Joann wanted to be loved. She was a woman of means and was very astute in all matters of life, however, she could never find the right man. She wanted someone to love her for who she is and not for what she could do for him. It was really simple for Joann, seduce her mind and you will have her heart, soul and body. Lately, all the men she had come across wanted her body and made way to her money.
Broken hearted, she now yearned for noting more but real love. No games, no pretense just pure love. Maybe that’s why when James approached her she was cynical and candid.
“Hello?” James said in a low voice. When there was no answer, he repeated himself a little louder the next time. “Hello?”
“A more intelligent person would have taken the clue and walked away.” Joann harshly remarked with a snarl on her face.
“Such angry words for a beautiful woman.” James said dismissively, “I was wondering if I could join you as there are no other places to sit, and you are alone at this table with two chairs.”
“It’s a free country. You can sit where ever you like. But should you sit there, please don’t act as if I’m waiting to be picked and seduced by the likes of you.” she said flippant.
“Fair enough. By the way, I am James. Can I at least know who I am sitting with?” He smiled kindly.
For the first time Joann looked up from the book she was reading. She was mesmerized. This man was gorgeous, such a kind and warm face. She stared at him a bit longer than she had intended.
“Well, do you have a name?” He smiled wider.
“Yes, my name is Joann.” She snapped and looked back down at her book.
“Well I can’t say that it’s nice to meet you, but I can say thanks for sharing your space with me. However, you could try to be a bit nicer. Seeing I have not done anything to you. The man that hurt you did a major number on you.” He said as he scooted the chair out to take his seat.
“What do you know about anything?” Joann quickly responded looking at James again.
“His eyes were still smiling. “I know a bitter woman when I see her. An otherwise attractive woman who has had one too many fools in her life and now any man that would try to win her hand will have to deal with the resentment and anger of the last fool.”
Joann was ready to say something very inappropriate when James held his hand up and said. “I mean no disrespect and no I don’t know you. I have sisters, they talk, I had old girlfriends and they talked, I listen to my female friends. I can see you have been mistreated. It's no surprise.”
So you are my psychiatrist now? You’re going to counsel and make it all better.” She hissed.
Joann, no I just want to drink my coffee without the hostility. It’s actually very draining sitting this close to you and feeling all that anger emitting from you. You must be exhausted. I assure you; you can sit here and let your guard down.”
With a sassy tone Joann responds, “Look mister you can sit somewhere else! You don’t have to sit there. I was just here minding…”
James interrupts, “You are right I could move and sit somewhere else but as you see all the tables are taken and this was the only seat available. Why, wouldn’t I want to sit next to a lovely lady? I am just saying you are safe with me.”
Joann looked around the coffee shop to see if there was another place she could move to. He was right. The place was packed. People working on laptops, teenagers texting and couples talking. She was stuck unless she was ready to leave. She somehow felt that would be losing the battle to this annoying man. So she huffed and decided to stick it out.
James sat across from her opening his newspaper and folding it back on itself. His eyes caught an article as he took a sip of his coffee. Looking back up at Joann, who was now taking him in, he gave her a crooked smile. “So are you ready to play nice?”
“I’m sorry for being so rude. I am not normally like that but I thought you were going to try to hit on me or pick me up.”
“Well, if you want me to I can do that, but I just wanted a seat.” James glanced back at his newspaper, “Someplace to read while I sipped my coffee.”
“By all means, I do apologize for the rash assumption. Please forgive me.”
“You were forgiven the moment it happened, acquaintances for the moment?”
Joann smiled for the first time, “Sure.”
James went back to his article, and Joann continued to eye him. He had thick dark brown hair with the tips frosted in blonde. His hair had that fresh out of bed look that every white man she knew was trying to sport; only, his looked so effortlessly. He had the most sensitive hazel eyes and a small upturned nose and full pinkish lips. He had a barely there cleft in his chin. He was masculine but a pretty boy. His white polo shirt was a bit snug revealing his well-defined chest specks. His arms were chiseled to perfection, at least from where she sat. He exhaled. She thought to herself, if you have to be seen with anyone, he would be the pick. She watched as his brow furrowed and he looked up, “Do I meet your approval?”
Joann was mortified, how long had she been staring at him that he would ask such a question. Was he disturbed by her staring at him? Oh God she prayed under her breath.
“Well, you must know that you are a very attractive man.” Joann said trying to sound as matter of fact as she could.
James did a cheesy imitation of Elvis Presley and said, “Thank you. Thank you very much.” Smiling at her he unconsciously licked his lips. Joann felt her juices beginning to gather. She bit her bottom lip and tried to return to her book.
After reading the same line four times. She closed the book to find James looking at her.
“Do you have plans for today?”
“u-um not sure where this is going but I think I made myself very clear about being picked up.” Joann said shifting in her seat. Her body was now screaming at her to take him now.
“Yes, yes you did. How about this, I need a woman’s opinion for a gift for my sister’s wedding in three weeks. You look like you might actually know how to pick out that sort of gift. And I think it’s the least you can do to make up for undressing me with your eyes in this coffee shop.”
Joann blushed and as much as she wanted to say something sarcastic, she wanted to spend more time with him.
“You are right. I can pick out a pretty good gift, but I know nothing about your sister and I know nothing about you. For all I know, you could be a very handsome serial killer who picks up woman in coffee shops and lures them to their deaths.”
“U-um yeah, could be that or could just be a guy who needs some help, and behind your tough and rough exterior I think there’s a sensible woman who knows that I need her help,” he said leaning forward and putting his elbow on the table with his hand slightly balled in a fist and rested under his cheek. “So what do you say? I promise not to take more than hour of your time. She is registered at Macy’s so all we have to do is pick a gift off the list.”
“Couldn’t you do that without my help? She has already solved half the battle for you.”
“True but the list is so expansive and come on, I’m a guy. If I get my sister a bad gift, it will be the topic of every family gathering from here till the world ends.” He pleaded with a fake pout on his face.
“Alright I will. No more than an hour. At the first sign of uncomfortable feeling I will walk away.”
“Great. Thanks so much. I knew you were not the ice princess you were portraying to be. Plus, now the sales ladies will not try to flirt with me. I hate going shopping in these kind of stores.”
Joanna laughed, now that she could understand. James rose from his chair extending his hand to Joann, “Shall we?”
“I guess we shall,” she said taking his hand and immediately letting go once she was standing. She gathered her items and started for the door.
Lynn Davis AKA Vicki Vale