Daily Archives: February 7, 2006

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What A Mess

February 7, 2006 by in category Archives tagged as

By Tina Ralph

Strolling down the aisle, all dressed in black, as gorgeous as ever, was the one person in the world, April didn’t want to see. Still, the unexpected sight of him caused her to choke out his name. To her horror, he turned and looked at her.

Kirk’s face showed he wasn’t any happier to see her, but he quickly recovered.

She ignored the sudden butterflies in her stomach. “Hello, Kirk, it’s been awhile.”

He pushed his cart closer. “Not since Janet moved out. Almost a year.”

“Janet told me when your divorce was final. I wanted to call – but – well… I didn’t know what to say.” To cover her awkwardness, she rushed on. “I always consider you, my friend too. We had fun together, but…”

Embarrassed, she looked down. The divorce had been a hot item among friends. They wanted someone to blame. She’d been mentioned as a contributing factor.

“Don’t worry about it, April.” Kirk continued. “I haven’t had much time to socialize anyway. I received the house in the divorce settlement. I spent my weekend on home improvement projects. You remember our fixer-upper. Don’t you?”

“Yes,” Amber was glad he’d changed the subject.

A lady with two small children broke up their conversation, as she tried to edge passed them.

“It looks like we are holding up traffic.” April pushed her cart forward, letting the woman pass. “Besides, my ice cream is melting.”

He hesitated a moment. “Maybe we can get together sometime…do something?”

Thrilled with the idea of pursuing a relationship with him, April tempered her enthusiasm with a wave of her hand. “Sure, give me a call.”

At the checkout counter, her pulsed danced at the possibilities of him calling. Kirk, with his incredible teddy bear brown eyes, made everyone feel special. He a wonderful man, except for the fact, that he was her best friend’s ex-husband.

Would Janet mind? She was dating other men.

Was it worth their friendship?

It could get complicated.

“It really doesn’t matter,” April said to herself. “He’s not going to call, anyway.”

* *

April stood in the middle of the video store with a movie in each hand, trying to make up her mind.

A rich baritone voice over her left shoulder caught her off guard. “I’d pick the comedy. Heavy drama is too depressing.”

Turning quickly, April brushed against Kirk’s shoulder as she looked up into his face. “Fancy meeting you here.”

His quick grin and the spark of interest in his eyes lightened her heart.

“I like to get my videos on Thursday. That way I beat the crowds.” He reached for the case in her hand. “Why don’t I rent this one? And you can come over Saturday and watch it with me.”

Letting him take it, she attempted to settle her racing heart. “I’m not sure you’ll like that one. It’s a chick flick.”

“It doesn’t matter.” He slid a friendly arm around her shoulders.

* *

Nervously, April took a deep breath and pushed the doorbell. Dressed in jeans and a tee shirt, she wanted to look friendly but not eager.

The door opened, Kirk stood before her holding a paint roller in his hand, paint splattered all over him.

Shock flashed across his face. “It can’t be six o’clock?”

Fascinated by the blue specks in his hair, April questioned. “Is it a bad time?”

He stepped back, ushering her into the house. “No, its just I–forgot the time.”

“I…” Seeing the living room in total disarray with furniture piled in the middle of the room, a plastic tarps lying next to a half-painted wall, April paused. “Maybe I should come back later?”

He blocked the door. “I can have it cleaned up in a minute. All I need to do is pour the paint back in the can, and clean out the roller. Then we can turn on the movie.” He hurried past her.

“But Kirk, you’re not finished. You don’t want to have to drag all this stuff back out tomorrow.” April argued.

“It’s no big deal. I can leave it like this.”

Her eyes roamed the room. “This type of chaos drove Janet wild. She likes things to be neat and tidy with no changes to upset her peaceful tranquility.”

Considering all work he had accomplished, April continued. “I could never understand why? I think it might be nice to change things up ever so often. It’s what makes a house a home.”

He studied her for a moment over the paint can before he replied. “It makes a mess.”

“Funny, I always enjoyed a little adventure in my life.”

He looked up again, their eyes met. In that moment, something passed between them. April wasn’t sure what it was, but she felt the spark of electricity.

With a wicked grin, Kirk asked. “Wanna get messy?”

Tina Ralph
OCC/RWA Membership Director

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