Everyone at Broch Mordha Academy was excited about the upcoming annual end of year ceilidh.
The lads were getting excited about asking the lassies to be their dates. The lassies were excited about the opportunity to go dress shopping and dress up for a wonderful night out with their school friends.
Almost all the pupils in the school were paired up with dates. Except for Claire, Jenny, Geillis, Mary, Jamie, Willie, Ian, Rupert and Angus. The nine pupils had all been friends since childhood. They grew up together in the small town of Broch Mordha, and had all been close friends throughout both Primary and Secondary school. Every year, the nine friends go to the dance together as a group.
Claire was busy putting away her history books in her locker before walking home with her friends. She had been held up speaking with her teacher, and asked her friends to meet her out front. Whilst she was putting away her books, Frank Randall suddenly appeared behind her.
“Frank. What can I do for you? I really need to be heading home.” Claire stated without turning round to face him.
“I was wondering if you would like to accompany me to the ceilidh next week?” He asked nervously.
Claire and Frank had been an item for almost two months, until Claire realised that they weren’t right for each other. She didn’t feel the connection with him she thought should be there. He was a really nice lad. They had been quite friendly before, but they hadn’t really spoken since she ended things. She was aware that he wanted them to try again.
“I’m sorry Frank, I don’t think that would be a good idea. I’m going with my friends, like always. I’m sure some other girl would be more than happy to go with you though.”
“I don’t want some other girl though Claire. I only want you. I know we could have so much fun at the dance together.” He was almost pleading with her.
Claire closed her locker over and turned to face Frank. “I’m sorry Frank, I don’t think so.”
Claire moved away from her locker and headed for the exit. On her way down the corridor, her friend Jamie was stood waiting for her. He didn’t look very pleased to see Frank Randall watching them.
“Jamie, I thought you were waiting outside?” Claire asked him as she approached him.
“I just came to see if ye would be long. The others have started to walk on.” Jamie kept his eyes on Frank as he walked away in the other direction. “Was he bothering ye then?” Jamie asked Claire, referring to Frank.
“No. He just asked me to be his date to the ceilidh. I said I didn’t think it was a good idea.” She could tell Jamie wasn’t happy, so she took him by the arm and dragged him out of the school building. “Come on Mr Fraser. Walk me home.”
Claire and Jamie took their time walking home. They very much enjoyed each other’s company and didn’t feel the need to hurry to catch up with the rest of their friends.
“Can I ask ye somethin’ Sassenach?”
“Of course. What is it?” Claire asked as they were approaching Claire’s house.
“I was wonderin’ if ye wanted to come to the ceilidh wi’ me?” Jamie asked with some hesitation, worried of being knocked back.
“We’re already going together Jamie.” She chuckled.
“Och, I ken that. I just... I wondered how ye would feel about goin’... as my date, instead of goin’ as... just pals?” Jamie asked shyly as he focused on the pavement they were walking on instead of looking at Claire.
“You’re asking me to be your date to the ceilidh?”
“Well, aye. I mean... only if ye wanted to. We can go as pals if ye want, I just—“
Claire grabbed Jamie’s arm and made him turn to face her. “I would love to be your date Jamie.” Claire said with a wide smile on her face.
Jamie couldn’t help but smile back. “Good. Thank ye Sassenach. I’ll make sure we have a wonderful time.” He said as they continued walking up the street to Claire’s house.
When they got to Claire’s front door, she invited Jamie in, but he kindly declined and said he had to get home to help his da on the farm.
“Jamie, can I ask why you asked me to be your date to the dance, and not some other girl? I mean... girls are always throwing themselves at you, praying for you to notice them. Why me?” Claire asked him shyly as he walked down her path heading for the gate.
“Yer my best friend Sassenach, I was hoping we could be more?”
Jamie walked away leaving Claire stood at her front door frozen in place with a smile plastered on her face that she was sure wouldn’t fade any time soon.
When Claire’s mother Julia eventually managed to coax Claire in to the house, the first thing Claire did was call her friend Jenny, Jamie’s older sister, and her friend Geillis to tell them that she and Jamie were going to the ceilidh together. Geillis and Jenny were over the moon at the news. It had been clear ever since Jamie and Claire were small children, that there was some sort of chemistry between them. It was only a matter of time that they got together.
The night of the Ceilidh came, and Jamie had his father drive him over to pick up Claire and take them both to the dance.
Both Jamie and Claire’s parents were over the moon that their children were going to the dance together. They also knew that there was a spark between the two best friends. They had all wondered what had taken them so long to act on their feelings for one another.
Jamie had knocked on Claire’s front door and was greeted by her parents. It didn’t take long for Claire to come in to view behind them. She was dressed in a beautiful long, laced sleeved bright red gown that hit the floor. She wore a gorgeous silver necklace with her initials on it that Jamie had bought her last Christmas. The red of her dress matched the red of Jamie’s kilt. He was wearing his Fraser colours with white shirt, and a black waistcoat and an Argyll jacket.
Jamie could barely breathe due to how beautiful Claire looked. Claire felt the same about him. She had seen Jamie in his kilt many a time before over the years, but he looked different to her tonight.
Claire and Jamie had lots of fun together at the ceilidh. They laughed, they danced, they had a fun night with their friends as well as spending time just the two of them. It was perfect.
As the ceilidh was coming to an end, Jamie had asked Claire is she would be willing to let him walk her home, instead of him calling for his dad to come and get them. She accepted his proposal and they told Jamie’s brother Willie what they were doing.
Jamie and Claire left the school hand in hand and enjoyed a summer nights stroll home. Since it was June, it was still daylight, even at nine in the evening. There was no rush for them to get home, so they took their time walking, enjoying each other’s company.
“Thank you so much for asking me to be your date tonight Jamie. I really enjoyed myself.”
“You’re verra welcome Sassenach. I’m glad ye had fun.”
When they reached Claire’s house, they both sat on the step for a good ten minutes just gazing at each other and holding hands.
“Sassenach, I’d verra much like to kiss ye. May I?” Jamie asked nervously.
Claire nodded as she smiled at him. “You don’t have to ask me Jamie.”
Right there, on Claire’s front step, Jamie and Claire shared their first proper kiss. It was slow and gentle.
Claire moved her hands out of Jamie’s grasp and slid her hands up to his cheeks. Jamie in turn, moved his hands to hold on to her waist.
It wasn’t until they heard Claire’s father clearing his throat at the door that they pulled apart.
Jamie stood up immediately and apologised to Claire and her father. Claire couldn’t help but laugh.
“Ye have exactly sixty seconds to say goodnight to my lass Fraser, before I kick ye doon that path.” Claire’s father mocked with a huge grin on his face.
“Aye, sorry. I’ll be on my way.”
Claire’s father grunted and then made his way back in to the house grinning at his wife.
Jamie kissed Claire on the cheek and made his way down the path. “I’m gonna marry ye one day, ye ken that?” He shouted to Claire who was still on the front step.
“Really? And what if I say no?” She called back.
“Ken what? I dinna think ye will Sassenach.” Jamie said.
“No, I don’t think I would.” She said simply.
They both smiled at each other and Claire stood there on the front step until Jamie Fraser was no longer in sight.