Welcome! The word prompt this week is "love". How appropriate! I'm continuing with the story "Reunited" this week. Hope you enjoy it. Scroll down for links back to the great stories at Tuesday Tales and my website.
Thanks for stopping by.
Cassie arrived at the bar first. She learned that, on a blind date, being there before the guy meant you could scope him out and if he looked really bad, you could hide in the ladies room and sneak out the back door. It gave her the upper hand.
This time was different. But she needed to be in control here because there were big stakes involved. If the program “Reunited” took off, she and Ned would be multimillionaires. This had to work.
Mike walked in wearing a blue, button-down shirt, dark gray slacks, and a tan corduroy sports jacket. Having filled out some since high school, he looked good. She smiled and waved. He noticed her, raised his hand and headed for her table.
When he sat down, he didn’t lean over to kiss her cheek or even shake hands. There was something different about Mike. She didn’t know what it was, but she sensed it.
“You look great, Mike. Life must agree with you,” she said.
He shot her an odd look and a half grin. “I’m doing okay. You look terrific. Even better than in high school.”
Cassie laughed. “We were such good friends, but just friends.”
“Maybe you were. But not me.”
“No?” Her eyebrows shot up.
“I had a huge crush on you.”
“You did?” Her voice registered genuine surprise.
“You didn’t know? Really? And when I trumped up that story about Mary Callahan, I thought for sure you’d see right through it.” He grinned.
“A story? She wasn’t after you?”
“No one was after me. But I knew you’d rescue me if you thought I was in trouble.”
“Got that right. So agreeing to go to the prom with you was just because you wanted to go with me?”
“In the worst way.”
“Why you little fibber! You fooled me completely.”
“Worked, too,” he replied, raising his hand for the waitress.
“Sure did. I had no idea.”
He’d crushed on Cassie? That threw her, it was unexpected. But not now, as he sat across the table from her, aloof, sizing her up. Did he think she’d embarrass him about the prom? She’d had a phenomenal time, but it had simply come too late to do much about it. She had gone to college in Oregon and he had attended a university in Maryland. Even their vacations didn’t dovetail. He was on trimester while she was on the traditional two-semester schedule.
Warmth surrounded her heart. For an instant, she wondered where she would be, if they had attended the same school. His admission changed everything. Remembering sneaking a beer or two and making out with Mike in his car, she had assumed he’d been drunk and made out with her because that’s what you were supposed to do. It had changed her, the way she’d felt about him, but she was too shy to say anything.
He’d gone to be a counselor at a sleep-away camp and she’d waitressed all summer. Cassie had been ready to give up her virginity to Mike, but never got the chance. The question of where they would be today if they’d started dating sooner or stayed together brought a sting of tears behind her eyes. Would they have fallen in love?
His dark brown eyes connected with hers. She wondered if he could read the regret there? Probably –so she lowered her gaze to her wine. This wasn’t going the way she’d hoped it would at all.
“So, tell me. Why did you want to see me? The anticipation’s been killing me. What’s up, Cassie?”