“Hey there, beautiful. That’s a pretty dress, were you at a party or something?” Mia blushed as the man sat down next to her. “Actually, I just celebrated my birthday.” she smiled at him. “Nice. How does it feel being a young adult?” He winked.
“Ha! You mean an adult.” She smiled again.
“No way. You don’t look it. I’m Tatum by the way.”
“Mia. It’s nice to meet you.” Mia could feel her cheeks turning pink.
Mia and Tatum talked for hours. He was so charming and Mia felt really comfortable with him. She learned that he was a bit of a goofball and, just like her, he loved the outdoors. He really seemed too good to be true.
“I should probably get going.” He stood up. “Why don’t you meet me at the national park in the morning. There’s something I’d like to show you.”
Mia looked up at Tatum. “I’d like that. I’ll see you at 10?”
“It’s a date.” He gave her one last smile before walking away.
Mia waited for half an hour at the lookout. Tatum was late. Or not coming. She decided it was time to leave when he appeared behind her. “I’m sorry I’m late.” He smiled at her. “You kept me up so late, I overslept.” Mia giggled. “That’s okay, you’re forgiven.” She winked.
“I’m glad. I don’t know what I would do if you were mad at me.” He touched her hand, causing Mia to blush again. What was it about this man that made her so giddy?
“So, Mia. Where are you from?” Tatum asked. “And how long do I have the pleasure of your company?”
“I’m from a little town called Newcrest. I’m here until tomorrow morning. I have a lot of things I have to take care of back home.”
Tatum stared for a moment. “I thought that town was empty.”
“It is. I mean, it was. I volunteered to build it up. I actually just finished building a park.”
“Wow, that’s impressive!” Tatum exclaimed.
“Yeah, I guess.” Mia shrugged. “It gets pretty lonely though. Mine is the only house in the whole town.”
“Well, you know what they say. Build it and they will come.” He smiled, making Mia blush again.
Tatum showed Mia around Granite Falls and they spent the afternoon looking up at the clouds and pointing out the different shapes they made. “That one kind of looks like a cowplant.” Tatum pointed up at the sky. “I have one of those.” Mia smiled. “You should come and see it sometime.” Tatum looked over at her. “I’d like that.”
The rest of the evening was nice. Mia and Tatum roasted some marshmallows by the fire and got to know each other more. Mia was really starting to feel connected to this man. She didn’t want to think about the fact that she had to leave in the morning. Just thinking about it made her miss him even though he was right in front of her.
“There’s one last thing I want to show you before you return home.” Tatum stood up.
Tatum led Mia to another waterfall, tucked away deep in the woods. It felt like there was a presence their pushing them together. Mia looked at Tatum and everything seemed to make sense. She had made a wish when she blew out her birthday candles. And that wish had come true. She closed her eyes and leaned towards him in a passionate first kiss. All her nerves settled when she felt his lips against hers in a kiss that seemed to last forever.
She couldn’t wait to tell her friends all about her day with the handsome stranger that turned out to be the perfect vacation romance. They were all so excited for her. Mia was too excited about her first kiss that she failed to notice that Katrina’s hair had turned grey.