Letting Go Ch. 02bySoft1017©
Sara's Friday morning was filled with thoughts of her late night walk with Chris. She hated thinking about him but couldn't stop herself. She didn't want to get her hopes up just to be let down after finding out he had a girlfriend or was married. Such was her usual luck with men she took an interest in.
She was very early for work this morning, as was her usual habit. The energy in the mall was very lax as she arrived and due to the early morning rainfall, it would probably remain that way for the next few hours.
She walked towards the store at a steady pace, not going too fast. She wanted to give herself time to think of a game plan in case she was to run into Chris this morning. Would she be able to carry a proper conversation or would she freeze in her tracks?
As she approached her store, she was relieved to see no one standing at the open doors of Brionni... but she was also a little disappointed. Even though the pressure was off, she longed to see him. It was time to dismiss all thoughts of him now however, and focus on work. The last thing she wanted was to be distracted by her runaway thoughts.
Business was very slow today. The gentle rainfall transformed into a thunderstorm without warning, scaring away the usual crowds. Sara didn't mind this, because on days like this she would take her home cooked lunches into the spacious food court on the floor below.
She would find an empty area in a corner somewhere and continue reading one of her books while she ate. It was the perfect way to spend her lunch hour, and the sounds of rain and thunder would make it even better.
As she walked towards the escalator, her mind fell upon her new acquaintance.
"Where was he right now?" she wondered.
Sara thought it was best that they hadn't seen each other because she might have been a total wreck. She smiled to herself and made her way to a table surrounded by a few large plants. She sat down and placed her microwaved food on the table.
She loved Italian cuisine and was having Carbonara today. She enjoyed experimenting with recipes at home and thought that she did a pretty good job with this one.
As she was enjoying her first few bites, a familiar voice called out to her.
She wiped the corners of her mouth and looked up. It was none other than Chris. He looked a bit disheveled and his suit was splattered with rain drops. He looked silly but she was very glad to see him.
"Hi, how are you?" she smiled, realizing that she probably looked way too happy to see him.
"I'm great, just had my second shower for the morning." he smiled
"Are you just coming in?" she laughed.
"Yea. Uncle Mike's going to have a fit!"
"Uncle Mike? You mean Michael? He's your uncle?"
"Yes he is. I don't usually make it a habit to be late. I just had a hard time sleeping last night."
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that."
"I should be heading up there now but when I saw you sitting there, I wanted to say hello. Would you mind meeting up with me after work? I'd like to keep the promise I made to you yesterday."
"That's really not necessary. I'm fine." she said reassuringly.
"But you weren't yesterday and I'd like to make it right. Anyway, I won't take no for an answer, so you have no choice!" he smirked.
"Alright, alright, I accept. Just hurry before you get into trouble." she laughed.
"Yes Ma'am. I'll see you later. Enjoy your lunch."
And with that he turned away and hurried towards the escalator. She laughed to herself. She handled that better than she thought she would. Maybe there was nothing to be scared of. He probably just wanted to be friends and that's not such a bad thing. She would meet him after work and enjoy his company. It was after all the weekend and she had the next two days off.
"Just relax and enjoy the moment." she told herself.
She couldn't wait to see what he had planned.
The mall closed early on Fridays and Sara was happy about this, especially since the hours seemed longer with no customers coming in. All she could do was hope that time went by faster. She was most eager to see Chris; even more than she would like to admit to herself. Her patience was rewarded eventually and closing time finally came. She quickly said goodbye to Louise and wished her a great weekend.
The long boring day had exhausted her but she suddenly felt energized on her way out. As she walked out, there he was smiling and waiting for her. He looked like his little mishap with the rain had never happened.
"Hey!" he said, with a huge smile on his face.
"Hi, how did your day go?"
"It was alright. Uncle Mike wasn't as upset as I thought he would be. Business was really slow today, so it wasn't a huge deal."
"That's good. I thought you might have a rough time getting back on track."
"No way, I'm a pro!" and he winked.
"Yea, sure you are." she said jokingly.
"Enough about me. How was your day? I was worried you might try to escape without giving me a chance."
"I wouldn't do that...even though I think you're taking this too seriously."
"Well, let's just say I know how you felt yesterday. I have an older sister who is overweight and she had a hard time growing up. I can't tell you how many times I caught her crying because someone had been rude to her or called her names. She tried to hide it from me but I quickly caught on. No one should ever have to feel like that. Especially not someone as pretty as you."
Once again, she was speechless. It never occurred to her that he was so intuitive about how she really felt.
"I'm sorry." was all she could say for the moment.
"Don't apologize. I just want you to know that I wasn't trying to be malicious OK? Do you forgive me?"
"I do." she smiled.
"Thank you. Now let's go have some ice cream!" he exclaimed.
"Ice cream?" she laughed.
"What? You don't like ice-cream? Uh...you're not lactose intolerant are you?" he said looking as if he'd made a huge mistake.
"No, it's not that. I haven't had ice-cream in months." she said, most amused by his cute expression.
"Whew...didn't want to offend you again!"
She laughed at him. He was trying really hard to be nice to her.
"I know this great diner. I thought you might like it."
"Well I guess I can take a break from healthy eating for one day." she smiled.
"Great!" he said beaming.
The two walked out together with smiles on their faces. It was as if the rain could never ruin their night.
He drove her to a cute little diner a few miles from the mall. They had enjoyed a great conversation during the drive and found that they had similar tastes in music. The two had the diner all to themselves due to the weather and spent the next hour talking and enjoying waffle sundaes.
Sara knew that she was in trouble. After just two days of knowing him, she was falling for him fast. Their first encounter had probably been a misunderstanding and she was glad that she hadn't pushed him away. He offered to drive her home and she accepted, not wanting to deal with the long train ride.
"I hope you had a good time tonight." he said.
He was starting to look a little worn out and yawned.
"I haven't had this much fun in a long time. Thanks for taking me... but are you alright? You look really tired. It probably wasn't a good idea to go out with you and not realize that you might have to work in the morning."
"Oh we're going out now?" he teased and laughed.
"You know what I meant." she smiled.
"I'm alright. I'm off tomorrow anyway. Besides I'll sleep much better knowing you had a good time tonight. What happened yesterday really bothered me. The conversation we were having had to do with me asking you out actually." he confessed.
"Really?" she asked, very surprised.
"Yea, I was worried that I made a horrible impression and I couldn't sleep because of it. When I did manage to fall asleep I woke up three hours later than usual."
"I'm really not worth all that trouble. You didn't have to stress yourself. It was just a misunderstanding."
"You are worth it... so uh...can I take you out on a real date?"
She blushed and laughed in response.
"I love that laugh of yours. I'm assuming that's a yes then?" he smiled with a hopeful look.
"Sure, I'd love to."
"Cool, how about tomorrow night? Is that alright with you?"
They exchanged numbers and he promised to call her the next morning. When they arrived he got out of the car to open her door, even though it was still pouring. She had never had anyone go to such lengths to impress her and she felt like she was in a dream.
They bid each other good night and she thanked him once more. She headed in, walking on clouds for the first time in her life.