🙂 Tuesday is upon us again!! Time for #Blogbattle
#BlogBattle is a weekly short story challenge using a single word for inspiration. Hosted by the talented Rachael Ritchey. Feel free to join in, or click here to read the current week’s stories and vote for your favorites.
This is kinda-sorta a continuation, but I think it can be read without having to go back. (hopefully 😉 ) If you’d like to read a little more background check out Drop a Hint. Otherwise, read another tale with Nita and Michael.
This week’s word: Float
The One about the Root Beer Float
Even though Nita makes it to the Salon just in time for her first client, she considers herself running late, and she hates that. She walks in and dumps everything on the break room table, and heads out to the floor to greet her first client.
She is busy all morning and the first chance she gets to take somewhat of a break is when she walks into the break room to rinse out the color bowl while her client’s color is processing. Her phone begins to vibrate on the table, looking like a Mexican jumping bean; she grabs it before it meets the edge. Ugh!! It’s probably my mom or sister. They were the ones texting her all morning, causing her to be late. She looks down at the screen and reads the message, and says aloud, “You’ve got to be kidding me. I don’t need this right now.” Frustrated, she lifts her arm winding up like a professional baseball player to throw her phone across the room. Just then Michael walks in and expertly grabs her wrist with one hand and the phone with the other, right as it slips from her fingers, saying, “You don’t want to do that Buttercup. Sit. Now tell me what’s got your knickers in a twist?”
“My mom and sister are driving me crazy with all Kaycee’s wedding plans, you know how Kaycee is? They’ve been texting me all morning, which made me late. So I thought it was one of them when I checked my phone, but you will never guess who it was instead. Just guess…go ahead…you’ll never guess.” Nita says, her voice tap dancing on this side of hysterical.
With no hint of humor Michael replies, “Kanye West.” Nita snaps her head to the side and glowers at him. “What? If I got a text from him, I’d certainly want to throw my phone across the room.” Michael reasons.
“Seriously? C’mon guess.” Clearly not in the mood for foolishness.
“The Dalia Lama.”
“Michael!!” Now she’s angry.
Michael opens his arms wide, and taunts back, “Cupcake, I can do this all day. Why don’t you just tell me.”
“Jerk.” She mumbles, trying not to smile. “Fine. It was Jason. Jason sent me a text.”
“Jason? Where the hell did he crawl out from under?”
“I know, right? I was getting these calls from a number I didn’t recognize, since I deleted his number, and I didn’t check the messages until last night, he’s left me like two voice messages. Then in the midst of the wedding drama, he texts me.”
“What does he want?”
“He wants to meet with me…so he can explain his inexcusable behavior. His words, not mine.”
“Well…at least he admits he’s been a jerk. What’re you going to do?”
“I don’t know, I really don’t need this right now.” Nita debates, sounding not unlike a whiney child.
“You should go. You know you want to. Let him explain, and then go from there. At least give him that.”
“Ugh…I hate it when you’re right.” More whine to go with that cheese.
“It is a gift.” Michael declares with eyes closed and a confident nod.
“I need something to relieve this stress. You know what I could go for right now? A Root Beer Float. Nothing like a taste from childhood to calm the soul.” Nita stares off into the distance as she pictures the creamy goodness.
“Awwww, Honey Bunches of Oats, you know if I had time, I’d go get you one, but I am swamped today.” Before he leaves the break room, he turns around and says, “Text Jason back, but you set the time and the place, some place where you are comfortable, and when you are ready to talk to him.
Nita replies with a heartfelt smile, “Thanks Jelly Bean.” They look at each other as they both scrunch up their noses and shake their heads, Nita says, “Doesn’t work does it?”
Michael replies with a shudder, “No…NO….just no.” Then he leaves.
~ ❤ ~
Jason agrees to meet Nita for lunch. She is already seated at her favorite restaurant when Jason walks in. Her breath catches when she sees him. Why does he have to look so good. Calm yourself Nita, don’t let him see how he affects you. Breathe in….breathe out.
“Nita.” Jason greets her with that killer smile. Damn him.
“Jason.” She dodges his hug and puts forth her hand for a friendly handshake. He holds her hand longer than is necessary between both of his. She ignores the tingles that are racing up her arm.
They order their food, making small talk. Nita hopes that she isn’t the one who has to address the elephant in the room, but she didn’t come here to talk about the weather. After a brief lull in the conversation, she’s grateful that Jason begins by saying, “Nita, thank you for not ignoring my calls, and agreeing to meet with me. You had every right to blow me off, but I’m so glad you didn’t. There’s a lot to explain, where do I begin?”
“How about why you asked me out for a second date, but then cancelled at the last minute, and never called me back? There’s a good place to start.” Nita says as she punctuates her words with a French fry in her hand, then takes a bite of it.
He nods his head in concession and starts from the beginning. He explains that when his grandmother invited her to join them for the Wine Tasting Fest, he had just broken up with his fiancée, Kelsey, whom she didn’t like very much. Being that it is difficult to say no to his grandmother, he went along. But while they were together it was Kelsey, who was texting him the whole time. He asked her out again, because he thought that Kelsey would leave him alone, but things just got worse, he cancelled so he could get that situation under control before continuing anything with her.
Kelsey’s father knew him from the brokerage firm. Her and her family only saw him for his position and title. That is not what’s important to him, but after awhile it was all that mattered to her. Once he realized it, he tried to end it then. But she turned vindictive and manipulative, and even threatened suicide all the while proclaiming her undying love for him. At first her family didn’t see it, but after this last time, they realized that she needed some help. It has taken him this long to get the situation under control, so that is why he called her now. He ends his tale with a sincere apology, by saying “I am truly sorry, can you forgive me?”
Nita takes a moment to absorb everything he’s shared, she takes a sip of her Iced Tea, then says, “I don’t know what to say, that’s a lot to deal with. But yes…yes, I can forgive you.”
With his hand splayed across his broad chest, he lets out the breath he was holding, and says, “Good,” with noticeable relief. “Can we start over? From right here, right now?”
“I’d like that.” Nita says with a smile.
With his arms outstretched, gesturing around the room he says, “This…this is more of who I am. I’m just an average guy, Nita.” With spontaneous excitement, he rubs his hands together and says, “I think this calls for a celebration dessert. Brownies and Root Beer Floats, just like I used to have when I was a kid. Nothing like a taste from childhood to make everything right with the world.” He says with a wink.
© 2016 Carrie Ann