Spring is already showing itself here in the SE corner of Virginia. While most of the U.S. has been inundated with snow, we’ve had rain. My yard is like a trying to walk on a soaking wet sponge. Squish, squish! Even my dog is complaining. She’d rather stay on the sidewalk, which means I find little “gifts” all around the edges of the walkway. That’s not a big problem until she leaves one in the walk area and I don’t see it. That’s a different squish and usually followed by a few expletives.
I’ll admit I’ve been envious of those with snow. How I would love to have that pretty white stuff that so many have posted in pictures of their yard. But I don’t feel like shoveling it. I don’t mind driving in it, but I don’t want to clear the car and defrost the car door so it opens. And considering the way my roof is made, I’d have to shovel it. Sorry, I’m too lazy for any of that so rain is what I get. And I’ve got lots of pretty flowers smiling at me.
My teacup for my mini bucket list (see my January 2019 post) for February is actually almost funny for some of you, but I got prescription sunglasses. I’ve never had them. I had the ones that are supposed to darken. That was a long time ago and they never lived up to their claims. I was going to try them again and I was told I wasn’t going to be happy because… So I got these super glasses that are polarized with all the alphabet additions of protection added on to them. I love them! And they made them so that I can read outside, in case I want to sit on my daughter’s patio with my Kindle like I did last summer. I love them so much that I’ve wondered why have I never purchased them in the past? What new thing have you done?
I’d give you another little peek at my newest story. Now available in paperback in stores everywhere and on Kindle. Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!
Thursday afternoon it decided to rain. Not a little drizzle, but a full downpour that showed no signs of stopping. Savannah pulled on her beige slacks and paired them with a soft sage-green cable-knit sweater. She studied herself in the mirror. I don’t care if it’s raining. I want to look good. Besides, I’m not a child who will play in the puddles. I’ll wear my boots and my raincoat, and I’ll stay dry. This time she tried wearing a little more makeup. That meant she used some eyeliner and a dash of green shadow on her lids. Please be there and notice me.
“Ready?” Ashley called.
“Yes, let me grab my slicker.” She slipped her feet into her orange rain boots and pulled on her yellow slicker with an orange-billed hood.
“You look like a goofy duck!”
“It keeps me dry.”
“Why can’t you wear an ordinary poncho?”
“Because I have this. And for your information, it was the rage a few years ago.”
“And how old were you?” Ashley groaned. “Two?”
“No! I had one when I was eight. I found this one before I started college and couldn’t resist.”
“You look so ridiculous.”
Savannah grinned at her friend. “Maybe the bright yellow will catch his eye.”
“Are you going to Aldo’s to practice signing or to wrangle a date?”
Savannah rolled her eyes as she pulled her door closed. “I’m going because I need that extra credit. If I get a date out of it, that’s even better.”
Ashley opened her umbrella and squealed as she stepped into the pouring rain. “It’s raining sideways!”
“Ahh! We’ll be soaked.”
Both of them took off in a run towards the large, decorative baldachin that protected the entrance of the art building. Then they made another mad dash to another covered area. By the time Savannah reached the restaurant, her wet slacks clung to her legs and the moisture was seeping down to her boot covered feet.
“Ugh!” Savannah pulled open the door to the restaurant, then gasped as her hand flew to her mouth. Wide-eyed, she prayed that they wouldn’t be tossed out for making noise. Ashley stifled her laughter.
“You are early,” the hostess said. “The silence doesn’t start for another few minutes.”
Savannah’s gaze caught the droplets of water that ran off her billed hood and dripped onto the floor in front of her. Oh, no. I’m a drooling duck. She flicked the orange bill so that the hood flopped onto the back of her slicker. “I’m so sorry.” Her words were forced as she caught her breath. “We just ran all the way from Brindlewood dorms.”
“Oh, you live in those? Didn’t anyone tell you that they are the pits?”
Someplace from within, someone started a countdown from ten.
“…three, two, one, silence begins now!” The hostess picked up two menus and showed them to a table on the far side of the almost empty dining room.
Savannah hung her slicker over the back of her chair and looked at the menu that hadn’t changed, knowing she’d order the same thing, except she wanted a cup of hot tea. She tried to sign to Ashley but kept messing up. Her frustration level was rising along with the growing chill that covered her legs and feet.
Several people entered the dining room and took seats, but then he came in with the same people he dined with the last time. It’s got to be his family. Savannah couldn’t prevent herself from staring. He was tall – not too tall, maybe the height of her dad. She figured that meant he was at least six feet, but probably not much more. The whole family seemed to sign with ease. I wonder if my parents would learn to sign? Wouldn’t that be fun? Dad wouldn’t have to hush us when he was watching something on the TV.
Ashley kicked Savannah under the table and she realized she’d been staring at the family for too long, but she couldn’t help the feeling that flowed through her. Never had she been that attracted to anyone in her life. It was as though some inner part of her leapt towards him and refused to return.
She managed to tell the waitress what she wanted to eat by pointing.
Ashley rolled her eyes and signed her menu choices.
Savannah scrunched her nose at her friend and mouthed show-off.
Ashley shrugged and made a face. Using the pad of paper, Savannah wrote the words.
Ashley grinned and stuck her nose in the air.
It was all Savannah could do to keep from laughing at her friend’s smug response.
When the waitress brought the hot tea, Savannah picked up the cup and wrapped both hands around the steaming warmth. She wasn’t certain if she wanted to drink it or pour it over herself in an attempt to get warm. Drinking it was the proper thing to do in public, so she politely lifted the cup to her lips and sipped.
When their salads came, Savannah ate hers, but constantly slid her gaze to the table where he sat. It wasn’t until she was halfway finished eating her spaghetti that she caught him staring at her. He quickly looked away, and her heart fell. Maybe he doesn’t like me and that’s why he turned away.
She swirled some pasta on her fork and attempted to keep her attention on her food, but she couldn’t help glancing in his direction.
He was looking at her.
She smiled. Did he? Was that a smile? Was it directed at me or at someone else? Her heart decided to do little flip-flops. She put her fork down and tried to steady the jitters that had taken hold of her guts but she couldn’t resist looking in his direction one more time.
He was signing to someone at the table. But the young teenage female member of that table was now looking at Savannah.
Ashley stuck a note in Savannah’s face.
Savannah grimaced and reached for the pad of paper, but Ashley was too quick, snatched it back, and wrote,
“No!” Savannah mouthed. But deep inside she knew she had probably made a fool of herself. How many times had her mother told her it wasn’t polite to stare? That’s what she had done almost through the entire meal. She tried to finish her spaghetti, but her appetite was gone. Part of her was elated and the other part was busy berating the euphoric portion. The waitress took their school meal tickets and scanned them. Savannah would forward that emailed receipt to Prof. Stockton for her much-needed credit.
She pulled on her slicker and caught the young man’s gaze. There was no question in her mind that he smiled at her. She winked at him as she snapped her slicker closed. A warm pulse shot through her as she turned away and left the restaurant with Ashley.
The restaurant door had barely closed behind them when Ashley let loose. “Have you lost your mind? You were worse than a love-sick preteen with a first crush.”
“I was not. And he smiled at me.”
The rain had slowed to a drizzle.
“He was probably laughing at you. I can’t believe you spent the whole meal with your eyes glued to him.” Ashley fumbled with her umbrella.
“I did not.”
“Yes, you did!” The umbrella opened as a gust of wind caught it, snapping a little metal piece. “I think my umbrella is hosed.”
“My slicker still works.”
“How did I manage to gain a best friend who impersonates a duck and acts like a fool in front of a guy? He’s probably going to be looking over his shoulder to make certain he doesn’t have an oversized yellow duck stalking him.”
Wind whipped down Kings Street and brought with it more rain. They both yelped and took off running at full speed towards their dorm.
Ashley swiped her electronic key, allowing them to enter the main lobby of the old building.
“What are you going to do now?” Savannah whispered. Every student in the building had signed a no excessive noise contract before moving in. It was extremely rare to hear more than muffled voices, even in the lobby.
“A hot shower and I’ve got to study. I’ve got that test tomorrow in chemistry. What about you?”
“I’ll take my shower before I go to bed. I’ve got a paper to do on propaganda techniques over the years.” A little chunk of frustration fell into Savannah’s overly filled stomach as she faced the evening’s workload.
“How boring.” Ashley rolled her eyes.
Savannah nodded and raised her hand in a wave as Ashley opened the door to her room. Savannah stepped into her own room and closed the door. She knew she needed to concentrate on her paper, but that little part of her wiggled and jiggled over his smile. No matter how much Savannah tried to concentrate, the memory of his handsome face seemed to constantly flash in front of her. I don’t even know his name.
Over the next week, she watched for him on campus, but she didn’t see him. It wasn’t a huge campus compared to those with enough students to create a small city, but the campus covered a lot of acres. Maybe he is someone who lives in the community and doesn’t attend the university. He does look older. She tried to conjure up every possible explanation for not running into him. Maybe I should ask Prof. Stockton. He’s probably in an advanced class, perhaps taking it at night. The best that she could do was content herself with the hope of seeing him at the next Silent Spaghetti Supper. That’s not what she wanted. She wanted to spend an afternoon talking over a cup of coffee or maybe laughing about the day’s events while eating pizza at Sal’s.
I could get lost in that man. Sharing days, plans, and dreams for their future… Oh, yeah! There was no question in her mind that she was hopelessly hooked on a total stranger.
All she needed was an actual chance to talk to him. Conversations that will last all night…oh, and kisses…yes, kisses…lots of those. Her mind wandered to places where it didn’t need to be. Where are you hiding? When she wasn’t in class, she checked all the normal places where students hung out, but she never saw him. She finally came to the conclusion that he was not on the campus.
She rushed to her textual mediums class and took a seat just in time to hear the professor say to take out a piece of paper and pen. What? A quiz? Paper? Really, paper? Oh, I hope I have a pen. She dug through her purse until she found one. A half hour later, she sighed with relief. Now, she was glad she had studied. But she was facing a test in ASL, and she probably had more than two hundred words to memorize. I can do it. It’ll be easy. I just need to concentrate.