Catch up with the story! Chapter one is linked here. Chapter two is linked here. Chapter three is linked here. Chapter four is linked here. Chapter five is linked here. Chapter six is linked here. Chapter seven is linked here.
THE BLIND DATE
Chapter eight - Walking In
“Wait. Hold up,” I say, feeling like my life is spiraling out of control and the only way to put the brakes on it is to grab hold of Marty’s arm and hang on for dear life.
Marty turns. The door to the restaurant is framed behind him. We’re standing on the sidewalk in the waning evening light and I am trying to will this all to stop.
“What’s wrong, Bea?” he asks, innocent as can be.
“I don’t want to do this,” I admit.
Yes. I probably should have ponied up the guts to admit this four days ago when Marty set up this blind date, or even every day since then. But I didn’t. And now here I am, about to go meet my blind date, when what I really want is to play tonsil hockey with my best friend again.
Marty cocks his head to the side. “Why not?”
Okay, so now is the time. I have to tell him that after over a decade of friendship I have realized that I am completely, madly in love with him. I should just admit it, say it out loud. Right now.
“Um…I have a stomach ache.”
Marty stares at me for a long moment, his head still cocked to the side like an adorable puppy. Finally, he straightens up. “I don’t believe you.”
“Bea,” he says, placing his hand on my cheek. “Do you trust me?”
“He hasn’t been this close to me since he kissed me in my kitchen. And I am loving it. I can’t really think. So I just nod.
“Of course you do. Because you know I have your best interests in mind. I have found you the perfect man, Bea. He will give you all of his attention, pay attention to all of your needs, and when it comes to being intimate…he will rock your world.”
My mouth drops open. How can he even talk about me and another man like that?
Shocked into silence, I am a rag doll as Marty pulls me into the restaurant. He speaks briefly to the hostess, though I am unable to pay attention to what they are saying. Then he ushers me over to a curved booth.
And there he is. It’s Hyler Green. He and Marty played in the minors together and Hyler has gone on to play in the NHL. He’s hot, beautiful really, with an immaculate face, despite the scar over his left eye, or maybe because of it. He’s known for being a ‘good boy.’ Unlike so many hockey players, he does not have a reputation for being a player off the rink.
He’s perfect. And at the same time. He’s not. Because he’s not Marty.
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