"Why is every channel in this country the news? I am so bored of watching the news. All you hear about is people being murdered on your doorstep. I think I might buy a gun." Mike was sat on the end of my bed glued to my television.
"Mike, are you even listening? I'm having a dilemma over here."
"What? Oh, wear a shirt mate, can't go wrong with a shirt can you."
I looked at the line up of shirts I had in front of me, "A shirt? Okay, but which bloody one? Pink, brown, yellow, black?" I picked a selection of the shirts out of the wardrobe.
"What are you?" Mike asked, looking up.
"What are you?" He asked again, looking at the shirts in my hand.
"What size am I?" I asked back.
"No you muppet, I couldn't care what size you are. Are you a man?" Mike looked up at me.
"Mike, we have known each other for years, by now you should have established my gender. Yes I am a man." I placed the shirts down on my bed, looking in confusion at Mike.
"Do you have balls?"
"Yes thank you. Where are you going with this?" I questioned.
"And do you exude masculinity?" Mike picked up two of the shirts.
"I like to think so." I replied.
"Well, wear the pink one then." Mike handed me the casual pink shirt in his hand.
"Yes, but it is a bit cold for just a shirt don't you think? I held the shirt in front of me.
"Well, wear that blazer you have and that chunky nit scarf hanging there, add to that a pair of jeans and some casual loafers and you are sorted mate." Mike had his head stuck in my wardrobe, throwing clothes back into the room behind him as he searched around.
"Right, Mike have you been watching Queer Eye re-runs again?" I began to button up the pink shirt and stood in front of my mirror, "This new side to you is starting to freak me out. People will start to talk."
"Let them, I am comfortable mate, it's good to be able to talk about fashion confidently, the ladies love it." Mike grabbed his coat and made his way to my front door. He turned back and looked me up and down. "That's it mate, I think my work here is done. Good luck, I am off to get some dinner from that deli on the corner. Let me know how it goes."
"Cheers mate, I will call you later."
Mike left my apartment, leaving me to my own thoughts. Panic set in while I was thrusting wax through my hair. Where is she going to take me? Is she even going to turn up? Do I look good? Is she going to look so good that I am lost for words? Am I actually going to like her? Will she even like me? It was too late to worry by now, I had to get a move on.
It was cold outside, even with my scarf on gloves on I could feel a draft up my back. I walked a couple of blocks to get my head straight and then caught a taxi down to 5th Avenue to meet up with Stephanie. I was giving myself a good 40 minutes to get there to ensure I wasn't late. Traffic was light so the journey was shorter than I was anticipating, I got out of the cab a couple of blocks from our meeting spot and took a light stroll, buying some gum on my way.
As I approached the Apple store I could feel my heart racing. It had been months since I had gone on a first date, it was my first date with a true american girl, and my first date in the city. So many things could go wrong, and knowing my luck, all of them would.
I rounded the last corner and immediately spotted her stood waiting for me just to the left of the Apple store. She was wearing a long knitted jacket, a large scarf, skinny jeans and boots, and the cute hat she wore the first time I saw her. To be cliche, my heart skipped a beat, I paused for a moment, composing myself. She was carrying a pair of ice skates over her shoulder.
"Stephanie, am I late?" I tapped her gently on the arm.
"Hi Jack, no your not. I'm early."
"Oh good, you had me worried for a second there. So how are..."
"Guess what?" Stephanie interrupted.
"We are going ice skating!" She beamed with a smile.
"But I can't..."
"Well, you will just have to learn won't you. Come on, the light is fading and the view from the rink in the park is just amazing." She said as she grabbed my hand and made her way towards the road.
I couldn't get a word in edge ways. "But...Okay I guess I could give it a..."
"It's my turn to try and break your legs now, you better be ready for this." She looked back at me, her eyes burning a bright shade of blue. She looked a little too excited.
"Oh I don't think I will ever be ready for this love." I replied, with fear in my shaky voice.