We push through the crowd of people and end up at a baseball pitch booth.
My legs were freezing since my dress didn't cover me much. I grabbed my cardigan and put it on. I grabbed my vintage reading glasses and proceed to put my nose in my book. “There's a difference between really loving someone and loving the idea of her.”
Gillian Flynn, Gone Girl. I love that quote. My nose was so into the book the waiter clears his throat.
“Oh. I'm sorry, can I help you?” I say shyly.
“A young man has paid for this,” the waiter sets the flat white mocha on my table. It's my favorite. I love making it at home as well by pouring microfoam or steamed milk with small, fine bubbles with a glossy or velvety consistency into a single or double shot of espresso. Just takes my breath away.
But once I took a sip I look around. Confuzzled, I was impressed by how spectacular it was. Usually, it's alright but this made me want to drink more and more. As I set the cup down I felt a glare at me from across the café. Those bushy brown eyebrows and lagoon eyes caught my attention. He noticed I caught him and looks down at his laptop and takes action typing away. He was wearing a white button-up with a blue sweater on top. His muscles caught my attention due to how tight his sweater fit him. I love a man that can dress. I try to look away so I shook myself off a little and began back at my book. I got caught up in my other world; I hear another throat clear. I look up and it was him. He had a clean-cut beard, now that I can see his face. Once he smirked I instantly froze.
“Hello?” He slowly says.
“I'm sorry, what did you say?” I was too focused on analyzing his face.
“I said are you enjoying your drink?”
“Yes, it's better than it usually is.”
“I'm flattered.” He puts his hand on his head and scratched it.
I cross my arms and tilted my head, confused. “How so?”
“Well this is my uncle's café; he just passed due to heart failure and I have it now,” as he looks down at his Italian shoes.
Italian shoes. Fucking is wearing Sutor Mantellassi.
“I'm sorry to hear. At least you have money. I mean you're wearing Sutor Mantellassi, for Christ's sake.”
He looks at me and does the sexiest eye roll ever.
“Haha, I've actually had these babies for a while. I'm a business type of man.”
“I can see that. You're living the life."
“Yeah, I'm living the life. With no wife, though.”
He stares at me, but not just a stare, a stare that caught my attention. Like a hint; so here's my chance.
“Well, I arrived at the right café with Mr. Right.”
He smiles at me. His teeth are so perfect but not a pearl white. I can tell he smokes.
“I'm glad you enjoy this place. Let me get you a napkin for you.”
I totally forgot I was wearing dark maroon lipstick. I was slightly embarrassed due to that fact that I probably look like absolute shit in front of a handsome stranger.
He hands me the napkin and I want to touch him, but didn't want to seem like a total freak. So I just take it with my two fingers. I dab my lipstick and then he was gone. I set the napkin in my book as a bookmark.
I hop on my Huffy 24" Nel Lusso Cruiser Bike with a cute little basket. It was a wonderful mint. I place my book in the basket and began to pedal. I rode around downtown, past the park, and finally made it to my small little house. I love my house; it is a one bedroom modern cottage from 1924. The front door is the same as my bike, mint! In the front I have a little flower bed In front of 3 windows and on the inside I have a lovely seat in front of those windows to people watch and read my books. I kicked my leg stand on my bike, set it in my garage and grab my book out my basket. Once I opened my door, my American Curl cat named Victoria, had beautiful blue diamond eyes. Her fur was white, orange and a dark grey. She has a wonderful personality, and she loves to be my little blanket when I’m on the couch.
I kick and shake my boots off my feet beside my front door. Victoria was purring fast asleep on the window seat I was talking about. I head to my room and hang up my cardigan, throw my book on my bed, and sit in front of my vanity set.
I just stare at myself. Looking at every little detail on my face; my freckles are popping more than usual. My blonde hair is taking forever to grow back, I chopped it off to my shoulders. I already regret cutting it, but I got tired of taking care of it. I’m getting better at makeup, my eyeliner is starting to get even and my eyebrows aren’t looking too dark.
I stood up, pushed my stool in, and noticed my book was open on my bed. I hate ruining my pages. I grabbed it as soon as I saw it, and the napkin fell out and fell slowly to the floor lying face up. I noticed numbers. It was a phone number and a name, beautiful cursive name. It was Grayden. The man from the café gave me his number.
I pulled out my phone and texted him. “Well, Grayden, did you slip me this napkin for a reason?” Surprisingly he replied quickly. “Hey, stranger, I did. I found you quite rather beautiful. You caught my attention and had to make a move somehow. I’m guessing it worked.”
We talked the whole day; I barely sat in my reading area today. We made plans for tomorrow. There's a festival going on all downtown. Later on that day I take a relaxing bubble bath and exfoliate for tomorrow.
Tomorrow is now today and I pick out a loose baby pink sweater with a white skirt with my little flats. I did loose curls and went extra on the makeup for Grayden.
I pet Victoria, grabbed my purse, and headed to the garage to get on my bike. My head was filling with ideas on how today will go. Maybe he’ll kiss me on a ride, or win a stuffed animal for me!
I finally make it downtown. I place my bike on the bike rack. I usually never lock it. This town is the sweetest place on earth. Everyone knows everyone so well. I began to walk towards the crowd. The joy of kids laughing and grown adults screaming made me giggle. Kids were running to booths with the biggest stuffed animals. There was one smell that caught my attention. Funnel cake! I followed the smell, looking around and seeing an elderly couple sharing one on a picnic table. I couldn’t take my eyes off them; they made my heart melt.
“Oof!” I said as I tripped.
Just then, I was caught just in time. The sun was in my eyes; all I saw was a shadow figure until my eyes adjusted.
“Sorry miss. But at least your skirt didn’t get dirty!” The young man said. He was probably 16. His hair was colored a super dark black. But he had beautiful hazel eyes.
“No!” I struggle to get up. “You’re totally fine, I was distracted by food.”
He smiled and I proceed on to the food stand. I was second in line, then I felt a tap on the shoulder. I took a quick glimpse too focused on getting this funnel cake.
“Oh, Grayden! Finally, this town may be small but I keep to myself,” I say, putting my hair behind my ear.
“I’m sorry, I’ve been waiting. It’s crowded here, I left my phone in my car and I parked far from not finding a spot.” He looked so handsome with his smile and the way he dressed. He wore a maroon button up shirt with his sleeves rolled up and caramel slacks.
I finally received my funnel cake. We began to go for a walk around everywhere, getting to know each other and everything.
“My dad died on Halloween 1994 and his cremation was on bonfire night. That sounds made up but it isn’t. I was six at the time.” Grayden says as we take a seat on a bench in front of a pond. “I didn’t play out for six months afterward and I used to cry at the dinner table because I missed sitting opposite him.” He begins to sigh. I’m just awkwardly eating still, but I stop from feeling so rude. “My mom went to pieces and I was just old enough to be aware that she was a mess. I felt responsible for her, and I allowed her to lean on me. It might sound dramatic but I didn’t feel like I was able to be a carefree child because of this.” He keeps going on, my heart was sinking into my stomach I felt horrible for him. “If I could tell my younger self anything it would be to be a child. Adults have adult problems and sometimes things can go very wrong very suddenly, but it’s not up to you to clean up the mess.”
I stand up to stretch then walk towards the pond. “I’m sorry for everything.” I was stuck, I had no idea what to say. But then he grabs my hand and kisses it.
“It’s in the past; this is the present. Don’t worry about it.” He smiles at me and brushes my hair out of my face. “Come on, follow me.”
We pushed through the crowd of people and ended up at a baseball pitch booth. I stand and look around as he pays the man. As soon as he threw that pitch, something happened to me. I blacked out. I was unconscious; at least, I thought. I kept going in and out, I smelt burning and heard cries of people screaming. I’m pretty sure a lot of people tripped over me and kicked me from running away. I try to open my eyes wider. I saw Grayden without a face.