Lucy climbed out of bed and threw on some pajamas and a robe, ran a brush through her hair and headed down to the kitchen. It was Saturday morning and she knew the family would be sleeping late. She looked forward to being able to grab some toast and juice and take them into the sun porch where she could read for a couple of quiet hours. When she got to the kitchen, though, she was surprised to find her mother and father at the table.
“Why are you up so early?” Lucy asked.
“We’re driving up North today, remember?” Mom said. “This is the weekend we’re going to the Bed and Breakfast at the lake.”
“Oh, I forgot. You’re going to be gone all weekend, aren’t you?” Lucy said.
“All weekend,” replied Dad, “are you going to be okay home alone?”
“Kevin will be here, so I won’t really be alone.”
“No, Kevin is going to that basketball camp. Don’t you remember anything today?” Dad asked with a smile.
Lucy was blank for a moment then remembered. “Oh, yeah, I guess I just didn’t realize that everything was on the same weekend. Oh, well.”
“Do you have to work today?” Lucy’s mother asked.
“Just a short dinner shift tonight,” Lucy replied. “I have to go in at 4:00 and I’m supposed to get off at 9:00, or whenever it slows down. Since you’re all going to be gone, would you care if I have someone spend the night?”
“Sure, baby, just no boys,” Dad joked.
“Oh, darn, I was thinking maybe an orgy!” Lucy said with a smile. “I guess I can be good for one night.” Lucy kissed her parents goodbye and went to her room to find someone to spend the night.
Everyone in the world must have a hot date tonight. Lucy couldn’t find a single friend who didn’t already have plans, and none of those plans included her. Just what she needed--a night alone in an empty house to think about her loneliness. She decided she would pickup a mushy romantic video on the way to work and plan on having a good cry. What an exciting life.
Saturday crawled by and at 3:30 Lucy headed to work. She stopped at the video store and rented Sabrina. She had seen it before and thought it was just what she needed for the night.
By 4:00, Lucy was setting up tables for the dinner crowd. She worked part-time at a little restaurant that drew a lot of repeat customers from the neighborhood. She had been there for almost two years and knew most of the regulars. People started coming in about 5:00 and, by 6:30 the place was packed. At 7:00 a man came in that Lucy had been waiting on at least once a week since she started working. He always sat in her section and left great tips. And, he always ate alone.
Lucy knew his name was David Wright, and he was a writer. How ironic. Other than that, she didn’t know much about him. He looked to be in his mid to late 40s, usually dressed pretty casually, but with a certain style. He was a nice looking man with thick brown hair, deep blue eyes, and he wore a beard. When he walked in Saturday night, Lucy thought there was something different about him, but she couldn’t put her finger on it. She caught his eye and nodded toward a vacant table. He flashed her a smile and headed to his seat. God, he has a nice smile, Lucy thought. Too bad some of the guys my age can’t be like him.
“I see your boyfriend finally got here,” Allison said.
“Your boyfriend, Mr. Wright. I think the only reason he keeps coming here is to see you.”
“Oh, sure,” Lucy scoffed, “he told me he really hates the food here but forces himself to eat it just so he can give me a big tip.”
“Yeah, I think he would like to give you more than just the tip,” Allison said lewdly and raised her eyebrows.
“You are disgusting,” Lucy protested, but she smiled when she said it, “he probably thinks of me like his daughter.”
Allison shook her head and rolled her eyes upward. “Are you really that naïve? That guy has had a crush on you since the first time you sat a plate in front of him. Wake up, girl. Gotta deliver some slop, now. Just pay attention when you wait on him tonight. Even you should be able to figure it out--everyone else has.” she laughed as she grabbed her plates and spun off to deliver someone’s meal.
She’s full of it, Lucy thought, David Wright has been a perfect gentleman. There have been lots of customers who had flirted with her, but David Wright had not been one of them. He was always polite and nice. He asked her about school and what she planned to study in college. She had told him things about her family and friends—he was just a nice guy. No way he has a crush on me!
Lucy walked over to his table to take Mr. Wright’s order. “Do...do...uh, the…” she stuttered.
“What?” he asked as he looked up at her.
Lucy couldn’t understand why she was nervous all of a sudden. “Uh, do you want to hear the specials?” she blurted.
“Hmmm,” he said as he looked into her eyes, “I don’t think so. I think I would like a surprise tonight, so why don’t you decide what I should have.”
“Me? You want me to decide what you’re going to eat?”
“Sure,” he smiled, “after all this time, you probably know what I would like as well as I do. I’m in your capable hands. Surprise me.”
“I can’t do that!” Lucy protested.
“You’ll have to because I’m not going to order anything. I trust you.”
Lucy realized their eyes had been locked through this entire exchange and she felt her face turning a deep crimson. She swallowed and shook her head to say yes.
His smile widened and he patted her hand. “I trust you,” he repeated.
“Okay,” she croaked.
Lucy turned toward the kitchen and ran right into the corner of a table. Fortunately, no one was sitting there, but it hurt and halted her in her tracks. She felt a hand under her elbow and another on her back.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
Lucy turned and his face was inches from hers and the concern was obvious and genuine. “Yes, I’m just clumsy. I’ll be fine. I bet I’ll have a heck of a bruise tomorrow, though.” She smiled at him, “I’ll order your dinner.”
What was going on here? Lucy’s mind was racing and her heart was suddenly light.
When she got back to the kitchen, Allison looked at her and started laughing. “Well?” “Shut up!” Lucy barked, but she couldn’t hide her own smile. Lucy turned to the cook, “I’ll have an order of sweetbreads, but instead of the mashed potatoes, slice a tomato and give me the chilled asparagus instead of green beans. And, Manny, make this one really special.”
“For you, little Lucy, nothing but the best,” Manny replied with a smile, “especially if it is for your Mr. Wright.”
“He’s not my Mr. Wright!” Lucy protested.
“Sure, Lucy, tell yourself anything you want,” Allison smirked while backing out the kitchen door.
“Are you feeling okay, Lucy?” It was Cassy, the restaurant manager.
“Your face is all red—like you have a fever.”
“No, I’m fine. I’m just a little hot I guess.”
“Hot, you hear that, Mark? Lucy says she’s hot,” laughed Manny. “She’s okay, Cassy. What she meant to say is she HAS the hots.” Mark and Manny snickered.
“Oh, yes, I saw David Wright come in,” Cassy said with a smile as she walked through the door. “Things are slowing down, Lucy, so you can take off early. I think you should take care of Mr. Wright first, though, don’t you?”
Lucy had never been more embarrassed in her life. Why had no one ever said anything about this before? They obviously all had this idea that Mr. Wright had a crush on her and, they seemed to think she also had a crush on him. Had they been making jokes about it behind her back? Why hadn’t they told her? They were all crazy. My God, he was old enough to be her father!
As Lucy returned to the dining room, she stole a quick look at David Wright. He is very nice looking for an older man, she thought. Could they all be right? For the next several minutes she busied herself finishing up her other customers. She realized that the restaurant was almost empty now—just Mr. Wright and one other couple.
When she returned to the kitchen to check on her order, Manny said, “Give me a couple of seconds and you can deliver this masterpiece.”
Lucy looked across the workstation to see what he was doing and was surprised to see that masterpiece was a perfect description for what Manny had created. While Manny’s food was always delicious, he didn’t usually work too hard on presentation. For this meal, however, he had gone all out. The sweetbreads were arranged on a bed of some sort of spinach drizzled with a rich looking sauce. The asparagus had been tossed with toasted parmesan and sesame seeds and the tomatoes were sliced perfectly, spread artfully and coated with a light oil with herbs. It was beautiful and he had put it all on their most expensive china that was normally reserved for high-end catering jobs.
Manny handed the plate to Lucy and said with a huge smile, “Don’t say I didn’t do my part.”
“Thank you,” was all Lucy could squeak out, “thank you.”
Before she left the kitchen, Lucy made sure her blouse was nicely tucked and straightened her back. For some reason, this all felt different. She had served David Wright close to an hundred meals in the last two years, why should this one be any different? But for some reason, it was.
Lucy took a deep breath and stepped through the door. She walked straight to David Wright’s table and presented him with his dinner.
“Wow,” he said, “this looks almost too good to eat, but only almost. Excellent choice, Lucy. And, tell Manny I’m going to expect this kind of food from here on out.” Then, he smiled at her and she felt her knees grow weak.
“Looks like this is a slow night,” David said.
Lucy looked around and found the restaurant was now deserted. “Yes, I guess you’re my last customer.”
“Excuse me, Miss,” Lucy heard Allison’s voice behind her. Turning, she saw Allison setting another plate of food on the table then she pulled out the chair and motioned for Lucy to sit. “Would you mind a dinner partner tonight, Mr. Wright?” Allison asked.
“I would be delighted,” he said as he rose from his chair, “what a delightful bonus.”
Lucy looked from one to another then noticed Cassy and Manny looking out of the kitchen door, both of them smiling from ear to ear. Lucy was feeling dizzy now, but she sat and Allison handed her a napkin.
“Enjoy your dinner,” she said winking at Lucy and she walked away leaving the two of them in an otherwise empty dining room.
“How did I get so lucky tonight?” David Wright asked.
“I…uh…I think they were just feeling kind of sorry for me because I’m alone this weekend,” Lucy said.
“Alone? No dates? I find that hard to believe!”
“I never have any dates,” Lucy gushed, “this weekend, though, my parents and brother are all gone…and, I couldn’t find any friends to spend the night, so I’m really alone.” When she realized what she had just said, Lucy blushed again and looked down at her plate. “I’m sorry, you didn’t want to hear all that.”
“Not at all,” he said graciously, “I’m glad you told me. This is wonderful…having you for a dinner partner, I mean.”
Lucy looked up and smiled. “Thank you, I…this…this wasn’t my idea, you know.” She saw his face drop slightly. “But, I’m glad Allison thought of it, because I would never have done it on my own.”
“So, you’re glad to be here, too?” he asked.
“Yes, I’m very glad,” and she gave David Wright a warm smile.
Manny’s food might have been delicious, but Lucy wouldn’t know. She ate without tasting and loved every bite because she had never been with anyone she enjoyed as much as David Wright. He was obviously very intelligent and interesting, but Lucy found herself doing most of the talking. He drew her out as he presented topics and asked her thoughts. She couldn’t remember when she had had so much fun talking to someone.
“I think maybe we should get out of here,” David finally said. “Everyone else has been gone for over an hour and I think Cassy and the rest might want to close up.”
Lucy looked at her watch and couldn’t believe it was after 10:00. “Oh, I’m so sorry, I hope I haven’t kept you from anything,” she stammered.
“Kept me from anything,” he laughed, “this has been the nicest evening I’ve had in I don’t know how long. I hate that it has to be over.”
“Oh, me too!” she blurted, then blushed again. “I mean…I…uh, I’m going to take the dishes back. Don’t leave.”
“You had better hope not, you haven’t given me the check yet.”
“Oh, yeah…I’ll be back in just a minute.” Lucy started for the kitchen then turned, “Thank you, Mr. Wright, I had a wonderful time.”
“Me too, Lucy. And please, call me David.”
“David…okay. I’ll be right back.”
Lucy stepped into the kitchen and almost ran over Allison and the rest of the staff. No one had gone home. Even the staff that had finished their shifts an hour before were still waiting. “What are you all doing here?” Lucy questioned.
“Waiting to see how your date turned out,” Allison said, speaking for all of them.
“It’s not a date!” Lucy insisted. “He’s just…he’s …oh, go away! Cassy, how should I charge him for this?”
“It’s on the house, sweetie. Just tell him it is our thanks for being such a steady customer. And, your dinner is thanks for being the reason he is such a steady customer.” With that comment, the whole staff laughed.
Allison pulled Lucy aside and whispered in her ear, “Remember, he’s kind of old. Don’t give him a heart attack, if you know what I mean.”
“Allison, good God!” But, Lucy smiled. Don’t I wish, she thought.
Lucy stepped back into the dining room and told David, “Dinner is on the house tonight. Cassy said it is to thank you for being such a steady customer.”
“Well, that is very nice of Cassy, please tell her thank you. The only problem with that is, I have no idea how much to tip you.”
“Oh, I couldn’t take anything. I had such a nice time, I should be tipping you,” Lucy laughed. “Thank you, again.”
“Uh, Lucy, since you say you’re alone this weekend, would you maybe like to go somewhere else? I know I’m old and everything, but I promise I will be a perfect gentleman. I would just like to talk more.”
Without thinking, Lucy agreed. She didn’t need to think about this, the man was wonderful and made her feel different than she had ever felt. She thought she might be falling in love, but knew that idea was ridiculous. After all, what would a man like David Wright want with a young girl like her?
“Where would you like to go?” he asked.
“I don’t have any idea,” Lucy responded. And, without giving it a second thought she said, “Would you like to just come over to my house?”
“Sure, if you think that is okay,” he answered.
“Yes, it will be okay. Let me get my purse and you can just follow me.”
Lucy walked back into the kitchen and saw everyone was getting ready to leave for the night. “I’m going home now. Cassy, I’ll mark my time card for 8:00. I’ll see you all next week.” Lucy picked up her purse and started out the door, but stopped and turned back to her friends, “Thank you, all. Just…thank you.”
On the drive home, Lucy was consumed by questions. What is he thinking? What am I thinking? Does he just think of me as a kid? The thoughts kept rolling around and around in her head. As she pulled in the drive, Lucy’s heart leapt when she saw David park right behind her. Now we’ll see, Lucy girl.
“What’s the movie?”
“Huh…oh, I was planning to be alone tonight so I picked up a chick-flick…Sabrina. Have you seen it?”
“Which version? Actually, I’ve seen them both. I’m not sure how plausible the remake is, though,” said David.
“Why?” asked Lucy, “What isn’t plausible?”
“The age difference between Harrison Ford and what’s-her-name. I think that is more Hollywood than real life, don’t you?”
“Hmmm, I don’t know,” Lucy replied as she turned toward David with a smile, “Harrison Ford would work for me.”
“Lucky Mr. Ford,” said David.
Maybe lucky you, thought Lucy.
Lucy led David to the family room and they both sat on the couch turned to face each other. After a few awkward moments, they were once again deep in conversation. This man is great, Lucy thought. He can talk about anything and makes me feel like his equal. He never talks down to me or treats me like a child. Minutes turned into an hour then two.
“Lucy, it’s after 1:00 a.m., I should get out of here and let you get to bed.”
“You don’t have to leave, unless you want to. I’m not tired. In fact, I feel great. I can’t remember when I’ve had so much fun talking to someone.”
David smiled and shook his head, “I’m having a great time, too. Tonight really was my lucky night. I would love to stay, if you really mean it.”
“Can I ask you a kind of personal question, Lucy?” David asked.
“Earlier this evening you said something about never dating. That isn’t true, is it?”
“Almost,” Lucy replied, “I think I’ve been on a total of four dates since I’ve been in High School. And never with the same guy twice.”
David looked skeptical, “What is wrong with these guys?”
Lucy laughed, “I don’t know. I’m beautiful, have a body to die for and put out before dinner is over.”
“Ha! I agree with everything but the putting out! We got all the way through dinner and I didn’t get any,” David smiled.
“Oh, my God, I can’t believe I said that,” Lucy blushed, “I didn’t mean that, you know!”
“Darn, I was hoping…” and he smiled again.
Lucy smiled back and shook her head, “No, the truth is quite the opposite, I’m afraid…I…uh…never have, and the way it is looking, who knows when I ever will.”
“Never have what?” David asked.
“Never put out before dinner…or any other time, for that matter.” Lucy said shyly.
“Oh, I see. Wow, I didn’t think girls like you existed anymore.”
“What do you mean, girls like me?”
“Girls who are willing to wait for something special,” David replied. “I didn’t mean it as a negative comment.”
“Well, I don’t know that I can truthfully say the fault is mine, but I haven’t pushed the issue, either,” Lucy said.
“Whatever the reason, you’re going to be the one who benefits. You, and the lucky guy. I really feel sorry for girls who rush into something at an early age with someone who is just as inexperienced as they are. Particularly those who just want to get it over with. My God, this should be a special occasion that you can relish, not something to just get past.”
“I want it to be special,” Lucy said. “I don’t want it to just be some boy who is interested in using me for his own satisfaction. I want someone mature enough to be concerned about my pleasure. And I think I would rather my first time be with someone who has some experience.”
“Wise choice,” David agreed. “Like I said, he’s going to be a very lucky guy. Any man who doesn’t focus on your pleasure is a fool and doesn’t deserve you. Besides,” he said with a sly grin, “if he doesn’t know that your pleasure will translate to his pleasure, he’s too stupid to be so blessed.”
Lucy felt something like a shock pass through her, and without thinking twice said, “Will you be my first?”
David looked stunned and Lucy immediately regretted her question.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “I…I…never should…”
“Lucy,” David said in a hushed whisper, “I can’t believe that you would ask me. My God, yes! I would love to be your first, but are you sure?”
Lucy’s shame turned to joy in an instant. “Yes, oh yes! I’m sure! Are you…I mean, are you sure…I’m not too young?”
“Sweetheart,” David said with a huge smile, “this is my fondest dream. I would never have thought this could come true.”
David touched Lucy’s cheek with his fingertips and drew her mouth to his. At first the kiss was gentle, but quickly turned passionate. Lucy melted against him as he touched her. David’s tongue parted Lucy’s lips. His hands caressed her face, her arms and her back. He pulled her tightly to him. Lucy was finding it hard to breathe when she pulled away from David. She felt like she had just run a mile. Standing quickly, she took his hand and pulled him off the couch and toward the stairs. Without any hesitation, she took him directly to her room.