I slow my pace, a little surprised she went for it. But then, I shouldn’t be, given how she mentioned her at the auction. “You know you’re not a little old lady. You’re a wise, clever woman, and I bet you have some plan for me.”
I can hear her smile. “You figured me out. Let’s cut to the chase. She liked you. I think you liked her. Would you like to meet her today at four p.m.? She has a shortened workday.”
She names a popular spot in the Wynwood neighborhood.
I stop in my tracks, and before I can think too deeply on all the reasons to say no, I say yes.
Before I leave for work, a message blinks at me.
My stomach flip-flops when I see the name.
My mind is a swirl of possibilities, switching back and forth between two men—LuckySuit and ThinkingMan.
But only one of them is asking me out.
ThinkingMan: Would you want to meet today at four p.m.?
I say yes, and I hope it doesn’t come out breathlessly online. Then I ask for his name.
Telescoper: I’m Kristen.
ThinkingMan: See you this afternoon.
I can’t wait.
“Look at you. All decked out for a blind date.” Joe whistles at me as we chat in the lobby bar. “And you finally look like you belong here.”
I arch a brow. “I beg to differ. There is not a white jacket or an ounce of pink or pastel on me.” I gesture to my outfit—jeans and a navy-blue polo. Simple, casual. Fitting for a blind date.
At least, I think so. I haven’t been on one since my first year out of college when my friend Mariana set me up with a preschool teacher who, it turned out, liked to snort glue.
I’ll just say I’m glad I don’t have kids in her school.
And Mariana is too.
Joe waves a hand dismissively. “Just kidding. You’re so New York in your clothes, you’re a lost cause.”
“And you practically match the art deco theme here,” I say, since the man looks like he can only exist in the tropics—he’s gone all in on the pink shirt, for crying out loud. Yet, he’s a stylish dude.
We talk some more, and I finish off my iced tea and check my watch. “I need to jet. But what about you? Are you going to get some cojones and finally let Jeanne know you’ve got it bad for her? I saw the way the two of you were making googly eyes at each other at the auction the other day.”
“Maybe I already have . . .”
“You sly dog. Such a fast worker.” I toss a twenty on the sleek silver counter of the bar. “Wait. Are you pulling my leg again?”
“Maybe I already asked her to marry me.”
I clap his shoulder. “I can see I’m getting no straight answers from you.”
“Have fun on your date, young turk. I’ll have fun on mine with Jeanne.”
I grin. “Excellent. And soon I’ll be saying have fun on your honeymoon, Silver Fox.”
He raises his glass in a toast. “You never know. I do have it bad for her.”
“You never do know,” I echo, and I take off to meet Kristen.
* * *
A happy blue alien tries to devour a yellow flower. Next to the peppy creature, a green bug chases a pink caterpillar.
I snap photo after photo of the street art, capturing the graffiti on the walls in the Wynwood neighborhood, a mecca for outdoor art with more than forty murals. I arrived early, since it’s always better to be early.
Plus, taking pictures gives me something to do as I wait. Keeps me busy. That way I don’t have to focus on nerves.
I don’t feel any.
Of course I don’t feel any.
Why would I? Just because I haven’t been on a blind date since the glue-snorter.
I snap another shot, telling myself it’ll be fine, it’ll be good, and the date will simply pass the time. Nothing more can come of it, so I’ll just have fun. That’s all it can ever be.
“I see we both like to peer through lenses.”
I lower my camera when I hear the pretty voice, turning around to see a woman in red glasses, those jeans that end at the calves, and a silky light-blue tank top. She’s prettier than any blind date has ever been in the history of the universe, with chestnut locks that curl in waves over her shoulders, freckles, and a nose that’s nothing short of adorable.
Hell, I stand no chance of not liking her. “Telescopes for you, I presume, with all your stargazing?”
For a second, her brow knits, as if I’ve said something odd. “Yes, I’m the Telescoper.”
The designation makes me smile, so I point to myself. “The Camera-er.”
She laughs. “Each gives a different perspective on the world.”
“I’m a big fan of different perspectives,” I add, enjoying the view of her so very much, and the conversational potential seems promising too.