Spoiler ALERT: First kiss might have happened sometime during this date
Rob opened the car door for me when he picked me up. He has a always been a gentleman. He always opens the door for me everywhere we go; it still means a lot to me. After we got in the car we drove up MillCreek Canyon with a movie and Rob’s hammock. It was still light out when we finally settled on a spot to park the car and find a forested area to hang the hammock. There were lots of trees in the area, but not very many that were the right distance apart to hang the hammock. After walking south of the road into the trees a little ways, down near the river and not finding anywhere that was ideal, we decided to look for a place north of the road.
After hiking far enough away from the road that the sound of passing cars was slightly muffled and not too intrusive, we hung the hammock between two small, strong trees. Getting both of us into the hammock was like an unplanned wrestling match, with the hammock swaying and sliding down lower and lower between the trees as we tried to get settled in! It was hilarious! We were laughing throughout the process. By the time we finally got situated together in the hammock, we were only hanging about 2 feet from the ground; but there was no way we were getting out and starting that process all over again! Ha!
Propping my iPad up on our legs in a stable position turned out to be a more difficult feat than we thought it would be. Rob ended up having to hold the iPad with his left hand then conveniently placed his other around around me. With two bodies in his little one-person hammock, cuddling was a guarantee….movie or no movie… and I don’t think either of us minded one bit.
By the time the movie was over it was really dark out. The air was a little crisp, but we stayed tightly wrapped together under our small blanket to keep warm. The night sky was perfectly clear; the stars looked absolutely gorgeous. We laid in the hammock and talked about anything and everything for hours. Towards the end of the movie, Rob slipped his hand into mine and we cuddled up a little tighter. I loved being close to him. I felt safe. After we had been talking for a little while, our bodies having shifted some in the hammock, cheeks now gently resting on one another, there was a lingering pause in our conversation and Rob bravely leaned down and kissed me. It was kind of an awkward position to kiss in, especially for a first kiss, but first kisses are almost always a little awkward; other than that it was a cute and pleasant surprise to me. I wasn’t sure if he was too interested in me at that point, as more than a friend, and it had taken him almost the entire movie to hold my hand, so I didn’t expect him to try for a kiss, but I was glad he did! I needed a man who would take initiative, and he certainly did! He carried himself with an easy-going and confident demeanor, and that made it easier to be myself around him.
As we continued to talk, at some point, I am guessing after midnight, we heard big footsteps and deep heavy breathing coming from a very large animal, extremely close to us. It felt like we were in a horror film and everyone in the audience could see the giant beast about to eat us, but we couldn’t do anything but sit still and wait. I was terrified. I could sense that Rob was scared too, but he kept his composure really well. He made me feel safe and protected in his arms. He gently told me to keep quiet. I laid there tense, my body paralyzed. I could feel our heats beating rapidly, both of us breathing heavily but trying not to make any noise. Rob slowly reached one of his arms out of the hammock and felt around on the ground for anything he could throw. He found a stick and threw in a distance away from us, trying to get a better read on where the animal was hiding in relation to us. The large beast still panting, we kept quiet and motionless in our I didn’t dare get out of the hammock!
After what seemed like a very very long period of waiting, hoping, and praying (me, praying my brains out), the animal finally took off into the woods in the opposite direction of us. What a relief! We both really think it was a moose because of the heaviness of the footsteps and the volume/depth of the breathing, but thank goodness we will never know what big beastly animal came to visit us that night! I am just glad that whatever it was didn’t get any closer to us and didn’t stay too long. Dang that was terrifying.
It took a while for my heart to calm down, but even after my heart rate slowed, my mind kept exploring the possibility of that massive mystery animal coming back for round two. Every time I heard anything rustle in the trees or bushes, I was sure our mystery moose had returned and was planning to get up close and personal!
We stayed in the hammock and talked until about 3am. I was genuinely enjoying our conversations, but part of me was also petrified thinking about leaving the safety of the hammock and having to make a mad dash for the car knowing the animal was still out there; so that was in the back of my mind as we talked. We finally decided we should probably get home or we were going to fall asleep out there in the canyon. I quickly half-way put my shoes on and sprinted/fumbled myself down the small hill to the car; almost falling on my face at least 3 times along the way. When we were safely inside the car I took a deep breath and looked at Rob, completely calm and collected, and had to laugh at myself for where I let my mind take me.
I noticed how bright the moon was that night as we drove back to my little house in Millcreek. The roads were well lit and it didn’t seem quite as late as it actually was. When we pulled up to my house, we talked for another half hour or so. Rob came around to the passenger side of the car as I got out, and then walked me to the door.
We could have talked all night and well into the morning. I loved talking to him; hearing about his life, his travels, his thoughts and opinions. Each day we spent time together I got more and more glimpses into who he was; an incredibly smart, genuine, and humble guy who loves learning. It had been so long since I had felt such a natural connection with a guy, I was still somewhat in disbelief about how easy this friendship and attraction were developing. I liked it, but I was unsure about his intentions/interests, so I was trying not to read into anything at this point. Either way, we were having an awesome time together and it was clear that both of us were enjoying the ride.