Over March break 2005, a few things happened. I turned 14, got my period (finally), much to my male best friends amusement, and finally felt as if my boobs had developed enough I could buy a “real” bra at La Senza (with Priya guiding me). I then went back to school where my friend Zoe was all hyped up because she was going to have a massive birthday party, and her Mom would be out of town. Zoe’s best friend was Brittany who was one of the best dressed girls in school, and was in the same grade as Mitchi and Priya. Her ex-boyfriend was Ethan Smith who was one of the most athletic boys in school;he was the best at track and was a star on the rugby field. She was all panicked because she had invited both Ethan and Britt to her birthday party,and she didn’t know how that would work. “I should distract Ethan with Amanda or something,” she muttered, mentioning one of my best friends who was quite gorgeous. “Amanda and Ethan…hm that’s a weird match,” I said to her and she agreed. “Ethan would totally intimidate her,” she said as I nodded in agreement. I didn’t know Ethan personally, but I knew of him, everyone at my school did. He was about as blonde and blue eyed as they come, and one of the sweetest people you could meet claimed everyone who knew him.
The day of Zoe’s birthday party Mitchi, Priya, and I went out for dinner at The Noodle Box, and then slowly made our way over. “Someone better have bought more booze,” Mitchi grumbled as usual, and Priya and I rolled our eyes. When we got there though; we soon discovered that indeed people had brought booze, lots of it. “Well this is going to be fun!” Mitchi said happily and joined in on a game of kings cup. Priya and I went off to find something else to do rather than drink ourselves to the point of being sick.“ETHAN!” Priya suddenly screamed. “PRIYA! How are you sweetheart?” said Ethan,who was indeed quite cute. “You’re Chelsea right?” Ethan asked, and I jumped back, surprised the guy even knew my name. “Yeah, that’s me,” I said sheepishly. “Well you look beautiful, where did you get your outfit? Somewhere in Vancouver right?” “Yeah at TNA on Robson,” I said pleased that he had noticed. “Can I get you a drink?” he asked me and I blushed. “Sure, a beer would be cool,” I said and he had a playful glint in his eye. “Well, I will,but only if you promise to have a drink with me,” he said and Priya nudged me forward. “Okay, why not,” I said acting like it was no big deal that a popular jock in tenth grade wanted to have a drink with me. That night Ethan and I talked about everything from grades in school, to our futures, to what we wanted to see happen in our lives at the present. “I just want to find one person in this world who understands me really,” he said. “Sorry if that’s too deep,” “it’s not…I want the exact same thing,” I admitted. Then he looked at me and asked “so you’re really pretty, very intelligent, and very similar to me,if you don’t let me have your number I might lose it,” he laughed. “Of course you can,” I said more than shocked that this was happening. I then had to leave soon after because Mitchi was drunk to the point of almost passing out, and someone needed to carry him home. Once I got into my room however I started jumping up and down happily, and the next morning skipped to the table for breakfast where I gleefully told my Mom that a popular boy had asked me for my number.
The next week at school Ethan and I hung out almost every day,much to the envy of my classmates. “You like him!” Mitchi teased me constantly whenever I would walk home with him after school. “So? I like him, but he still hasn’t asked me out,” “oh he will, he talks about you in English class all the time!” “HE DOES?” I squealed. “Yeah! He asks what you like, and what your favourite colour is, and if you like him and now I know that you do!” cackled Mitchi. “DON’T YOU DARE TELL HIM OR I’LL KILL YOU!” I screamed. “Oh look at this CHELSEA LOVES ETHAN CHELSEA LOVES ETHAN!” “You are so juvenile!” I said jumping on his back to shut him up. “Well let’s see if he has the balls to ask you out,” said Mitchi, and I prayed he would.
Friday night of that week I was sleeping over at Mitchi’s house when I got a call. “IT’S HIM! IT’S ETHAN!” I screamed, and I could feel my heart pounding. “PICK UP!” Mitchi screamed, and I just shook my head. “Fuck!”said Mitchi and grabbed my cellphone from my hand. “Hi Ethan, it’s Mitchi,” he said happily. “Yeah, she’s right here, hold on,” he went on and then handed me the phone. “Now or never Chels, come on,” he said and held one of my shaking hands as I put the phone to my ear. “Hey Ethan!” I said in an unfamiliar screechy voice which made Mitchi giggle. “Hey Chels! What are you up too?” “Oh you know, just hanging out with Mitchi,” I said nervously. “Aw that’s so sweet! Well I have a question for you,” said Ethan. “Go ahead,” I said bouncing up and down. “Well uh, I just wanted to tell you, even though I think it’s kind of obvious; but I really like you…so I was wondering if you wanted to go on a date with me tomorrow?” Ethan asked, and sounded just as nervous as I felt. “I like you too Ethan,” I giggled “of course I’ll go on a date with you.” “Really? Great! How about we meet at the Bay Centre fountain at eleven thirty?” “Sounds wonderful!” I giggled again. “Uh cool, well I guess I’ll see you then! Bye!”
“TOMORROW? YOU HAVE A DATE TOMORROW?” Mitchi screams at me when I get off the phone. “Yeah…” “This is your first date! We have to prepare!”he screams, and I just laugh. “I don’t feel like I have to do anything, other than dress nicely, Ethan likes me the way I am,” I tell him and Mitchi just sighs. “If it was my first date I’d be on my way to the salon right now,” he says and I just shrug. “Come into the Gap tomorrow when you’re with him so I can see you guys!” he says happily. Mitchi had just got a job as a sales associate there, which was great for my wardrobe because I got deals off of him all the time. “What are you going to wear tomorrow?” he asks. “Skinny jeans,” I grin. Mitchi and I had just discovered the new skinny jean craze, which no one at our school had caught onto yet, but every day without fail we wore our skinny jeans, and every day we got compliments. “Good, I wish I was a helpful gay best friend and could help you get dressed or something,” he said and I laughed. “It’s fine, I have it covered,” I said. “I know you do.”
The next morning I ran home to get ready and set out downtown for my first date. I got to the fountain about fifteen minutes early which gave me plenty of time to have a normal fourteen year old girl meltdown. I was dressed up in a black and white striped top, with my black skinny jeans, what if he didn’t like what I was wearing? I nervously pulled on one of my ringlets as I waited, and tried to stop my hands from shaking. Then he came down the escalator towards me, it happened so slowly almost like a bad movie, and I repeatedly told myself to calm down, he was just a boy, an extremely popular older one, but a boy just the same. “Hey Chels!” he said and hugged me, that was the thing about Ethan; he had a way of making me feel calm and happy right away. “So I was thinking we could get something to eat if you want?” he asked and I agreed, since my nerves had now been set aside I was rather hungry. We started walking down Johnson Street, past the Gap, and I craned my head to see if I could see Mitchi but I couldn’t. “Can I hold your hand?” Ethan asked shyly, and I nodded. Oh my God. We then walked into the beautiful Market Square, and he took me over to my favourite poutine store. “You go here also?”I asked shocked, “it’s my favourite place!” he laughed. “Mine also!” I said,and we both got a poutine, which he paid for. “I didn’t know if you expected something fancier, but I don’t think there’s a more beautiful place in the city than Market Square,” he said. “This is actually perfect,” I said, and completely agreed with him. This was a perfect date. “Next time though we’ll do dinner, and I’ll take you to Ferris’,” he said and my insides flipped flopped.Never mind Ferris’ being the most expensive restaurants in Victoria, he said ‘next time’. Lunch with Ethan was amazing, he told me a bit about his family, he had an older brother and sister who both lived out of town, and his parents had divorced when he was seven. Since then he had gone through two different stepfathers, and seemed to have every luxury in the world. “I would love to live in New York City someday,” he said to me. “I want to live in London England,” I grinned. “I think everyone who lives in Victoria wants to get out,the sad thing is that they never do,” said Ethan and shrugged, “but I will and so will you!” he said determined. “I know I will, I hate it here,” I said. “So do I…but now we have each other,” said Ethan with a smile and I blushed.
After lunch we walked over to a gelato shop. “What’s yourfavourite flavour?” Ethan asked when we were standing in line, “hazelnut!” I said and his face lit up. “Mine also!” We ended up getting a scoop of hazelnut and lindor chocolate, and sat outside and shared. “This has been the best day I’ve had in years,” I admitted to Ethan. “Same here actually…uh can I kiss you?” he asked shyly and I slowly nodded, trying to remember in ten seconds all I learned about kissing from Mitchi. When it happened it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be, it came naturally between Ethan and me, it seemed everything just came naturally with the two of us. As we were sitting finishing up our gelato, Ethan’s cellphone went off. “It’s my Mom,” he groaned and I laughed. “Hey Mom….Yes….Yeah I’m downtown I’m on a date with Chelsea I already told you….yeah….really? Well I’ll ask but yeah….okay bye.” “Is everything okay?”I asked and Ethan just sort of blushed. “She’s downtown, she wants to buy me clothes,” he snickered, “also I think she just wants to meet you…do you like the Gap?” I almost breathed a sigh of relief, if I had to meet Ethan’s Mother already then at least Mitchi would be there. “Yeah! Mitchi’s there,” I said and Ethan smiled. “Cool, well lets go meet her,” he said and grabbed my hand. I had no idea what the hell to expect, but I certainly didn’t expect this. Ethan’s Mom was only about 5’0, platinum blonde, and wearing every sort of designer name you could imagine. Pretty much everything about her screamed “I’M WEALTHIER THAN YOU”. “OH MY GOD ARE YOU CHELSEA? YOU’RE SO PRETTY!” she screamed in my face before giving me a tight hug. “Hello Mrs. Smith,” I said shyly. “Oh no please! Call me Stefani!” she said and dragged us both into the Gap. Mitchi smiled at me from across the store. “Who’s that?” she asked me. “Oh that’s my best friend, I’ve known him since I was five,” I explained and she smiled. “He’s gorgeous! I thought he was your brother you two look alike!” “Uh no he’s kind of…Asian….” I said and Ethan laughed. “No way! He looks nothing like one,” she said and then wandered away. “So yeah…sorry…” said Ethan with a shrug. “She’s hilarious!” I said and Ethan looked relieved. I wandered over to say hi to Mitchi, who pulled me into a corner. “What happened?” he whispered, and I told him everything. “OH MY GOD YOUR FIRST KISS? Holy shit!” he said with a huge grin. “Chelsea! Come here sweetie!” said Ethan’s Mom with a pile of clothes in her hand. “Try all of these on,” she said and handed me everything she was carrying. “Sorry?” “Just try them,” she said literally pushing me into a dressing room. I don’t know how, but she knew my size just from looking at me,and she had great taste in clothes, I would have picked all of the same outfits. “Do you like them?” she asked me when I had tried them all on. “Yeah, I’m going to buy one!” I said happily and she sighed. “No you’re taking them all and I’m going to buy them,” she said impatiently. “No it’s okay you don’t have-““Give them to me,” she said snatching them out of my hand and walking to the cash register before I had time to say anything else. “Oh my god,” Mitchi mouthed to me, watching the whole scene unfold. A moment later she handed me five bags full of clothes. Ethan had about double that, which made me laugh. “I’ve never seen a guy enjoy shopping so much,” and Ethan blushed. “Is that weird?” he asked cautiously. “No it’s great, seriously!” I reassured him, and he lit up again. “You’re great Chelsea,” he said and gave me another quick kiss before his Mom turned around again.