Chapter 3

Feeling the cooling air on my skin after being cooped up all day at the office was a real relief. Clouds were forming a threatening sight above me, clotting together. It got darker by every step I took. The wind was twirling around some early fallen leaves; a sign it wouldn’t take long before the rain would come pouring out. 
The moment I closed my front door, I saw drops of rain splattering against my window, soon making the sight all blurry. I heaved a sigh of relief, home just in time. 
Tired of this long day I got comfortable in bed, reading a book while lighting lit up my room every other minute. I loved nights like these, being in bed hearing the rain spatter against my window and thunder adding a little drama to this scenery.

This week was insane, taking care of all these phone calls and preparing a lot of meetings. While a lot of companies had a hard time getting by, our company was doing very well. It even seemed as if we got more and more assignments. 
There was not one day I didn’t come home before nine P.M. 
It was all good to me, there was no one waiting for me anyway.

The next week I finally had time to visit my good friend Eddie again. 
His café was very busy as I entered it. There were people waiting in line and almost all of his tables were taken. I had a long lunch break so I decided to take a seat at one of the last empty tables. My eyes wandered around, some people in line were getting impatient. Others were loudly talking and eating their lunch. Two teenage girls were giggling about a cute boy that just entered. 
“Hey stranger!”
“I’m sorry, Eddie! Work has been so crazy lately.”
“It’s okay sweetheart. So, what’s it gonna be today?”
My eyes scanned his menu card. “Let’s have today’s special!”
“The special it is. I’ll be right with you. I need to keep an eye on those two”, he pointed at two girls. One was behind the counter; the other was serving the tables. 
“You have employees now huh?” I grinned at him, I was very proud his business was doing so well. 
“Here you go”, he said, placing a plate with a big sandwich in front of me. “And some orange juice from the house.”
I gave him a look. “Do you honestly think I can finish this?”
“I need to make sure you eat well, you look a little skinny to me”, he said with a chuckle. 
“Oh shut up!”, I yelled and threw a napkin at him. 
He took a seat opposite of me, his dish towel hanging over his shoulder and his apron dirty from wiping his hands to it. 
“You know who came looking for you the other day?”
I looked at him quizzically.
“You really have no idea, do you?” He looked at me with amusement on his face.
“Don’t play like that, tell me!”
“A man in a fancy suit, does that ring a bell?”, he asked, waving his hands in the air. 
I sipped from my orange juice and said; “You know that could be anybody right?”
He heaved a sigh and unfolded his arms.
“You know exactly who I mean.”
“What did he want from you?”
“He wanted to know if I knew who you are and where he could find you.”
“What did you tell him?”
He grinned at me. This wasn’t looking good for me. I just knew it.
“Come on Eddie, what did you tell him?”
“Don’t worry, I hardly told him anything”, he chuckled.
My face was starting to look angrier, which made Eddie laugh even harder. 
“Last week he showed up at my work”, I said and took a bite from the sandwich.
Eddie’s eyes grew bigger when I told him that. He leaned his elbows on the table, drawing himself closer to me. 
“Yeah, no big deal. He had an appointment with my boss”, I said waving the words away with my hands like it was nothing.
“I’m telling you Mira, this man is interested in you”, he said pointing his finger at me.
I told him I didn’t care and that I knew types like him; having a wife and a chick on the side. Not for me, he should go out looking for someone else to play that game with. 
Then I changed the subject, asking him about his work as I noticed he was doing very well. He confirmed that and that that was the reason for him to hire those girls. He and his partner Jerry were doing fine also. It was good to see everything was going well for him both private and work related. 
Before I knew it my lunch break was over and I had to get back to work. 
While walking back it crossed my mind that Eddie never told me what he said to Max. Now that was going to be stuck in my head all day.

In the late afternoon my phone started to buzz and I had a message. I unlocked my screen and I saw it was from a number I didn’t know. My curiosity made me open the message.

Hey beautiful. I want to take you out for dinner. How’s Saturday?
Max.

My eyes unlocked their gaze from my phone. Now I knew what Eddie did, he gave him my number. I don’t know why and I didn’t want to know. I wasn’t feeling him at all, so I decided to tell him no.

Hello Max. Sorry. Not interested.

Hit send and off it went. Well, let’s hope he gets the message.
After work I decided to text Eddie and sarcastically thank him for giving this man my number. All I got back from him were smiley faces…
He was absolutely no help at all!

When I woke up the next morning I realized I had not received another message from Max, so I think he gave up. Didn’t expect that to happen, but it was fine by me!

I dropped my purse on my desk and started my daily routine. Mr. Hensley was already there when I arrived. I think it was because of the meeting he had later that morning. Just before the meeting I started preparing everything in his conference room. Walking back to get the coffee running I bumped into someone. Expensive black shoes, black pants, white button down, black tie and a black jacket were opposite of me. When my eyes traveled up to his face and met with his blue eyes, I saw who he was.
“Excuse me, miss.”
“It’s okay, I wasn’t paying attention sir”, I smiled.
His face bent over to mine, his lips almost touching my ear.
“I like it when you call me sir”, he whispered.
Then he stood back tall, like nothing happened.
“What’s this noise, Miraa?”, Mr. Hensley’s head stuck around the corner of his office.
He saw me and Max standing and came over to us.
“Ah, you’re already here Max!”
They shook hands and started talking. I took that as an opportunity to walk back to my desk and make sure the coffee was ready in time.
“Mira?”
“Yes Mr. Hensley?”
“Can you show Max the conference room please?”, he asked and walked back to his office.
“Right this way sir.”
In my head I was hoping he would not start about the text message he sent me yesterday. This was not the place to discuss that. He didn’t say anything until we were at the conference room.
I stayed put in the hallway, asking him if there was anything he needed.
“There is one thing..”
I waited for his next move. What did he want from me?
“… come over here.”
Hesitatingly I walked up to him, before I knew it he closed the door behind me, my back against the door and him in front of me. His hands pinned next to my head. He towered over me, his head came closer to mine. I could almost feel his warm breath, leaving his mouth with a small sigh.
My eyes could not look anywhere else but into his. I tried to swallow away my nerves but it didn’t help me.
“All I want is for you to say yes to one date”, his voice whispered while his eyes traveled over my face. 
It was like I was paralyzed, wanting to move, but not be able to.
“Think about it”, the words left his lips in a certain way, sexy? No! I was in no way attracted to him. His hand stroked my cheek and then he opened the door.
Before I turned around he winked at me, stuffing his hands into his pocket.
As soon as my legs allowed me to walk I made sure to get out of there.
My heart was pounding in my chest, my palms were sweaty. How could he get to me like this? I shook my head and went back to what I was supposed to be doing; my job.
There were more clients arriving now and I also needed to make sure the coffee would get there in time. I had no time to think about Max’s proposal now.

When it was finally noon I was ready for my break. Almost tripping over my own legs I rushed over to Eddie’s place. I burst in, my heels loudly clicking onto his floor. Before he could even say anything I pulled his arm and gave him a mad look, showing the message Max had sent me.
He shrugged and tried to act all innocent, but his eyes betrayed him. I could see that twinkle in them he always has when he is up to something.
After a little interrogation he admitted that he gave my number. He thought it would be good for me to meet up with a decent man. I asked him how on earth he could possibly know Max would be decent. But of course he had no answer and insisted on going out on a date.
While having some coffee and a sandwich I thought about it. Maybe it couldn’t hurt to have just one date. I mean, what is one date in a whole lifetime, right?
Before I left I told Eddie I would go on the date with Max. He was so happy he hugged me until I could hardly breathe.

Late in the evening I received another text from Max, asking what time and where he should pick me up. I smiled, as if he knew I was going to say yes to him. I texted him my address and told him to pick me up at eight.