Wednesday, August 11, 2010

''Another Chance'' Cafe...chapter 4

I won’t even get into how dull and bah-humbug the next day was. To say the very least, it started, continued on some less-than-important level and then ended. But then it started again. It started again on an entirely different note. It was like a day that had been born again. New energy along with a sensational feeling ran through my mind and body as I got out of the shower. Although it was simply a trip to the grocery store, I thought I should try to smell fresh for our first meeting since the café. After a quick glance at the clock, I got dressed and then grabbed a snack from the kitchen just in case my nerves couldn’t take it and I had to rely on a full stomach to be my confidence. I sought out my cell phone which does a very good job at pulling the most elaborate disappearing acts when I need it the most. Finally, I discovered it among the sheets in my unmade bed. With more ease than the two previous times in which I attempted to call Shea, I effortlessly found her name and pressed talk once again, this time with no hesitation or a million doubts. As the phone began to ring, I couldn’t help but begin to wonder if she had changed her mind about the entire thing, or worse, she had completely forgotten. One bad thought led to another until I finally reached what might have been the worst one of all: What if her boyfriend shows up again? What if he doesn’t appreciate the fact that she’s there with me? What if he decides that he wants to fight? I, in no way shape of form, had any of the answers to these questions. But only one way to find out…

The phone continued to ring as I walked over to my couch and sat down. It kept ringing until eventually the voice mail picked up. My heart instantly sank. Was she busy? Did she really just forget? Or, by far the worst of them all, she decided that this wasn’t what she wanted and is simply ignoring my call. Nah, it couldn’t be that. Could it? No, I don’t think so. I’m overreacting yet again. Feeling dejected, I turned on the television and began watching the random sitcom that was on at the time. Watching but not at all paying any attention to it. Thinking up any reasonable scenarios that may be preventing her from answering her phone that would make any sense at all. After the worse possible scenario entered my mind which was her ex-boyfriend showing up at her house and…no, I didn’t even want to think about any possible endings to that one. Realizing that I was probably sitting there thinking all of these things like some sort of a stalker, I forced myself to stop and began flipping through the channels. I then began to think of what else I could do to fill the remainder of my evening. Maybe some videogames perhaps. I picked up my controller and turned on the system. As the title screen faded in, I expected to hear the usual start up sounds but they were drowned out by the familiar guitar solo. I quickly snatched up my phone and saw Shea’s name there. Letting it ring a little first as usual, I answered with my usual “Hello?”

She responded, “I’m so sorry Patrick, I missed your call”

“Oh hey, nah, it’s ok, no worries. What’s up?” I said back.

“Nothing really, I just got out of work a little later than usual which made me get home a little later than usual and I really wanted to take a quick shower before meeting up with you so you didn’t think that I stunk, ha-ha. I’m sorry it took so long but I couldn’t find my phone so I just now noticed that you had called, I really am sorry,” she pleaded.

Wow, girls really do put just as much effort and thought into impressing guys as guys do with them. It’s just weird to actually hear that first hand, especially from one that I like. Oh, and it’s either just coincidence or fateful destiny that she lost her phone as well.

“It really is ok, I promise, don’t worry about it. I actually couldn’t find my phone either a little while ago. Important thing is that you have it now,” I said.

“Yeah, that’s right. I hate when I can’t find it, I feel so helpless. But anyways, are you still up for going shopping with me? I mean, again, you really don’t have to. It’s quite alright,” she asked.

“No, I want to, it’ll be fun. I mean usually I go grocery shopping all by myself so it’s kind of boring. Now, I have someone to go with”

“Ok, thank you again in advance. I really do appreciate it. You’re very nice,” she said back. I could hear the smile in her voice and the little digital mental copy that I had in my head instantly popped back into frame and I pictured her saying all of that to me while showing off that first place smile of hers.

“Ok, so I’m assuming you go to the market at the corner of Willoughby and Simpson?” I asked.

“Yup, that’s the one.”

“Cool, then I’ll meet you there in ten minutes.”

“Great, see you then. Buh-bye.”

I can’t really explain what it is, but the way that she says buh-bye is adorable. She sounds very endearing like she cares about you and you’re not just another person to her. Again, I could be reading into this way too much, but that’s just how I see it. I simply can’t get enough of the way she sounds, the way she smells and the way she smiles. It’s a permanent fixture in my brain and I have only seen her in person once. I really hope that I am not building an infatuation here. Last time I found myself infatuated, it didn’t turn out so good for my team. I was left broken and significantly less of a person than I was before.

These memories began to replace my thoughts about Shea’s heavenly smell and smile as I drove to the market to meet her. When I got there, I parked and just sat for a moment when I realized I was the first one there. I leaned back in my seat and tried to fight off the bad memories that were once again threatening to disturb my pleasant mood and thoughts of Shea. However, almost as if someone flipped the switch off, the thoughts of bad memories past were instantly gone when I noticed a small white sedan pull up alongside my car. I recognized it as Shea’s because I remember watching her get into it the evening we left the café.

She waved at me from through her window and had the biggest smile I’ve seen on her face yet. I waved and smiled back trying ever so hard to contain the real smile that I was feeling inside. I practically jumped out of my car and walked around to hers, opening her door trying to be a gentleman. She stepped out and I right away got another look at all of her. She was wearing a white sweater over light blue jeans which hugged her body to a nice noticeable point. Her sparkling necklace accentuated her slender neck as her still, silky hair fell all around it. Her eyes, well not much to say, when I look into her eyes, I am literally left speechless. I’m sure you remember what happened the last time. It happened again. Needless to say, she was looking quite exquisite and she had on regular hanging out clothes. Imagine what effect she would have on me if she was actually dressed up. Dressed to kill would no longer be classified as a saying. My heart would just quit beating and my parents would be giving my eulogy at my funeral. Maybe Shea would show up out of remorse for committing murder.

Snapping me out of yet another mini-coma, she gave me a friendly hug and asked how I was. It was then that I was reminded of her scent. She was wearing the same perfume that she wore that day at the café. It was just as captivating as the first time I was exposed to it. She was just as captivating. I told her I was fine and that she looked very nice. She replied with “Oh, thank you” and we walked into the store. I still didn’t know what to expect on this shopping trip. I silently prayed we didn’t bump into her ex-boyfriend. I never even asked if he was a really big guy or not. Could I take him if he wanted a fight? Or should I just play it cool and be the bigger man? Whatever may or may not take place, I forced myself to just concentrate on the time that I was able to spend with her now and worry about that sort of stuff should it actually happen.

I pushed the shopping cart as she walked alongside me, picked out her items and placed them inside.

“I feel like you’ll know a lot of stuff about me that many people don’t just by seeing what kinds of things I buy,” she revealed.

“Yeah, this is true, you can tell a lot about someone by what they put in their refrigerator. Food is an essential part of one’s lifestyle” I can’t believe I said that. It sounded smart and stupid at the same time.

“I agree, like you probably think I’m a junk food addict by all of the fatty snacks I’ve grabbed so far.”

“Nah, not at all, I got loads of junk food in my cabinets. You never know when that feeling of the munchies will hit you.”

“Too true, I feel like I get it all the time. I’m so weak when it comes to snack food. I’m surprised I’m not 200 pounds by now,” she said.

No, this girl was nowhere near 200 hundred pounds. She stopped slightly under my chin and was as thin and curvy as I could have ever dreamed of. I’m shocked she’s still even entertaining the thought of being seen in public with me.

“You don’t look like you could ever reach 200 pounds even if you tried,” I responded back. She turned her head around and looked up at me in a blushing gaze. A small smirk formed over her lips and then she turned back around. I don’t know if she had been doing it the entire time, but her walk suddenly became very noticeable to me. Her hips swayed back and forth like a palm tree in the breeze. I thought for a minute maybe she had started doing it on purpose but it looked so natural and effortless. Something else girls are good at. Communicating with their bodies. She was telling me that she appreciated my compliment and I was appreciating the way she was expressing her appreciation.

We continued to shop and converse about the kinds of food she was buying and how they were either similar or different to what I normally got. From what she bought, I realized she was a relatively healthy person. Yeah, she had a normal person’s share of goodies but everything else was filled with nutrition. Items from granola bars and low fat milk to spring water and protein shakes graced the inside of the cart. It was nice; shopping with her; it was very nice. Kind of felt like we were a couple. I know we weren’t and I wasn’t going to push it but it felt nice, that’s all. We reached the cashier and I unpacked her groceries onto the conveyor belt so the girl behind the counter could scan everything. I even packed them into plastic bags so she didn’t have to. Just the sort of gentlemanly things that I can’t help but do. She paid the cashier and we walked outside together. The sun was beginning to set as the sky was turning a dark orange. She began her barrage of thank you's before we even reached her car. I repeatedly told her that it was nothing and that I really enjoyed going shopping with her. The same smirk crept across her lips once again and it looked like she was fighting back another wonderful smile.

We were almost to her car when I heard the guitar solo. I pulled my phone out of its case on my belt and looked at the screen. Of course…why wouldn’t a seemingly perfect evening be ruined by an unwanted occurrence? Story of my life. It was her again, the same her that I never care to ever speak to. I quickly silenced it and placed it back in its holster and kept walking trying to pretend my phone never rang. I could tell by the curious glance Shea passed me, she was obviously wondering why I did away with my phone so quickly. I didn’t want to tell her. I couldn’t tell her. Not now anyway, it was way too early in our “thing” to mess anything up yet. Especially coming from me. The silence that ensued immediately after my phone rang was beginning to get awkward and I yearned for something that could change the subject away from whose call I just ignored. That something unexpectedly arrived. It unexpectedly arrived in the form of Shea’s ex-boyfriend. It unexpectedly arrived in the shape of a six-foot-three muscle man with a pretty sour look on his face. I knew it had to be him from the way he stopped right in front of us and just kept glaring. The other gimme was the look of shock and fright that lay upon the face of Shea.

“Xander?...what are you doing here?" she very hesitantly asked.

Yes, that something had arrived.

To be continued…

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