I turned into the parking lot and pulled in a spot as far away from the entrance as I could get. I figured if the guy turned out to be an ax murderer, I could run out of the restaurant, hop in my car and speed away before he could get the license number and track me down so he could make a suit out of my skin. It’s good to be prepared. You know, just in case. I pulled my visor down to check my makeup one last time. “If I’m going to be killed by an ax murderer, I might as well look good when the police arrive on the scene,” I muttered to myself. I hastily swiped my lip gloss wand across my mouth. Good enough. “Okay, let’s get this over with,” I sighed as I gathered my purse and climbed out of my car.
“Get out there and live a little. Fall in love. You have to experience romance to write about romance she says. Hmph.” Walking into the restaurant, I squinted as my eyes adjusted to the dim lighting. Good call. If we eat in the dark maybe I won’t notice how hideous you are. I mentally glared at myself for being so negative. You’re not even giving the guy a chance. Be open-minded, I reminded myself. Maybe he’ll end up being the love of your life. Tired of my inner pep talk, the realistic part of my brain took over again. Forget the love of your life. Maybe he’ll provide you with just enough material to finish your book.
I noticed someone sitting at the bar and waving in my direction. I blinked a couple times and moved toward the bar, bringing the shadowy figure into focus. Oh my gosh, he’s gorgeous! I blinked again in disbelief. He’s a hunk! He’s Adonis! He’s got all his teeth! My mind played a movie comprised of scenes of the two of us – laughing over dinner, walking hand in hand on the beach, feeding each other toasted marshmallows while sitting around a campfire, walking down the aisle in our wedding finery, sipping eggnog around the Christmas tree with our children, a boy and a girl, dressed in matching Christmas outfits. I couldn’t stop the grin that engulfed my face as I strode toward the bar. Just as I reached him, a heavily perfumed blonde rushed up from behind me and gave him a kiss on the cheek as he wrapped her in his embrace. Of course he wasn’t waving at me. I furtively glanced around to see if anyone had noticed me acting like a fool while fervently praying for an earthquake to open the floor and swallow me. Florida’s not really known for its earthquakes though. Maybe a lightning strike? When it became apparent that no freak act of nature was going to take me out of my misery, I forced myself to continue walking to the bar as if that had been my plan all along. I hoisted myself up onto a barstool and ordered a glass of chardonnay.