tagRomanceIt Happened One Day

It Happened One Day

byJamesMiehoff©

Copyright (c) 2018 James Miehoff, All Rights Reserved.
This work of fiction may not be published whether for fee or for free without this copyright.

*****

It was a very hot May that year and I had promised our son, Mark a day out. I guess technically he was my son at that point. He had been very good for a 10 year old and he deserved a break. So I took him and his friend Lucas on an adventure to the beach. Little did we know what kind of adventure awaited us.

Apparently everybody wanted a day at the beach, too. The parking lot was packed and the boys were bouncing around in the back seat hitting each other with towels and just being kids. I spotted a car leaving 2 rows back and started to back up when I hit something.

"Oh my god" I thought to myself. I quickly slammed the car into park and jumped out the door and to my horror saw a young girl lying tangled in her bike on the ground behind my car.

"I am so sorry" I started. "Don't move. Are you alright?"

"Yes. I am fine" said the voice of an angel. "It was all my fault. I wasn't paying attention and I ran into the back of your car. I'll pay for any damages."

"Nonsense." I said. "It was my fault. I have two little boys in the back seat and I let them distract me and I didn't see you."

By now she had untangled herself from the bike and was brushing the sand off her whatever they call those knee length jeans and shaking it out of her blouse. I could see that my original estimate of a 15 year old girl was off by a few years. She was a young woman and not a young girl. The boys had bailed out of the car and were staring.

Lucas whispered "I think your dad hit her".

To which Mark just replied "Duh".

"Dad, I gotta pee" exclaimed Mark.

Followed immediately by Lucas with "Me too."

As we were in the front row of the parking lot the changing rooms/bathrooms were right there, which is probably what kicked off the demands. The power of suggestion. I looked around totally bewildered. Too many things happening too fast and I was starting to shut down when a voice rescued me.

"I have to go park my bike by the bathrooms" said the young woman. "I'll watch them if you want to go park and meet us over there."

"Really?" I asked. My mind was going a thousand miles an hour and still bordering on overload.

"Sure" she said and held out a hand. "C'mon boys." Mark took her hand and Lucas trailed along as they headed for the bathrooms. I shook my head to clear it, took a deep breath and got back into the car.

My luck must have been changing as a car pulled out right in the front row and I snagged the spot. I hurried over to where the young woman was chaining her bike to the rack. Coming up from behind and seeing her bent over working on the lock I was stunned at how beautiful she was.

"Can I help?" I asked. Looking down I couldn't help but stare down her shirt to the magnificent beauty of her braless breasts. The ache was palpable. I started shutting down again.

"No. I've got it" she said as I heard the click of the lock. "Now then, we haven't been formally introduced. I'm Debbie, and you are?"

I stared at the hand being offered to me for too long and suddenly found myself moving without conscious volition. I carefully took the hand and instead of shaking it, my hand gently grasped the fingers and brought them smoothly to my lips. "My name is John, but I usually go by my middle name of Richard." She giggled a little and blushed but didn't pull her hand back.

"Thank you for helping out with the boys" I continued "And for being so gracious about our accidental meeting."

Just then the boys came screaming up and asked if we can go to the beach now. I laughed and said "Yes, but I need to get the towels and the blanket and the cooler from the car." I asked Debbie if she would like to join us and she said she would find us as soon as she changed into her swimsuit.

So I led the boys to the car to load them up with towels while I carried the cooler and the blanket and we set off in search of a nice spot on the beach. Despite all the cars, we found a nice spot just up on dry sand and not far from the bathrooms. A few minutes later Debbie came by and yelled "Found you" as she grabbed Mark by his ankles and ran out into the water holding him upside down. He was screaming in mock terror while Lucas ran alongside them laughing and splashing them both.

Just as it looked like Debbie was going to deep six him she flipped Mark up and tossed him in the air, caught him and set him down on his feet in knee deep water. As a parent I should have been terrified, but it felt good seeing Mark being a kid. It had been a bad few months.

"That is for what you said when your dad wasn't around" Debbie told him.

"But you are pretty" said Mark defiantly. "C'mon Lucas" and then the two boys tore off down the beach.

Debbie watched them for a moment and slowly turned and came back to me. She had a white loose mesh cover up that concealed and revealed the fact that she had a very sexy body that the loose blouse and jeans hadn't done justice to. The string bikini underneath just enhanced and magnified the effect. I felt a stirring in my loins that I hadn't felt in what seemed like forever.

When she got close enough, I asked "What did you do with your clothes?"

She stopped for a second puzzling out the question. Apparently that was not what she was expecting. After a pause, she said "Oh. I put them in my backpack and locked them in a locker in the changing room."

Such a simple explanation, now it was my turn to blush. "Sorry. I didn't know there were lockers up there. Are they the bring your own lock kind?"

She just hitched up her cover up and showed me two keys tied into the string of her bikini bottoms. Two keys, one for the bike and one for the locker.

I just patted the blanket and said, "Please sit. I won't bite. I promise."

She just grinned mischievously and asked "Even if I want you too?" But she sat down and lay back on the blanket and said "This sun feels awesome. I have been spending too much time inside."

Seizing the opening I asked "What do you do that you spend so much time inside?"

"I am an art student" she replied "I have one more year and I will be graduating with my bachelor's in Fine Art. I would have been done this year, but I had to drop out for a year."

"If you don't mind my asking, what caused you to drop out for a year?" I said with a surprising amount of concern in my voice.

"This" she said as she rolled over and a fine patchwork of scars like painted spider webs appeared on the back of her left leg.

My fingers were drawn to them as if by their own volition and I traced the largest one. Suddenly I realized what I was doing and jerked my hand back. "I'm sorry" I sputtered. "I don't know why I did that."

"It's ok" Debbie said. "It doesn't hurt much anymore except when it is going to rain. I was riding home on my moped when a lady ran a red light and hit me. They were just going to amputate the leg, but my father got all up in their faces and said that they better try and save it or they would answer to him first and god second. So they tried. I was in surgery for 16 hours the first time and 11 hours the second time. They found most of the pieces of the bones and made up the rest with rods and nuts and bolts. I'm afraid to walk past refrigerators now because of the magnets." I looked up then and decided that was a joke because of the big beautiful smile that was lighting up face.

I hadn't said a word but tears were rolling down my cheeks.

Debbie finally focused on my face and suddenly her voice was full of concern "Did I do or say something wrong? Please talk to me."

I couldn't. My world had collapsed again and I was starting to curl up. I could hear her concern and her words but they were fading to black and I was lost until I heard Claire's voice "It will be ok. You can go back. Trust her."

As quickly as the world faded away it came back. I could hear Mark saying "It's ok Miss Debbie. He will be ok. He just needs to rest for a minute." I found I could open my eyes and I started to unclench my arms from around my legs. It was too bright so I turned my head and found that my head was in Debbie's lap. Mark was there rubbing my shoulder and looking concerned. I finished relaxing until my legs were straight and I could sit up. I saw the crowd of people that must have gathered begin to disperse.

I tried to smile and cover my embarrassment by saying "I'm hungry. Does anyone else want a sandwich?"

Debbie glanced at Mark and Lucas and said "That sounds like a great idea. Boys why don't you dig out sandwiches for yourselves and bring the cooler a little closer so I can get your dad a sandwich?"

I was grateful and a minute later I had a sandwich and a soda in my hands. "Please help yourself" I told Debbie. "I packed a lot because you never know how much a couple of boys are going to eat or what they are going to eat. So there are turkey sandwiches, roast beef sandwiches and even a couple peanut butter or cheese sandwiches if you are a vegetarian."

She smiled at that and said "No, I'm not a vegan. So thank you. Which are the turkey sandwiches?" I pointed one out and she picked it up and unwrapped it. We ate in silence and then started small talk again.

The boys went off to the water and started some 10 year old's idea of a massive sand construction project. Debbie and I talked. We danced around the subject of what had happened to me and her accident and then as the afternoon was starting to fade, I finally needed to explain.

"First I want to apologize for my behavior this afternoon" I started. "It was not your fault."

Debbie started to say something and I cut her off rudely. "Please don't interrupt or I won't be able to get this out. I am just coming out of a massive depression. Three months ago my wife was killed in a car accident. She was hit by a driver that was going the wrong way down the highway and she was killed instantly. I made it through the funeral and the next day Mark found me in bed in the fetal position. He tried to comfort me, but he didn't know what to do, so he went next door to Lucas' parents."

I stopped to take a deep breath and continued "They got me to the hospital and I ended up in the psych ward. I came out of it long enough to ask Lucas' parents to watch Mark for me until I got better and then I curled up again. I cried for three days straight. The fourth day I heard Claire's voice tell me to 'Snap out of it. You have life to live.' I got up and asked to see a doctor. I was in therapy for a week and they discharged me."

"We came to the beach today so Mark could have some fun and be a little boy again. The story of your accident was too close to home and I lost it. Can you forgive me for what I just put you through?"

Debbie just scooted closer on the blanket and grabbed me and pulled me to her. She didn't say a word. She just held me against her chest and the problems went away. "Shhh. It will be alright" she kept repeating.

Finally after an eternity, I pulled back and said "Thank you".

She nodded. I looked at my watch and said "Oh my. We have to get going. I need to get Mark and Lucas back. They are going to a movie tonight and then having a sleep over at Lucas' house."

Debbie looked at my watch and went "Oh shit! I have to go too. Can I have your phone number or something. I'd really like to see you again."

"Really" I sputtered in surprise "After all I've put you through. First, hitting you with the car. Then freaking out and going psycho on you on the beach. You want to see me again?"

"Yes" she said with a big smile. "We are two cripples who can make each other better."

I shook my head, but I got a business card out of my wallet and gave it to her. "Sorry I don't have a pen to give you my personal number, but that has my office number and I can be reached there most days."

I gave her a quick smile. "Except when I am having a psychotic breakdown at the beach."

She smiled at that and leaned in and gave me a quick kiss on the cheek and then she was walking toward the changing rooms. I sighed and gathered our stuff and went to collect the boys.

As we were putting the last of the stuff in the car, I heard a screech of anger and frustration and saw Debbie jumping up and down by the bike rack. I slammed the trunk and told the boys to get in the car before running over to see why Debbie was screaming.

As I approached her she was using some very unladylike language, in fact, it was un-sailorlike language too. But very colorful. I am pretty sure most of it was not anatomically possible.

"What happened?" I asked as she was catching her breath for another attempt to peel the last of the paint off the changing rooms.

She just pointed at her bike. I looked and then looked again and then finally saw it. Her front tire was gone. "Some motherfucking slime eating weasel stole my fucking tire" she started up again.

I just closed the gap between her and held her saying "Shhh. It will be all right" over and over again.

She tensed up at first and then put her arms around me and I could feel her start to cry. "How is it going to be alright?" she said between sobs.

Without thinking, I said "You are going to unlock your bike and we will carry it to my car and we will give you a ride home. That is, if you can stand to be locked in with a psycho and 2 ten year old boys."

Debbie sniffed and nodded her head and said "Thank you. You are my knight in shining armor."

We held each other for a few more minutes until I said "The bike isn't going to unlock itself."

She giggled and said "You let go first. I was waiting for you."

That started me snickering and together we unlocked and walked her crippled bike to the car. There was just enough room in the trunk for the bike and I had some cords to tie it in so it wouldn't bounce out. The boys cheered when they heard we were going to take Debbie home.

When she told me her address, I did some fast calculations and asked Debbie if she would mind if we dropped the boys off first. They had to get cleaned up to get to the movie and we would be cutting it real close.

She smiled at me and said it wasn't a problem as she didn't have any plans for the evening. I said thank you about a dozen times and we headed for Lucas' house. The boys got there with plenty of time to get cleaned up and I breathed a mental sigh of relief as we saw them off.

As we drove to Debbie's apartment, my mouth took off on its own and asked if she would like to go out for dinner.

She glanced down and said "I'm not sure I'm dressed for anything other than a burger from a drive through." As I tried to stammer an apology, she started laughing and said, "It's alright. I can grab a change of clothes when we get to my apartment and then go back to your house and we can get cleaned up and change, if that is alright with you?"

My mouth never thinks more than one stop ahead and so it blurted out, "That sounds great. Pick an outfit for the type of restaurant you want to go to and I'll find a matching outfit when we get to my house."

Just then we turned into the parking lot and she directed me to the guest parking for her building.

"I am going to warn you that if my roommate Paige is home she will give you the third degree and she is a psycho when it comes to protecting me." Debbie continued "Just be yourself and you will be fine. I'll hurry."

She was true to her words. Paige was a psycho, but a sweet and caring one. Paige was almost done copying the information off my driver's license, just in case, when Debbie reappeared with a small bag to rescue me.

We both broke out laughing about that when we got back in the car. The banter with Debbie on the way back to my house was incredible. It was almost like we had known each other forever. I parked the car in the driveway (screw the nosy neighbors) and escorted Debbie into the house. A quick 5 minute tour later I showed her the guest bedroom, which had a private bathroom. "I'll let you get ready while I go shower and get the sand out of my shorts."

She nodded. I continued "Then if you don't mind, I'll come out in a robe and once I see how you are dressed, I'll get a matching outfit."

"How about if I just show you my dress now and then you will know what to wear?" She then proceeded to pull a gorgeous not quite navy blue dress out of her bag.

"Perfect" I said. "I have just the place in mind." I turned and closed the door to the guest room as I headed down to my room. The shower felt good and I was on top of the world.

About 20 minutes later I headed out to the living room and stopped and I thought my heart would explode. There was Debbie looking regal in her dress staring at the pictures on the mantle. I started to mentally shut down but I focused on Debbie and the world came back. I cleared my throat and she turned around and blushed.

"I'm sorry" she started. "I didn't mean to snoop."

I cut her off, "You are not snooping. Her name was Claire. We met as teenagers and she was my life. When she died" I stuttered on the word 'died' and went on "a part of me died that day as well." After a pause I continued "I want to thank you. Today has been the first time I have been able to say anything about Claire's death to anyone other than my shrink and he forces me to say it."

Debbie came over and held me. I put my arms around her and held her as well. She smelled good. After a few minutes I reluctantly broke the clench and held her out at arm's length and said "You look amazingly beautiful. I know just the place. Let me go and see if we can get reservations."

With some reluctance I tore my eyes away from Debbie and got on the phone. Luck was with us, but we were going to have to hurry. The only opening was in 45 minutes and it takes at least 30 minutes to get there.

We got there in 35 minutes and found a parking spot right out front. Our reservation was waiting and we got seated right away. The waiter brought the menus and I ordered a bottle of wine. When the wine was brought the wine steward asked to see Debbie's ID.

She blushed and said "I won't be 21 until next month."

I was shocked but just told the wine steward that the wine was for me. He poured me a glass and left. "If you would like a glass of wine, I would be happy to pour one for you" I said. "I didn't mean to embarrass you like that. We always had a bottle of wine with dinner here and I guess it was just a habit."

She agreed to a half glass and we then we opened the menus. "Oh my god" Debbie said quietly. "I can't make you pay for this. I've never seen prices like this in a restaurant before."

"Don't worry about it" I said. "If I couldn't afford to bring you here we would be somewhere else. If it makes you feel better, ignore the prices and focus on the descriptions."

Our waiter arrived and quoted the specials of the day. I saw Debbie's eyes light up on one of the items so I ordered for myself and then just continued, "And I believe my companion would like the fresh fish of the day."

I paused to look at her and she just nodded shyly. The waiter nodded and left to get out orders in. There was a deafening silence which I finally broke by thanking Debbie for gracing me with her presence today. We talked about a lot of things over that dinner; her aspirations to be an artist; my work (boring); coping with loss (painful) and Mark.

Finally the head waiter stopped by to politely let us know the restaurant was closing and we made our way out into the night.

As I opened the car door for her she suddenly turned, grabbed my face and kissed me. Not a quick thank you kiss. This was a full on passionate kiss. Initially I was too shocked to do anything more than stand there, but again my body moved on its own and I took her into my arms and returned the kiss. I was feeling those stirrings in my loins again. We eventually broke it and I let out an involuntary "oh my" whisper.

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