Chris sat comfortably on a weathered chase lounge, staring at an empty swimming pool. He heard the everpresent sound of ZZ Top playing from a distant apartment.
"Good song." He said quietly to himself.
The noon-time sun was hot in San Diego, and in the confines of the horseshoe shaped apartment complex, little air moved. Chris got up to frehsen his glass with more ice water, with a twist of lemon of course. As he reached for his aprtment door, he heard; "Hey Chris."
The voice belonged to his next door neighbor, a very pretty young lady of twenty-two years. She had an athletic, muscular build, but not overly so. All of her curves were in the right places. Many were the heads that she turned. Even so, Chris was captured by her green eyes. They seemed to project a never-ending smile, a joy of life that spoke of tropical waves and perfect beaches. They were confident eyes set in a perfect face.
Chris replied; "Hi Jill. What's up?"
"I just baked two to many potatoes and wondered if you might come over and help me eat them."
"Sure. I'd love to come over and help you eat 'em. Is that all you cooked, cause I have some left over lobster I can heat up and bring over, and, um, let me see, some fresh asparagus spears that would go pretty good with them too."
"Sounds great to me. See you in a minute then."
"Be right there."
Chris quckly gathered together a microwave steamer, and his food, along with a couple of microwave safe dishes. As he did so, he said to himself "Glad I didn't put this microwave stuff in with the other junk."
A quick moment found him knocking on Jill's door. She answered the knock; "C'mon in. I'm in the dining room. Just go in the kitchen and I'll be right there."
He replied; "Ok, I'll put the food on the counter."
As he entered the house, Jill's cat stepped in front of him. He nearly stepped on the animal but was able to half-jump, half-step over it. He muttered an epitaph or two just a little to loudly. Jill heard and called; "What's wrong?"
"Nothing. I almost stepped on your cat."
"What'd he do, step right in front of you? He's such a pest. He alwasy does that to me."
"You nailed it, Jill."
"Are you Ok?"
"Yeh, I'm fine. I just know to watch out for the cat now." Chris could hear her snicker in the other room.
As he entered the kitchen, he noticed a single flower on the kitchen table/butcher block. It was elegant, and appeared to be very fresh.
"What kind of flower is that on your table?" he inquired.
"That's a bird of paradise?"; came the reply.
"I don't think I've ever seen one before."
"Really. They're pretty common."
"Well, it's a very pretty flower, for a very pretty lady."
Jill walked into the kitchen then and said, "Why thank you. So whatcha got there?"
"Got everything you want. That's what I got."
"Everything." Chris rmeoved the various food items from the bag. As each item was set on the countertop, Jill made little appreciative comments; "Mmmm, that looks great. I love lobster, and asparagus."
"Me too. So where's the microwave?"
"Right behind you, sport. I'll get a bowl."
"No need. I brought a couple."
"Ok. Then I'll continue setting the table."
As jill turned to leave the room, Chris said; "I'll join you in just a quick minute."
"I'll be waiting."
Chris placed the food in their containers, covered them an heated them perfectly. In less than five minutes, he brought them into the dining room and placed them on the table.
As he sat down directly accross from Jill, who was already seated, he said; "Those potatoes look great."
He lifted one to his plate, and watched melted butter drip down the potato skin to his plate. The flecks of green herbs caught his eye and he asked; "So how'd you season them?"
"Just a little dill and basil, a touch of salt 'n pepper."
"Looks and smells deliscious. I hope my lobster and veggies come out as good."
"Chris, it's lobster. how can it be anything less than spectacular?"
"Obviously, you haven't seen me cook."
Jill took the statement as an opening to state her real reason for asking Chirs over. "Chris, I may not have seen you cook, but I've seen plenty of other things."
"Oh yeh, like what?"
"Like the way you treat other people, the way you take care of yourself, the way you play with the kids around here, and a bunch of other things."
"Wow. I'm flattered, I think."
"I didn't only ask you over for potatoes."
Chris became hesitant, not knowing exactly where the conversation was going. He knew he had fallen for this beautiful lady who sat amazingly close to him at the moment, and he was starting to feel a bit nervous.
"Um, so why did you invite me over then?"
"Because you're too slow."
"Because I'm too slow. I'm confused, too slow at what?"
"You haven't even asked me to go to a movie or anything."
"I didn't know I was supposed to."
Jill got a little flustered then. She demanded "So you don't want to go to a movie with me?"
Chris blurted; "Of course I want to go to a movie with you. But look at you. You're gorgeous. You could have any man in town. I'm just plain old Chris. I never thought you'd have anything to do with me."
"I've been waiting for you to ask me to do anything, go to get a hamburger, or a movie, or even jump in the pool." Jill paused for a moment and then continued; "Look, I know that it's the guy's job to ask the girl out. But you just weren't doing your job. And don't give me any garbage about you being just Chris
. If you're just Chris, then I'm just Jill. And I think that you and me, Chris and Jill, could be a pretty great thing."
Chris sat stunned. He had just been told by a girl who had occupied most of his waking thoughts for months, that she was interested in him.
"Well Chris, don't jsut sit there looking dazed. Will you go out to a move with me?"
"Uh, that is, I would absolutely love to go to a movie with you. You have jsut made me the happiest guy on this planet. I know that sounds corny, but it's true. Give me a paper and some crayons, and I'll make you a poster expounding my love in poetry, in every color from the box."
"Well then, sailor, Why don't you come over here from around that table , put away the crayons, and put your chair right here next to mine."
That's the end of this story. The rest is left to yoru imagination. For me, Chris and Jill develop a loving relationship, get married, have incredibly smart and great kids, and live happily-ever-after. But then, I'm a hopelss romantic.
Seeeeya; Goodweed of the North
Seeeeeya; Goodweed of the North