#BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge using a single word for inspiration. Hosted by Rachael Ritchey.
I have been wanting to do some fictional writing for some time now, this was the nudge that I needed. After reading the entries for a couple of weeks now, I am throwing my hat in the ring and joining in. (yikes!!)
It’s almost six o’clock on a Friday night. Everyone else has already left. As I put the last couple of files in the file drawer in the corner of the office, the light turns off. Startled, I say, “Hey, I’m still in here.”
“I’m, sorry, I didn’t think anyone was still here.” Quickly the light goes back on.
He enters the room with barely a smile on his face, I don’t think I have ever seen him actually smile. It’s Ryan, he’s from our other office up north. He was here for the week working on this project. We’ve worked on other projects before. He’s very focused and serious, tall, sandy blonde hair and blue eyes. Usually not my type but I must say he intrigues me, there’s just something about him that seems…familiar.
“Oh, Hi Ryan, I was just finishing up, I didn’t think anyone else was here,” a little embarrassed that I’m still here on a Friday night.
“I was on my way out, and saw the light on. Well…good night Sara.” He turns to leave, but then he stops and slowly turns back, “Would you like to get something to eat?”
Shocked, yet more excited than I should be, I casually say, “Sure.”
“I know of this great little diner we can go to.” As he leads the way out of the office.
Our conversation is easy. We have a lot of things in common, we like the same kind of movies, the same kind of music, and we both play tennis. He isn’t as serious as I thought, and I was correct in thinking I’ve never seen him smile. He has a killer smile, dimples and all. I would have definitely remembered it.
I ask, “Do you have any siblings? I’m the youngest with two older brothers, and an older sister.”
“Ah…the baby in the family,” with that teasing half smile of his. “I’m the oldest with a sister and younger brother.”
“Ah…the serious first born, the one that does everything right.” I tease back.
“Well someone had to keep my younger brother in line, he was always getting into trouble.” He shakes his head at the memory. “It’s funny, we were just talking about some of the things he used to do. I had forgotten about most of them, but he reminded me of one of the vacations our family took. We usually went to the Indiana Dunes, my Aunt has a house there, so we would spend the week with her. My brother and I spent all day on the beach. One time we were walking around just laughing, he was always joking around. We walked past some beach towels all spread out, which is normal, people leave them when they would swim. But he sees a camera sticking out from under a book. He gets the bright idea, to take my picture, and he does. Returns the camera to it’s hiding spot, grabs my arm and we take off running down the beach. It happened so fast, I had no time to stop him. I still can’t believe he did that.”
I am picturing the scene in my head as he is telling this story. But then, I see it in my mind’s eye, the picture of the blonde kid with the blue eyes. It can’t be. As awareness dawns on my face, he just looks at me and says, “What?”
I don’t want to say anything until I’m sure, so I play it off, shake my head and just say, “Believe it or not my family spent vacations at Indiana Dunes too. I can not imagine your brother doing that, that is just too funny!”
“Yeah, he was always fun like that. I can’t believe you vacationed there as well. We have a lot of things in common.” He pauses for a moment, finishes off his Coke then says, “I’ve really enjoyed your company, Sara. I was wondering if you would like to play tennis tomorrow. We’ve been cooped up in the office all week, I’ve been dying to get out and enjoy the nice weather.”
“I’ve enjoyed your company too. I haven’t played in awhile, but it sounds like a great idea, it was a long week.” I say, trying to appear nonchalant.
“Great, I’ll pick you up around 10.” He says.
We leave the diner and he walks me to my car, “Well, I guess now it’s good night, Sara.”
Flashing me that killer smile and for a moment I think I see something in his eyes, but then it’s gone. It’s probably just my wishful thinking that he might kiss me, I silently berate myself to get a grip and calmly reply, “I guess so, thanks for dinner Ryan, I had fun. See you tomorrow.”
When I get home, I find the photo album on my bookshelf. I open it, and start looking through the pictures, I turn the page and there it is. With my hand raised to my mouth I can’t help but smile, there’s no mistaking those dimples. I shut the album and get ready for bed.
The next morning, Ryan shows up a little early, I invite him in. The photo album is still sitting on the coffee table where I left it last night. “Let me get my stuff, take a look at that” as I point to the photo album, and leave the room saying, “It’s one of our vacations at Indiana Dunes, maybe you’ll recognize some of the, uh, landscape.”
When I walk back in the room, he looks up, holding back a smile and says flatly, “The landscape. Really Sara?” as he points to a picture in disbelief. “Are you kidding me? Did you know when I told you the story last night?”
“I didn’t want to say anything until I knew for sure, I had forgotten about it, and haven’t looked at these pictures in years. But when you were telling me the story, that picture did come to mind.” Still not believing this is happening.
“What are the chances?” he said incredulously.
“I know! We could never figure out who took the picture, it was my camera. My sister used to tease me about it, telling me that you were, I mean the boy in the picture, was my future husband,” hoping I wouldn’t scare him off.
Laughing he says, “Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” He takes my hand as we walk out the door and says, “Today…I’m up for a tennis game, we’ll just have to see what tomorrow brings, we’ll leave that up to fate, it’s worked pretty well so far.”
I hold on to his hand and can’t help but think today, I have a date with destiny.
© 2015 Carrie Ann