"We just need a night like this, yeah."
Jon Bellon ~ '80's films'
Looking over his choice of outfits laid out on his bed, Chester was trying to figure out which of the three choices he gave himself, would the better of the bunch.
The first one looked a more like Victorian era safari gear, sans the pith helmet.
The second one was a set his gran-gran gave him when they took holiday in Tahiti the previous year, he found it was a more snug, than “Well, gran-gran meant well.”, tacky.
The third one was a Hawaiian shirt, looked like something from the Hoban Washbourne collection, a black tank top, and rust-red shorts, and lack sneakers.
It the was the more masculine the three, and the all black skaterboarder sneakers was hint of rebellion in a world of overpriced designer beach footwear.
Just then the intercom chimed, followed by the butler’s rather chipper voice, “Master McTech, your escort has arrived.”
“Thanks Farnsworth, tell her I’ll be right down.”
“Very good sir.”, the intercom chimed off.
Chester muttered a swear at himself, for not being ready by the time she got there, despite the fact she was late because of traffic.
Figuring out what to wear was never an issue. On the other hand though, this was Summer, only his singularity level crush for the last two years.
Just as Chester was lacing up his sneakers, there was a knock on the door, the percussion of ‘The Terminator’ theme. Rolling his eyes, he answered
Eileen McTech, peered through door.
“I’m decent, you can come in mom.”, Chester said, tapping the toes of his sneakers, as if to secure the fit.
“Mind if I see you off on your date?”, Mrs. McTech asked.
Chester hesitated with his answer.
“This really wasn’t a “date”, date. It was a “Thank you.”, for letting Summer use some of his gear for chronicling his sister’s ldr first meeting with Phineas, mom. We all know, I’m a little too young for anyone in the club.”
His mom winced internally for her son. ‘The awkward years are upon him.’, she thought.
“You won’t always be too young, Chester.” She replied, suddenly noticing he wasn’t that scrawny little twelve year old who hid behind homework, calculations, coding, science projects, and getting a college education. to avoid embarrassing pre-adolescent moments.
He stood a little taller, and his shoulders were broader.
Despite the nature of the date, he was still ecstatic to be going with Summer, he was the envy of his nerd circle because of it. Considering some of the guys were his college classmates. They were even demanding a ‘post-date’ debriefing.
Chester didn’t bother closing the door to his room as he and mom made their way to the inverted curved double stairwell.
He was greeted, with a somewhat coy, and impressed “Hey handsome, sorry I’m late.”
At the bottom of the stairwell was the goddess Summer, aglow in a class of beauty the was all her own. She was wearing a blue and green halter neck bikini, with a matching Hawaiian print sarong, that complimented her brown skin. She was little taller with three inch sandie wedges.
Hair dark brown hair, a lovely mass of natural curls, that framed her face perfectly, it brought her eyes and lips into focus.
Chester could’ve easily been knocked down the stairs with a feather.
Eileen, had to elbow him to snap him out of it.
“It’s ok.”, he managed, making his way down the stairs, kicking himself for saying that, when what he meant say, was a simple hello.
Mrs. McTech knew Summer as Brenda’s “older sister”, but now she’s looking her as Chester’s date, and that was with a totally different set of eyes.
Her train of thought was interrupted by Dougal McTech’s voice.
“Hey Summer. You two look good together, all set for your luau?”
Despite all the years of living in the states, there was a bit of his accent that refused to leave him.
“Um, yeah, but we are runnin’a tad late though…”, she replied.
“Say no more, be on your merry.”, he replied “Have a great time.”, he added.
“We will.”, they answered in unison, then immediately exchanged glances and a quick chuckle at the realization of their synchronized response.
Music played on the drive, which they sung to, and somewhat out of tune.
They could’ve cared less though. It was just good for him to be almost normal.
A kind, and gorgeous girl at his side, and better still, she was his date.
Summer was something of wild card for him. She had no ulterior motives, she spoke her mind, most of all, she was there for Brenda when Brenda’s quest for tabloid journalism, at the expense of club members reputations, blew up in her face.
Not that the club was a huge life-altering thing for any either them, but it was rather heartbreaking for him to see how far his sister thought she could go to get a scoop, only to crash and burn in the process thereof.
Summer was the one who turned Brenda onto using various social media to cover BHT Club’s events. Brenda made sure not to be non-intrusive, and it went over rather well. Eventually Brenda aka, Switchboard, eventually regained some of their trust back, although there was still the occasional side-eye.
She saved his sister’s dignity, respect, and became the sister she needed.
He wondered if that’s how he developed his well placed crush out of admiration and a sense of gratitude.
He made sure to steal whatever glances he could get without her noticing.
He couldn’t help but to smile.
”Somebody looks happy.”, she said catching his attention.
"Huh?", he replied through the blushing he tried to fight off, failing completely.
He barely noticed that they waiting at a traffic light.
”Oh...well, yeah!,” he replied, to which he added, “I…I usually don’t do the most of the club's parties of functions, it’s not really my thing.”
”I hear you. “, she sighed, “I wonder how Brenda’s done it for all this time without getting bored of it.”
She turned to Chester with a “Am I right?”, expression on her face, making eye contact.
Chester blinked hard, to kick his brain into gear to come up with an answer, so as not look like the deer in headlights that he obviously was.
”I have no idea whatsoever.”, he stammered.
Summer giggled at his comment.
His heart fluttered a bit that he could put a smile on her lips.
Upon arrival, Summer handed the keys to the Ladybugmobile to the valet, Chester took in all of Summer’s visage, again. She walked up to him, with a super confident, and feminine stride.
She looked him in the eyes, with a smile that could melt titanium.
”Shall we?” she inquired in an invitingly playful voice.
”Of course.”, he replied, smiling ear to ear.
At that, she gently locked her arms with his. Feeling Summer’s softness against his arm was beyond heavenly. For a nano second, he dared imagine what an embrace would feel like.
It was only a friendly date, he reminded himself, which was a dampener of a sort, but the looks they were getting walking into the luau arm in arm, it was totally worth it.
Brenda was kind of spazzing over not being with Phineas, when she wasn’t constantly checking her phone for new messages, she kept making nervous conversation with Summer.
It was something she did to calm herself down, while waiting between texts and pics from Phineas, and her announcements on live stream.
And now worst of all, somehow, Captain Good Body Surfer-Boy, Radley was now trying to flirt with his date, while they were hitting the quite pricey buffet.
Definitely a “Wtf!?” moment, if ever there was one.
After they seated themselves again, he entertained himself momentarily fantasizing about a rapier duel with Radley. He might be a great surfer, but Chester studied the rapier and dagger combat for a couple of years, as a hobby, and his muscle memory was on point.
Coming back to reality, he quickly assessed the situation, and his options. He could sit, and sulk, or he could do something about it.
He chose the latter.
Chester, politely excused himself from the table, trying his best to hide his abject loathing of Radley, and his bit of disappointment of the way the night was turning.
Summer slightly cocked her head ever so slightly looking at Chester, showing some actual concern.
Chester, for a nano-second, almost froze.
"Is everything okay?", Summer asked, with a bit of worry in her voice.
She had a cross of "Oh shit...", and an apologetic look in her eyes.
It appeared that she'd had the realization of what she was doing, and immediately regretted it.
Chester couldn't quite tell, but at the moment he was preoccupied with taking down his opponent, asap.
Sans the rapier.
Walking over to the table where the lei's were kept, Chester saw there was a bit of line, so he decided to send a text.
Brenda's was taking a sip of her drink, while she read the new text, dissappointed that it wasn't Phineas.
It read, "If Radley even looks like he wants to try and get Summer on the dance floor, cock block the bastard."
Quickly followed by a, "Thanks!", and a smiley.
Brenda nearly choked on her drink, and began coughing audibly.
This was something different, and new coming from her little brother.
Upon returning to the table, he saw Radley was gone, and wasn't about ask about it either, as put that in the "Don't know,don't care." file in his head.
Just as well, Radley is normally a likeable guy, but right now...not so much.
Brenda was smiling and looking at her cellphone. A text message form Phineas, no doubt.
Chester discovered, to his surprise, the newfound disdain for the surfer boy was quickly dissipated, when Summer's eyes met his, although, he still couldn't quite make out the expression.
It wasn't quite confusion, nor was it quite sadness.
Eyeing the lei, Summer smiled, and Chester almost forgot his own name.
"May I...", he started, then thinking about how the rest of question would sound.
"May I put this on you?", he asked hoping his face wasn't as red as he imagined.
"I'd be honored", Summer chimed, gracefully lowering her head to accept Chester's offer of the lei.
Chester was extra careful not to get the floral necklace caught in Summer's bountiful curly hair.
It smelled even better than the lei, Chester thought to himself.
As she sat back up, and gently shaking her head to get the lei to settle properly and her hair back in place.
It was good couple of seconds before he realized that her lips were moving.
"Oh I'm sorry, what were you saying?", he asked, hoping he wasn't acting as dorky as he felt.
Brenda was doing her best not pretend that she was still reading a text from Phineas, and not overhearing Summer and Chester's awkward, but cute exchange.
"How does it look?", she repeated through a short giggle.
"I actually don't have the words." he replied. "In a good way." he quickly added.
Other words came to mind after his hasty answer.
Exquisite, breathtaking, beautiful, and heart stopping were a few that came to mind after the fact.
"And may I lei you?" Summer asked, her hands outstretched to the lei that Chester was holding.
"Um, yeah!", he almost forgot he had the second one.
He leaned forward.
Catching her scent again, he decided she definitely smelled better than the lei.
"Oops, sorry.", he heard her say.
"I mussed your hair.", she added, using both hands, she began finger combing his hair back into place.
'I wanna be her cat!' he yelled to himself.
Smiling, she moved her fingers through his hair, not too slowly but definitely with an intent.
As far as Chester was concerned, if this was an apology, it was already accepted, without a doubt.
'It's now or never.', he thought.
"Hey...you want to go for a walk? It's really clear, and I took the liberty of having the astronomy club place telescopes on the beach."
Summer's face lit up.
"Stargazing with my date? Careful there, you're raising the bar.", she chuckled in sincerity.
"I would love to.", she was out of her chair before Chester could offer to help her out of it.
"See you later, sis.", Chester proclaimed, beaming.
The sand felt great felt on bare feet. Summer has a great sense of balance, almost cat like, but platform sandies were no match for beach sand.
Chester liked the fact that, that without them she wasn't that much taller than him.
They shared a telescope, and Chester was more than happy to point out any planets within the range of their telescope. He was quite energetic about it, and he never said anything in a way as to say, "I'm a prodigy.", for him this was just something he knew well, liked it, and liked sharing.
Especially with her.
She also noticed how much more mature Chester really was, in his own right, and his own environment.
He decided that he didn't want to bore her, and that walking a little further down the beach would be cool.
At some point during the walk, Summer slipped her arm through Chester's.
She noticed the "Play it cool.", smile slide across his lips.
There were fire pits that were burning, tiki torches, and luxurious blankets. They were placed far apart enough for the private conversation, non-telescope aided star gazing, and hinting heavily at a bit of romance.
She picked a spot and they made use of a huge beach blanket.
Settling in, Summer closed her eyes, deeply inhaling the night time ocean air.
Chester couldn't help but look at her. Golden fire light on her skin, the ocean's breeze playing with her hair.
Slowly opening her eyes, she could feel Chester's eyes on her.
His eyes half open, looking at her by the fire light, he looked...well, a little drunk.
"Hi.", she said, breaking the silence.
"Hi.", he returned the sentiment.
"How's your night going?", she asked softly, with obvious concern.
"Better than what I anticipated, actually.", he replied with absolute honesty, even with the whole Radley thing wasn't a factor anymore.
"Oh?", she smiled wryly. "What you were expecting? Godzilla showing and crashing the party?", she asked, in a giggling and breathy voice.
"It would make more sense than him showing up in New York.", he said referring to a particularly terrible American produced Godzilla film from the late 90's.
"Good point." They both laughed at the thought.
"I mean, really, what the hell were they thinking?", she asked in laughter.
"I have no idea whatsoever.", Chester was equally amused and laughing, at the absurdity of it all.
After wiping away a tear or two, letting the laughter trail off, they allowed for a comfortable silence to settle in again, and listened to the sounds of the ocean waves breaking on the shore.
Exchanging a mutual glance, Chester's heart was pounding through his chest, although he never let it show.
Or so he hoped.
At that moment, he felt the warmth of a hand, over his own.
"Thank you Chester. I'm really glad I came with you tonight.", she confessed, softly, a slight smile on her face, and lightly squeezing his hand.