Chapter IIA Chapter by Suze
Flashback to seven weeks earlier:
Not to be cliché, but it really was beautiful that day. Early October, bright warm sunshine with a nice breeze; leaves of orange, yellow and red were bursting from the trees. I hadn’t even noticed, to tell you the truth. I was actually in a pretty pissy mood, on my way to my sister’s house to take in her mail while she was on a trip with her girlfriend. That didn’t really account for the mood, although at the moment I didn’t feel like driving across town. It was nothing, really, and everything. It was my boring job that I didn’t like anymore, it was the extra 10 pounds that had suddenly showed up on the scale the other day, it was my sadly single state of existence. Even the dj’s voice on the radio was irritating me, so I reached down and snapped it off entirely. My windows were all down, and as I slowed to a stop behind a banged up old Chevy I heard the radio again. At first I thought that it was mine, and I had simply turned the station and not really hit the power button. When I checked, though, my radio was off. Someone was singing, really belting it out. Looking at the cars around me, I spotted a blue VW convertible on my passenger side. It was a little ahead of me and all I could see was the back of the driver’s head, but I was sure that was where the music was coming from. I inched up a little and was able to see that the driver was a female with longish amber colored hair. She had the car top down but all the windows up. As I was able to pull up a little more, I finally recognized the song. It was Violet by Hole and the girl really was doing it justice.
Just then she must have sensed me staring at her, because she looked over and caught me. Her pretty face immediately turned pink and registered shock, but after a second or two she broke out laughing. I applauded and she faked a little bow in my direction.
At this point the traffic began to move a little and I felt a pang that our exchange was coming to an end so quickly. But thank God or Goddess, Universe or just the timing for the road crew's break, we came to a gradual stop again just a few yards up and our cars were almost parallel to each other at that point.
I looked over and she was singing again, only much softer than before. When she glanced over I motioned my hand upward as if to say “Louder!”, and tried to give her a smile that would reassure her that I was no serial killer.
The girl laughed and then hammed it up a bit, singing into a fake microphone at me. I pointed at her and then circled my finger to see if she would roll her window down. When she did I took my shot.
“Where you headed?” I called.
She shrugged a little. “Just got out of work. Nowhere special.”
“Come have a drink with me!”
I watched her consider it while giving me a slightly squinty-eyed look as if trying to assess my character. Then she gave a little smile.
It was my turn to shrug. “I'll follow you!”
She nodded and gave me a thumbs up. When the guy behind her beeped for her to go she laughed and turned to give him a wave before driving off.
I followed her a few miles down past the road construction to a Chili's, parking only two cars away from her in the almost full lot. When I got out she was already walking toward my car slowly, with a cautious smile on her face.
She was on the shorter side, more than a foot shorter than my 6 feet 5 inches. She was curvier than what I had expected from seeing her from the shoulders up, but then I had always liked a girl who had curves so it was far from a disappointment.
“Hi...” She stopped a foot or so from the back of my car.
“Hey! Hi, I'm Andrew. Andrew Baxter.” I held my hand out for her to shake as I came around my side of the car.
She reached out to return the shake and I'll always remember that first touch, the first time I felt that soft, delicate hand in mine.
“Hi Andrew, I'm Bridget Munson. Most people call me Jet.” She looked me dead in the eye for a moment, like she was trying to see inside, then rewarded me for what she saw with a wider smile. “I'm so glad you liked my performance.”
I laughed, reluctant to let go of her hand, although I did.
“It was very good, put Courtney Love right to shame.”
She laughed and nodded. “Well thank you. Thanks so much.”
“So would you like to go inside? Have a drink?”
She regarded me closely again, inspected me from head to toe, then looked me straight in the eye before speaking. I noticed that she had hazel green eyes, and a couple of stray freckles across the bridge of her nose.
“You a nice guy, Andrew?” she asked, almost sternly.
I held my hand up as if taking an oath. “Nice guy here, I swear it.”
“Alright then, big guy. Let's go have a drink.”
We sat at the bar in Chili's for two hours nursing a couple of beers before finally agreeing to take a table and have some dinner. I found out that she was 26, a free lance photographer who worked part time at Barnes & Nobles to help support her reading habit as well as her painting. I told her little about my job, feeling a little embarrassed about the conventionality of it. Insurance brokers don’t usually make the list of world’s sexiest men, you know. Our conversation continued during dinner and for over an hour afterward. We discussed politics very shortly, she said she only had one really political opinion and that was that there should be marriage equality on the federal level. It was big points for her, and by then I was just about head over heels. Once we started getting glances from the waitresses I paid the bill. We stood in the parking lot and talked for another forty-five minutes after she gave me her phone number. She had a cat named Van Gogh, and lived in the Mill Apartments with her roommate. I told her about my twin sister, and how I wanted to buy a house so I could adopt a shelter dog. I finally suggested we sit in my car as it was beginning to get seriously chilly.
Cocking her head slightly, she grinned at me. “You gonna put your cool guy moves on me, Drew?” she asked.
“No ma'am.” This time I held up both hands as if to show that I would keep them to myself.
We talked for another hour in the car before she said that her roommate would be getting worried since her cell phone had lost its charge. I got out and walked back to her car a step or two behind, heart beginning to pound. I needed to kiss this girl. It felt necessary to life at that moment, and when she reached to open her car door I reached out to stop her without thinking.
Now, usually I'm the kind of guy who asks before he kisses. I like to be very sure before I start trying to slobber all over some poor girl's chin. But this time was different, and somehow I already knew it. I leaned in slowly with her hand in mine, at least trying to give her the chance to back up if she wasn't into it. When my lips touched hers I found her mouth slightly open and immediately responsive to my kiss. I brought her hand up behind my neck and left it there so I could reach down to her with both arms and pull her closer.
I do not know how long we stood there and kissed, it may have been five minutes or half an hour. I'll always remember how alive I felt in those moments, how every nerve seemed to light up. I had one hand on the back of her head gently; the softness of her hair and warmness of her head filled it perfectly. I remember the feel of it and the smell of her, like clean laundry and crisp apples with vanilla. She made soft noises in her throat as we kissed and suddenly I felt on the verge of an embarrassing erection.
I pulled away reluctantly and looked into her face. Her slightly dazed look mirrored what I felt exactly.
“Damn, Andrew.” she said with a smile.
Once we parted and got into our respective automobiles, I drove home in a dream like state. I never even turned the radio back on, or went to my sister's place for the mail, I just replayed the evening in my head until I pulled into the driveway on my side of the house.
Inside I flopped down on the couch and took the folded piece of paper out of my shirt pocket. I opened it to reveal Jet's phone number and quickly entered it into my phone so as to never lose it. I kept the paper though, if you must know. Still have it.
© 2012 Suze
About~Hi, my name is Suze - thanks for stopping by!~ I am a fiction writer mostly but have found that I have a taste for essays lately as well. I'm here to seek the opinions of other writers on my work, .. more..
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