Taking her hand in mine, Lindsay and I walked hand-in-hand down the deserted sidewalk. Around us, the iridescent leaves fell like drops of rain. I glanced over at her with a quick smile, lovingly squeezing her hand; she glanced back and intertwined our fingers, looking longingly into my eyes.
As we walked, the wind blew playfully through her dark, brown hair. Lindsay was beautiful, more now than ever before. Every aspect of her captivated me. The cold air had kissed her cheeks, leaving them the color of cotton candy. Her eyes were of a bright blue that blended perfectly with her light, powder blue jacket and scarf. Her lips were soft and painted with light pink lipstick.
That afternoon, we walked as if we didn't have a care in the world. Just being in each other's presence was mind blowing. As we entered the park, the wind had begun to blow colder. Lindsay pulled me closer, wrapping my arms closely around her. Leaning over I gently planted a kiss upon her forehead. She smiled and leaped up into my arms. Catching her, I wrapped her legs around my waist and held her closely. With her hands around my neck, she stared deeply into my eyes. Not being able to resist her adorable smile I leaned in and kissed her lips. Leaves fell around us in a swirling circle and the strong smell of fall air engulfed us.
Leaning close to her ear I whispered: "I love you Lindsay", gently nudging my nose against the side of my neck.
Whispering back she replied: "Tell me why you love me Jack."
Without hesitation I replied: "I love you because every morning when I wake up you're the first thing I think of. I love you because when I look into your eyes I see my future and everything I've ever wanted to be. I love you because when I hold you in my arms everything else in the world fades away. I love you because…-"
Pressing her finger against my lips, she brought me to silence and whispered: "You're amazing…" For a few moments, Lindsay and I stood in silence, staring into each others eyes with longing and desire. Shortly after, we departed from the park, leaving behind what was a piece of our ever-growing love.
"Jack…" Lindsay said, her voice trailing away as if she had something on her mind.
"Yeah babe?" I replied, glancing over.
"Do you ever think about the future?" She asked, glancing back at me.
"You know, people say we might be talking to aliens one day." I replied, teasing her.
"No silly! You know what I mean!" She said, playfully hitting me on the shoulder. I smiled.
Turning to her I said, "My future is with you baby." She half smiled, looking up into my eyes.
"How can you be sure?" She asked doubtfully.
"Because every day I find myself falling even more in love with you. I feel like…I can't breathe without you. And the thought of us apart suffocates me. I'm not too sure about a lot of things; our future together is something that I'm almost certain of. I don't know, it's…a gut feeling."
"Gosh. How can you be so…so perfect? I mean…ah!" Wrapping her arms around my neck, she kissed me in a way she never had before. Taken by surprise at first, I stood motionless, leaning down slightly to meet her lips. Slowly sliding my hands onto her waist I returned the kiss. At that moment our bodies and souls were one, locked in passion.
Seconds later our kisses began to deepen, my tongue lightly flickering against hers. After what seemed like hours I finally broke our kiss. Pulling away only slightly at first, gently pecking her lips.
"Mm…" she whispered, lightly licking her lips. Her eyes were still closed. Leaning against her, I gently breathed on the side of her neck, making her tremble.
"I love you so much." I whispered, nuzzling my nose against the side of her neck.
The next day at work I was surprised to find fresh coffee on my desk. Smiling appreciatively, I knew it had to have been Lindsay. Taking a sip, I laid down my brief case. It was definitely the best coffee I had ever tasted.
"Good, isn't it?" A voice asked from the doorway. Startled at first, I whirled around.
The voice belonged to a woman I had never seen before. At first glance, she was stunningly beautiful. Her eyes were the color of coffee. Her hair, also a dark brown, was tied messily into a bun, leaving two long strands to hang freely from either side of her face. She wore a short black skirt, complimented by a light blue blouse with long sleeves.
I found myself beginning to stare. Quickly, I searched for something to say.
"I-…uh…excuse me?" I asked, still taken aback by her beauty. She laughed.
"The coffee…it's Colombian." She replied, brushing a strand of hair behind her ear. God she was beautiful.
"Get a hold of yourself…" I quietly mumbled. I felt my palms begin to sweat.
"What?" She asked, looking at my curiously.
"Oh, um…the coffee. Yeah, it's really good." I nodded.
"Good, I'm glad you liked it. I'm Hayley by the way. I'm your new secretary." Stepping out of the doorway, she walked forward with an out stretched hand.
"Oh! Hayley! I-…wow, I forgot you were coming today." I replied, shaking her hand. "What great skin…" I thought. I remembered that we had spoken over the phone a few days earlier.
"It's alright. I'm just glad to be here. Is there anything you need sir?" She smiled. I felt like an old man. She couldn't have been that much older than me.
"Oh, please, call me Jack. And no, thanks. Every thing is great." I said, running my hand over the back of my neck.
"Great! Well then Jack, call me if you need me." She smiled, and headed out the door.
I let out a sigh of relief. It seemed as if a great deal of tension had just been lifted from my shoulders. As I inhaled, the smell of Hayley's perfume filled my nostrils. It was incredible. She sounded almost as sweetly as she smelled. I smiled.
Up until around 11:30 or so my mind was completely centered on Hayley. The way she walked, the way she smelled every thing about her just hit me all at once. I thought to myself: "Come on man, you have a girlfriend…a great, wonderful girlfriend..." And then my mind would wander right back to Hayley. She was beautiful, no doubt. But what did I really know about her? All I knew was that she was my secretary. I was going crazy. Just then, my stomach started to growl. I forgot that had said that I would meet the guys for lunch. Taking a quick glance at my watch, I packed every thing up and headed out the door.
"Going to lunch Jack?" A voice asked. I jumped. This time I recognized the voice. It was definitely Hayley. I turned to her. She was sitting at her desk, paging through a few files I had told her to find. Slightly tilting her head to the side, she looked at me and smiled. I sheepishly smiled back.
"Uh yeah, lunch. I'll be back in about an hour. If anyone calls, tell them I went to lunch across the street." I said, pulling on my jacket.
"Okay sweetie." She replied, placing the files down on her desk.
As I entered the bar, I immediately spotted my two buddies Dave and Ken. They were huddled around our usual table in what seemed to be heated discussion. We ate here almost everyday. It was kind of a tradition.
"Hey guys, what's up?" I said, taking a seat next to Ken.
"What's "up", is that you're late." Dave said, pointing to his watch. Ken laughed.
"I know, I know. How ‘bout I pay today eh?" I said, smiling, knowing that Dave, the king of cheap, couldn't resist a free meal.
"Alright! That's my boy!" Dave said, chuckling.
"You guys order yet?" I asked, grabbing a menu.
"Yeah, don't worry about it, we got you covered." Ken said, taking a sip of beer.
"Alright, cool." I looked around. It was pretty empty, except for the couple of guys at the bar. The smell of smoke filled my nostrils, lingering with the smell of beer. I let out a sigh half listening to the conversation that Ken and Dave were having. Suddenly I heard something that caught my attention.
"So did you guys see that new girl at work today? Oh man is she on fire!" Dave said, leaning back against the chair.
"Ha, I know. I sure wouldn't mind getting a piece of that!" Ken replied in agreement, taking another sip of beer.
"Hey, isn't her name Kailey or something?" Dave asked, looking at Ken.
"It's Hayley." I said bluntly. Surprised to hear that I had entered the conversation, both Ken and Dave looked at me weirdly.
"You met her?" Ken asked, glancing over at me.
"Yeah, she's my secretary." I said, like it was no big deal.
"Are you serious? This kid gets the hot girl AND the hot secretary? You have to be yanking my chain!" Dave's eyes widened. I laughed.
"No really, she's my secretary." I said, taking a swig of my own beer.
"So, does she want you?" Ken asked sarcastically.
"I wouldn't know. Dude, I have a girlfriend. You know I would never cheat on Lindsay." I replied, sensing the uncertainty in my voice. I looked around nervously.
"Bull shit! You're telling me that if you had one night with that hottie you wouldn't try to score?" Ken asked, looking at me in disbelief.
"I love Lindsay ok? Someday we're going to get married." I replied, taking yet another sip of my beer. Ken and Dave fell into a fit of laughter.
"Hey boys." A familiar voice said from behind us. Ken and Dave fell silent. It was Lindsay.
"Hey babe." I said, greeting her with a peck on the lips. Ken and Dave snickered. Lindsay slid on to my lap.
"Oh, what's the matter boys? Can't handle a little kissy wissy?" Lindsay asked mockingly. I laughed, wrapping my arms around her. I leaned in and kissed her shoulder. She smelled like that "fresh from outside" smell that I loved so well. She smiled and kissed my cheek.
"Oh stop! Both of you before I hurl!" Dave said laughing a little.
"Oh what Davie? Am I turning you on?" Lindsay asked, making one of her signature pouty faces. Ken and I laughed. Embarrassed, Dave got up and headed to the bathroom.
"Baby, did you get a new secretary? I went to your office and this girl told me that you had gone to lunch." Lindsay asked, sitting back on me. Before I could answer, Ken perked up.
"Hell yeah he did. Isn't she a fox?" Ken asked, looking at Lindsay with a wink. She laughed. Suddenly I felt myself start to sweat.
"I wouldn't know Kenny. But she is really pretty. Don't you think Jack?" She turned to look at me.
"I uh-…she's alright I guess." I replied coolly, trying to mask the nervousness in my voice.
When Dave returned from the bathroom, the table was silent.
"The waiter said our food will be up in a minute," said Dave, looking at us blankly. Ken stood up and pushed in his chair.
"I've got a meeting at one. I better get going. Hey Jack, are we still on for tonight?" Ken asked, looking at me as he fixed his tie.
"What's going on tonight?" Lindsay asked as well, looking back at me.
"Oh, it's nothing babe. I'm just having the guys over for the game tonight. Dallas plays Green Bay." I replied, rubbing her arms. "And yeah dude, of course it's on."
"Can I come?" She asked looking from me to the other guys. Dave glanced quickly at me. I could tell that he didn't want Lindsay to come but I couldn't turn down my own girlfriend.
"Of course you can come. It's at 7." I said, kissing her cheek.
"Alright, see you guys later." Ken said, as he headed out the door.
When I had come back from lunch, the firm was buzzing with noise. Phones were ringing off the hook, voices were chattering—it was extremely busy. I figured that it would be best to get back to work right away. As I headed to my office, Hayley met me half way.
"Mr. Martinez called for you." She said, while handing me a slip of paper with a number scribbled on it.
"Thanks." I replied, shoving the paper into my pocket. Before turning into my office, I realized that Hayley probably had not eaten lunch yet.
"Hey, you can go on break if you want." I said bluntly.
"Are you sure you can handle everything while I'm gone?" she asked sarcastically, putting her arm around my neck.
"Oh I don't know…" I replied, and slid my hand onto her hip. She smiled at me and for those few minutes, we stared into each other's eyes. What was I doing? More importantly, what did this mean? My first instinct was to kiss her.
My mind told me to, "Go ahead. You know you want to." What scared me was that I did want to. I wanted to kiss her since I had first laid eyes on her.
"I…uh, better get back to work." I said, sliding my hand off of her hip.
"Yeah..." she replied, her voice trailing off. Sliding her arm from around my neck she looked at me with what seemed like longing eyes. It was the same kind of look Lindsay gave me if I had forgotten to give her a goodbye kiss. Did she feel the same way about me as I did about her? Before I could say another word, she was gone.
With that, I turned into my office. Shutting the door, I took a seat at my desk and continued the work I was doing before I had gone to lunch. Hard as I tried I couldn't get Hayley out of my head. The image of her beautiful face stayed etched in my mind. Letting out a sigh I took the number Hayley had given me from my pocket. I was curious to see what Mr. Martinez could want, considering we hadn't spoken for over a month. I dialed the number. Soon after, someone picked up.
"Hello?" I said.
"I was hoping you would call." A woman's voice answered.
"Who is this? I asked curiously.
"It's Hayley." The voice said bluntly. Hearing her name sent chills down my spine. I was speechless.
"Why." My voice trailed off. I was still in shock.
"I'll explain later. Just meet me at the park." She said. With that, she hung up the phone.
For a few moments I sat with the phone in hand, unsure of what to do. My first thought was to get up and go to her. It was like she had some unknown power over me that I couldn't control. But more than anything, I was curious to see why she wanted me to meet her at the park.
So I got up, slid my coat on and headed over to the park. Since it was only a few blocks away from the firm, I figured that I would walk. As I walked, the wind was fierce and whipped against the trees with no mercy. I wondered if that was a sign, telling me that I as making a mistake. I would've turned back, but the thought of seeing Hayley urged me on. It was freezing. As I entered the park, Hayley was no where to be found.
"Wonderful..." I mumbled sarcastically and shoved my hands into my pockets. Was she playing mind games with me? I mean, what did I really know about this girl. My mind was swimming with doubt. Just as I began to turn back, a voice called out to me.
"Jack! Over here!" I whirled around. There, on the old tire swing, was Hayley. She smiled, and beckoned me over to her. Reluctantly, I took a seat next to her.
"It's beautiful isn't it?" She asked. Her eyes were focused on a pile of multi-colored leaves beneath her feet.
"I see the way you look at me Jack." She said calmly. Her eyes were now focused on mine.
"No one has ever looked at me the way you do…" Her voice trailed off into the distance.
"Hayley...I-…I'm sorry" I said hesitantly, looking down at the hard ground.
"Don't apologize." She replied, straddling my lap so that she sat facing me. I looked up quickly as she wrapped her arms around my neck.
To Be Continued…