Mr. Baby Blue
by Debbie McCurdy
“Oh Girls! Stop what you’re doing and check out Mr. Baby Blue,” gestured Veronica.
“OMG,” Julie replied, when she looked around to see a good-looking brown man entering the bar. He was wearing a nicely pressed baby blue dress shirt opened at the top.
“Ooh…I would love to tap that thing,” Susie giggled. Then they all giggled.
“Here’s to that,” as they clinked their glasses together.
It was Girl’s Night Out at The Oasis. It was crowded as usual, with music jamming, people dancing and congregating. Best friends Julie, Susie, and Veronica were looking their best, each with the week’s stories to tell, and a game to play. Who will be the first to land a date?
“I’ll be back,” said Julie, rising from the table with an empty glass. It required skills maneuvering through the crowd to the bar. When her boob got brushed, Julie turned to her offender.
“Oops! So sorry. I didn’t mean to,” pleaded the yummy gay guy.
“No worries. It happens,” Julie said smiling, with a twinkle in her eye indicating she didn’t mind. He gave her the quick up and down look. “Oh Girl, I am loving that color on you,” he said. Then just as quickly he turned back to his lover.
Ah. There’s nothing like a compliment from a gay guy.
Julie glided up to the bar.
“Hey Julie, need another one?”
“Joey, pass me that bottle of Merlot when you’re done with it.”
“You got it, Boss.”
Barney poured slowly. “Any prospects tonight?” he asked.
“Maybe. Something fine in baby blue has entered the bar.” Barney glanced over her shoulder, flashed a big grin and wished her luck.
“Put it on my tab,” said Julie, and then she wheeled around right smack dab into Mr. Baby Blue, who was raising his hand to get Barney’s attention, causing Julie’s glass of Merlot to spill onto her pastel pink dress.
Julie’s first thought: OMG. It’s Mr. Baby Blue!
Then she looked down, “Oh no! My dress!”
Mr. Baby Blue stepping back, “Oh! I’m so sorry,” with a voice that could hypnotize.
OMG. His voice is as beautiful as he is.
When Julie looked back up Mr. Baby Blue caught her eyes.
MBB: They’re green. My favorite color.
Julie: I hope it will come out, looking away nervously.
He’s even hotter up close. I mean Bridgerton hot.
MBB: I hope so too. It’s all my fault.
OMG, this girl is gorgeous, and I've just ruined her dress.
Julie: Oh. I think I share in the blame, being in a rush.
MBB. At least let me pay for the cleaning bill.
I could so go for her. What else can I say? I can’t stop staring at her.
Julie blushed. I think I’ve stunned him. Wish I could take him in like he is me. I can’t believe his effect on me.
Julie was desperate to gather her wits. He had thrown her off her game. There was a quality about him, the way he talked, like his parents had raised him with respect and manners. He seemed genuine, not like the common fare who populated the meat markets. She suddenly found herself not wanting to toy with this guy. Like he deserved better.
Julie’s wine-soaked dress felt icky. It would require immediate attention to save it. But another part of her mind was fantasizing and concocting ways to prolong the encounter. Meanwhile Barney had seen it all and summoned Joey for a wet clean bar towel.
When Barney extended the towel. Mr. Baby Blue reached for it and thanked him.
"Here!" handing it to Julie. Julie turned away dabbing the towel to her breasts. Looking back at Barney she motioned her head toward Mr. Baby Blue with the usual questioning look. Taking the cue, Barney asked if this was his first time here.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Let me introduce myself, extending his hand to Barney. My name is Justin Lancaster. I’m here visiting my sister. Here’s my ID. She said this was a great place to get a drink, but so far all I’ve done is ruin a lovely girl’s dress.” Julie blushed again when his eyes fixed on her.
Lovely? A grown brother visiting his sister. Sweet. I wonder where he lives.
Barney studied his ID and asked, “What’s your sister’s name?”
“Sarah. Sarah Williams. Married to Nathan Williams.”
“Oh, yeah? I think I know them,” Barney said. “Does she have red hair and Nathan is a little shorter than her?”
Justin laughed. “Yes, that would be them.”
Glancing at Julie with the nod of approval Barney said they used to come in regularly, until they started a family, spoken with warm lament.
“Oh good. You know them. What’s your name? I’ll tell them I met you. “
“Barney,” said Julie. She had been listening while attending to her dress, which was proving to be pointless. Justin continued. “I’m here for my nephew’s birthday. He turned three today. A few months back Sarah had a baby girl. This is my first time seeing her.” Then looking to Sarah, “Is that coming out? What needs to be done?”
Sarah was enjoying his earnest attempts at forthcoming. How adorable. Coming for his nephew’s birthday. A real family guy.
Since Barney approved, Sarah decided to do something out of the ordinary. Some would call it foolish or even dangerous. But Sarah had a feeling. A mad need to ‘seize the moment.’
“Well, honestly, if you really want to help, you can drive me home so I can deal properly with this stain. I know that sounds forward, but I rode with my friends and they will be sad if they have to drive me home now.”
“Oh yes. I can completely do that for you.” Tom’s heart started pounding inside his chest. Wow. I am really digging this chick. She trusts me. Which calls for my best behavior. Plus, this will mean more time with her. If I handle this right, maybe she’ll say yes to a date.
Looking to Barney, “Please, I want to do this for her. You know my family. Here is Sarah’s number, scribbling it fast on a napkin. I promise. No harm will come to her.”
Barney looked at Julie, “Let the girls know the minute you’re safe at home,” and nodded an okay to Justin. Julie knew to use the code word if necessary.
“Will do, Barney. Let me bring them up to speed, get my bag and pay my tab.”
“No. No. I’m getting your tab,” Justin insisted, motioning to Barney with his card. “I’m getting her tab and include another round for her friends.” Barney smiled. He liked this guy.
As Julie made her way to their table: Wow. What a stand-up guy. Susie and Veronica will love that. Maneuvering through the crowd she smiled knowingly as eyes fell on her dress.
On the way to Julie’s house there were no awkward moments of silence. Conversation flowed easily between them. At one point Justin paused to call his sister. He filled in Sarah on the wine fiasco and asked what was best for red wine stains.
Sarah googled it and said Dawn detergent and hydrogen peroxide.
“Do you have that” Justin asked?
“I have Dawn but I’m out of hydrogen peroxide,” lamented Julie.
“Is there a store on the way we could stop to get some,” asked Justin?
“Just up ahead,” Julie said.
Justin left the car running while he rushed in to get it.
Wow, he must really trust me. I could totally make off with his car.
With this moment to herself Julie confronted the fact she might already be falling for this guy. She liked everything about him. No check in her spirit. No red flags. Barney even knew his sister for Christ’s sakes! And she trusted Barney. She and Susie and Veronica had always relied on Barney’s judgement about guys they met at the bar. Most nights they went home dateless. Besides, the swirling churn inside her was making it impossible to resist.
Julie laughed out loud. She began the evening with no prospects. Now she might be sitting in the car of her Mr. Right, who was taking a long time in the store to buy hydrogen peroxide. She texted Susie and Veronica with an update.
Meanwhile, Justin was so distracted he passed the peroxide twice and finally had ask for help. He couldn’t believe his luck. There was this beautiful, engaging woman in his car. Someone he kept imagining beside him on a beach with kids of his own in his future. How does that happen?
Julie was in the middle of a beach story when Justin pulled into her driveway. This was too soon. Justin wanted more time with her. Julie wanted more time with him. She decided on a second bold move. “Look. Since, you didn’t get a drink at the bar, you are welcomed to come in for a glass of wine if you want to. And I can finish my story.
“I would like that, but I won’t stay long. Plus I get to see your place,” Justin said.
Yes. More time with her.
Yes. More time with him.
Justin sipped on wine in her living room, casually browsing pictures and musing over knick-knacks, while Julie cleaned up and changed into some sweats. Let's see how he looks at me now, she mused.
When Justin saw her, he queried, "Feeling better?" She's even cute in sweats. She agreed heartedly. There was a quality about her. He did not want to blow this. He would leave shortly, but it would feel more like wrenching apart.
Julie updated Susie and Veronica and tended to her dress. She would take it to a cleaners the next day. Justin offered to pay for it, which meant another opportunity to see him.
Justin commented on some of her pictures, and Julie shared the stories behind them. Common interests started adding up. Both were secretly thinking: This is almost too good to be true.
Finishing his wine, Justin carried his glass to the sink, announcing his time to go and made his way to the door. Julie followed right behind him like a puppy dog.
Justin turned to say,” You know. At first, I felt bad about spilling wine on your dress, but honestly, now I’m kind of glad. But not to say I hope your dress is ruined. I mean…I. I.” Julie cut him off as he stumbled for his words. “It’s okay, Justin. Truth be told I’m glad too. At this point I won’t mind if the stain doesn’t come out. I’ve decided I like you and I think you like me too. Am I right?
“I’m glad to hear you say that. It gives me the courage to ask. “If you’re not busy tomorrow night, would you like to go to dinner with me? You could finish your beach story. It could be like a first date.”
Hoping her pounding heart wouldn’t interfere Julie announced, “Yes. I would love too, and as far as I’m concerned, we’re already on our first date.”
Allowing slow motion to kick in Justin responded, “Oh really?” in a teasing inquisitive tone.
“Really,” said Julie, returning his gaze.
“Well, you know what can happen at the end of a first date, don’t you?” toyed Justin.
“I do, and I’m glad it’s being mentioned,” Julie countered, peering deep into his chocolate brown eyes.
Julie’s hopeful gaze drew him in. Justin moved in closer. The tenderness in his eyes held her spellbound. Their lips moved slowly into a kiss. No matter how it’s told, this story never gets old.
About the Creator
Senior hippie with BA degrees in Journalism and Art from NMSU and always looking for creative outlets. I give public support to our local film studio Film Las Cruces, where goals include moving clever stories in writing to film.