The Blind Date
by Lana Pearson
Stephanie sighed in relief as she got the last paper graded. It meant there was no work to take home and do over the weekend. She would have time to rest and relax before Monday. Stephanie enjoyed being a first grade teacher but some days it felt like a never-ending job. There were always papers to be graded, progress reports to fill out and lesson plans to make.
Stephanie glanced at the clock and it read 4:30 p.m. Good, I have time to stop by the house and change clothes before I meet Diane and James for dinner. I wonder what James is like? Is he short or tall? Does he have light or dark hair? The only thing she did know was that he wrote children's books. Her friend, Diane, planned to introduce them to each other over dinner. Diane thought they would make a good match.
Stephanie gathered up her purse and left her classroom. She met, Jane, a colleague in the hall, "Bye, Stepanie. Have a good weekend."
"Thanks,see you on Monday."
Stephanie changed into a flowered sundress then dabbed some perfume on her throat and wrists. She grabbed the directions to Guiseppe's off the top of her television. Diane and James planned to meet her at the restaurant.
Thirty minutes later, Stephanie was close to tears and ready to bang her head against the steering wheel in frustration. I am lost, she thought, as she circled the same block for the third time. She pulled her car over to the side of the road to look at the directions again.
I am going to be late if I don't figure out where I am soon. I don't want James to get the wrong impression of me if I show up late for our first date.
Stephanie noticed a tall dark haired man coming down the sidewalk toward her. She locked her doors then rolled down her passenger window a few inches. She waited until he was even with her car before saying,"Excuse me? Could you please tell me how to find Guiseppes'?
"Sure. You need to turn around and go back the way you came. Turn left at the first stop light. Guiseppe's will be on the right between the Sunshine Candle store and Sage Woman."
"Thank you. I don't think I could have found it without your help." Stephanie smiled and waved at him, before she pulled away from the curb. She turned her car around and found the restaurant with a few minutes to spare.
Stephanie told the waitress she was meeting some friends there and she took her to the table where Diane was seated. "I talked to James earlier and he said he may be late beause he planned on walking here. He only lives a few blocks away so he should get here soon. How was your week?"
It was long and tiring. I'm ready for summer break. It's only two weeks away and I'm counting the down the days until they get here."
"Good evening, ladies." Stephanie heard a familiar voice say from behind her. Her heart skipped a beat when she looked up to so the stranger standing at the table. She was glad to see him again.
James, hi, I'm glad you're here." Diane said. She stood up and gave him a hug. "Stephanie, this is James." He shook Stephanie's hand before he sat down. Diane went on,"I'm sorry but I can't stay. Bob has a business dinner meeting tonight. He needs me to be there to act as the hostess. I know you two will have fun without me. Good night."
"How long have you been a teacher?" James' question broke the silence Diane's abrupt departure had left.
"This is my second year. I like it better than I did last year. I am more confident in what I am doing and it's made a difference in my teaching. Do you like being an author?"
Yes, I do. I always knew I'd grow up to be a writer. It's in my blood. My parents are both fiction writers. Most of the people they were friends with were other writers so I was surrounded by them. I'd sit and listent to them plot stories and wrtie scenes. It was fascinating for me and I soaked it all in." James' blue eyes sparkled with warmth as he spoke.
Stephanie was surprised at how comfortable she felt with James. I feel like I've knowh him forever. He didn't make her feel awkard as most men did.
Stephanie found James to be a charming dinner companion. He made her laugh at his jokes and treated her like a lady. After they finished their meal, James asked her to go for a walk. "I need to walk more than I do. I sit at a computer too much. I need to try to keep my girlish figure." Stephanie laughed at the way James tried to make his voice sound like a woman's.
It was still light outside when they left Guiseppe's although the sun had started to set. The temperature had dropped some so it was cooler out. A light breeze blew in their faces as they walked.
They followed a walking trail behind the restaurant. Honeysuckle vines grew along both sides of the path. Stephanie breathed in the sweet aroma. "I love the smell of honeysuckle," she said." I also love this time of year when all the flowers are in bloom. I like to walk barefoot through the grass and feel how soft it is on the bottoms of my feet."
"I enjoy this time of year, too. I find I have a harder time concentrating on writing. I would much rather be outside doing something." He gave Stephanie a boyish grin. "Don't tell anyone but I do sneak out to the park to play a little basketball."
Stephanie was becoming more atttracted to James the longer she was in his company. He reached over and took her hand in his. Her skin tingled where their skin met. They walked hand in han back to her car. "Would you like to go out again next weekend?" His question thrilled her, maybe this means he attracted to me, too.
"Yes, I'd love to" He bent down and placed a gentle kiss on her cheek. He then opened her car door and helped her in. He then told her good night and shut the door.
Stephanie drove home with thoughts of James on her mind. She couldn't wait until their next date. I'm glad Diane talked me into meeting him. He turned out to be more than I expected. I will call her tomorrow and thank her for introducing me to the man of my dreams...