Chapter Three (Coming Into Focus)

The nerves hit me after a few more miles of driving around the city. I didn’t have anything to do until the lunch, so I had just continued to drive around. After much thought, I decided I wanted to look my best when he saw me at the cafe.

I went back to my apartment, and got out my nail polish kit. Right now, my nails had splotches of blue left over from when I did them on Christmas. It was now summer. I was surprised there was any left on them. I chose a light pink nail color that would match the sun dress I intended to wear.

After applying two coats, I picked out some strapped sandal flats to go with my dress. I put my dress on the bed along with my shoes. I went into the kitchen, but realized I shouldn’t eat until our lunch date so I sat on the counter, waiting for the nail polish to dry.

Once it did, I went into the bathroom and took another shower-so that any extra nail color would come off my toes. Once out, I blow dried my hair and stood there deciding between an up do or a pony tail. I never wore my hair down outside the house. I decided a pony tail would look better, since I didn’t want to get dressed up too much.

I went and put on my dress, but left the sandals on the bed. I put my hair up and didn’t think it looked right so I did it again. Then, I went back to get my nail kit, deciding if my toes were going to show, that I needed to do those nails, too. After they dried, I put on my sandals and noticed the time. I was going to be late if I didn’t leave now.

I rushed to grab my brown purse and dumped all its contents into a small purple one to match my dress, then grabbed my keys out of it and headed out of the door. I praised myself for getting an apartment on the first floor and ran out the front door, locking it back behind me.

I rushed to my car, started it, and headed toward the coffee shop. I had to stop at six stoplights on the way and knew I would end up late, but as soon as I got to the shop, I saw him parking his cop car in an available space across the street. I was so glad that he just got here. I parked at a spot next to him and looked in the mirror and checked the makeup I had applied in the car. It looked good, so I slowly got out of the sudan and headed towards the door of the coffee shop where he was waiting.

Cole pulled out my chair as he asked, “What should I get you? I hear they have wonderful vegetable soup.”

“Yea, I know. I work here. I’ll have a gyro sandwich-the special for today.”

“Oh wow. I’ve never seen you here, before today. I probably come at the wrong times.”

“Yea, I work weekdays usually and Sundays, both in the afternoon.”

He looked pleased as he walked to get the orders.

He returned a couple of minutes later, carrying a tray of food and two drinks, “I forgot to ask what you wanted to drink, so I asked them what you liked best. The cashier said you were ‘addicted to the mocha frap’. So I got you a mocha frap.”

“Sounds good-what did you get?”

“The same as you. I trust that since you work here you know what’s good and what isn’t.”

“Oh okay”

“So what do you do besides work here? I mean what are your interests?”

“I paint and go to the beach. Sometimes I go to the gym or take bike rides with a borrowed bike from my neighbor, Sam.” And have random sex with multiple guys, I thought, but that’s not going to happen anymore.

“Wow, sounds fun.”

“What do you do, besides be a cop.” I asked.

He laughed. “I also go on bike rides and swim a lot. I go to the gym across the street every afternoon after work. I haven’t been to the beach in a while, though.”

“You do, eh? Maybe we could go on a bike ride next time we hang out.”

He blushed and looked down, as if he were covering it up, but then I noticed something on his face that said ‘this isn’t just hanging out, I really like you’, and blushed myself. “I didn’t mean it that way.” I corrected myself, “I just meant next time we see each other. I didn’t know you wanted this to be a date.” But I did know, I was just being casual.

“It’s okay. I’m not used to this kind of thing. I’ve been too involved in my work to really even look at women.” He blushed again.

We talked on for another hour. And then another hour after finishing our meal. He was a really sweet guy, with bright blue eyes and longish brown hair. His muscles were thick in his chest and shoulders, moving as he talked, but thick enough to make him look scary. His face was soft and thin. Every time he smiled at me, it reached his eyes. He had a small dimple on the left side when he smiled and his eyes crinkled at the sides each time he did this. He was much more handsome than all those other guys that came into her life for a short time and left and something told her he was definitely the relationship type. She hoped, too, that he would stay in his life for a while.

“What time do you have to work?” Cole asked.

She hadn’t noticed she was staring at him and just barely caught the question. “I don’t work today. It’s my day off.”

“Oh okay. Sounds good. I just got off work before lunch. I was wondering if maybe you’d like to watch a movie sometime? I would say go to the movies, but they’re too expensive nowadays.”

“Sounds good. I’d love to watch a movie sometime.”

“Oh and when we do, just know that I have a dog. I hope you like dogs.”

“Of course I like dogs! Who doesn’t? What’s their name?”

“It’s a girl and her name is Shawna. She’s a german shepard. I got her when she was sent to be a police search dog, but she’s retired from that now, because she hurt her hip. She walks with a limp sometimes, but is still the happiest dog I know.” He chuckled.

“Sounds great! I’d love to meet her.” I said with pure enthusiasm.

“Well that’s good. I have to go soon. I just noticed the time. I have to go soon. I need to walk Shawna. Sorry to have to leave, but I don’t want anymore spots on my carpet” He said after glancing at his watch.

“That’s fine with me. I was planning on going to the dog shelter sometime this week to look at the pets. I just moved to an apartment that allows dogs. Since I moved out of my parents house four years ago, I’ve always wanted my own pet.”

“Oh really?”

“Yea!”

“The best shelter to go to is the ASPCA. They have all the nicest dogs.”

“I’ll be sure to check it out.”

There was a small silence after that. I didn’t know what to say or how to say goodbye, so I just looked at him. It wasn’t an awkward silence, or to me it wasn’t. I just looked into lose beautiful blue eyes and waited for him to say something.

He finally did. “I had a really nice time with you today. I hope I can get your number and hang out with you sometime soon. Maybe we could go for that bike ride.”

“That sounds great. I had a good time, too. I’m sad you have to leave so soon.”

“Yea, but it’s apparently been two hours. I didn’t know until I looked at my watch.”

“Oh wow. I didn’t know that.”

“Yea. I really need to walk Shawna now, so how about I call you tomorrow?” He took out a pen from his pocket and a receipt. He wrote down his number and then tore part of the paper off and handed both to me, including the pen.

I got the gist and wrote down my number on the second half of the paper and handed the pen and paper back to him. I put his number in my wallet for safe keeping after realizing I’d left my phone at home. We both stood up. Cole walked around the table and kissed me on the cheek, then headed for the door while waving goodbye.

I headed to the restroom, first, but afterward I headed out the door. His car was gone once I got outside. Once I pulled out of the parking spot, I headed for the ASPCA.

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