My first date took place when I was in Grade 8 and sleeping away from home for the weekend at school conference. The boys and girls were separated into dorms at the local University, and after the main events took place most of the attendees retired to one of the dorm's chill rooms to watch TV, sing, talk or generally act silly. I distinctly remember Midnight Oil's 'Beds are Burning' playing behind me when a boy by the name of Jakob walked over and told me I had cute knees. It took me a while to realize he was making a play on my last name (Albo), so he pointed to my elbow and asked, "Are they bony too?" This time, the play on my first name (Bonny) got me laughing.
Jakob then asked me if I wanted to come with him and a few other folks who were heading down to the beach for a bonfire. I jumped up, took the hand he'd extended toward me, and ran out the door with him to join his friends from a local school. I saw one of my classmates on the way down to the beach, and she decided to join us as well.
I didn't know how far the beach was, or how treacherous the walk would be, and if I'd known I probably wouldn't have agreed to the trek. It was dark, and under the cover of thick, old, massive trees, it was cold and difficult to see much of anything. I fell a few times on the tree branch stairs before Jakob found me, grabbed my hand, and escorted me the 30 or so minutes down the trail.
A few people sang as we walked, and others chatted quietly. Jakob and I said nothing, but he stroked my hand gently as we moved. After a...