Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 2

It was less crowded today, not sure why, but I found a table, it wasn’t until I sat down that I realized it was the table from yesterday. It made me smile and wonder if I’d see Paul today. Last night I had thoroughly enjoyed my fantasy about him. It was the best bubble bath I’d ever had.

I had my notebook out, was in deep thought over work. I heard the door jingle as someone walked in, but I didn’t register it.

“Excuse me, is this seat taken?” a deep voice said, and before I looked up I knew who it was.

“No,” I said smiling up at Paul.

“Good,” he sat down, today he didn’t have a newspaper but he did have a cinnamon roll.

I smiled as I looked at his purchase, he shrugged and picked a piece of it off and ate it. This time I watched as he licked the icing from his fingers. I hadn’t paid much attention to his hands yesterday. He had strong hands, with long fingers, and I noticed no wedding band. I looked down at my notebook not knowing what I was about to write.

“What do you do with that little book?” he asked giving me that smile.

“I’m a journalist,” I said vaguely.

“That must be interesting,” he said with a chuckle. This was a relatively small city/town; there were rarely any hard breaking stories around here.

Laughing back, “Oh yeah, it’s rife with excitement. What about you Mr. Briefcase?”

“I’m an Accounting Manager.”

“Interesting,” I said with a smile.

“Boring,” he said shaking his head.

“How’s the cinnamon roll?” I asked trying to find something, anything to say other than the “God you are hot. Take me now” that was screaming around my head.

“Just as delicious as I thought it would be,” he said giving me that melt my heart smile. I smiled back and took a sip of coffee.

“They have the best,” I said picking up my pen again, and making a doodle in the corner of the page as I tried again to figure out what it was I was planning on saying.

We were quiet for a while then, eating and drinking our ‘lunch’. I felt him looking at me, and I looked up, and saw an intense look on his face. I couldn’t help the sudden intake of breath, at the sight of the heat in his eyes. For a few heartbeats we stayed staring at each other, he dipped his eyes and gave me one of those little boy grins. I stared down at the paper in front of me, like it was my last life line and tried to remember how to breathe.

It had been a long time since anyone had looked at me like that. I had forgotten what it felt like, how it makes your stomach twist into a knot and feel like it’s about to jump out of your throat. How your heart beats so fast and so loud in your ears that you can’t fathom how no one can hear it. How all you want to do was grin up at the person, almost against your will, with pure bliss. But I looked at the paper instead, because I wasn’t 16 anymore, I was 25, and you can’t turn into a giggling school girl at 25.

He cleared his throat nervously and it brought my eyes involuntarily up to his. I smiled and blushed against my will.

“Have you seen the new movie theatre that’s going up?” he said suddenly, and I swear I saw sweat on his forehead even though it was cool as a cucumber inside today.

“Yeah, it’s about time, the old one is barely standing.”

“I’ve heard people complaining about it, saying that it’s a relic for this town. Many people had their first dates or met their future spouse there.”

“People here are very serious about their history,” I said nodding.

“You from around here.”

“Nope. You?”

“No,” he said shaking his head. I picked up my cup in both hands, and he mirrored me.

“I am looking forward to the new theatre. I just hope they don’t tear down the old one.”

“I’m pretty sure, if they did the people would revolt,” he said laughing.

“We’d have one hell of an angry mob.”

“No joke.”

“So where are you from?” I asked.

“Searcy,” he said with a one sided smile, “You?”


Laughing, “We’re both far from home then.”

“What made you come here?”

“It was one of those a friend of a friend of a friend referred me to the company I work for.”

“This was the only paper that would take a girl straight out of college with zero experience. It didn’t hurt that I went to college nearby and one of my professors suggested I apply.”

“Do you miss home?” he asked softly.

“Sometimes, but it’s not a long drive for a visit,” I said swirling the coffee in my cup, “Do you miss it?”

“Not really,” he leaned back in his chair, “I like being in an area that is my own so to speak. Back there, as much as I love everyone, I’m one of many, you know?”

“I get that,” I said nodding, “It’s similar for me, sort of. This is the first time I’ve ever been on my own, and I love it. I get to do things my way finally.”

“Exactly! My family doesn’t get it,” he said shaking his head.

“Mine either.”

Silence. We were stuck on what to say, and all we could do was give an occasional look toward each other, grin before looking away.

“Can I see you same time tomorrow,” he asked clearing his throat suddenly.

I didn’t hesitate, “Love to.”

He gave me a warm smile before saying, “Our time is up for today.”

“Not fair,” I said softly.

“Not at all,” he said his voice a little deeper than usual.

We both stood and quietly gathered our things.

“Bye,” I said once we were outside.

“See you tomorrow,” he said giving me a wink before heading off in the direction of his truck. I watched that cute khaki ass walking away for a few heartbeats before I reluctantly turned and made my way to my car.

Today when I got back to the office, I walked around with a spring in my step that left my coworkers giving me strange looks and raised eyebrows. I just grinned like a moron and went about my day.

I had a ‘date’ so to speak with a hottie, how could that not make you giggle like a school girl?

Before I knew it, it was time for me to leave, and I was suddenly sad to go home.

To my apartment, alone.

It had been six months since I’d moved here and over a year since I had dated. Yeah, I don’t go out much. But it had been a relief to be alone finally. No one to think about but me. No one to take care of but me. No one, but me. But tonight I didn’t want it to be just me, and for the first time I didn’t want to be alone and I didn’t know how I felt about that.

Once inside my apartment, I collapsed onto my couch and looked at the TV screen. The light in the living room was on, making the screen a black distorted mirror.

It was so quiet, so dark. So empty.

“Son of a bitch!” I said to the room.

No one responded and that didn’t help my sudden bout of loneliness.

I stood up and went to change.  I needed a distraction and the tub needed to be cleaned.

Later when I got in bed I grabbed every pillow I had, and brought them with me. I didn’t want to be alone, and it was the best I could do. Once I was there, surrounded by fluffy mounds, I didn’t feel better; it just brought back that smothered feeling. But moving them off the bed, felt worse.

It took me a while to fall asleep, not surprising since it wasn’t sugar plums dancing in my head, but my ex’s face, and everyone’s eyes on us at our wedding.

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