I stared, open-mouthed, at the door that Amy had just walked through. She is the most confusing woman I've ever met.
"You know she's out of your league right?" Hal sneered from the kitchen.
I scowled, through some money on the counter, and left without a word. Pulling out a cigarette, I ran through my conversation with Amy again. She was happy to see me; that much was clear. She answered all questions easily and enthusiastically, and laughed at practically everything I said. Yet she froze when I asked her out for dinner. I took a drag and thought of all the possibilities for her decline. She didn't have to have a reason, maybe she just didn't want to; which was fine. I just wanted to understand; if only she hadn't run out so quickly, I could have asked her.
I should just be happy I got to see her again; something I thought was impossible just hours before. But it wasn't enough. I needed her to say yes, to be in my presence. Her image crept into my mind again, and I cursed myself. A bulge appeared in my pants, and I tried positioning it so it wasn't visible but it was hopeless. Why did she have to do this to me?
Honestly, I didn't expect to see Amy after she rejected me at the diner; that didn't mean that I stopped trying. I still went out every day looking for her; but this time, I had a new mission. Why did she reject me? Even if it was as simple as "I don't want to." I just needed to know. She consumed my every thought every second of the damn day, and at this point it was more of a nuisance than anything. I didn't want to think about her either; if I could choose not to, I would. Well…maybe not as much.
I was careful not to go anywhere near her work; I definitely did not want to come off as a creep. Though the thought was tempting, I stayed away. It would only set me back further.
Frustrated, I sat down on a bench in the local park. Kids were running around the playground shrieking, and their mothers were chatting away incessantly on benches nearby. There was an elderly couple strolling by, hands intertwined. I smiled to myself thinking how nice it must be to still love someone after so long. A knot formed in my stomach again and Amy came to my mind. God dammit.
I felt someone tap me on the shoulder and I turned around; startled. Amy stood before me, a smirk on her face. I tried to speak, but my words came out jumbled.
"Continuing your hunt for me, are you?" she asked playfully. Her tan jacket made her skin seem ghostly pale. The sun was illuminating her hair, and her eyes sparkled. She was breath-takingly beautiful.
"No." I lied.
She chuckled. "Yeah right." Amy sat down next to me, staring off at the playground where two boys were now fighting over a swing.
"So I assume you want to know why I rejected you at the diner the other day?" she asked, her tone airy.
I flinched. "I wasn't going to use quite those words, but essentially, yes. Even if it's as simple as you don't want to, I just need to know is all."
"Why?" her voice had become hard all of a sudden; it was a tad bit frightening.
"Because you invited me to sit down and have breakfast with you thirty minutes prior! Then I ask you to go to dinner and you say no? Come on, how would that not be confusing to anyone?" I said a bit angrily.
She looked at me with wide eyes like she hadn't realized what she had done. "I'm sorry. I-I didn't think it would make you angry…" her voice was low, and she hung her head.
I sighed. "I didn't think I was angry. I just…you threw me off. That's all. Just tell me why you don't want to go to dinner, and I'll leave you alone. I'll stop looking for you. If I ever see you by complete coincidence, I won't bother you. I swear, just please, tell me." I couldn't believe I was pleading with the girl from the grocery store I had only met a week ago.
She looked at me quizzically and still said nothing. Her eyes gave nothing away, and her mouth formed a straight line.
"Fine." My fury was taking over, and I got up to leave when I felt her tug at my sleeve.
"Wait. Sit." Her voice was firm, and so I sat.
She took a deep breath. "I want to go to dinner with you, I just…I don't want it to be a date." The last part came out very fast, and I barely understood what she said. A blush spread from her neck to her cheeks.
"Okay. It doesn't have to be. It can just be two grown-ups going to get dinner, and chat. Friendship and appropriate social interaction is allowed?" I asked, half-teasing.
She pondered on this for a moment before nodding. "Yes, friendship is allowed. Just…no dates, okay?"
"Okay. So, tomorrow at seven? The diner? Not too formal of a setting."
"Sure." She smiled, and my heart melted. She's killing me.
"I'll see you there then." I said, as we both got up to leave.
"Yeah." She smiled again, and waved as she walked off.
I stared after her, watching her slim figure disappear. This was going to be difficult. Very difficult. She was beautiful, incredible, infuriating, confusing, frustrating, wonderful and perfect all at once. I hated that about her; yet I didn't hate her at all.
Six-thirty. I had half an hour until I was supposed to be at the diner. I double checked that I brushed my teeth, and made sure my outfit of choice didn't look like I was trying too hard. This wasn't a date after all.
Fifteen minutes later and I was out the door. I arrived a few minutes before seven, but it was enough to pick a table. Remembering that it wasn't a date, I chose one by the windows, in a row of booths, so we weren't secluded. Staring blankly at the menu, I waited for Amy to arrive.
I checked my watch. Seven fifteen and still no Amy. Oh my god, was she standing me up? Half-amused and half-annoyed, I decided to give her another fifteen minutes and if she still didn't show up, I would leave. I had already put off the waitress twice now.
Seven twenty-five. I looked out on the street and saw no signs of her; I have to admit I was becoming a little angry now. I was fairly certain the waitress felt bad for me, as she gave me a cup of coffee and some cookies on the house.
The bell tinkled, and I looked up instantly. Amy was striding towards me, her cheeks flushed and fear all over her face. Was she okay? What if something happened and I was going to be mad at her for being late? I'd feel like an asshole. Okay, just ask her what's wrong.
"Amy! Are you ok?" I stood up to greet her, but was careful not to touch her; in case it gave her the wrong idea.
"Chris, I am so sorry! Things got crazy at work today, and I got stuck behind, and it set my whole evening off! If I had your number I would have called you or something." She said breathlessly, plopping down into the booth.
I smiled; more relieved that nothing happened to her. "Hey, it's okay. When you came in looking scared I thought something had happened." I sat down opposite her.
She laughed. "I was scared you would be mad, or that you left…" she didn't meet my eyes when she said the last part.
"Well, to be honest, I was slightly mad towards the past couple minutes but only because I thought you stood me up!" We were both laughing now.
"I wouldn't dare stand someone up. That's just rude."
I smiled; a completely goofy smile. "Nor would I."
This was the first chance I got to really look at her. She was wearing jeans, and a long black sleeve shirt. Her hair was straightened tonight, and she was wearing a touch of make-up that lit up her face. How is possible for a woman to look so beautiful in such a simple outfit?
We ordered food, and I asked her why she got caught up at work. I noticed how expressive she is; her face, the way she uses her hands when she talks. It's completely amazing and captivating. Apparently there was a malfunction with the green screen and as it's a crucial part of doing the weather, Amy was left to wait for it to be fixed.
While I waited for Amy all I wanted to ask her was why she didn't want this to be a date, why she just wanted a friendship, but as the night went on, I found that I didn't really care about that anymore. I was having dinner with a beautiful woman, and that's all that mattered. Sure the electricity that buzzed between us was somewhat hard to ignore, but I did it and I did it quite well.
We must have talked about everything possible that night. Even after our food was gone, we sat there talking and laughing. She was truly great company; I could never get bored of her. She lit up the room when she smiled; Amy was purely intoxicating.
Around ten o'clock she checked her watch. The smile faded from her face.
"Oh no, I have to get going!" she said, gathering her jacket and purse.
Only slightly disappointed, I agreed. "I know this isn't a date, but is it okay if I pay for the bill?"
She nodded, now putting on her jacket. "I'm so sorry; I have two dogs at my apartment and I didn't get a chance to feed them or anything before I came here. The poor things."
I laid the money on the table and walked with Amy onto the busy street. "Are you going to be okay getting home?" I asked, truly concerned.
"I'll be fine. I always take a taxi if it's late." She said, stepping up to the curb. I admired her confidence in herself.
"Well, here," I said pulling out my little notebook I carried everywhere along with my pen, and scribbled my number on it. "Just send me a text letting me know you got home okay, please?"
She eyed me hesitantly, as if figuring out if this was some sort of game. She studied me a few seconds more before grabbing the paper from my hand. "Sure." She waved before getting into the cab.
Just as I walked in the door of my apartment, my phone vibrated. It was a number I didn't recognize but I knew it was Amy. I'm home safe and sound. :P Thanks for tonight by the way, it was fun!
I typed a quick reply thanking her for agreeing to have dinner with me, and wished her good night. I was surprised when she replied back. What you don't want to keep talking to me?
I could practically hear the playfulness in her voice and smiled to myself. She was so confusing. I replied back, Of course I do, I just didn't think you would want to.
Well you thought wrong! She replied back a few seconds later. Laughing, I settled into bed and kept my phone tucked under my pillow. Amy and I talked for another hour or so before she finally fell asleep. I stared at my ceiling replaying our non-date in my head, hoping sleep would find me soon. Slowly but surely, my eye lids grew heavy and I drifted off to sleep.
My phone buzzed directly underneath my head and stirred me from the deep sleep I was in. Groggy and still half-asleep I felt for my phone. When I found it, I saw that I had a text from Amy.
Meet me for coffee in an hour? At the diner?
Smiling, and sitting up, I typed back yes, and went to jump in the shower.