An INTERACTIVE story experience where YOUR comments affect future chapters.
(Romance / Chick-Lit)
I was hit with an insane craving for pizza as I cruised down Music Row’s one way street. I was actually heading the wrong direction from my house, but before I turned left to cut over to the opposite one way I realized I was heading right towards the side of town with The Lodge and that pizza place we all went to after my show a few nights before. I don’t know if it was the fond memories of a great night with great company, but I recalled the pizza being good. It will at least be good enough to satisfy my current craving.
I drove by Mark’s condo building on my way to the pizza place and it reminds me that along with hunger pangs, I have some insane butterflies in my stomach. Surely Mark wouldn’t call me tonight fresh from his trip, so I tried to relax while pulling behind the pizza place and parking in their gravel lot. I go in, order a slice, and take a seat. I practically inhale the oversized slice of pizza. It was actually good, saucy just how I like it. I contemplated another slice, but decided I’d save room for a drink next door at The Grinder, but definitely decaf so I can hopefully, finally sleep tonight.
There’s a sign on the door saying that their air conditioner is broken. It’s not that hot out, but the coffee shop doesn’t have many windows or other avenues for ventilation, so the heat practically whaffs out as I open the door. I resign to taking off my cardigan knowing that the tank top under it exposes my scar. Maybe someday I’ll be one hundred percent okay with it, but that day is not today. I order my decaf iced coffee to go and patiently wait at the corner. I hear the door open and a bit of late day sunlight blasts in. I turn to look and see a tall silhouette but am blinded by the light so turn back around before I could focus on the dark frame.
The door closes and I hear his footsteps approach as the barista smiles, “I’ll be with you in one minute.”
“No problem,” I hear a familiar voice say to the barista. Then the voice directs itself at me, or my shoulder I should say, “That’s an interesting scar you have there on your shoulder.”
As I’m once again overtaken by butterflies (and maybe still a little hungry) I turn and see Mark looking down at me smiling from ear to ear. I return the smile and sarcastically respond, “Now, where have I heard that before?” knowing very well it wasn’t even a week ago in this very coffee shop that I became re-acquainted with my old friend.
“I was just about to call you, but really needed some caffeine after that rough flight.”
“Really? What for?”
“To finally grab that dinner we’d talked about!”
“Oh, yeah, of course!”
“I’m actually starving, have you eaten yet?”
“No, and I’m starving, too,” I half lied (because although I had just had that piece of pizza, I was still quite hungry).
“Great, well, let’s get that drink to go & find some place with air conditioning! What are you in the mood for?”
Looking up at him I let a sheepish grin cross my face, “Pizza?”
“Great! I may be new around here, but I actually know a great place not far,” he says with a smirk as we both start laughing.
I grab my drink & we head towards the door. Always the gentleman, he pulls the door open for me and I’m once again greeted by the warm light of the sun. As step in front of him and out the door I blink my eyes a few times to adjust to the light. I then feel his fingers as they gently graze across my shoulder. I shiver, mostly out of habit, but a little out of excitement.
“You still hate the scar?” he asks, noticing my shiver.
“Well, it’s not like a crazy week was going to completely change my feelings I’ve had for most of my life,” I reply, but realize that maybe, just maybe it could and did.
“I did hear that this week got extra crazy. I do want to apologize for my brother. And I hope he apologized to you, too. He is definitely a romantic and forgets to think before acting. As for the scar, I’m not sure I would have recognized you without it, if that’s anything,” he points out.
“He did apologize, and we’re all good,” after a brief pause, I add, “Still friends,” with an emphasis on the word friend.
Contemplating his valid point I stop at my car as we head towards the pizza place. When I get there I open the door, toss my cardigan onto the passenger seat, and close the door again. I look at him, smile, and he smiles back at me. I feel safe with Mark, and he was right, the scar on my shoulder did bring us back together. We continue on to dinner, hopefully the first of many.
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Biscuits & Maybe