“Good evening Miss Sarah,” the doorman says with a nod as he holds the door open for her.
“Hello Mister Walter,” she responds quietly, “thank you.”
She walks her normal pace to the elevator that is waiting for her.
“Oh shoot,” she whines when she reaches for her keys to open her door. It isn’t until then that she realizes she left her purse behind at the café. She slaps her forehead as she spins around to slump against her door. She never forgets her purse. Now she has to go back to the café and see him again. “Maybe he’s gone and the barista has my purse,” she whispers.
Standing up straight and hopeful, she goes back to the elevator. She spends the elevator ride convincing herself that everything will be just fine.
“Leaving again so soon Miss Sarah?” Walter asks as he reaches for the door.
“Unfortunately,” Sarah sighs, “I forgot my purse at the café.” She crinkles her nose at the inconvenience of it all.
“Oh, that’s a shame. I hope that it is there waiting for you safe and sound.” Walter, who is always smiling, frowns a little as he holds the door for her. This is not small town after all. Chances are, if Adam left her purse on the seat, someone would have gone through it.
“I hope so too,” she says as she walks out. She quickly turns the corner of the entrance out onto the sidewalk.
“Hi Sarah,” a deep voice says.
She jumps, clutching her chest and letting out a small scream.
“Sorry,” the deep voice is accompanied by an even deeper laugh, “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
She turns to see Adam standing there. His face contorted as he tries to stop laughing. She is both pleased and displeased to see him.
“I followed you from the café.”
She holds her sweater a little tighter, frowning.
“Because you forgot your purse,” he says quickly, holding out her purse.
Slowly she takes it from him, careful to not touch his hand.
“Thank you,” she says and she begins to look in her purse. She pulls out a five and hands it to him.
“What’s that for?” His brows furrowed in confusion.
“For not leaving it for someone else to riffle through. And for delivering it to me even.”
“That’s not necessary.” He holds up his hand shaking it.
“Please, it’s the least I can do.”
“No,” he hesitates, taking a small step closer to her, “the least you could do,” he clears his throat even though there is nothing in it, “is give me your number.”
“My what?” she asks accusingly.
“Your number,” he shakes his head slightly, “you know? Your phone number.”
“Why would I do that?” she asks sounding insulted.
He laughs. This woman is unbelievable. “So I can call you sometime. Maybe ask you out to dinner.”
A cold wind blows through making her wrap her arms about herself, blowing her hair into her face. She is cold and can’t be bothered to move it.
“Why would you want to do that?” She’s shocked. It’s been so long since a man asked her out to dinner. And even then, they were always business dinners.
“Because, maybe I like your company.”
“Oh,” she stares at him trying to judge his seriousness.
“Maybe,” he reaches out and moves the strand of hair from her face, “Maybe I want to get to know you better.”
As he moves her hair, he lets his knuckles lightly brush her cheek. ‘Still cold,’ he thinks, ‘even when she’s blushing.’ The corner of his mouth goes up at the thought of warming her.
She’s hesitant. She has never given out her number before. Not to a stranger. Only on application forms. Not even on the internet.
“Please?” he interrupts her frantic thoughts. “It’s the least you could do.” He fakes a little pout.
“Oh, okay,” she says. As she reaches into her purse for a pen and paper, goose bumps race up her arms. She is cold but these are a different type of goose bump.
“It’s getting colder out,” Adam says, “Do you want to go into the lobby of your building?” He looks in the direction of the door.
“No, no,” she doesn’t look up from her purse, “I’m fine. This will only take a moment.”
He stands quietly, waiting, watching her. He knows she’s cold. She’s always cold. The wind makes it so that even he is cold now.
She’s shivering when she finally hands him a small piece of paper with her name and number written neatly on it.
“Here you go,” she says. Her jaw clenched so her teeth don’t chatter.
“Thank you,” he smiles.
“You’re welcome,” she smiles back, “and thank you again for bringing my purse.”
She’s unsure of what to do next. She stands awkwardly looking at him.
“Okay, well,” she says finally, “I guess I will be going back in now. I’m freezing and I have some work to do.”
“Okay,” he steps aside slightly to give her a cue that she can go.
As she walks past him the wind blows her hair into his face. It smells like fresh summer rain.
When she gets to the door, faithful Walter holds it open for her.
“That was fast Miss Sarah,” he greets her. “Oh, good. I’m glad to see you have your purse.” He nods at her hands. “Is everything still in good order?”
“Yes, thank you Walter. Adam was kind enough to bring it to me when he saw I forgot it.”
“Ahh, good man,” Walter says and looks towards Adam. He stretches out his hand to Adam, “Thank you Mister Adam for taking care of Miss Sarah.”
Adam shakes Walter’s hand, “Anytime sir. Anytime.”
Adam winks at Sarah, “I’ll call you sometime. Maybe take you out for dinner.”
Before she has a chance to respond, he nods to Walter and walks away.
“Well, Miss Sarah,” Walter says in a sing-song voice, “it is nice to see you making new friends.”
(c) Rachel Rennie