Sunday, August 8, 2010

''Another Chance'' Cafe...chapter 2

I decided to wait a couple of days before giving in to the burning desire to punch in the combination of numbers that she had written down on a coffee napkin into my cell phone. I dared not even program her name into it for fear that I may be jumping the gun on our non-relationship somehow. Try as I might to not think too much about her after our chance meeting because I didn’t want to feel like a stalker, I could not. As a matter of fact, it felt like the harder I tried to delete that photo on the digital camera that the little person who lived in my head took, the more copies it made. Why am I so nervous? I’ve called girls on the phone before. Sure, I’ve always been a little apprehensive about that first phone conversation but this was on another level. I felt like it should be a piece of cake being that we had already sat and chatted in person. That is supposed to be the hard part, not talking on the phone.

I kept thinking that I forgot to smoothly slip in a question about her having a boyfriend or anyone who might fit the description of a significant other. But I kept reassuring myself that if she did, then she would have put that out there. You know, to make it clear that I had no chance. She probably wouldn’t even have asked me to sit down. That’s a pretty big, well, decent size step in the right direction, right? Yeah, it had to be. When I finally stopped acting like a seventh grader, I decided that the time was right. It had finally arrived, the moment when I pushed those certain numbers on my keypad and hit the talk button. As I listened to the phone ring, I half-heartedly kind of hoped that she didn’t pick up.


I began to look forward to her voicemail answering because, well, other than the fact of me feeling like chickening out, I’m an ace at leaving messages.


If you need a message left, I’m your man.


I am a message-leaving connoisseur.


Nobody can leave a good message like yours truly…


Even though I was thinking them to myself, I nearly choked on my words when I heard her voice. She almost sounded like a stranger to me, like I was hearing her speak for the first time again.


…Realizing that I better say something before she decides to hang up, I spoke up and answered with a pretty pathetic sounding,

“Uh...Hi Shea, its Patrick, remember from the café?”

Partly expecting her to say no, I tried to prepare a clever joke at reminding her how we met. Yeah, remember me? I was the guy that you were probably thinking of upper cutting because I was staring at the back of your head. Ok, a not so clever joke then.

“Oh Hi! How are you? I was beginning to wonder when you were going to call.”

Surprised and quite happy at her delighted response, I couldn’t stop a pretty serious smile from spreading across my face. It was like my mouth had a mind of its own and wanted to show the entire world how I was feeling. Luckily the entire world at that moment consisted of me, my furniture, and the emptiness of my refrigerator.

“I’m good, just hanging out at home and figured I’d give you a call, how ya been?”

Can you tell how hard I’m trying not to sound like she had just made my entire month by simply answering her phone and remembering who I was?

“Well I’m glad you called, I’ve been pretty good, nothing special. You know, working and writing”

I’m going to take this moment to apologize for my constant admiration of all things Shea, but listening to her voice alone brightened up my day. Not saying that my day was sucky or anything like that, but it wasn’t like anything significant happened to me that day. You know, pretty much your average weekday. Work, gym, some television, a little Xbox, nothing out of the ordinary. But hearing her speak made the entire day feel like a significant event had taken place. Ok, I’ll try to hold back on the excess mushy stuff from now on but I can’t make any promises. It’s all her fault.

“That’s good, so what are you writing about this time around?”, I responded.

“Oh, just another poem, it’s how I vent and deal with life. This one is about my grandmother. She passed away when I was a young age so I never really got to know her but I wish I did”, she said.

“Well, I’m sorry to hear that; how old were you when she died?”

“Thanks, I was around three, so of course I don’t remember any of it but from what my mother tells me about her, I feel like we would have been very close”

I said, “Yeah, I know what you mean. I have an uncle who passed away and I didn’t really know him either but I think if I did, we’d of been good friends”

I was beginning to feel like Wow!, we are having yet another meaningful and fulfilling conversation. This would make it 2-for-2, but who’s counting? Surely not me. We continued to talk for about two hours that night. Finally looking at the time, I noticed it was a little after ten and although I could have willingly continued to talk with her, I didn’t want to exhaust all of our topics to speak about in one sitting. So I casually suggested (yeah, that’s right, I can be casual) that we should get some rest so we’ll have enough energy to talk again tomorrow evening. She said that she would like that and that she would look forward to it. We ended the call with a “Bye” and a “Good night Patrick”. She said those last three words with a certain sweetness in her voice. It sounded heavenly, almost nostalgic.

Feeling like a very heavy sack of nervous bricks had been removed off of my shoulders, I felt like it was ok to program her number into my phone. Still trying to not get ahead of myself too much, I quickly closed out of my call log so as to not risk me staring at her name in it. Yes, I am a sap, we have already established this. Don’t judge me. I clicked on the T.V. and turned it to Sports Center for two reasons. 1. I had missed the game because I was talking to a lovely young lady on the phone for the last two hours. 2. Concentrating on sports might help me to not concentrate on her, well not too much anyway. I decided I was going to try to take this one slow. I didn’t know what she was thinking, although I did wonder, and I didn’t know if she was considering me to be boyfriend material. She had to, a least a little bit, because that’s how females operate. They run you through a boyfriend candidate database based on their strict criteria and decide in a matter of nano-seconds if you would fit into their lives or not. Not a bad thing really, actually pretty effective although not always efficient. But I wondered if I had been put through her database that day back in the café.

I shut my thoughts off and allowed the highlights from the day in sports to put me to sleep. Hoping that nightmares from my past regarding the opposite sex didn’t replace the dreams that I hoped to have. Dreams that would surely be filled with Shea. Still remembering what she smelled like the first day I staggered over to her, I drifted off wondering about another chance. Another chance at happiness. Another chance at having a woman who actually likes me. Another chance, another chance, the two words lingered in my sub-conscious like the smell of Shea’s perfume lingered in my nostrils. Yes, it has been two days, but I still remember what it smells like. Another chance, I guess we shall see.

To be continued…

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