Read Valentine's Day Romance: Finding Love Online
Authors: T.K. Chapin
Waking up to the sound of a door shutting, Rebecca found she was alone.
That’s odd… maybe he went and got coffees?
Looking around, she stretched and then grabbed her hair tie off the desk to put her hair up.
What a strange night, I haven’t stayed up all night talking like that since… I don’t know… high school?
Standing up, Rebecca went into the ladies restroom to wash her face and get decent.
As Rebecca came out of the bathroom, she heard the doors open around the corner in the lobby.
That must be him.
Walking around the giant separating wall between the cubicles and the main lobby, Rebecca found herself in an awkward situation when she came face to face with Jonathan’s girlfriend Stacy.
Looking around suspiciously and with a bit of a sour look on her face, Stacy said, “Uh. Where is he?” With her chin held high, Stacy sighed and sashayed around the corner and peered across the cubicles. Looking back at Rebecca, Stacy asked, “Were you with him last night?” Before Rebecca could say anything, Jonathan came waltzing in through the doors behind her.
“Ladies,” Jonathan said holding two cups of coffee. He kept a dead stare at Rebecca as he wrapped his arm around Stacy handing her a cup. Rebecca caught a glimpse of his hand as he caressed the small of Stacy’s back.
I guess he’s not interested in me now?
Eyes locked with Rebecca, he said, “I told Stacy we had to work on an article late, so I crashed at the Manor Inn across the street.” Rebecca could see that sick sad puppy dog look he was giving her. The look that says – please don’t tell my girlfriend that we stayed up through the night talking.
“Yep,” Rebecca said with a forced smile.
What a tool… How could we share a night like that and then he acts like it never happened?
Maintaining her fake smile, Rebecca pushed past the two of them as she left the office.
“Were you with her last night and not at the hotel?” Stacy asked Jonathan as Rebecca was leaving. Rebecca could hear Jonathan trying to calm Stacy down in the distance.
“No, it was just work, I promise,” Jonathan assured Stacy.
There truly are no good men in this world.
Anger and sadness overwhelmed Rebecca as she stepped onto the elevator. Alone and able to let loose her guard, she collapsed in tears. “How could he just act like nothing happened?” She rubbed her forehead as she cried. A few of the forty floors worth of sobbing was just enough, she was able to stand back up and put back on that hard exterior. She fixed her hair and make-up before arriving on the main floor. Straightening her skirt, she stepped off the elevator and walked past security.
Frank was there, which was pretty typical for Sunday’s. Frank was a retired vet that picked up a job working security on the weekends to help supplement his retirement. “Have a good day Frank,” Rebecca said flashing him a smile as she exited through the main entrance of the Ford Plaza of downtown Spokane.
“You do the same Ms. Johnson,” he said, tapping the brim of his hat.
Once outside, Rebecca called a cab to pick her up. Taking in a deep breath of air, she looked back up at the building.
What a letdown.
As the cab pulled up, she asked the driver to take her to Fredrick’s. It was a hole in the wall diner that was in the not-so-nice part of town, but had the best food she had ever tasted. Rebecca’s mother, Scarlet, used to take her there on Rebecca’s birthdays every year. But after Rebecca’s mother passed away just a couple years back, Rebecca made sure to go there at least once a month in memory of her mother.
After she had finished ordering her food, Rebecca noticed an attractive man sitting alone near the large bay window across the restaurant. He had a laptop, a man purse and a dumb constant grin on his face.
How is it some people just love being alone?
Rebecca noticed his waitress pour him a cup of black coffee; he declined sugar or cream to be added.
Hmm… Interesting. This guy has potential.
Rebecca found that sugary creamer was a pattern she saw in her lame-duck companions over the years, so the sign of black coffee was a definite plus. Feeling good about the vibe he was putting off outside of the dumb grin and man purse, she stood up and went directly over to his table, parking herself in the seat across from him. “I dig the coffee… but I don’t get the whole purse thing,” she said leaning her head against her hand as her elbow rested on the table.
“Excuse me?” the man said looking around.
“Is this seat taken?” Rebecca asked looking around.
“No, but you obviously do not have any manners whatsoever. Who the heck are you?” Looking around again, he spotted a waitress and snapped his fingers trying to get her attention.
“Just tell me why you have a purse dude.”
“It’s not a purse, it’s a satchel. I’m a writer; I have multiple notebooks I keep in there.” Reaching under the table Rebecca grabbed it and pulled it up onto the table. He snatched it away quickly from her.
“I don’t know who you are, but you need to leave, now lady!” The man motioned with his head for her to get out of the seat.
Ahh… let’s try the hook and leave.
Nodding, she stood up and turned to him.
“I knew you weren’t going to approach me, I figured you’d like the company. I know you loner types. You sit in coffee shops and cafes watching people without ever saying a word. I thought I was doing you a favor… but I guess not.” As Rebecca turned her back to him and retreated, a smile grew on her face.
Got him right where I want him, he’ll be begging for attention in no time.
There’s a fine line between love and hate and Rebecca knew just how to push it.
As she was sipping on her coffee and scrolling social media sites, the man who wanted nothing to do with her took a seat in her booth.
she thought to herself as she closed out of her phone and looked up at him.
“What’s your name?” He asked intrigued and leaning across the table.
“Rebecca,” she said. His eyes lit up as she said her name.
“I’ve always found that name… amazing. Is that an accent I hear…? What is it, British?”
“Yep, what’s your name?”
“Well Mike, whatcha writing about these days?” Rebecca asked amused as she took a sip of her coffee.
“A lady who has too many cats,” he said. Rebecca choked on her coffee as the words came off his lips. “I’m sorry… did I say something wrong?” Rebecca began laughing and reached over touching his arm.
“No, of course not. I just was talking to…”
What is he to me? A friend? A boss? A love interest? A jerk, that’s for sure.
friend the other day that said I was going to end up like one of those ladies with a million cats.”
“I can see why someone would say that! You were pretty intense back at my table!”
“Yeah…” Rebecca said not amused.
I’m glad he’s not catering every thought to match me, but I could have done without the insult.
“How far along are you with your cat lady book?”
“Well… I’m working on fine tuning the first few chapters, I have to meet with my writing group tonight and share it. It’s really just a hobby… the whole writing thing.”
“Oh… What’s your day job?”
“I teach a couple pottery classes at MCC,” he said. Looking down at his watch, he quickly continued, “That reminds me, I have to go teach a class. It was nice talking with you. Could we get a bite to eat sometime?”
A little forward for a loner, but that’s okay.
“Definitely, I’d enjoy that.” She took his phone and called herself and hung up. “There you go.” She said with a smile.
“Sweet… it was… nice meeting you,” He said standing up from the booth.
“Yeah? You thought I was nice?” She laughed. “I guess I didn’t do a good enough job then.”
“Well yeah. At first, I was a little taken back by the way you acted… but it was actually refreshing and it made me think. Which is saying a lot for a woman!” Uncomfortable with his own words after he said them, he quickly followed up, “That sounded really sexist. I didn’t mean it like that… I just don’t meet a lot of women that stimulate me.” Rebecca’s eyes widened at his words. “This isn’t working. I’ll stop now. I’ll be in touch if you haven’t lost interest already!”
Rebecca couldn’t help but laugh, “It’s fine, have fun teaching your class!”
Have fun teaching your class? Did I really just say that?
“Okay,” He said waving awkwardly at her as he went back to his seat to grab his stuff and run out the door. Rebecca waved at him when he glanced at her through the window of Fredrick’s.
What a strange and funny guy.
On the following Monday, Rebecca had an email sitting in her inbox from Jonathan, requesting a private meeting in the conference room as soon as possible. She smiled and thought to herself;
maybe he broke it off with Stacy? A girl can hope.
She entered the conference room to see a sweaty and unattractive Jonathan storm towards her quickly.
She stepped to the side to let him quickly continue his journey to the door; Jonathan poked his head out of the conference room for a moment before shutting the door. “What’s this about Jonathan? If it’s about how I was with Stacy… I’m sorry, but I tried. I thought you were going to leave her and we were going to see where this was going?”
“What? No. Me and you talked, we didn’t do anything else. You are a nice girl, but I’m not ready at this point to leave Stacy. In fact, from now on let’s keep our personal lives out of our work.”
Clearing his throat he continued, “This is about the Green House series we are launching next month. It’s going to be big and I think you can do it.”
“Ummm… Isn’t Debbie in line for that?”
“You mentioned the other night this is what you wanted… I think you are ready and this Green House series is now yours.”
Rebecca wasn’t sure how to feel about the situation.
He decides to put me on this big project after the other night? Is he trying to show he likes me? Does he really think I can do it? Or what?
“Okay…” Rebecca said looking him in the eyes to make sure she didn’t see any hesitation.
“Great! You are going to do terrific, I just know it,” He said wiping more sweat from his forehead.
Sick, that sweat thing is so nasty.
“Why are you sweating so profusely Jonathan?” Rebecca asked in disgust. He began to laugh as he flapped his shirt out trying to get air to circulate inside of it and cool him off.
“I just took the stairs up to help with my circulation. The doctor told me I need to start getting more exercise or I am going to have another clot in my leg.”
“From what floor did you take the stairs?” Rebecca asked curiously.
“The first…” Jonathan said.
“What? Are you serious? Forty flights of stairs? No wonder why you are sweating. Gross.”
While eating a bowl of soup for lunch at her desk, Rebecca’s phone rang. Glancing down at the screen, she saw it was Mike.
I’m eating, you can wait.
She ignored it and continued to eat her soup. Shortly after the phone stopped ringing, it buzzed. Glancing down, she saw it was a voicemail.
Ugh, a voicemail? Seriously? Who leaves voicemails…?
After she finished her soup, Rebecca listened to the voicemail.
“Hey Rebecca… it’s me Mike. I don’t know if it’s too soon to call or whatever, but… I don’t care. I want to see you again, I was thinking tonight? Unless you’re busy… I’m not trying to assume you aren’t busy. I’m sure you have a fascinating life and could most likely probably be busy. So yeah… Ummm… Let me know.”
Haha… This guy is so funny!
Rebecca deleted it immediately and texted him.
Voicemail? Lol. Anyways, what time were you thinking? I have yoga until six, but my fascinating life can fit anything in after that, lol.
Rebecca waited for a few minutes for a response before returning back to work.
She worked through the day and found herself checking her phone periodically, looking for a response back.
Why do I care? Jeez. Get a hold of yourself.
At about five, he had finally sent a message.
How about 7? I can pick you up.
Rebecca smiled as she read the response.
I hope he doesn’t screw this up.
While Rebecca had been on a hundred or so different dates over the last four years, she had never let go of the idea of a prince charming. Continuing her smile, she texted him back.
As Rebecca began sending over her address to Mike, Jonathan walked up to her desk. Everyone in the office had already cleared out, including Stacy.
“Whatcha doing?” Jonathan asked. Rebecca finished up sending her address to Mike and looked up with a smile.
Glad to see the pit stains have vanished.
“I have a date,” She said with a smile. She could see Jonathan’s uneasiness of the words she spoke.
“What about the other night?” He asked. Rebecca couldn’t believe her ears.
Did he really just ask that? After that talk this morning about keeping our personal lives out of the office? Ugh. And they say women are confusing?
Rebecca stood up and pulled her purse out of her desk drawer. “That’s funny Jonathan,” she said. Fuming, she was about to rip him when he put his hand on her shoulder. Chills ran down her back at his touch.
“I’m just playing with you, have a good time,” He smiled at her and patted her on the shoulder.
Got to love that friend pat-on-the-back.
“Thanks!” She said quickly pushing in her chair and strolling towards the exit.