“Oh, I work at Skies, as a hostess,” I say, and I manage to look him in the eyes and smile. Hostessing is easy for me, I never feel self-conscious or shy but this guy, this man, sitting across from me makes me feel everything I’ve ever known, every feeling, and then some. Fear, excitement, anxiety, passion. Even at my young age I think I know what passion should feel like. Looking into his eyes, his face, his smile, makes me feel like I’ve already lived a lifetime seeing him.
“That’s it, I knew I recognized you from somewhere. How do you like it? I’m sure you meet a lot of people. That’s a very nice restaurant.”
“I love it, the food is delicious and I’ve made a lot of friends there,” I say.
“Yes, I had the cheesecake, it was really good.”
“That’s my favorite, I always get a slice on the house, the perks of working at the best restaurant in town,” I say and everyone laughs. I feel my cheeks warm again at saying something that probably seems so little to the adults that can afford to buy the whole cheesecake if they wanted.
Why didn’t I remember him coming into the restaurant but he remembered me? What was I wearing, when was he there, had I been pleasant, who did he go there with, was it a date?
“I’ll have to go there again soon, just to see you.”
I look at him and smile then my mom broke up our connection again but I wasn’t listening to what she was saying. She was always good at leading the conversation and drawing it back in to include everyone else. My mind was wandering and before I knew it the dinner was over and Dean was ready to leave. I hoped he would come and see me at the restaurant.
We all get up and walk him to the door, like a weird entourage. He holds his hand out to me and I take it, then wraps his other hand around mine and kisses it. I feel my whole body wanting to move towards his lips on my hand. My lips crave to be my hand. “It was a pleasure to meet such a nice young lady.” That statement shot through my heart and killed it over and over. I was only a nice young lady to him, nothing more.
He takes my mother’s hand and does the same thing but says, “Thank you for a lovely evening.” She giggles, and I roll my eyes. He shakes my father’s hand, thanks him and says something about seeing him at the office. I’m ready to run to my bedroom and cry. My parents already have their backs turned and are heading inside. But for some reason I am still on the porch watching him walk away, out of my life, but before he gets into his car he turns and looks directly at me and winks.
“What a charmer, he’s going to make a lot of money for the company, Honey. You chose a great sales man,” My mom says.
A sales man, what did he just sell me? I didn’t know but it felt right, it felt good. Lost in the moment, this night, I look up at the stars that are bright tonight then I turn and walk in the house.
What a confusing evening, lying in bed, I sort out my thoughts. I met a man I feel deeply connected to even though he is a lot older than me. I wonder whether he felt the same connection. And what was that wink about? I rub my hand where he had kissed it, then I stop, blink a few times and think maybe it didn’t happen. I raise my hand to my mouth, press it to my lips and close my eyes, and imagine Dean kissing me. His lips are soft and I smell the light scent of his cologne. He had to have felt something for me.