Maybe I would help her embrace her wild side, but this girl was also giving me a brand new perspective on life, making me want to reign in mine to match hers. I had to know more about her.
“Let’s sit out in front and wait on Amelia,” I said.
I used waiting on Amelia as an excuse. I really just wanted to talk to her more. I actually hoped that Amelia would take her sweet time in coming to get us.
“I had a great time here,” she said, clutching her chest as she laughed.
I could hardly believe it. The unplanned part of the date was the part that she was actually impressed with. I made a mental note never to plan another date.
“So did I,” I admitted. “As a matter of fact, I can’t think of the last time that I had so much fun.”
“Me, either,” she said. “I spend so much time working at the bakery that I rarely take time out for anything else for myself.”
I remembered my early days in building my business and remembered how consuming it was.
“But, that kind of comes with building a solid business, I think,” I said.
“You sound like me,” she said, chuckling lightly.
“Well it is,” I said. “I remember building my business and not having time for anything else. But, if I hadn’t have done those things that I needed to do in the beginning, I wouldn’t be in the place I am now.”
I didn’t want to sound like a braggy douchebag, so I didn’t often drop the word that started with “b” and ended with “illionaire.”
“Yes, I know,” she said. “But, when it’s all that you’re doing, you can start to wonder if it’s all worth it. I mean, I did nothing but build my business from the time that I got started until now. I worked really hard to build it up to where it is now. You can ask anyone. It’s my baby. It’s my legacy. I don’t have kids, but it’s the way that I want the world to remember me: as a dedicated and talented baker. I mean, not that I don’t want kids or anything, but-“
“No, I get it,” I laughed, “Right now you’re just throwing everything into your dream, just like I did. And then once I got where I wanted, I kind of went a little…fun crazy, I guess,” I admitted.
“You make it sound like you went totally off the rails.”
It felt like I had. I’d had more than my fair share of girls and booze. I’d woken up far too many times in unfamiliar places with no recollection of how I’d gotten there. I’d trashed hotel rooms, swung from chandeliers…
But at the same time, there were lines I didn’t cross. Other than a joint here or there, I’d never played with drugs, and even weed hadn’t been fun for me, just made me hungry and sleepy. I’d kept things…tame-ish.
We talked for a while longer until Amelia got there. It was refreshing to have such a nice conversation with her. Not only was I impressed by her and her worth ethic, I was inspired myself. I remembered how passionate I used to be when I first started building my business. Those were the days when I still had to wait for the next paycheck before I could do anything. I didn’t have a bunch of money sitting around in the bank. It was before the days when I could afford to be lazy and wild. I was hungry. That hunger is what I saw in her. It still burned inside of her. Part of me even envied that fire.
And beyond that, she was a good listener. Anything I told her, she drank in completely, listening with interest and without judgement.
When Amelia pulled up, I noticed how late it was.
“Would you like to go home?” I asked, assuming that she would want to go home with her friend.
“Actually, could we go to your place instead?” she asked timidly.
I was both surprised and delighted to hear her ask that, and couldn’t keep the smile from my face.
“Did you guys have a good time?” asked Amelia as she winded down the road towards Elliot’s house.
“Yeah,” I said, turning to Elliot and offering him a shy smile, “We actually ended up going bowling and having the time of our lives.”
Amelia perked up and smiled.
“Well, that sounds nice,” she said. “I can’t think of the last time that I went bowling.”
We chatted for the few minutes that it took for us to get to Elliot’s, my nerves climbing with every passing mile. When we got there, Amelia bid Elliot good night. He hesitated, looking over at me.
“Hey, Amelia, I’m, uh, going to stay over here for a while,” I said, climbing out of the car.
Amelia looked at me blankly and I stared right back at her, raising my eyebrows pointedly.