“Hey, Margot,” Alex called out.
“Yeah,” I shouted back.
“I’m done with the sink,” Alex said as he strolled into my living room. His clothes were a mess, but he even makes disheveled seem disgustingly sexy.
“Thanks,” I said and glanced away from the magnificent specimen of a man and reminded myself to breathe. I silently willed him to get out so I could wallow in my self-pity; instead, he just stood there waiting for me to acknowledge him. We fell into an uncomfortable silence that dragged on between us. I’m so ready for him to leave so these embarrassing moments can be a thing of past and I can go back to my ordinary life. Still, he did not leave and the silence continued. I had enough of the deafening silence, I looked up at him. He gave me that slow, sexy grin that sets fire to my soul. He knew he had won.
“Hey, you said it’s your day off, right?” he inquired.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Well, let’s go for a drink,” he suggested.
“Don’t you have work to do?” I asked.
“Baby girl, my name is on the letterhead. I do what I please,” He said. “Ammo head home to get outta these clothes. I’ll be back,” he said.
The idea tempted me, but the way our last few encounters went, I didn’t think it wise to test fate. So I told him. “I don’t think that’s a good idea.”
“Why not? You gotta man?” he asked.
“No, it’s just that…” I started.
“It’s a drink, it’s not gonna hurt anyone,” he stated. I peeked up at his face, but he wasn’t the smug, self-assured man I was used to seeing. There was an unfamiliar look in his eyes, as if he’s unsure of himself. As quickly as it appeared, it vanished.
I caved. “Fine one drink,” I said.
“Great, see ya soon.” He stated as he took off.
The moment he left, I sprang up, trying to decide what to wear. I did a mental checklist of every item of clothing that I own. Nothing in my closet caught my eye because nothing is as sexy as the little black dress wasted on this afternoon. With different outfits discarded around my room, I finally settled on a cute yellow daisy sundress and thronged sandals. I had the quickest shower in history and dabbed some makeup on my face. I studied myself out in the mirror, I looked nice enough I suppose.
“Now listen to me, Margot, you’re not allowed to make a fool of yourself, you hear me? You’re a smart, beautiful and talented woman, show that to him!” I said to myself. My phone beeped and when I glanced at it, there was a text from Alex. He was in the parking lot. I studied my reflection once more before leaving, satisfied with how I looked.
Alex took me to Scottie’s, a popular sports bar. It looked nothing like what I remembered from youth. I used to sneak in here as a teenager with my friends. My sweet minor rebellion ended quickly when I forced into a loveless marriage.
“What you drinking?” Alex asked, breaking me free of my memories.
“I don’t know. I don’t drink.”
He called over our waitress and ordered a rum and coke and a strawberry daiquiri for me.
“Wait,” I said. “Do you have anything stronger? Like a mojito?” I asked before she could leave.
“Not a problem, the bartender would be happy to whip up one,” said the waitress.
“Oh, it’s like that?” he said as he raised his eyebrows.
“No, I’m not a fan of sweets,” I said.
“My apologies,” he said. When the waitress walked away, he turned his full attention back to me. “For the awkwardness part, I’m forty-two and divorced with a child. How about you?”
“I’m a thirty-four-year-old widow,” I replied.
“My condolences,” he said.
“No need,” I responded and waved off his pity. “It was a long while ago.”
“All righty, what d’you do?”
“I’m a system analyst over a Global Corp.”
“I do a lot of business with them,” said Alex.
“You do?” I asked, dumbstruck.
“Well, I deal with the plumbing for Global Corp but my dad still does domestic plumbing. He’s old school and enjoys it. I am a businessman, I negotiate contracts with several major businesses and properties.”
“But weren’t you coming from a job when we met?” I asked.
“I help my dad with house calls, from time to time. It’s our thing.”
“But if you only handle the business aspect, how come you fixed my pipes?” I asked.
“Cause maybe I like you?” he drawled with his raised eyebrow. Child, if my brown sugar skin could blush I would be as red as a beetroot. “My brothers and I all have MBAs, but we’re all plumbers at heart, we’ve been helping our dad out before we were even teenagers.”
He flashed me that dimpled, lazy grin again as he asked. “Are you close to your family?”
“So you like me, huh?” I asked.
“What’s not to like? Besides you almost being a midget!”
“I’m five–one and three quarters, I’ll have you know!”
“You’re a gorgeous little thing,” he said. I was cheesing now.
“And that smile, just so fucking pretty them lips got me thinking if they are as soft as they look,” he said. I was dam nearing reaching across the table. “But that’s for later, are you going to answer my question?”
His ability to flip conversations rattled the hell out of me, but I gathered my composure and answered him. “No. I am an only child and my mother’s off finding herself,” I replied.
“I would like my dad to do that, but he’s too damn stubborn.”
“It’s the age group,” I said we snickered at that.
The rest of the date was lovely; we laughed and talked all afternoon. One drink turned into two drinks, then dinner and dessert. Alex’s really nice, accomplished, but so humble. I wished I had met him before my husband. Life would’ve been so different. I wanted Alex with everything in me, but I knew I couldn’t have him.
When we got to my complex Alex walked me to my door. I unlock the door and said, “Thank you I had a great night.”
“I did too,” he said.
I reached up and peck his lips. He smiled but didn’t move a muscle; disappointed I turn to open the door I felt his hand on the back of my head. He drew me to him and kissed me senseless. Every inch of my body came alive as liquid lava ran through my veins.