I moved forward as someone went to the counter to place their order. Oh noo…I could feel it coming. My nose itched and I sniffled before letting out a series of quiet sneezes. Please don’t turn around, please don’t turn around. And he did.
Turning to face me, a smile spread across his lips and his eyes lit up. “Well hello.”
“Hi.” I smiled, pushing the hair out of my face. The entire world stopped for a fraction of a second and my heart skipped a beat. “How are you doing?”
“Pretty good, yourself?”
“Good…just, on my way home from work.”
“Ahh right, you said you worked at a bar, right?” I nodded. “Did you finish that book yet?”
“No, I’m still stuck on the Celtic mythology part. I haven’t had much time for reading.”
Someone stepped away from the counter and he moved forward to place his order. He stopped halfway to the counter and turned back to me. “Could I buy you a coffee, Becky?”
“Um…sure.” I followed him up to the counter as he placed his order. The women turned to look at me. “Could I get a small hot chocolate please.”
She rang our total up and he pulled out a twenty-dollar bill.
“So.” He turned to me. “I don’t mean to drag you into this but I’m guessing your friend isn’t going to call me back, is she?”
I opened my mouth, figuring out how I was supposed to reply. “Well…she isn’t really my friend, we just kinda…live together with a bunch of other people, mostly because I am broke and can’t afford to live anywhere else.” I gave a forced laugh. “But, I think you are right… If you haven’t heard from her by now she is either playing hard to get or not going to call you back.” A blush rose to my face as the waiter brought us our drinks.
“Thank you.” He smiled as we picked them up and headed for the door. “I was thinking, you seem like you would like to go to a fundraiser at a museum, there’s one tomorrow night and I’m dateless…Would you like to come with me? There will be a great exhibit open on Greek goddesses” The last part was added as an afterthought.
“I…” Um yes please! But I don’t have anything to wear, and it’s not like I can afford to go out and get a new outfit. Not that I was going to tell him that. “I would love to.” I’ll find something. I decided.
“Awesome.” He beamed, holding the door open for me. “It’s formal. I’ll pick you up?”
“That sounds great and, um, thanks for the hot chocolate.”
“Anytime. I’ll be there at five-thirty. The fundraiser starts at six.” He turned in the opposite direction of where I was going and headed off.
I stood there for a second as I processed everything that had just happened. I think I just got a date. I grinned, taking a sip of my hot chocolate. Butterflies filled my stomach and I started trying to piece together what I would wear.
* * * *
I looked myself over in the mirror, tugging at the knee-length black dress. The lace sleeves fell to my wrists, my silver cuff on top of the right one. My short red hair was tied up in a bun at the very top of my head.
With long lashes, my best attempt at a smoky eye, and glossy lips, I decided it would have to be good enough.
A smile spread over my lips. I look pretty damn good for this being an $8 dress and makeup from 3 years ago.
I jumped as someone knocked on the front door. I rushed to get it
“Who is that?” Hayley asked as I rushed past her and Carly.
“A…friend,” I called before pulling the door open.
He was a couple inches taller than me, his hair was dark brown, and it looked like he shaved down to his scalp. He had dark brown eyes and most of his lower face was covered in a thin layer of beard hair. He looked me up and down before smiling. “Hey.”