The rest of our evening went well, actually it went terrific. We laughed with each other about stories, coincidences, and the grandpa who came in to order – and I quote, “a cup of coffee”. He got the typical blitz of questions and terms and when the girl was finished he looked at her and said, “Yeah, I want a cup of coffee.” Of course we were not laughing at him, we were laughing at the girl behind the counter who refused to understand and translate what he wanted into her language. She expected him, in his 70s at least to change his expectations and language at that moment. The guy at the cappuccino machine told her to “ring up a short coffee of the day” and he got the coffee and handed it to the gentleman who thanked him, paid him, and sat down next to us picking at the newspaper someone left on the table. He could be anyone’s grandpa or father and we each knew that and I think that is when we each recognized we (her and I) had a connection.
When I had chances I took them – just to look at her. To see – – her. As we talked and then later I get another chance, unobserved to see her, I began to see the real her. The beauty of her soul or spirit; I always get those two mixed up. I tried very hard to keep my feet out of my mouth or have coffee or anything else from dribbling out of my mouth. (Am I the only guy who worries about such things? Really – I have this whole list of things in my head that I keep check of: hands not too busy, not overly talking with my hands, nose clean, not spraying when talking, zipper zipped, hair without a cow-lick or worse, fingernails clean, where is my book bag, hands clean, focus on her eyes, notice her shoes and clothing, make sure no one is eavesdropping, don’t speak loudly, don’t mumble, don’t use non-words, and so on; but I digress…)
When it was time to call it an evening we got up and headed out. I offered to drive her home and she passed saying she would enjoy the quick walk. I looked at her not sure what to say and when I was about to say goodbye she said, “If you want you could walk me home.” I know for a brief couple seconds I had the deer in the headlight look on my face. I know it as sure as I know my name. “Sure” was all I could eek out of my mouth. I put my book bag in the trunk and made sure it was locked up tight and we proceeded to walk her home. The walk was pretty quick and we really didn’t speak much we just enjoyed the walk together. When we got to her place I stumbled and mumbled trying to say the perfect thing because this is one of “those” moments which is a test. “I had a great time tonight,” I said and shifted my weight to another foot.
“Me too” she said (she passed her test in my eyes).
“Would you like to get together another time soon for maybe dinner or coffee?”
“Yes to both questions. I work tomorrow till 6 so you could meet me here at 6:30.“
“Absolutely” I said and felt the need to flee before I made a mistake and ruined the evening.
“Okay, see you tomorrow” and she turned to walk away but then turned again toward me and gave me a peck on the cheek (The flee command was now aborted). I watched her walk up the steps and onto the porch and then we waved after she opened the door.