Part 1 of 4
Alice had gone through her wardrobe mentally twice before the alarm on her blackberry chimed Saturday morning. It took an eternity for the room to lighten to nine thirty. Each tock supercharged the jitters that had been freewheeling in her stomach since Wednesday.
Wednesday was the day she’d met Will. It had been one of those insanely cliché meetings. They’d walked into a Starbucks at the same time, oblivious to one another, until she’d touched his hand by accident as she’d reached for the door. He’d held it for her. They’d both laughed awkwardly.
Will was, in a word, stunning: dark eyes, taller than Alice by at least a head, and cheekbones that could have cut paper when he smiled. His voice was smooth and deep; polished like the ebony piano that was the centerpiece of her small apartment, when he’d said, “Allow me.”
Alice had smiled at him and paused like an idiot as her stomach fell into her knees. She’d whispered, “Thank you,” almost inaudibly as she walked past him. She imagined her mouth hanging open, which only made her feel worse. She knew she had to have been blushing too. Her skin had felt hot from the top of her head down to her fingertips, washing down over her, soaking into her hair like a scalding shower.
Inside, Will had stood behind her in the queue. Alice had wanted to speak to him but remained silent, reminding herself that she’d already managed to make a fool of herself. With only two words, she’d lost her chance with him. She remembered thinking it was probably some kind of record in consolation.
His fingertips had brushed her elbow then, making her jump a little and she heard his voice saying, “I know it sounds like a line, but do you come here often?”
Alice had whipped around to face him, mouth agape again. Probably looking like a fish, Alice had thought in one of the five hundred times she’d run through their meeting in her mind since it had happened. “Oh, no. Never.”
“Oh.” He’d sounded so smooth; nothing like her squirrely chattery reply.
“Do you?” Alice had asked him back. She didn’t know why she had.
“No. My favourite spot is in the process of being renovated.”
“Must be the season for it, where do you usually go?”
“Fagan’s, just off Harbord Street.”
“Same! Now, how come I’ve never seen you before? I’m sure I would have remembered you.”
Alice shrugged, “Fate.”
“Maybe,” Will had laughed. “I hear she’s a cruel mistress.”
Alice had laughed awkwardly.
Will glanced past Alice at the number of people still waiting to be served ahead of them, “You know, if I wasn’t so addicted to the stuff I’d just skip out on coffee for the week.”
“I know what you mean.”
“I just feel like such a sell out, you know?”
Alice grinned a little, “Hate on for corporate America?”
“Nah, I just like to support the little guy.”
“Why not?” Alice shrugged. “The coffee’s better and they don’t charge you five bucks for a little extra foam.”
Will had really laughed then, a loud rumbling affair, like summer thunder. Alice had felt her knees shudder. Jake had been the last person to make her knees do that and he’d had to do a lot more than laugh.
“I’m Will by the way.”
To be continued…
© Jessica Becking 2010