Short Story: Close, But No Cigar

 Prompt: Daily Post – Tell us about a time things came this close to working out… but didn’t.

 “Shit! Shit! Shit!” I swear under my breath as I run to catch the bus. I knew I should have checked my email last night, but no. I had to watch the latest episode of American Horror Story. Just my luck that I get an email telling me to take the lead at tomorrow’s meeting.

 I get to the bus stop just as it pulls out. I run my hand through my hair in frustration, unsettling the curls I worked so hard to make perfect.

“Great.” I take a step into the street to see if I can spot a taxi. I see yellow in the distance and make myself visible, waving my hand to get the driver’s attention. The yellow cab pulls up to the curb and I open the door. I feel a tap on my shoulder and jump.

“Ah, sorry.  I’m running terribly late. Do you think we can share the cab?” I can’t believe my eyes. Standing before me is a god of a man in a pressed Armani suit with perfectly coiffed black hair and baby blues.

“Uh.” I see a hot guy and my brain shuts off. Awesome. I shake my head, smile, and nod, not trusting my voice.

“Thank you so much, uh” he smiles sheepishly, waiting for me to finish his sentence

“Caroline.”

The driver honks at us and we both get in the back seat.

“Redondo and Douglas, please,” I say to the cabby.

“And for you, sir?” the cabby asks with a glance in the rearview mirror.

“Actually, Rosecrans and Redondo, but I will get out with the lovely lady.” The gorgeous man to my right says. He turns to face me.

“Dean,” he says as he holds out his hand. I shake it, blushing slightly.  “Nice to meet you, Caroline.”

He smiles at me and my mind stays blank. Where do guys like this come from?

“I’m surprised we haven’t run into each other before now. Where do you work?”

“I work at the JustFab headquarters. I’m an account representative.  Every girl’s dream job, right? A career in shoes.” I answer him. “What about you? Do you work in the building?”

He shakes his head as he answers. “No, I work for Marvel across the street. I’m in charge of bringing in new talent.”

“That must be so exciting. Do you go to all the conventions?” I lean forward in my seat, curious about his job. He laughs, and I realize I’m being ridiculous. “Sorry, I’m a total nerd. Don’t mind me.” I sink back into my seat and the cabby takes a sharp turn

“Ah, shit!” is all I can get out as I’m thrown into Dean’s side. He puts his arms around me to brace me. I can’t help but to look into his eyes. I feel like I’m in one of those cheesy romantic comedy movies my friends are always telling me to watch.

“Sorry about that,” I mutter as I move away from him.

“Don’t worry about it.” He smiles at me and fixes his suit. I look out the window to hide my embarrassment. I’m brought out of my thoughts as I hear his silky smooth voice.

“I do. I go to the conventions. That’s actually how I got the job.” I turn to look at him and see him resting his arm on the windowsill with his head resting in the palm of his hand. He looks at me, more relaxed than before.

“I like to go every year, but my friends outgrew it years ago. They believe that just because I’m in my late twenties that it’s time for me to stop acting like such a child.” I can’t help but feel down as I admit this to myself out loud for the first time.

“Hey, it’s alright. My girl dumped me because I kept going to them, even if I didn’t have to for work. It’s just who you are. Nothing to be ashamed of, right?” He was trying to cheer me up! Wow.

“I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe we’ll run into each other at the next one?” The cab comes to a stop. I can’t believe we already made it. I completely forgot about my meeting.

“Twenty six, please,” says the cabby up front. I go to reach for my wallet, but Dean places his over mine.

“Don’t worry, I got it. How about you pay next time?” I nod in response. The smile on my face keeps me from forming words.

We get out and I stand awkwardly shifting my feet as he pays for the cab.

“Well, I guess this is goodbye?” I say and look up into his eyes.

“I think it’s a ‘see you later.’” He smiles and reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a business card. I take it and try to find my wallet in my oversized purse to give him one in return.

“Hold on, this thing is like a bottomless pit.” As I continue to rifle through my purse, the people walking on the street bump into me and send my purse to the floor. Everything spills out.

“Here, let me help you.” Dean kneels down with me to help me gather my belongings. I finally get everything back in my purse and grab my business cards.

“Here it is!” I hold one out to him excitedly from my position on the ground. His fingers brush against mine as he takes it from me. We both stand up and we are closer together than I realized.

I get lost in those baby blues for what seems like the thousandth time in the span of twenty minutes. I see him starting to lean forward, and as I go to lean back in, another group of people bump into us, breaking the moment.

Dave coughs to cover the awkward moment.

“Well, give me a call. Maybe we can do lunch one of these days?” he asks me as he puts some distance between us.

“Sounds like a plan!” I wave awkwardly and turn on my heels, walking away from the god of a man I never knew even existed. I hope he’s free for lunch today.

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One thought on “Short Story: Close, But No Cigar

  1. Pingback: Close, But No Cigar: Take II | Life's Unfiltered Ramblings

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