you up the stairs to the bedroom. You sat down on the bed while he rummaged through his dresser for some pyjamas for you. He handed you a pair of red sweatpants, an oversized black shirt, and a pair of thick socks.
"While you're getting changed I'm going to mix up something warm to drink. When you're done changing, climb under the covers, okay?"
"Shouldn't I take a hot bath? That would w-warm me up quickly, right?"
"That's not a good idea," Matthew said. "Your skin is too cold and a hot bath would cause your blood pressure to drop."
You nodded and then closed the bedroom door behind him as he left. It took you longer than usual to get changed because your fingers were still numb and you fumbled with the clothes. Matthew's sweatpants were really baggy on you, and you were thankful that they had a drawstring waist so they didn't fall off. Once you were changed you climbed in between the bed sheets, but they were cold and didn't make you feel any warmer. The shivering persisted, but you tried to make it stop when Matthew came back in the room. He was carrying two steaming mugs.
"What is it?" you asked, your voice muffled under the blanket.
"Hot chocolate," he said and smiled. "Everyone says I make the best. Careful now, the mug's hot."
You sat up against the headboard and reached out for the cup. Matthew put his down on the bedside table and disappeared into the bathroom. When he returned he had changed into pyjamas, and hung up his uniform. Without his hat on you could now see the curl in his blond hair. "Are you feeling any better?"
"Yeah." You blew gently on your hot chocolate.
Matthew retrieved some extra blankets from his closet and laid them out on the bed.
You took a few small sips of your drink. It was really sweet and warmed your belly. You smiled back at Matthew, who seemed to be watching for your approval. "It's delicious."
"You have to drink all of it. A-and that's an order."
You snorted. "That didn't sound like an order to me."
He sat down on the bed beside you, and shrugged. "So I'm no good at giving orders." You continued to sip your drink. "It looks like your teeth aren't chattering anymore. But you shouldn't try to hold back shivering. That's your body's natural way of conserving heat."
You should have known you couldn't hide the shivering from Matthew. You finished off your hot chocolate and put the mug on the bedside table. "You seem to know a lot about treating a victim of hypothermia."
Matthew adjusted his glasses. "It's just something that comes with the culture, I guess."
"Have you treated many people before?" you asked and playfully nudged him in the arm.
"One or two," he admitted. "But you're the first as early as October."
"Ugh, I'm so embarrassed," you said and buried your face in your hands. You sighed. "I'm never going to live this down, am I?"
Matthew chuckled. "Don't worry about it. You're cute."
"You think it's cute to be stranded outside in the cold in nothing but a dress? It makes me sound like a –"
"No, not that. You're just cute."
He smiled at you, and you weren't sure how to reply so you just blushed and looked away. Matthew broke the tension by saying, "Let me see how your hands are doing." You let him inspect your hands. "They're not as pale, anymore. They're still cold, but have some colour in them, eh?"
"You're cute, too, Matthew," you said, and judging from his expression he wasn't expecting you to say that.
"Eh? How?" His cheeks reddened.
You blushed. "When you say 'eh'. And when you fiddle with your glasses. And that little curl in your hair is cute." Now it was Matthew's turn to be speechless. You scratched your cheek. "Well, I guess I'd better rent a hotel room."
"You don't have to spend money on a hotel room! You can stay here for the night. Besides, you're still shivering and I want to make sure you'll be..."
You thought about it. You would feel better if Matthew was looking after you. And you didn't want to spend money if you didn't have to. After all, you were a broke university student. Matthew seemed like a nice enough guy, but was it okay for you to stay here alone with him?
"Well...all right. If you don't mind."
"Not at all. Stay." Your heart swelled knowing that someone wanted you to stay with them. Matthew added, "Can I hug you?"
"Huh?" you said and blinked. Your heart began pounding.
Matthew laughed nervously. "It's for body heat. It's a good way to warm you up fast. I just thought I should ask first."
You were still shivering. "Umm...sure." Don't get ahead of yourself _____. He said you're cute, but that doesn't mean anything.
Matthew turned the lamp on from his bedside table, then got up to turn the bedroom light out. "It's okay if you fall asleep. I'll leave the lamp on to make you feel more comfortable." He climbed under the sheets and you looked at him awkwardly. "Maybe you should turn the other way?"
You rolled over onto your side so you were facing away from him. You didn't know why, but you were trembling, and you hoped Matthew thought it was just shivering. You pulled the blanket up to your shoulders. Matthew placed a warm arm around your middle and pressed up against your back. You felt a bit awkward, and yet at the same time it was comforting to have Matthew's arms around you. Keeping you warm. You could feel his even breath against the back of your neck. Suddenly you felt very sleepy and you relaxed against him. You closed your eyes and smiled: you had never fallen asleep in a boy's arms before. You were just drifting off to sleep when you felt Matthew's hand gently brush against your cheek.
"What is it?" you asked groggily.
"Sorry," he said against your neck. "I wasn't sure if you were asleep or not. But you'd stopped shivering, and sometimes that's a sign that hypothermia has worsened. I was making sure you're still breathing. I'm glad you've stopped shivering...if you had for much longer I was going to take you to the hospital. How are you feeling?"
You hadn't noticed that you'd stopped shivering, and it finally hit you how worried Matthew had been about you. "Better," you said, and your heart started pounding again as a thought occurred to you. Matthew was leaning over you slightly and you turned so you were facing him. You gulped. "My lips are cold, Matthew."
"Still?" he asked and brushed a finger slowly over your lips to try and warm them. "They feel warm to me." His gaze had a faraway look, and apparently he didn't get the picture.
"Matthew," you said a bit sternly, and he stared into your (e/c) eyes. "Remember what you did last time to warm them?"
His cheeks flushed as realization hit him. He cupped your cheek softly with his hand, and it felt warm against your skin. He leaned in closer, and your heart skipped a beat. You could feel his breath against your cheeks, and you carefully removed his glasses so you could stare deep into his violet eyes. You closed your eyes as he pressed his lips against yours – gently, as if he was afraid you would break underneath him. You pressed your lips back. Matthew tasted sweet, like the hot chocolate you drank earlier. He seemed to realize now that you weren't going to break if he held you. He began to stroke your cheek with his thumb and your heart was beating so hard you were sure Mathew would hear it. You brought a hand up to his cheek and brushed the hair away from his face, your other hand you placed over his chest, where you could feel his heart beating just as erratically as yours. You curled some of his hair around your index finger, loving how soft it felt.
"Matthew..." you whispered and pressed yourself closer to him.
He touched his lips to yours once more and then held your wrist away from him. "I think that's enough, _____. You need your rest."
He kissed you on the forehead and then backed away from you. He put his glasses on the bedside table, next to the lamp.
He smiled back at you. "Goodnight, _____."
You curled up against his chest and he put an arm around you. He brushed the hair away from your forehead with the other hand and then clasped his fingers through yours. And that's how you fell asleep.
You awoke the next morning to the sound of a distant door opening and closing, and then footsteps on the stairs. As you woke from your sleep, you could feel Matthew's arm draped over you. You snuggled closer and wondered who else was in the house. You heard obnoxious laughing from the bedroom doorway, and Matthew startled awake.
"Alfred?" you asked, and Matthew reached out for his glasses. "How did you get in here?"
"Spare key," he said. "Well well, looks like there was quite a party here last night!" He picked up your dress from where you had tossed it last night after blaming it for all of your troubles. "And I find you both in bed. Didn't know you had it in you, bro!"
"Quit being vulgar," Matthew said and adjusted his glasses. "We didn't do anything. I was letting her use my body heat to warm up."
Alfred thought we slept together? Wouldn't he only think that if Matthew had done that before?
"Sure, sure. You just used that as an excuse to get her into bed with you."
It was all starting to make sense now. Matthew knew that you found it cold out last night, so what if he'd left you outside on purpose? So he could bring you home? You climbed out of bed and then snatched your dress from Alfred. You mumbled, "I've been so stupid."
"Hey, there's no judgement here," Alfred said. "I've been in situations like this with plenty of women before."
"I know you have," you said and walked out of the bedroom. You heard Matthew say from the room, "Alfred, you're not helping!"
You didn't bother changing back into your dress because you wanted to get out of the house as fast as possible. You didn't want to stick around to hear what either boy had to say, you just needed to get out. You grabbed your jacket from downstairs and hurried out the front door.
When you got outside, you discovered that Matthew's house was the only one on a dead end road. It was much warmer out than last night, you almost didn't need your jacket. You turned onto the main road and wondered where the nearest bus stop was.
It was Matthew's voice calling you, but you didn't bother stopping or turning around. It didn't take long for him to catch up to you.
"I'm sorry for the way Alfred was acting. Are you just going to leave like this?" he asked you and reached out for your arm. You yanked your arm away before he could touch you. "I know I was a bad first date, will you let me try again?"
"You know, I feel so stupid," you said and tears burned at the corners of your eyes. "I promised myself I wouldn't get into this kind of situation again, and I did the exact same thing."
"What kind of situation? Leaving someone who cares about you?"
"No, like the thing that happened after my prom."
"What happened?" he asked, and you could hear the concern in his voice.
You folded your arms over your chest. "I was having a good time. My boyfriend got me to drink more than I wanted to. Then when I got sick he offered to take me home, and I gladly accepted his offer. I've never been more sick in my life. As soon as we got to his house he came on to me and wanted me to sleep with him. It's a good thing he had a picture frame near his bed for me to clock him on the head with and I got the hell out of there, or else I don't know what would have happened to me."
"I'm sorry, _____."
"This is the dress I wore that night, and the only reason I've kept it is so it can be a reminder to me to not make the same mistakes. It ruined my prom, and it ruined last night's dance, too."
"I'm sorry, I know it was my fault –"
"Alfred's always going out partying and hooking up with girls –"
"How many times do you want me to say I'm sorry–?"
"I should have known you'd be just like your brother, like the other boys I've met."
When you stopped talking, Matthew was silent. When he finally spoke he didn't look at you. "I'm not really like my brother, we're similar in appearances only. I thought you could see that. But I guess that was too much to ask for, considering everyone else mistakes me for him, too."
You didn't really want to believe that Matthew was a player like Alfred, but doubts had burrowed in your mind. "But all you wanted was for me to get into your bed –"
"That's not true!" His lips had formed a thin line. "Don't you remember? I was the one who stopped us from going any further last night. If all I wanted was to sleep with you, do you think I would have stopped? I know you're hurt because some scumbag tried to force you to sleep with him, but you shouldn't go around thinking all guys are like him. Especially ones who love you."
Your heart was throbbing. You desperately wanted it to be true. "How can you love someone you've only known for a few days?"
Matthew fiddled with his glasses and was slow to reply. When he opened his mouth it sounded like he was arguing with himself in rapid French. He finally looked at you. "It wasn't really the first time we met, when Alfred introduced us. I met you last month when I went to the university to visit him. I'd fallen on the sidewalk after someone bumped into me, and you helped me back up. You defended me, and then you started talking to me like I was a friend. I knew you thought I was Alfred. That was the only time in my life I wished I really was my brother."
"Is that true?" you whispered. You did recall a day when Alfred hadn't acted like himself.
"Every word," he said just as quietly. "Afterwards, I made the mistake of telling Alfred I thought you were beautiful, and he was determined from that day on to set us up. Come on, ____, you know me. I would never force you to sleep with me." He shoved his hands in his pockets. "Last night...last night was the first time I ever brought a girl home. It was special to me. You're special to me." You swallowed past the lump in your throat. Matthew's hair brushed across his face as a warm breeze passed over you both. He held out a hand to you, and his eyes were pleading. "Please stay with me."
You looked down the road that led away from Matthew's house. It was an empty road. You knew where that road led to...loneliness. You were tired of being alone. You didn't know if you wanted to risk being hurt by Matthew. But, Matthew had changed something in you. You knew perfectly well that he had been genuinely worried about you, and didn't want to take advantage of you. You were just upset because you really liked him, and you had doubted his intentions.
"You love me?" you asked and another warm breeze fanned over you.
"I do," he said.
"I love you, too, Matthew," you said and placed your hand in his. He squeezed your hand and then pulled you to his chest. He lifted your chin so you were facing him, and tears spilled down your cheeks. "I'm sorry. I was just scared. I know you're a nice guy."
He pressed his lips to your forehead. "It's okay. You've been hurt before. Of course you'd be afraid of being hurt again. I promise I won't hurt you, _____." You wrapped your arms around him and held him close. Then he led you back to his house. He joked, "I'm glad you didn't run off with my pyjamas. Red's my favourite colour, you know."
You joked back, "Oh, so that's all you were worried about. Gotcha."
Matthew prepared brunch for you while Alfred whooped and paraded about the house, proclaiming about his exceptional matchmaking skills.
While you were digging into your pancakes and eggs, Matthew said, "How do you feel about having our second date later today?" Alfred was wise enough to keep quiet during brunch.
"You have something in mind already?"
Matthew gave you a mischievous smile. "Yeah, I have something in mind. But it's a surprise."
You smiled back at him. "Okay, then."
After eating, you showered and changed into a clean pair of Matthew's clothes: some baggy jeans and a red plaid shirt. When you were ready to go you both climbed into his pick-up truck.
"Come on, tell me what the surprise is," you said, but all Matthew did was laugh.
"The only catch is that you have to wear this," he said and revealed a blindfold.
"Trust me!" he said and laughed again. You allowed him to wrap the blindfold over your eyes. "No peeking." You harrumphed and wriggled in your seat. Matthew patted your hand. You could hear the smile in his voice. "I promise it's a good surprise."
You thought you were in the truck for about half and hour before Matthew pulled over. You reached up to take off the blindfold, but Matthew stopped you.
"Not yet! Just a bit longer." You grumbled as he helped you out of the truck and led you away. "You're not afraid of heights, are you?"
"Why?" you asked, and your voice betrayed your feeling of panic. You weren't really afraid of heights, but it still made you uneasy. Matthew removed the blindfold and you blinked in the sunlight. You were standing in front of a large sign. "A ski resort?" Horrible thoughts entered your mind. But, there's no snow! Does he expect me to ski down a mountain with no snow? Do Canadians do that?
Matthew doubled over with laughter, clutching his stomach. "You should see your face right now, _____!" You laughed nervously along with him. He reached out for your hand. "You're so cute. Come on."
He led you to a nearby building, which you assumed had the front desk. When you entered, Matthew told you to wait in the lounge. You sat down on a couch and tried to overhear what he was saying to the man behind the desk. Matthew proved it a difficult task because he was whispering. You heard the man ask, "Would you like high speed?" You gulped as Matthew handed over some cash.
Matthew smiled as he walked back toward you. "All set."
"Matthew, what on earth is going on?"
"You'll find out soon enough." He kissed your hand. "Let's go back outside."
He led you down a path and you said, "What was that about high speed?"
He ignored your question and you pouted. "Here we are." You looked ahead and saw that he had brought you to the mountain's chairlift. "It's 780 feet to the top of the mountain, I hope you don't mind."
You sighed from relief. It appeared as if you weren't going to be skiing after all. You joked, "Is that all?"
Matthew wore a devilish grin. "Don't underestimate me."
A man wearing the same uniform as the front desk agent strolled over to you. He said, "You two've got the place all to yourselves today. And let me tell you it's a perfect day for a chairlift ride."
The man helped you and Matthew get secured and said that he hoped you both have a good ride. Then you were off. The compartment was a bit jerky to begin with, but it eventually settled.
"So are we on the high speed lift?" you asked. You could hear speakers playing relaxing classical music as you moved up the mountain.
"Nope," Matthew said and twined his fingers through yours. "I wanted the ride to last longer."
You blushed and glanced away at the trees along either side of the lift. "It's a really nice view."
"You just wait."
"I'm glad you brought me here, Matthew."
He smiled at you. "Just keep your thanks until we get to the top." You rested your head against his shoulder. He chuckled. "You aren't cold, now, are you? Wouldn't want you to get hypothermia again."
You slugged him in the arm. "Matthew!"
"Just kidding, just kidding," he said and laughed.
It was about a fifteen minute ride, and as you got closer to the top of the mountain Matthew seemed to get more and more nervous.
"Well, here we are," he said and another man came within sight to help you off the lift.
"Will you be taking the lift back down?" the man asked. "After you take in the sight, that is."
"Umm, we don't know yet," Matthew said as you hopped out of the compartment. "We might just walk back."
You froze where you were standing and your eyes widened as you took in the sight. For a moment you forgot to breathe. Below you were rolling hills and a calm lake, but what caught your eyes were the hundreds of red, yellow, and orange trees. You especially liked the red ones because they looked like a blazing fire as the wind swept through them. It was such a beautiful sight that you felt tears prick at your eyes.
Matthew noticed you staring at the view. "I've been here lots of times before, by myself. But it's more special now that you're here with me." He paused for a moment. "That time you thought I was Alfred on campus, you mentioned that you really wanted to see the trees changing colours. Do you like it?"
You planted your hands on either side of his face and pressed your lips to his. Your heart swelled at how loved you felt. No one had ever done anything like this for you. When you broke away from him you noticed his glasses were lopsided. He wrapped his arms around you and lowered his lips back to yours without any hesitation. You loved how soft his lips were.
"Is that a yes?" he asked breathlessly when he broke away. He adjusted his glasses.
You nodded. "This is the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me. Thank you."
"I love you, _____." You blushed, and he brushed his fingers through your hair and stared into your eyes. "God, I love kissing you. I could stay here and kiss you all day and not grow tired."
"Then why don't we?"
And you started the rest of your days with your Canadian boyfriend. He was the last man to ever take you home with him.